Sara Shepard is well known as a champion of YA mysteries/thrillers so when I saw The Amateurs at my local library I had to pick it up.
I’m back again with another Top Ten Tuesday post (hosted by The Broke and The Bookish). Today’s theme is Top Ten Of The Most Unique Books I’ve Read but as per one of the suggested variations I am going to do the top ten most unique books on my TBR, which will be more my opinion from reading the blurb with will avoid the problem of me only ever talking about the same few books which I have noticed happening quite a lot in tag/top ten tuesdays. For this list I will only be taking books off my TBR list, which for me is a list of books that I am definitely going to read.
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. I haven’t done a Top Ten Tuesday in a long while, but I’m back with my top ten underrated novels. There are so many books out there that don’t get the love that they deserve. Here is my attempt to share the love in the bookish community. Now go out and read these books.
I am jumping on the bandwagon and doing The Perpetual Page-Turner‘s annual end of the year bookish survey. I can’t believe I have made it to the end of the year with this blog and we will be celebrating a one year anniversary soon. If you have any ideas of how I should celebrate that let me know. Now let’s get into the survey, and beware this is an incredibly long post because when it comes to books I am so bad at making choices. Legit this post is 4-5x longer than most of my other posts… have fun.
Note: I am sorry for all the shameless plugging for my reviews in this post, I couldn’t stop myself.
Frayed by Kara Terzis (her blog here) is a psychological thriller novel about finding someone’s murderer. Kara has been one of my biggest inspirations as a blogger and writer ever since I found her world building series online which was so helpful to me. I was super excited to read her book and have it sitting on my shelf as a reminder of what people can accomplish. Her story feels so much more real to me because I have been reading her blog for years. Here’s my review.
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week the theme is something to do with school, and one of the best things about school is getting to spend time with your friends. Most of my friends read at least a little and a lot of the relationships I have with people have been built upon books and reading, and specifically recommending books to each other or talking about books we have both read so today I have decided to recommend ten books to read and talk about with friends although it is more like top ten series. Obviously there are always going to be highly popular books that people love to talk about including Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and Throne of Glass which are basically staples of the fantasy genre for our generation.
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
The Maze Runner, specifically the first one, is great to read with friends due to the level of mystery and suspense present in the book. This series isn’t too long, however there are also movies which have been coming out for the past few years which I have seen every year with a friend that I also read the books at the same time as.
Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan
I read all of this series in a few weeks, but while I was reading it and soon afterwards there were two or three of my friends that were at different points through the series. It was good to talk with each of them about my opinions of the series and characters, and because the series is so extensive there is lots to talk about and it is great to borrow them off friends to save you the trouble of buying them all.
Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
This book was a really cute one to read and there were a bunch of characters to get attached to. I borrowed this book off a friend, and I have to say that it isn’t the sort of book that I would normally choose to read. However it was her type of book, so we both read it and talked about it. This one is a series but the first one finishes off nicely so you don’t really need to read the others.
Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy
One of my friends has read this series and loved it, I have only read the first one but I know that when I get around to reading the whole series I will have a lot of fun. The premise of this story is a bit bizarre but it provides heaps of opportunities for discussion and inside jokes, plus the series is quite long.
7 Souls by Barnabas Miller
The sheer weirdness of this book made it one that my friends and I talked about with great excitement. It’s a stand alone and has elements of a thriller or mystery novel but if I’m honest with you it’s hard to but into one genre. Reading this with friends is guaranteed to prompt many conversations on how to commit a murder and what the heck is even going on in the character’s minds.
Time Riders series by Alex Scarrow
This is a series that I am currently on the last book of, and it does get quite crazy by that point, but the first few books in the series I read at the same time as a friend and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. History and alternate versions of it are always fun to talk and hypothesize about and there are several plot twists in this series that I enjoyed chatting about with my friends.
The Alchemist by Michael Scott
Another wonderful series full of magic and incredibly lovable characters, plus some crazy events that only people who have read the books will understand when you talk about them. This series is going to twist your brain so make sure to have a friend handy to chat about it all with.
The Rain by Virginia Bergin
This duology was a bit deal in my corner of the world for a few months and I knew around five people who had read and loved it. They hyped me up for this book and I wasn’t disappointed. The main character, although being slightly annoying, is someone I could relate to and I found the way that she told the story to be really interesting.
Pretty Girl by J.C. Burke
This was probably the book that started off me buddy reading with friends. I had been reading it and was about half way though, then one of my friends saw it and picked it up at her local library and sped through it. There are plenty of twists and turns in this thriller that make it perfect for reading with friends.
Mind Games by Teri Terry
This book is one I am just about to start reading, and one of my friends is part way through it. From their words ‘I just need someone to complain to about this book’. From what I gather, there are parts of this book that she is really annoyed by and what better reason to read a book with someone than to complain about the bits that annoy you.
Do you have any recommendations of books that are perfect to read with friends?
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.
The 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
H.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.
Pretty 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
The 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.
Keeper 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
The 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.
Code 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.
Time 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
This 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
Obernewtyn 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.