Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish wherein each week bloggers list out their Top Ten. This week we discuss recent books that we loved, that is, the ones we have rated 5 stars. Each of these won my heart in their own way, and came close to perfection. I’ll be going back chronologically, that is, starting with the most recent.
Maggie Stiefvater has risen to the top of my favorite authors, with her beautiful and witty writing and character-centric plots. Since I am a huge nerd for The Raven Cycle, I thought I would give Shiver a try. Despite me being tired of werewolf fiction, this one was different and innovative. The characters were also rendered realistically, and their relationship developed so beautifully. Sadly, the sequels of this book were more of a let-down plot-wise(when compared to this one), but had better writing compared to this.
Since this was a finale, I had high hopes for this one and it didn’t disappoint. Fast-paced from start to finish, with plenty of time devoted to characters and their feelings, this book was epic in proportions. The ending was organically done, and I loved how things were put in place for the next series, The Dark Artifices. It invigorated my love for the Shadowhunter series.
Another finale that was nicely done, with a good plot, great characters and a wonderful ending to this awesome fairytale retelling series. I loved how the story mirrored Snow White so well in a futuristic context, and made allusions to the original tale. The friendship between the characters is to die for, and they literally lose fingers over it. I would actually recommend the entire series, Scarlet in particular.
For me, Siege and Storm was the most powerful book in The Grisha Trilogy. The plot is great, and the pacing is on point. The characterization of Alina was also given so much attention – with her thirst for power and her need to defeat the Darkling. It all makes for such a complex character. Speaking of complex, I loved how the Darkling was portrayed in this book – in all agonizing loneliness and his evilness. Then there was Nikolai, who was such a great addition to their adventures. Honestly, after this one, Ruin and Rising felt a little flat to me.
Oh, this one was deliciously dark and enchanting. We have a complex heroine who is not out to save the world, just forced into it. And then we have the Gentle Lord, who may or may not be evil. Though this was a Beauty and the Beast retelling, it had Bluebeard undertones, and the slow way the relationship developed between them, from lust to something more – that was nicely done! In fact, after reading the book, I got an urge to re-read it again, which I actually did a week later. Best feature was the spectacular writing, which I am now in love with.
This Peter Pan retelling is recommended for fans of Once Upon A Time, for sure, because it features a roguish pirate and an evil Pan. Gwen is our Wendy, but she is fierce and brave, and cares a lot about the safety of her friend Olivia. She is pragmatic, but just sometimes swayed by the charms of the handsome pirate. It has a well-developed world, and the ending is certainly interesting and unpredictable.
There are time travel books and then there is this brilliant dimensional adventure book. The universe is the most interesting thing about the book, but it also has a great story, some heart-melting scenes and wonderful imaging. I can’t say more without spoiling!
A beautiful contemporary YA about friendships, aspirations, burdens of past, and loss. It is a tale of three friends, who have each others’ backs through their individual trials, and a great message about moving on and making your own path. The story is heart-breaking at times, and inspirational at some, and will endear you to the characters so much that you will feel what they feel. Brilliantly written!
Another beautifully and realistically written contemporary that I loved recently was The Girl Who Fell, which is about an intense relationship that devolves into emotional, and then physical abuse. The signs are subtle and it gives a great importance to how the characters interact with each other. The feel of the book is also something to look out for – the surreal way the author takes you through the story made this an especially intense reading experience.
Another brilliant contemporary, this one is a modern retelling-ish of Sherlock Holmes, with the story being centered around Holmes and Watson’s descendants. The story ties in beautifully the mystery, friendship, romance and brilliance of this duo, and brought out these two characters wonderfully. Charlotte is a brilliant girl, and she is rendered in all her complexity as a genius and a person with her demons. Jamie has been her fan since childhood, and meeting her and knowing her makes him feel protective towards her, like the bond his ancestor shared with hers, but they also develop a meaningful partnership and friendship.