My Top 10 Books
This is only a taste of the books I have read and loved over the years, but it does give an insight into the kind of person I am and the kind of books I want to write someday. The list is numbered, but aside from the first one, can't really be ordered. I hope I can inspire you to give a few of them a chance and that they change your life as much as they changed mine.
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
After several years and a reread, I still can't put my finger on what exactly it is about this book that puts it on the top of my list, I just seem to know that it belongs there. It's not even the type of book I usually gravitate to. The characters and conflicts were just so real and the writing style so simple and yet thought provoking. I think the mark of a good book is one that you can't quite explain; it's genius is just something you hold in your heart.
"Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird." - Atticus
One Past Midnight - Jessica Shirvington
I never expected to like this book as much as I did. The premise is that of a girl named Sabine who lives every day twice. She spends Monday as rich Sabine with divorced parents and three brothers and then at midnight, she wakes up in her second life on Monday as poor Sabine with different parents and a little sister. The way I'm explaining it makes it sound boring, but basically one day, Sabine discovers that her injuries no longer transfer between her two selves and now she has to choose which life she wants to live. It's an amazing book of love and loss and covers topics of abuse and mental illness among others. I read this book in one sitting and sobbed like a baby at the plot twist. Ten out of ten recommend.
"Some things are so real you can feel them to your core. It doesn't matter where you go, they go with you. Anywhere." - Ethan
Walk Two Moons - Sharon Creech
This book is a middle aged book and I would never be able to properly summerize it. I'll just say that it is a coming of age novel that will tear at your heart strings and open your mind to so many things. I love this book and though it has been almost 12 years since I first read it (at age 8) it has not lost it's effect on me one bit.
"In the course of a lifetime, what does it matter?" - Phoebe
Maniac Magee - Jerry Spinelli
I probably can't do this book justice either so I'll just give you the book blurb:
"Jeffrey Lionel 'Maniac' Magee might have lived a normal life if a trolley accident hadn't made him an orphan. After living with his unhappy and uptight aunt and uncle for eight years, he decides to run - and not just run away, but run. And this is where the myth of Maniac Magee begins, as he changes the lives of a racially divided small town with his amazing and legendary feats."
I will never forget this book for as long as I live. It's more than just a kids books. This book relates to all the troubles of life and reminds us of the racism that still exists in our culture. It's also hilarious, in that special way that middle grade books just are.
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline
By now I'm sure most of you have seen the movie trailer, if not the movie, but I strongly encourage you to read the book if you haven't! I read this book in one day. It was a sci-fi and pop culture masterpiece (and I don't normally enjoy either of those). Imagine spending most of your time in virtual reality. Now imagine what happens when the entire virtual world turns into one big Easter Egg hunt for millions of dollars and the ownership of the entire corporation. This book has high stakes and keeps you guessing from page one until the very end. The twists and turns were beautifully crafted.
"You'd be amazed how much research you can get done when you have no life whatsoever."
The Kingkiller Chronicles - Patrick Rothfuss
Book One: The Name of The Wind. Book Two: A Wise Man's Fear. Book Three: The Doors of Stone.
Anyone who likes fantasy needs to read these books NOW. Seriously. I got them from the library on a whim one day and they Blew. My. Mind. Book blurb from Book One below. If that doesn't convince you to read it, nothing will.
"My name is Kvothe.
I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.
You may have heard of me."
The Gentlemen Bastards series - Scott Lynch
Book One: The Lies of Locke Lamora. Book Two: Red Seas Under Red Skies.
Book Three: The Republic of Thieves.
I cannot begin to capture the sheer GENIUS of this series. Oh my God. However, I will do my best. Book One follows Locke Lamora and his band of thieves who are always one step ahead of everybody, until their egos get the best of them. The story takes place in the ancient city of Camorr which I can best describe as a medieval Venice ruled partially by Duke Nicovante and partially by his enemy Capa Barsavi who the Duke can't touch. Barsavi runs what is essentially the mafia of Camorr and... Man I can't really say much else except that someone has it in for Barsavi and Locke and his friends somehow get tangled up in the mess.
This book is a page turner, rich in worldbuilding and action packed. Oh, and did I mention this world has magic? The characters are always three steps ahead of you and when it all comes together in the end, you'll be sitting there wondering how in gods name the author managed to fool you for so long and how he even came up with the brilliant schemes the novels are rife with. Below is the first line of Book One.
"At the height of the long wet summer of the Seventy-Seventh Year of Sendovani, the Thiefmaker of Camorr paid a sudden and unannounced visit to the Eyeless Priest at the Temple of Perelandro, desperately hoping to sell him the Lamora boy."
The Iron Fey series - Julie Kagawa
I'm pretty sure I mention this series in every monthly challenge I participate in on Instagram, but I'm not sorry for it lol. For those of you that don't know, this series sparked the idea for my first ever novel, Summer's Revenge and was a big inspiration for me to decide I wanted to be an author. This series is amazing. It follows Meghan Chase's journey after her younger brother is kidnapped by faeries and she is forced to enter an unknown lethal world to save him, while unearthing even more problems along the way. It's a tale of love, family, and finding yourself. A story of war and magic and a world I will never get enough of.
"'Ladies and Felines," he stated grandly, grasping the doorknob, "Welcome to Tir Na Nog. Land of endless winter and shitloads of snow.'" - Puck
The Throne of Glass series - Sarah J. Maas
I'm not really sure what I can say about this series that hasn't already been said, but I suppose I'll try to put my own spin on it. The best part about the series I think is how Sarah paints the world. It seems so effortless and I am always in awe and envy of it. Then there's the evolution of the story from a simple tale of an assassin in a harrowing game to win her freedom to an all out war against a demon king from another realm destined to destroy their world. The characters are compelling as well and each unique despite the fact that there are so many of them integral to the story. Oh and there are plenty of plot twists and "oh shit" moments to go around.
"She was the heir of ash and fire and she would bow to no one."
The Monsters of Verity duology - Victoria Schwab
This Savage Song:
This book was everything I hoped it would be. I loved the premise, loved the idea of monsters and humans and the blurred lines between each. The characters are great and relatable. Another thing I loved were the internal conflicts and the secrets. This book was fast paced, intriguing, and had me hooked the whole time.
Our Dark Duet:
This book. This author. My heart. I can't say too much about this book, seeing as it's a sequel. I'll say it again though, Victoria Schwab is a master. The writing style, the metaphors, the characters, the relationships. Ugh. I can't get enough and I can't believe it's over. I highly recommend reading this duology and basically anything Victoria Schwab writes.
"There's no such thing as safe in a city full of monsters."