So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is:Books for My Younger Self (these could be books you wish you had read as a child, books younger you could have really learned something from, books that meshed with your hobbies/interests, books that could have helped you go through events/changes in your life, etc.)
Over the last couple of days I’ve been thinking a lot about the middle grade fantasies that I’ve read and that I still really want to read, and these thoughts fit so well with this week’s prompt, so I was quite excited to dive right in. Then I realised that I actually have more MG reads on my TBR than ones I’ve read so this week I’ve split the post into read and unread books, but they’re all books that I think my younger middle-school self would’ve very much enjoyed reading!
Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamorous family’s mansion. The next items?
• Enjoy a drunken night out. • Ride a motorbike. • Go camping. • Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex. • Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage. • And… do something bad.
But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written out step-by-step guidelines. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job: Redford ‘Red’ Morgan. With tattoos and a motorbike, Red is the perfect helper in her mission to rebel, but as they spend more time together, Chloe realises there’s much more to him than his tough exterior implies. Soon she’s left wanting more from him than she ever expected . . . maybe there’s more to life than her list ever imagined?
A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.
Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.
When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.
But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.
An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.
Note: The quotes below are taken from an advanced/unfinished copy and are subject to change in the final version.
I always see a lot of people commenting about how they always think about what books should be made into shows or movies but I actually don’t ever think about it? Well, not never but not often and usually not until I’m asked! 😂 But once I started thinking about it I realised there are quite a few I’d love to see as either. Although whether I’d actually watch them or not would be a totally different thing because just like with all the books waiting to be read on my physical/digital shelves (look at me calling myself out), I have a long as list of shows/movies that need to be watched, too. I mean, eventually… Right? 😅
Sadie: I think this would be such an awesome show! Especially with the podcast and mystery elements plus the different timelines and perspectives. I would love to see it come to life on the screen!
The Kiss Quotient + The Bride Test: I can actually see this playing out as a really awesome show where the romances are playing out around the same time and it makes my little Asian heart so happy! Pls can has this in life?
The Lunar Chronicles: This would be such a fun high-stakes adventure sci-fi show. I could see it all happening as one big show like GoT and it would be awesome 😍
One of Us is Lying: This was a fun mystery/thriller that was set in high school and gave me some serious Breakfast Club + How to Get Away with Murder vibes. I think it’d be a great show or movie!
Neverwhere: This is my favourite Gaiman book and American Gods comes in a close second. I haven’t seen the American Gods show yet but I’d love for this one to also be made into a show!
We Were Liars: This is a book that has really mixed reviews and although I actually (somehow) predicted what was actually happening with our MC, it still managed to emotionally shake me. I really think this would make a great short show!
The Simple Wild: I loved this book so much. I want to experience the Alaska that they do and I would love lovelove to see Calla and Jonah (*swoon*), their banter and love come to life!
Red, White and Royal Blue: I came through with the unpopular opinion for this book because while I did enjoy it, I didn’t love it as much as everyone else did. That said, I think it’d be a really awesome show and I could definitely see it being a huge hit!
The Flatshare: I absolutely loved the fuzzy feelings this book gave me and I think it would do as good a job as a movie. Just think how cute and sweet it would be seeing these two lovelies on screen 🥰
Daisy Jones and the Six: This is cheating a bit because it’s already being made into a movie (not by Netflix) but I’m so excited for it, it can’t not be on this list 😂 I think I want this to happen mostly so I can finally hear the music.
Well, this is probably one of the easiest prompts for me because prior to the tail end of 2018 I never really wrote reviews for the books that I read (whether I loved or hated them) but I did (mostly) leave star ratings on Goodreads! Actually, I realise that plenty of the books that I rave about on my blog are books that I read pre-blogging/reviewing and I’m finding that a little frustrating because I know I loved these books but also my memory is horrible…But I digress!
So I’ve gone on Goodreads and taken a look at all the books I’ve rated five stars and randomly chose ten of them (in no discernible order). Although I’m not much of a re-reader except for some ‘staples’ (like Austen), I’m very tempted to read some of these again just so I can write reviews for them because they definitely deserve it!
