As a first post, I thought I’d just share my favorite books. These aren’t really reviews, just the books and why I like them so much. There’s so many, it was really hard to narrow them down to ten. I eventually just based it on what story I gushed the most over, and could not stop thinking about once I finished it. If it didn’t make me want to pee myself or jump off the balcony, then it didn’t make the list.
Don’t even ask what stress it caused to order them. Let the countdown begin!
10. Inkheart – Cornelia Funke
Ultimate book for story lovers, taking the simple act of storytelling to a whole new level. Tell me, what avid reader does not wish that they could jump into the story? Or that the story could come to life? I think this is why I fell for Inkheart, and the entire series that follows. It brings “be careful what you wish for” to a whole new meaning.
9. Where She Went – Gayle Forman
This is a debut, yes, but I actually liked it more than the first book. Amazing, right? When does that ever happen? I still like the first story If I Stay, but this wrapped up Mia’s lose ends perfectly. It goes to tell the tale of what happened after her near death experience from the perspective of her former boyfriend, whose heart she broke in an effort to gain her life back. Written in similar fashion to the first, it looks back on the past to determine the decisions of the present. If you have read the first, this is a definite must read!
8. Going Too Far – Jennifer Echols
Angst filled, tension griping read – a must for all teenage girls. In fact, a lot of Jennifer Echols books, such as Such a Rush and Forget Me are definite stories that will stay with you, but I think Going Too Far stuck with me the longest. MC is a teenage rebel, who drinks and sleeps around. Although, no-one can guess that her inner motive is that all these things help her feel alive. However, everything changes when she is forced to spend a week with a young cop. These two very different characters, with very similar stubbornness and haunting pasts will butt heads with nostrils flaring. I think the excellent character dynamic and motives is what makes this such a great read, and a little romance never hurts either.
7. Abarat – Clive Barker
I read this book when I was 12; it was a gift from my sister. My honest initial thoughts were “this looks so boring”. The cover was bland, it had tiny writing squished on small pages and the blurb was confusing and weird. But on a rainy day, bored out of my mind with nothing good to read, I picked it up and here it is! On my top ten nearly five years later! Beneath its boring cover is a work of magic, with an ocean the appears up in the desert, talking sea creatures and tigers, 25 islands that stand for each hour of the day (25 hours, what?) and an average girl in an average town with the last name of “Quckenbush”. If you like thrilling tales, strange worlds and adventures? This is the book for you!
6. Uglies – Scott Westerfeld
Who can’t resist a story where the first line is “The early summer sky was the color of cat vomit”? This dystopian novel where everyone must turn into perfect, pretty humans at the age of 16 sets up the perfect situation for moral conflict and rebellion. I think the most beautiful thing about this novel though is the importance of happiness and real beauty, even after us “smokies” almost destroyed the planet.
5. Eragon – Christopher Paolini
Eragon. Eragon! Who does not love Eragon! Set in almost a middle age era with the combination of magic, elves, dawves, urgals and most importantly, dragons, how can you resist? Paolini has done such an excellent job at creating a whole new word, set with maps, mysterious forests and creating several new languages. How can you not be completely enveloped into this world when it is so wholly complete? And the writing? Amazing. Eragons and Saphira’s inner conflicts and morals are so clear. One of the best things about this story is that the characters are so realistic and understandable (except for maybe the elves, but I think that’s purposeful). We can really connect and relate to them, despite the geographical and species differences.
4. The Immortal Rules – Julie Kagawa
I’ll just be up front, I am definitely not a huge vampire fan. So it is a little weird that a vamp book is forth in my list. Before you think I’m a hypocrite, let me explain! This book is so much more than vampires and blood sucking. Okay, there’s a lot of gruesome bloodsucking, but the absolute heart of the story is what grabbed me. It really delves into the topic of what it means to be human. This post-apocalyptic world is honestly one of the worst situations I have ever seen in a book (vamps rule, humans are literally blood cattle, constant diseases threatening to wipe out the entire human race ect ect), but the situation of the girl MC is seriously messed up. The author has taken “create a character you love, and the put the darling through hell” to the extreme. Her morals and values are questioned at every turn, her honesty, trust and life are always on the edge. I can’t say too much more, or else it will be a huge spoiler. But if you enjoy dystopian, don’t mine a little bit of blood and fangs (the traditional ones, not the ones that glitter) and like themes of survival, humanity and love, this is the story for you.
3. Obsidian –Jennifer Armentrout
This was released a couple of years ago, but I have just finished reading it. I have one word to describe this book – intense. Intense intense intense intense! I had a little obsession with alien, sci-fi novels, but this? This turned my obsession into a crazy infatuation! I luuurvvvee aliens. Especially ones with intense green eyes with ripped bods that are originally organisms of light. Yup, you guessed it, I also have a character crush. Dayum.
But anyway, besides the drool worthy male MC and intense moments with female MC, the story is actually quite a good one. I absolutely love the relationship dynamics in this. Daemon would do anything to keep his alien family safe from pesky humans, while all new girl Katy wants to do is fit in, make friends with his alien sister and try not to be overpowered by him, all this with the undeniable attraction between them as they try to rip out each other’s throats. If you like books that you can’t put down, read this. I finished it in two nights.
FINAL TWO! I actually hurt myself trying to decide which one deserved the top spot. To be honest, I think they both deserve it. But for the purpose of this list I eni-meni-mini-moed. Call me a cheater, I don’t care.
2. The Host – Stephenie Meyer
You know I’m not a vamp fan, but I am definitely an alien fan. This book actually started my fascination with aliens. The entire story held me captive. From start to finish. I think one of the most interesting things about The Host is that it is told from the perspective of the alien, Wanda. Stephanie really thought outside the box on this one, which I love. I loved the strong human in which she hosted, Melanie, and I loved the fact that the aliens were actually nice. They didn’t have the same emotions and feelings as humans, but they always had the best intension despite everything. The stark contrast between humans and the hosts really highlights what we are, how we define humanity and what it means to be alive and wholly human. What I loved the most though, is Wanda’s transformation. She starts off believing humans are silly, that they should let the aliens help them. But as Mel’s memory starts to effect her, and then her own personal experiences, she begins to truly understand what it is to be human. And the most heart breaking part is when she realizes she has truly found the place she belongs, but knows that she cannot stay if she really loves them. I cried the entire last 60 pages. Hell, I’m crying right now.
1. Delirium – Lauren Oliver
Another dystopian-like story, sort of. But this one is quite beautiful. I’ll give you blurb to show you what I mean.
“They say that the cure for love will make me happy and safe forever. And I’ve always believed them. Until now. Now everything has changed. Now, I’d rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years smothered by a lie” – Taken from my own personal copy of Delirium.
Love is a disease. Love is wrong. Love is dirty. Love is the worst possible thing that can ever happen to you. Imagine being told all these things, and then fall in love? Catch the unforgivable disease? MC Lena’s story is just plain beautiful. Her inner turmoil just makes me tear up every time I read it. And if a book can make me cry, it’s good.
What really made this book one of my absolute favorites though, is that it made me view the world differently. It actually gave me a new perspective on the meaning of life (if you haven’t noticed, I love books that make me question the meaning of life). What’s the point of life if we can’t love? If we can’t love, we can’t hate either. Though that would solve a lot of problems, what would we do? What if you loved music, your children, food, or books? If I couldn’t love, then I wouldn’t be writing this right now.
Thankfully, we do not live in a world without love, so I can still gush over how amazing I think these books are. And that right there is my current top ten! Feel free to comment and share what your top ten are; do they match any of mine?