Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I'd Recommend

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish.  This feature was created because they're particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish (and who isn't?). They're all about creating new lists including a little bit of everything and I've been meaning to participate for so long but always seemed to get behind.  So here we are and hopefully you'll head over to their page and check out what everyone else put up for this week's Top Ten.

Recommendations are hard but how can you resist a TTT like this when you're a total bibliophile like myself?  The answer is you can't.  So I went through Goodreads and scanned my lists of what I've read since joining and picked a few of my favorites.  No particular order and I know there are tons I've left out but there's nothing that can be done about that.  So here are ten good ones I'd highly recommend checking out if you haven't already.

Recommendation #1:  Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1) by Jamie McGuire


Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants—and needs—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

It's fresh in my head and I think will always be on top of my favorites list.  There was just something about Pigeon and Travis that stayed with me.  They were the most dysfunctional couple but so real and lovable too.  The sequel from Travis' point of view, Walking Disaster, was icing on the cake.  Read this pronto if you haven't already and pick up the sequel in April a.s.a.p. because it's worth it!

Recommendation #2:  Fire (Graceling Realm, #2) by Kristin Cashore

It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. The young King Nash clings to his throne while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. The mountains and forests are filled with spies and thieves and lawless men.

This is where Fire lives. With a wild, irresistible appearance and hair the color of flame, Fire is the last remaining human monster. Equally hated and adored, she had the unique ability to control minds, but she guards her power, unwilling to steal the secrets of innocent people. Especially when she has so many of her own.

Then Prince Brigan comes to bring her to King City, The royal family needs her help to uncover the plot against the king. Far away from home, Fire begins to realize there's more to her power than she ever dreamed. Her power could save the kingdom.

If only she weren't afraid of becoming the monster her father was.

An amazing world with amazing possibilities.  The characters Cashore created with Fire and the royal family along with Fire's makeshift family were impossible to resist.  They broke my heart and pulled at me with every turn of the page.  It was pure magic.

Recommendation #3:  Divergent (Divergent, #1) by Veronica Roth

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

I know this is a well known title and needs no help in the promotion department, but for me it blew the doors right open and had me falling love with the dystopian genre.  I thought I loved The Hunger Games series but when I read this book it paled in comparison.  I simply could not catch my breath from the first page to the very last.

Recommendation #4:  Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1) by Richelle Mead

St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger...

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

It's hard to pick a favorite book from this series because they were all so good, but I decided on the series opener because that's where it all started.  Mead takes her readers on emotional roller coaster rides but it's always worth it in the end.

Recommendation #5:  Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

It's the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place. 

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. 

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune--and remarkable power--to whoever can unlock them. 

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday's riddles are based in the pop culture he loved--that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday's icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes's oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig. 

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle. 

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt--among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life--and love--in the real world he's always been so desperate to escape. 

A world at stake. 
A quest for the ultimate prize. 
Are you ready?

Its probably one of the most different, addicting, suspenseful, and enthusiasm-inducing book I've read in a very long time.  I just don't think there's another book like it out there.  Maybe you have to be a child of the 80s to get to the excitement level I did surrounding the material but regardless its amazing and totally under the radar in my opinion.

Recommendation #6:  Poison Study (Study, #1) by Maria V. Snyder

Choose: A quick death…Or slow poison...

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can't control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren't so clear...

I can't have a list like this without at least one of Snyder's titles on it.  Every world she creates is more wonderful than the next but this title and the rest of the series are forever my favorites.  Sheer brilliance from her scenery to her plot, her main characters as well as the supporting case.  It's all perfect.

Recommendation #7:  Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder

Restless souls and empty hearts

Brooklyn can't sleep. Her boyfriend, Lucca, died only a year ago, and now her friend Gabe has just died of an overdose. Every time she closes her eyes, Gabe's ghost is there waiting for her. She has no idea what he wants or why it isn't Lucca visiting her dreams.

Nico can't stop. He's always running, trying to escape the pain of losing his brother, Lucca. But when Lucca's ghost begins leaving messages, telling Nico to help Brooklyn, emotions come crashing to the surface.

As the nightmares escalate and the messages become relentless, Nico reaches out to Brooklyn. But neither of them can admit that they're being haunted. Until they learn to let each other in, not one soul will be able to rest.

Thank you for changing my mind regarding prose Lisa Schroeder.  Sitting through lit classes as an English literature major was not always fun and poetry and prose were involved in the lessons I liked the least.  Never really in my wheelhouse, but Schroeder changed my mind and showed me the light so to speak.

Recommendation #8:  Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.
On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.
Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

Not every book is going to be all love and romance, or laugh out loud comedy.  Sometimes the right book comes along and speaks to you.  I use reading as a break from reality and enjoy a great happy ending, but while Asher put me through a very sad and emotional read with this one, it was also too powerful and moving not to be a permanent favorite of mine.  It isn't one I'm going to re-read anytime soon, if ever, but it's one I'm proud to have on my shelf and a part of my library.

Recommendation #9:  Angel Star (Angel Star, #1) by Jennifer Murgia

Seventeen-year-old Teagan McNeel falls for captivating Garreth Adams and soon discovers that her crush has an eight-point star etched into the palm of his right hand; the mark of an angel. But where there is light, dark follows, and she and Garreth suddenly find themselves vulnerable to a dark angel's malicious plan that could threaten not only her life, but the lives of everyone she knows.

Divinely woven together, Angel Star takes readers on a reflective journey when one angel's sacrifice collides with another angel's vicious ambition in a way that is sure to have readers searching for their own willpower.

For bringing angels back!  I love a good story of good versus evil and angels versus the other guys, and Murgia does it to perfection.  I couldn't put it down and didn't want to.  It had all the elements I wanted and her writing brought it all together and it packed a big punch!

Recommendation #10:  Obsidian (Lux, #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens. 

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades. 

If I don't kill him first, that is.

For leaving me torn.  The cliffhangers at the end were almost too much for me.  Who would have thought aliens could be so much fun to root for right?  I laughed and cried and finally cursed...because the next installment wasn't out yet.


  1. I have read a few of those, I have a Lisa Schroeder on my list, I heart you I haunt you.

  2. I keep seeing Ready Player One at the store lately and yet I haven't heard much about it so I never pick up a copy. I guess I should change that and give it a try.

    I really didn't like Obsidian, it was a Twilight repeat down to replacing the names Edward and Bella with the names Katy and Daemon and replacing vampire with alien. I'm going to give the second book a try but I don't have high hopes for where the series is going.

    Thanks for the great list!



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