Thanks to NetGalley, McElderry Books and Kit Frick for providing the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
I Killed Zoe Spanos Publisher: McElderry Books Release date: 30 June 2020 Genre: Young Adult Mystery, Thriller
“The YA thriller of the summer.” —Bustle For fans of Sadie and Serial, this gripping thriller follows two teens whose lives become inextricably linked when one confesses to murder and the other becomes determined to uncover the real truth no matter the cost.
What happened to Zoe won’t stay buried… When Anna Cicconi arrives to the small Hamptons village of Herron Mills for a summer nanny gig, she has high hopes for a fresh start. What she finds instead is a community on edge after the disappearance of Zoe Spanos, a local girl who has been missing since New Year’s Eve. Anna bears an eerie resemblance to Zoe, and her mere presence in town stirs up still-raw feelings about the unsolved case. As Anna delves deeper into the mystery, stepping further and further into Zoe’s life, she becomes increasingly convinced that she and Zoe are connected—and that she knows what happened to her. Two months later, Zoe’s body is found in a nearby lake, and Anna is charged with manslaughter. But Anna’s confession is riddled with holes, and Martina Green, teen host of the Missing Zoe podcast, isn’t satisfied. Did Anna really kill Zoe? And if not, can Martina’s podcast uncover the truth? Inspired by Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, Kit Frick weaves a thrilling story of psychological suspense that twists and turns until the final page
Perfect for fans of Victoria Aveyard and Holly Black, this enthralling fantasy adventure follows a teenage girl chosen to be the human sacrifice in a deadly game between three heirs who will do anything for the crown.
Zahru has long dreamed of leaving the kingdom of Orkena and having the kinds of adventures she’s only ever heard about in stories. But as a lowly Whisperer, her power to commune with animals means that her place is serving in the royal stables until the day her magic runs dry.
All that changes when the ailing ruler invokes the Crossing: a death-defying race across the desert, in which the first of his heirs to finish—and take the life of a human sacrifice at the journey’s end—will ascend to the throne and be granted unparalleled abilities.
With all of the kingdom abuzz, Zahru leaps at the chance to change her fate if just for a night by sneaking into the palace for a taste of the revelry. But the minor indiscretion turns into a deadly mistake when she gets caught up in a feud between the heirs and is forced to become the Crossing’s human sacrifice. Zahru is left with only one hope for survival: somehow figuring out how to overcome the most dangerous people in the world.
Hi, friends! I’m so excited to be back with another The Fantastic Flying Book Club tour post today for Half Life by Lillian Clark! Huge thanks to the FFBC for organising these amazing tours and to the authors for making the eARCs available to us.
Be sure to click on the banner above to see the other bloggers on tour! 😊
Half Life Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers Release date: 09 June 2020 Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
An overachiever enrolls in an experimental clone study to prove that two (of her own) heads are better than one in this fast-paced, near-future adventure that’s Black Mirror meets Becky Albertalli.
There aren’t enough hours in the day for Lucille–perfectionist, overachiever–to do everything she has to do, and there certainly aren’t enough hours to hang out with friends, fall in love, get in trouble–all the teenage things she knows she should want to be doing instead of preparing for a flawless future. So when she sees an ad for Life2: Do more. Be more, she’s intrigued.
The company is looking for beta testers to enroll in an experimental clone program, and in the aftermath of a series of disappointments, Lucille is feeling reckless enough to jump in. At first, it’s perfect: her clone, Lucy, is exactly what she needed to make her life manageable and have time for a social life. But it doesn’t take long for Lucy to become more Lucy and less Lucille, and Lucille is forced to stop looking at Lucy as a reflection and start seeing her as a window–a glimpse at someone else living her own life, but better. Lucy does what she really wants to, not what she thinks she should want to, and Lucille is left wondering how much she was even a part of the perfect life she’d constructed for herself. Lucille wanted Lucy to help her relationships with everyone else, but how can she do that without first rectifying her relationship with herself?
It’s the summer of 1955. For Ethan Harper, a biracial kid raised mostly by his white father, race has always been a distant conversation. When he’s sent to spend the summer with his aunt and uncle in small-town Alabama, his Blackness is suddenly front and center, and no one is shy about making it known he’s not welcome there. Except for Juniper Jones. The town’s resident oddball and free spirit, she’s everything the townspeople aren’t―open, kind, and full of acceptance.
