Hello, friends! As I was checking my WP reader’s feed this morning, I noticed this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly bookish meme curated by The Broke and the Bookish. I thought I’d join in since I think the topic will allow me to share some different book recommendations that I haven’t spotlighted enough on Xingsings. Plus, it’s been a while and I sort of miss doing these posts. 😛
Oh and a lot of these books will probably be ones from my pre-teen and early teenage years. I read way faster and more when I was younger. Coupled with the fact that I wasn’t working and making money then, I didn’t buy most of my books like I do now. I went to the library instead. Therefore the photo below doesn’t have a lot of the books I’ll talk about shown since I don’t have them as part of my current book collection. Also, this list is in no particular order. And I’ll be linking Goodreads links to all the books I mention, so feel free to use them if you’d like!
The Two Princesses of Bamarre
So who else was a HUGE fan of Gail Carson Levine growing up? She’s probably the queen of MG high fantasy. I’m pretty sure I’ve read all her written work aside from her book about writing. She writes a lot of fairy tale retellings, and Ella Enchanted is probably her most popular work. (Side note: I actually don’t hate the movie like most bookworms…) I loved Ella Enchanted but The Two Princesses of Bamarre is so underrated. The latter also features sisterly love! (And I actually do own a copy of this but it was on the very top shelf and it wasn’t really worth taking down for a picture… Sorry! 😛 )
So I’m aware that I rave, rave, rave about Sarah Dessen all the time. I know some readers find her formulaic after a while, and I do agree that some of her books (especially the earlier books in her career) to be a hit or miss… but I never fail to buy and read her books every time they’re released in the summer. I think I’ve opened up to contemporary more now but I’d say I’m generally more of a fantasy/paranormal reader if anything. But Sarah Dessen is, hands down, my favorite YA contemporary writer. I also noticed in the past I always talk about The Truth About Forever and maybe even Just Listen, but This Lullaby deserves the spotlight as one of my favorites by Dessen as well. There’s an unlikely romance, rocker guys, and music.
I like Edgar Allen Poe’s poetry okay so I’m definitely not a huge enthusiast that reads his work often or anything, but I loved the Poe inspirations that created this series. I think I’ve only read the first book but it has such an unconventional romance (a cheerleader and gothic lit student). Also, readers never really get a clear view of who exactly is the villain in the first book (yeah, I’m starting to think I didn’t read the second book after all…).
I’ve read a lot of paranormal series with angels (Fallen, Halo, Hush, Hush) but Unearthly is probably the best one by far (if you don’t count the entire Shadowhunters world that is because you know I love me my Cassie Clare books, LOL; those books have an entirely different concept with the nephilim). I like that this one has one of those role reversals where the guy isn’t the supernatural but the girl is. The guy is just normal boy, which is refreshing in a teenage paranormal romance story, I think.
Where the Red Fern Grows
In my late elementary school and preteen years I read a lot of nonfiction and fiction books with animals (Shiloh, Champ, Runt, Pick of the Litter, A Dog Called Kitty, The Wind in the Willows, etc) because I just really liked them in stories. But of them all I found Where the Red Fern Grows to stick with me the longest. It’s a classic for good reason.
To say I enjoy books on WWII (The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Unbroken, The Things They Carried, The Morning Gift, Anna and the Swallow Man, etc) and the Holocaust would be a bit weird, but they do tend to be my favorite historical period for historical fiction for me. I think what I found this one to be memorable and significant is that it’s a true account of a Holocaust survivor’s life-and it’s actually written by the survivor himself. It’s moving and heartbreaking, but I like that it’s probably the most accurate portrayed account (it’s different from a biography I imagine-because they tend to have some fallacies even with direct correspondence) for readers.
There was also a time where I really liked books that took place at unconventional housings such as labs (Maximum Ride series), boarding schools (Private series, Sanctuary Bay) , and camps (Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, Shadow Falls series). And I’m not sure why I never talk about The Summoning since it features an empowered heroine and the romance is swoonworthy. This entire trilogy is great for those that love YA paranormal romances.
Flowers for Algernon
I read this when I was in middle school and found it a powerful read for all the emotions it evokes from a reader. We used to have something called “popcorn reading” when I was in school (they probably still have it) but basically every student had to read some point in a class reading. I still remember that when I read this my eyes were so watery, haha.
So I finally caved and watched up to season 4 of The Vampire Diaries last year and loved the show so much (up to those episodes though). A few years ago, I tried reading a few pages for the first book in that book series but couldn’t really get into them. So that would be an instance where I liked the motion picture adaptation over the books. On the other hand, I really loved The Secret Circle books (up to book three though-I’ve heard the ones later are pretty subpar). I watched the show, which was really bad, when I was in high school and the show gives the series absolutely no justice at all.
Before I Fall
So I actually think I talked about this book in a tag post before but I still don’t think I recognize it enough. I read this when it was just released and didn’t really know about the hype surrounding the debuts of authors (like I do now), but I ended up loving it so much. It’s about a high school girl that dies on the day that was supposed to be one of her most memorable experiences in her high school career. The story recounts her reliving that day seven times-differently but still resulting to her eventual death at the end of the day. I loved the writing and the entire story. I own most of Oliver’s other writing but I haven’t had a chance to pick another up yet. I also find it interesting that Oliver is one of those authors that seems comfortable in writing in any genre. She’s written this one (contemporary), a sci-fi trilogy, a YA thriller, etc. I wonder what’s next!
Books I Probably HAVE Talked About but Still Are My Recent Favorites Nonetheless!
Instead of gushing about why I think these books are so awesome. I’ll just be leaving some links to my reviews instead! 😉
Please let me know if you guys have read any of these. We can fangirl/fanboy and reminisce together! And what are on your lists this week?