August Monthly Recommendations: Oldies

Monthly Recommendations is a goodreads group started by Trina from Between Chapters and Kayla from Kayla Rayne. This month’s topics is Oldies, ie books published before 2010.

This is a topic I can really get behind as there are several benefits to reading older books. Firstly, they’re cheaper (sometimes) and your friend/library is more likely to have them. Secondly, you can binge the whole series all in one go. Thirdly more people have read them so it is easier to get a sense of whether they are good books.

Also, in honor of the topic, I am going to be using the original covers of each book in this post.

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Monthly Recommendations – Big Books

Monthly recommendations is a goodreads group started by Trina from Between Chapters and Kayla from Kayla Rayne. The topic for this month is big books, books with over 500 pages. So if you’re looking for some LONG books to read, you’ve come to the right place because I have a LOT of ideas, often long books are high fantasy so that’s right up my alley. There are a lot of books later on in series that are quite long but I want to try to recommend some that are more from the beginning of series.

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Monthly Recommendations

Monthly Recommendations is a goodreads group hosted by Trina from Between Chapters and Kayla from Kayla Raine. Here’s a link if you want to get involved. This month’s topic is family focused so I’ll be recommending to you some books with amazing family relationships. Let’s get into it.

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October Recommendations: Monster Mash

Monthly recommendations is a goodreads group hosted by Trina from Between Chapters and Kayla from Kayla Rayne. This month’s theme is monster mash in honor of Halloween so I will be recommending books with paranormal creatures. I have to admit that I kind of had a difficult time with this one despite the amount of fantasy novels that I read so I’m only going to list a few.

Trylle Trilogy – Troll

The Trylle Trilogy by Amanda Hocking is a fantasy novel about changelings and troll communities. This, like most of the others on my list, are good options for people who don’t like scary novels. This novel is a romance and is great for a heartwarming read.


Halo – Angels and Demons

The Halo series by Alexandra Adornetto features angels sent to Earth in order to stop demons. Although this novel has a love story, it also has elements of mystery as you try to determine the identity of the demon. There are some creepy elements, however this series remains mainly happy and uplifting.


Replica – Clones and Technology

Replica by Jenna Black is a sci-fi which contains clones and some other scary technological developments. This book isn’t dark at all, but it is highly enjoyable. The characters are both so well developed and I love the idea of the story. There is some really interesting things going on under the surface of this series and I liked how the LGBT+ characters where an integral part of the story and had an impact on the story.


Throne of Glass – Witches and Demons

The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas has a selection of demons in it but I want to focus on the witches which are so great. They are dark and cruel, yet still well rounded characters. They aren’t human and don’t act like they are, their culture is so different. However they don’t really show up until a few books into the series.


September Monthly Recommendations

Monthly Recommendations is a goodreads group hosted by Trina from Between Chapters and Kayla from Kayla Rayne. This month’s topic is sci-fi, so here I am with my best sci-fi recommendations and considering sci-fi is one of my two favorite genres (with the other being fantasy) I have quite a few.

Ender’s Game

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card is, at least in my mind, a stable in the sci-fi genre. This is a story of growing up unsure of the world around you, of space battles and of tactics. I loved the systematic nature of this book and how it kept you guessing right until the end. You get to watch the characters grow and it really explores some of the darker sides of humanity.



The Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld is a dystropian novel set in a world where everyone wants to be perfect, and they can be as long as they follow the society’s rules. The series follows Tally, a teenager who doesn’t really know what she is doing or what side she is on. This series has some really nice scenes about what it really means to be yourself. It shares similarities with other dystopians like Divergent, but I am pretty sure it was written beforehand and there is something quite different about the messages it portays.



The Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu is another great sci-fi dystopian novel. The society in it is closer to what already exists today, and in my eyes the series avoids many of the overdramaticisations that are present in other dystopians. No one is truly bad, and the same is true for governments. Legend focuses more on the people involved, and although this might be a controversial opinion I really liked the ending to the trilogy.


The City of Ember

The City of Ember series by Jeanne DuPrau is a sci-fi novel that is a bit more like a fantasy. It does take place in a world that is meant to be ours in the future, however events that have occurred mean it is quite different. The first and third books in the series are probably the most similar to what you would expect of a sci-fi novel. The characters are amazingly loveable and the novel really focuses on their development. There is also an element of mystery as to what is going on.


Across the Universe

I will start this by saying I have only read the first book in this trilogy, however Across the Universe by Beth Revis was a really great sci-fi read. Don’t be put off by the cover as I was, although present in the novel the sci-fi elements and plot are really more important than the romance. This novel was set on a space ship in the future, with a cryogenically frozen people and technological advancements. I don’t know how the rest of the series goes, but I really enjoyed the first book a lot.


Inside Out

Inside Out by Maria V Snyder has all the classic elements of a dystopian novel with a class system and a strange city. This is a duology and the second book is a bit weird, however the first one is a great sci-fi that combines classic sci-fi elements with a dystopian setting and ends up with some really loveable characters. I would highly recommend it.