Armed with two bikes and an unlimited supply of root beer floats, Ethan and Juniper set out to find their place in a town that’s bent on rejecting them. As Ethan is confronted for the first time by what it means to be Black in America, Juniper tries to help him see the beauty in even the ugliest reality, and that even the darkest days can give rise to an invincible summer.
Note: The quotes below are taken from an advanced/unfinished copy and are subject to change in the final version.
“It is also, first and foremost, a story about race. It’s a story about the struggle that it was and is to be black in America. And because that is a hard thing, this story deals heavily with racism in the attitudes and languages of certain characters.”
Ah, Disney. Who doesn’t love Disney and the Disney parks? It’s been a freaking long ass time since I went to one of the parks but it’s definitely on my bucket list to go back and experience it as an ‘adult’! A few years ago I discovered some childhood photos taken at Disney (world or land I can’t be sure) and well, while you can’t say much about my fashion sense (coz clearly I didn’t have any and neither did my brother), you can definitely tell these were happy times!
But back to this tag… I was tagged to do the Disney Parks Book Tag by the wonderful Kay @ Hammock of Books and awesome Brittany @ Perfectly Tolerable — go check out both their blogs because they have great content and they’re lovely people to follow so you won’t regret it! Thanks for tags, lovelies and I’m sorry its taken so long for me to get around to doing this tag. First up, the rules!
☆ Mention the creator and link back to original post [Alexandra @ Reading by Starlight] ☆ Thank the blogger who tagged you [done above!] ☆ Answer the 10 questions below using any genre ☆ Tag 5+ friends ☆ Feel free to copy the heading graphics
Oof, it took me a hot minute to recall a title set along the river but this heart-stopping thriller certainly ticks that box! I’m still amazed by Caine’s writing versatility 😍 Wolfhunter River is book three in the Stillhouse Lake series — which is crazy and absolutely thrilling!
You guys… I’m kind of shook because scouring the dark corners of mind (and Goodreads), I’ve realised that… I haven’t read (m)any ‘swashbuckling high seas adventures’… Wot wot?! Can it be true? It sadly is. Many of them adventures are still on TBR though! For now, I’m leaving you with A Gathering of Shadows because there’s certainly some swashbuckling in this favourite series of mine!
Ooh, just looking at this cover again already covers me in mad goosebumps and makes me wanna cry! But I have to give a shout out to Rules for Vanishing because even I, most Ultimate of Chickens™️, managed to read this and loved it! Ugh, this book was drowning in eerie vibes.
Surprisingly absolutely no one, the Illuminae Files absolutely takes the cake for this one! Ugh, I love this series so much 💞 Kristoff and Kaufman can take all of my monies!
Ugh, Where the Crawdads Sing was just beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! I loved Kya and the lyrical descriptions of the marsh lands and of nature swept me away to an enchanting but also dangerous world that I’d love to one day see IRL.
I feel like I also have to give an honorary shout out to The Natchez Burning Trilogy for this prompt. This trilogy is one of my all-time favourite thriller/court drama and is just *chefs kiss*!
A Curse So Dark and Lonely was of course the first book I thought of. There’s no Beauty & the Beast (retelling) without that eerie and beautiful enchanted castle!
The Trials of Morrigan Crow, book one of the Nevermoor series, was an utterly enchanting and whimsical read! There were fantastical adventures, magical and terrifying creatures, and otherworldly settings. This was an absolute treat to read! 💞
Okay, I’m cheating a little bit with The Mountains Sing. There is some trekking through mountains but that’s not what the whole book is about. It is an absolutely stunning, heartbreaking and hopeful read though and I would highly recommend this debut for those interested in own voices reads!
I haven’t read very many Spanish inspired fantasy books (I could also be totally wrong because my memory very often fails me) so Incendiary was a refreshingly set fantasy world with a cool magic system that I can’t wait to learn more about in the next book!
Another non-surprise here with Aurora Rising (this is totally a space opera, right?)! This book was a fabulously crazy, fast-paced space adventure that was full of all the things! Seriously, just read it.