Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and Bookish. Each week the bloggers at The Broke and The Bookish put out a topic, and discuss their top ten options for said topic. This week it’s all about the Top Ten books you’ve read so far this year.
As You Turn Away by Molli Moran.
Two hearts, one life-changing summer, and a long-awaited second chance…When Quinnlan Reynolds left home at 18, she escaped her small, Georgia town and her suffocating upbringing. She started a new life as a ballerina, and tasted freedom for the first time. But four years later, her first visit home turns tragic. Reeling, Quinn tries to piece her life back together again. But doing so is easier said than done when sexy Jonah Walker saunters back into her life. Quinn shattered Jonah’s heart once, so getting involved with her isn’t something he’s sure he’s ready to do again. He became someone he didn’t recognize when he left home. He’s spent the last years burying his pain by keeping everyone in his life at arm’s length. Now he needs to get to know his family again, and finally become who he wants to be.
A great debut from a promising YA/NA indie author. Molli has a great way with words and building a story that’s believable and tangible. I really enjoyed it, stayed up late to finish it. I’m looking forward to what Molli puts out next.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.
The terrifyingly prophetic novel of a post-literate future. Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; there is discord in his marriage. Are books hidden in his house? The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books.
I read this for the Classics Club, originally feeling a bit guilty that I hadn’t read this book. It seems like it’s one of those classics that everyone has read or everyone should read. I agree. It’s a book everyone should read. One of the forefathers of dystopian society this book is scary in the sense that it could very well happen.
Dancing on Air by Nicole Hurley-Moore
Lisette yearns for freedom, security and love, but none are offered on the run-down stage of The Imperial Theatre. Instead she has hard work, a tyrannical aunt, and the hope of one day becoming a prima ballerina. Dancing on the stage she catches the attention of two powerful men: Lord Gainsworth and Lord De Vale. Lord Evander Gainswith never expected to fall in love, let alone with a woman so wholly unacceptable to his family and his peers. The sinister Lord De Vale covets Lisette’s youth and strength, and is willing to pay well for it. Lisette may dance roles in fairy tales and fantasies, but the real world is about to intrude, bringing with it the harsh realities of life for a young girl with dreams of rising above the demimonde.
This is a beautiful historical romance that focuses not only on the romance, but the driving force behind the main character–ballet. It’s a great love story that will linger with me for a long time. I really enjoyed this one and recommended it to quite a few people.
At Their Service by Isla Munro
Forced to be a maid to her family, nursemaid to her birth-mother, and slave to her step-mother, the only high point in Drella’s life is a new job at the palace. She will get to meet the handsome Prince Abran. However, Drella is not expecting to be attracted to both the prince and his valet. The equally handsome Oshan invites Drella to enjoy a night of passion with both men…all three of them together. Can Drella put the messy relationship between her own four parents aside and accept the love offered by a prince and his valet?
This is a great, sexy re-telling of the fairy tale Cinderella. What I like so much about it is that it focuses on the characters and the love between them. No one is left out and it’s a very different take on the source material. I loved the slow build and the world building. I really want to read more by Ms. Munro.
The Hallowed Ones By Laura Bickle.
Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers can get a taste of the real world. But the real world comes to her in this dystopian tale with a philosophical bent. Rumors of massive unrest on the “Outside” abound. Something murderous is out there. Amish elders make a rule: No one goes outside, and no outsiders come in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man, she can’t leave him to die. She smuggles him into her family’s barn—at what cost to her community? The suspense of this vividly told, truly horrific thriller will keep the pages turning.
This book opened up the world of YA to me. Brilliant story telling, beautiful world building, Ms. Bickle opens the world to the Amish traditions in a well researched urban fantasy novel. I love the characters in this, and the fact that the vampires are predators rather than humanity’s sparkly friend. This book was stunning and glorious and I hope everyone reads it.
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list.
I love this book, which might be a strange thing to say considering the subject matter. But what I like about it is that it doesn’t glorify suicide–it shows the ugly truth of what the person leaves behind and how much pain and suffering that comes with it. It’s stark, take no prisoners and delightfully twisted.
The Fault in Our Stars John Green
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
Snark exchanges lure you into a false sense of snarky security only to have all of your feelings and heart ripped out and jumped on. Seriously. If you feel like letting your heart get ripped out and used as John Green’s personal trampoline, please, by all means read this book. I may be a bad person and I might have took one of the besties to see this movie—she hadn’t read the book. 😀
A Monster Calls Patrick Ness
The monster showed up after midnight. As they do. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth.
This book left me an absolute mess. I was crying, sprawled out on the floor clutching the book, while my dog looked on upset as to why his owner was petting a book. This story is heartbreaking, I knew what was coming but by the time it happened I was already emotionally drained.
Paper Valentine Brenna Yovanoff
The city of Ludlow is gripped by the hottest July on record. The asphalt is melting, the birds are dying, petty crime is on the rise, and someone in Hannah Wagnor’s peaceful suburban community is killing girls. For Hannah, the summer is a complicated one. Her best friend Lillian died six months ago, and Hannah just wants her life to go back to normal. But how can things be normal when Lillian’s ghost is haunting her bedroom, pushing her to investigate the mysterious string of murders? Hannah’s just trying to understand why her friend self-destructed, and where she fits now that Lillian isn’t there to save her a place among the social elite. And she must stop thinking about Finny Boone, the big, enigmatic delinquent whose main hobbies seem to include petty larceny and surprising acts of kindness.
Paper Valentine was a really quick read that I easily got sucked into the story. Hannah is an interesting character who grows along the way. Something that I found interesting that Yovanoff did, is when Hannah started talking to ‘the love interest’ she changed. In a positive way. She started to stand up for herself, and move away from the circle of ‘friends’ that had fallen apart after Lillian’s death. I really liked that when the love interest was introduced and confirmed that Hannah didn’t become clingy. She actually opened up and started to change for the better.
The Winner’s Curse Marie Rutkoski
As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.
I’m enamored with this book. I want to go out and purchase it (I got my copy through the library), and put it on my shelf with my favorite books and pull it down occasionally just to pet the pretty cover. This story is on a whole different level. The world building is reason enough to pick this story up. I can’t get over the world building. It’s beautiful and lush and so visceral that I got lost in it.I loved Kestrel. She’s a character that grows to stand on her own, and not in the shadow of her father or her friends. She is smart and strong, almost sneaky at times.
That’s my Top Ten books I’ve read this year. Feel free to leave a link to your Top Ten Tuesday post. I may be a little late in responding to comments/visiting blogs as my mom is having surgery later today. (Nothing too serious.)