Red Rising

An up and coming sci-fi is the Red Rising trilogy by Pierce Brown (my reviews here and here). I have not yet read Morning Star, the last book in the trilogy, however I really enjoyed the other two and have high hopes for Pierce Brown. Red Rising is somehow YA and adult fiction at the same time, like a transition between the two. It is also both dystopian and very spacey with planetary battles and lazer weapons. It reminds me of Ender’s Game.


Time Riders

I have only just finished the Time Riders series by Alex Scarrow (series review coming soon) and I do admit that the first few books in the series are much more focused on time travel to the past, (although the idea of  time travel is very sci-fi) but the end of the series is VERY much focused on the future. And true to the genre, there is more to this series than it first appears like there is. The series is quick to read, with the books ranging between 300 and 400 pages and while the beginning of the series gets a bit repetitive I would highly recommend reading it.

What are your top sci-fi recommendations?

Monthly Recommendations – August

Monthly recommendations is a goodreads group hosted by Trina from Between Chapters and Kayla from Kayla Rayne. This is going to be my first time participating, and luckily this month is a mash up of all their previous topics due to the one year celebration of the group. As always I have tried to include a range of less popular books that I would recommend reading. Without further ado, let’s begin.


Underrated book

7268549The Glass Demon by Helen Grant

This book is a mysterious supernatural thriller that I picked up at a library. On goodreads it is rated 3.5 and has only 1100 reviews in total. I would recommend this to anyone who loves a psychological thriller with a mystery.


Book set in school

963897H.I.V.E. by Mark Walden

This book is set in a school for villains in training, there are so many heists and plots and challenges. It reminds me of Harry Potter in the amount of drama that happens there,  but the kids are so amazing and talented.



Creepy book

17905697Pretty Girl by J C Burke

If you want a book with unexplained murder, kidnapping and college drama then this is the book for you. I read this with some of my friends and we all found it chilling. It was fast moving and stayed with me for years after I read it, although that might just be the inside jokes I had with my friends.



The Paladin Prophecy series by Mark Frost


I haven’t read the whole series but the first book was amazing, and the second one was pretty good. The characters are life like and the settings are amazing. The second book didn’t feel like much of a slump and was a necessary part of expanding the world.


Book others should read before the end of the year

10626594The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

I have heard amazing things about her other books, but this is the only one that I have read. I would highly recommend it. The world was real and fantastical, it was a stand alone that didn’t take much time to read. However the characters wants and the life lessons they learnt have stuck with me since I read it.


Fantasy book

12842828Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger

I have been following this series since the second book was released three years ago which for me is a long time. This book might be aimed more at middle grade kids and it remains light throughout the series despite the dark plot twists, murders and kidnappings. I think this series will become a staple fantasy novel in the years to come.

(my full review here)


Book with little or no romance

22297138The Novice by Taran Matharu

This book doesn’t need romance to be great. There is an abundance of teenage characters of both the male and female gender but at the completion of the first book there was no hint of romance. I have high hopes for the rest of the series.

(my full review here)





Between the Lives by Jessica Shirvington

I read this at the end of last year and I cried at the end. It is an amazing stand alone by an Australia author who is really good at evoking emotions. The plot leaves you not sure whether it was real or not, but in a good way. It doesn’t take too long to read so you should go do that right now.



Survival story

18043253Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

This book, and the sequel, are very much so what I think of when asked about survival stories. They aren’t set in the wilderness or on some strange planet, instead these books are set in WW2. Not everyone survives these books, making the situation all the more real, and I learnt much about what happened during those years from reading these books. The story is told in an easy to read way and teaches of the life of women in WW2.


Book friendship

6773432Time Riders by Alex Scarrow

The friendship between Liam, Maddy and Sal is great. Despite hardly knowing each other situations soon require them to trust each other, and their skills perfectly compliment each other. They manage to joke around together despite the often dangerous circumstances and are always able to trust that the others have their back. I wish I had friends like this, but then again I doubt I would ever know unless I ran into a situation where I would need to trust others with my life so maybe not.


Set outside of the US

9622286This was by far the hardest category to fill because I wanted to pick something actually set in the real world as opposed to a fantasy one. I finally settled on:

A Waltz for Matilda by Jackie French

This novel is set in Australia, where I am from and I read it when I was younger. It embodies not only the place Australia but also the culture. A great way to get a taste of the land.


Empowering female character

3233802Obernewtyn by Isobelle Carmody

I have been following this series since I was in year five, and the last book just came out (no spoilers please I have to do a full series reread before I read it). Elspeth Gordie has been a constant role model for me in the past five years of my life, from ages ten to fifteen which are quite impressionable years. Elspeth has romantic interests, but they don’t dominate her life. She stays strong through so many situations where it seems like there is no hope including the loss of many friends and a secret that she has to bear alone. Her strength has impacted me and how I view the world, and for that I am thankful.


What books have you read recently that fit these categories?