Top Two from Each Genre

This was inspired by Hails Hearts Nyc on YouTube and you can watch her video here. It is also an idea courtesy of and for my friend, A. You know who you are 🙂 I would write your name, but, unfortunately the spelling escapes me and I don’t know whether she would want me to mention her 🙂

Fantasy

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Not including Harry Potter for this because that would obviously be the first.

  • Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. I am in love with this series. Like seriously obsessed. Also…. how amazing are certain men? Very.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny.

  • The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper. This was my first ever YA fantasy series and let me tell you- it is amazing. The characters are interesting, the settings are vivid… just, yes.

On holiday in Cornwall, the three Drew children discover an ancient manuscript and map in the attic of the house that they are staying in. They know immediately that it is special. It is even more than that–the key to finding a grail, a source of power to fight the forces of evil known as the Dark. And in searching for it themselves, the Drews put their very lives in peril.

Science Fiction

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  • The Girl Who Could Fly by Victoria Forester. This also has some fantasy elements and I absolutely adore it. Reread multiple times.

Piper McCloud can fly. Just like that. Easy as pie. Problem is, the good folk of Lowland County are afraid of Piper. And her ma’s at her wits’ end. So it seems only fitting that she leave her parents’ farm to attend a top-secret, maximum-security school for kids with exceptional abilities, whose skills range from super-strength to super-genius. But Piper is special, even among the special. And there are consequences. Consequences too dire to talk about. Too crazy to consider. And too dangerous to ignore. By turns exhilarating and terrifying, an unforgettable story of defiance and courage starring an irrepressible heroine who can, who will, who must . . . fly.

  • Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. Another one with major fantasy elements. I love the romance in this series, especially in the later books (specifically Ignite Me)

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

Fairytale Retellings and Mythology- based books.

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  • The Wrath and the Dawn by RenĂ©e Ahdieh. This is a retelling of 1001 Nights and I love it.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

  • Valkyrie by Kate O’Hearn. I love the ideals of friendship and self-discovery in this book and I love the relationships between the characters.

Freya is dreading the start of her fourteenth year. This marks the official end of her childhood and when she takes up the full duties of a Valkyrie – an angel of death and collector of souls from humanity’s battlefields. But Freya is unlike any other Valkyrie. She doesn’t want to follow in the footsteps of the legends before her. As she observes humanity from her norse home on Asgard, she tries to understand what it is to be human: to share in the simple pleasures of friendship with girls her own age and laugh with boys, without the fear of causing their death with one touch. Little does she know that her dreams will soon be realized: on her first battlefield mission, Freya reaps the soul of a soldier with unfinished business that will send her to the human world on a deadly quest. And there she must battle both ordinary and extraordinary enemies to create a new VALKYRIE legend.

Contemporary

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  • I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. I absolutely, positively adore this book. Gorgeous, heart-warming and mind-shattering.

Jude and her twin Noah were incredibly close – until a tragedy drove them apart, and now they are barely speaking. Then Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy as well as a captivating new mentor, both of whom may just need her as much as she needs them. What the twins don’t realize is that each of them has only half the story and if they can just find their way back to one another, they have a chance to remake their world.

  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. So relatable, so funny.

Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan… But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving. Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to. Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Classics

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  • Watership Down by Richard Adams. So touching, so sweet. Absolutely incredible, one of my all time favourite books and the book that made me realise that classics can actually be interesting.

Fiver was only a small rabbit, but he had a sixth sense and foresaw that disaster was about to destroy the warren. Few believed him. Led by his brother Hazel, a small band of rabbits set out on a perilous journey to find a safe home. Fiver’s intuition finally leads them to Watership Down. But here they encounter the greatest threat of all.

  • The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge, the only fantasy classic I’ve read. I hated it the first time I read it but the second time I absolutely loved it. I love the plot and the writing isn’t too old-fashioned.

The beautiful valley of Moonacre is shadowed by the memory of the Moon Princess and the mysterious little white horse. When Maria Merryweather comes to live at Moonacre Manor she finds herself involved with an ancient feud. She is determined to restore peace and happiness to the whole of Moonacre Valley, and Maria usually gets her own way!

Non-novel (short stories, verse, plays, non-fiction etc.)

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  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. Stereotypical, I know, but I legitimately love the story- the love, the hatred, the blind ignorance. It helps that I saw the ballet with my ballet teacher as Juliet. That was pretty special.

Romeo and Juliet tells the story of two star-crossed lovers and the unhappy fate that befell them as a result of a long and bitter feud between their families.

  • The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, Translated by Jack Zipes. This is a collection of all of the stories from the first two editions of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. I am actually currently reading this book, but considering it is an anthology of short stories I feel like I can include it here. The original stories are so much more interesting than the more modern ones, not that I don’t love those as well.

From “The Frog King” to “The Golden Key,” wondrous worlds unfold–heroes and heroines are rewarded, weaker animals triumph over the strong, and simple bumpkins prove themselves not so simple after all.

Historical Fiction

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  • The Dragonfly Pool by Eva Ibbotson. I loved the characters, the setting and the innocence of the book that managed to touch on serious topics and weave them into the story seamlessly.

Tally Hamilton is furious to hear she is being sent from London to a horrid, stuffy boarding school in the countryside. And all because of the stupid war. But Delderton Hall is a far more” “unusual and ” interesting” place than Tally ever imagined, and she soon falls in love with its eccentric staff and pupils. Now she’s even organizing an exciting school trip to the kingdom of Bergania . . . although Tally never expected to meet the “prince.”

Prince Karil hates his life at the palace and he is only truly happy when he escapes to the dragonfly pool, a remote spot in the forests of Bergania. Then Karil meets a feisty English girl who brings the promise of adventure. But his country is under threat, and the prince soon looks to his new friend Tally for survival as well as friendship . . .

  • Smuggler’s Kiss or the The Girl In the Mask by Marie-Louise Jensen. It’s been a while, so I’m not sure which one I like more and I think I have the plots slightly mixed up but I am leaning towards The Girl In the Mask so that is the blurb that I am leaving below.

Set in Georgian England, fifteen-year-old Sophia is trapped by the limitations of living in a man’s world. Forced by her father to give up everything she loves, Sophia is ordered to make a new life in Bath. By day, she is trapped in the social whirl of balls and masquerades. By night, she secretly swaps her ball gowns for breeches, and turns to highway robbery to get her revenge …When one man begins to take a keen interest in her, Sophia must keep her distance, or risk unmasking her secret life.

That is it for now, I hope you enjoyed and have a great evening (or morning, or whatever time of day it is).

Rogan x

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