Happy Top Ten Tuesday! Today we’re talking about books that actually live up to the hype, and we all know that I tend to dislike overhyped books. That said, here are ten books that are (or were) frequently hyped in the book blogosphere that I actually really enjoyed.
Happy Top Ten Tuesday! Today’s theme is ten books that take place in another country, which is always a fun one. (And so fitting for March’s Monthly Motif!) We last did this theme back in July of 2016, so I’m keeping my list to books that I’ve read fairly recently. I’m happy to report that it was much easier to find a list of ten books this time around.
🇪🇸 The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee: Monty is from the UK and travels to Spain, Italy, and France.
🇺🇦 #Prettyboy Must Die by Kimberly Reid: Jake is from the US and most of the book takes place in the US, but at the beginning of the book, he’s on a mission in Ukraine.
🇬🇧 My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows: Jane is the seven-day queen of England!
🇯🇵 Seven Days of You by Cecelia Vinesse: Sophia is living out her last week in Japan as the book opens.
🇳🇵 Completely by Ruthie Knox: As the book opens, Rosemary is in Nepal climbing Mt. Everest!
🇦🇺 Lucy and Linh by Alice Pung: This book tells the story of a Chinese immigrant family in Australia.
🇨🇦 Catch and Release by Laura Drewry: This book is part of a series that takes place at a fishing resort in Canada!
🇬🇧 A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab: This book is also part of a series. It takes place in a series of parallel Londons.
🇨🇺 Break of Day by Andie J. Christopher: Carla is visiting her aunt in Cuba when a tropical storm strands her with a surly photojournalist.
🇫🇷 The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry: Dolssa is a young woman who hears the voice of God in Inquisition-era France.
Have you read any books recently that are set outside of your home country?
Recently, I’ve been getting more into book tags. I have a whole ton of them bookmarked that I want to do at some point, but this one felt timely and appropriate for the first half of January.
1. First Ever Female Doctor Who: Favorite Female Protagonist
I loved both Dani from The Big F and Jane from My Lady Jane. There were so many great female protagonists in 2017, though! It was hard to choose!
2. GCC Cuts Ties with Qatar: An Author You Cut Ties With
I don’t want to name names, but I cut ties with an author that I really loved who had the audacity to go on Twitter and complain about a (positive) review that I wrote for her latest book. She claimed that I gave away “the whole plot” when I didn’t even write about anything that wasn’t in the plot summary. I’ve loved her books, but I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life. I won’t be reading anything else that she writes.
3. La La Land Oscar Mix-Up: A Book That Surprised You
Turtles All the Way Downby John Green surprised me in a good way. It had been while since he released a new book and I was really hoping that I’d still love his writing – and I did.
All the Bright Placesby Jennifer Niven surprised me in a bad way. Honestly, I think I’ve talked this to death, but I thought that the way she handled the mental health issues in her book was incredibly irresponsible.
4. Hurricanes and Earthquakes: A Book That Rocked Your World
A lot of books rocked my world in 2017! I had more four- and five-star reads than ever before. The Hating Game, The Hate U Give, and Anything You Can Do top the list of my favorites.
6. Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi Sells for $450M: A Take-My-Money Book
Every year, the answer is the same. I should probably just set up a direct transfer from my bank account to Krista & Becca Ritchie’s. I tried not to repeat books here, but I adored Infini’s cover and I preordered it, so… Anyway. Damaged Like Usand Lovers Like Usare obviously also on this list.
7. Total Eclipse: A Sequel That Overshadows the First Book
I don’t think any of my 2017 reads really qualify! I found most sequels kind of disappointing if I’m perfectly honest.
8. Muslim Ban: Favorite Diverse Book
27 Hoursfeatures an almost entirely LGBT+ cast of varying ethnicities (I think I gave it four stars) and The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtueis about a young, bisexual British man and his biracial best friend/crush traveling around Europe (I gave it four stars as well).
9. Italy Doesn’t Qualify for World Cup: Most Disappointing Book
I saw a lot of people raving about Next August by Kelly Moore, but I couldn’t even make it through the first half. It was my one true DNF of the year (I don’t count Norwegian Wood since I just got bored and put it down).
10. Prince Harry Engaged: Favorite Ship
I loved Joshua and Lucy from The Hating Game! (Sorry for repeating books again, but they stand out in my mind as the best couple of the year.)
11. Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Most Anticipated Book
I’m not really sure what this question is getting at, so I have multiple answers for you.
Happy 2018! In honor of the new year, I thought I’d talk about the best of the best of last year. Here are my top ten reads from 2017. I know I always say “in no particular order,” but this time, they are in descending order. This was such a hard decision because, for the first time in quite a while, I had way more than ten five-star books to choose from!
Coming in at #10 on my list is Infiniby Krista & Becca Ritchie. Has a book ever ripped my heart out quite so much as this one? Luka Kotova is still in my head all these months later. I’m honestly tearing up just thinking about him.
At #9 is The Rules of Magicby Alice Hoffman. Hoffman is an amazing storyteller and, here, she perfectly captured the ambiance of New York with a little magic. The book is at times heartbreaking, at times funny, and always enjoyable.
I’m happy to put Operation Prom Dateby Cindi Madsen at #8 on this list. This book was cute and fluffy and left me wondering why I’d never found a boy like that when I was in high school. I’m eagerly anticipating Cindi’s next YA release.
Next up, at #7, is Turtles All the Way Downby John Green. I’m sure this book is on literally everybody’s “Best of 2017″ lists, but it certainly deserves its spot. This book was about anxiety more than anything else, and I have to applaud it for portraying the nitty-gritty details and not just the cute, quirky bits that often make their way into YA novels.
Book #6 is Everything, Everythingby Nicola Yoon. I flat-out devoured this book. It’s such an interesting concept for a YA book and was so well-executed.
Rounding out the top five is Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agendaby Becky Albertalli. This was my only re-read of the year and I absolutely adored it. Like, even more, the second time around.
It’s getting hard to rank these books, but #4 would have to be Anything You Can Doby R.S. Grey. This was the first book of hers that I ever read and it still stands as my favorite.
We’re getting close to the end, and heading off the top three is The Hating Gameby Sally Thorne. This just barely got the edge over #4 on the list because of the resolution at the end.
#2 on my list is My Lady Janeby Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows. This book was just so much fun, so engaging, and never once felt like it was nearly 500 pages. I cannot wait to read their next Jane book.
Finally, at #1, is The Hate U Giveby Angie Thomas. I am still in utter shock that this was a debut novel. Angie Thomas masterfully described race relations in America without ever once sounding pushy. This book should be required reading.