|Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish|
But instead of inserting a qualifier, I'm just going to make this a Top Ten Books I Recommend the Most BECAUSE I LOVE THEM list. I'll be sure to note genre, because even though I know Tamora Pierce if the greatest ever and I'd probably push all of her books on you even if you don't love fantasy books, there should be some kind of level playing field, right?
So here they are. My Top Ten Books I Recommend the Most based solely on my book feels and nothing else.
Genre: YA Fantasy
I could list each quartet and cheat a couple of times but instead I'll just cheat once and put a whole universe up here. I think there are 17 books set in Torall? I haven't read all of them - just the first 13 - but I don't even need to read the last ones to tell you they're probably genius. Tamora Pierce just knows what's up. Her books are just MAGICAL. And if that's not enough, they're set in medieval times with knights and kings and castles. And if THAT'S not enough, all of her books are pro-feminism in a not-in-your-face kind of way (aka the best way). There's just so much amazingness in her series and I can't imagine why you wouldn't want to read them.
2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Genre: YA Contemporary
I KNOW. I KNOW. Everyone else in the world ALSO has this book on their list but I can't help myself. This book was just SO FREAKING GOOD and I just want to stare at it slack-jawed all day. But I can't. Because I have things to do (stupid life). So instead I just go around trying to articulate the feels you WILL feel when you read this book. Inevitably I'll fail, show you a vlog brothers video instead, get you hooked on John Green as a human being and then guide you to his books (this is actually a thing I do. It works fairly often).
Genre: YA Contemporary
*More cheating lalala* but y'know what? You can't list one without the other. They are so very much a duology of feels and everyone should read these books. So good. So many feels. And honestly? Where She Went was so much better for me than If I Stay and you can't read the former without reading the latter first, so it's really, actually one book in my head. Does that make sense? No? Go read the books and get back to me, okay?
Genre: YA Dystopian
I think this is my favorite dystopian out of the bunch. That's not to say I didn't love Divergent, Wither, Uglies and a whole bunch of other books full of awesome, but there's just something here I love so much. I would tell you what it is that makes me love this series so much, but it's really not just one thing. It's like everything. Together. Which I guess is the sign of a pretty decent series. ALSO, Unravel Me was possibly BETTER than Shatter Me, which doesn't happen often in second books of series. So yeah. Also. One thing I can tell you for real that made me love this book: SUPER. HEROS. *nerds out like whoa over this fact for the a millionth time*
5. All of the Sarah Dessen
Genre: YA Contemporary
The reason I say ALL is because I do obviously have my favorites, but I always recommend reading Dessen books in pub date order. This is because sometimes characters from earlier books will pop up in later books and it's just SO FUN when you can spot them. Seriously. But in general, I just love Sarah Dessen. Her books are so wonderful. And squee-worthy. I love a good squee, y'know?
6. Night by Elie Wiesel
Elie Wiesel taught at my University until just recently. I was never able to take a class with him but he gives a series of lectures in the fall (seriously, if you're in Boston in November and he's still giving these talks, GO). He's such an adorable little old man (as pictured, because I couldn't help myself) who's been through SO MUCH. And he has this AMAZING voice and, well, yeah. I feel like so many people think The Diary of Anne Frank is the quintessential Holocaust book but then I read Night and, y'know, it's not a competition, but I think Night is the one I would push just a bit harder. It's also a bit easier to get through and it's about the actual camps. Which is terrifying, of course. AND it's the story of a teen told from the memory of an adult, so there's that element as well.
7. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Genre: YA Historical Fiction (?)
Okay. This is another Holocaust book (Sorry guys, it's a combo of very much growing up with the topic because I'm Jewish and a bizarre fascination with the event), but this one takes a very different approach. This one's fiction from the perspective of Death. So it's kind of historical fiction but kind of not? I don't know. The writing is absolutely stunning either way. It took me a little bit to get into because of the different perspective, but it was totally worth it. But take this one slow. Don't get frustrated if you don't tear through it in a day. I know it took me a little while and that's okay. Because it's worth it.
8. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
Genre: Adult Historical Fiction
As previously noted in this post, I'm Jewish. But if I'm being honest? I'm fairly religious. I went to a dual curriculum school nursery-12 and I guess I retained some stuff. This "stuff" includes the story of Dina. Or really, the lack of the story of Dina. So when I heard about this book I was like YEAH OKAY I WANT. I excepted it to be good, but I didn't expect to have my insides fall apart. It was brilliant because I wanted a fictional tale of Dina's life, but it was also brilliant because for a while I forgot that's why I picked up the book. As I tore through the pages I was like: THIS IS AMAZING on a secular level, not a religious one. Of course, whenever I paused for snackage or to explain to someone why I couldn't talk to them, my brain would catch up with me and I'd be like, okay, this story has religious significance, but really, it's for everyone, not just people who like bible stories.
9. His Dark Materials Series by Philip Pullman
Genre: YA Fantasy
I've already told you guys about that time I read these books in Middle School. Fantasy was my number one genre back then. It was pretty much all I read. So Pullman and Pierce were like my holy books. Fantasy worlds are so lush and complex and wonderful and when done RIGHT they're so amazing. They take you somewhere else. Pullman takes you somewhere else. He grabs you and drags you behind him and you don't WANT him to let you go because it's all so magical. Granted, I picked up this series because of my favorite English teacher of all time (it was required reading, but I read ahead and finished the whole series before the class finished the first), but really, it was just reaffirmation that reading was my THING.
10. Watchmen or V for Vendetta by Alan Moore
Genre: Graphic Novel
"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" "Remember, remember the 5th of November the gunpowder treason and plot..." Yeah, that's right darlings, I read graphic novels (comics too!). Look, would I recommend this to first time comic readers? NO. PLEASE. NO. If you're not used to the format, it's tough and these are TOUGH novels to get through. However, I will say that these particular graphic novels are a bit more mainstream. You can find a lot of reviews and commentaries and MOVIES (shiny! - although, Watchmen was eh and the V for Vendetta movie kind of conveys a slightly different message than the graphic novels, but whatever). Alan Moore's a bit of a loon, so if you're interested in complex social commentaries, these novels are the bomb dot com. If you're looking for a superhero who saves the day, please turn your attention to Ultimate Spider-Man by Brian Michael Bendis (aka my favorite) or any superhero originally created by Stan Lee, the coolest man to ever walk the Earth.
11. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
Genre: YA Paranormal
OKAY GUYS DON'T HATE ME FOR SAYING THIS but I my number one pet peeve is people knocking something they haven't tried. Oh, you think this book/movie is garbage and you want to trash it? BE MY GUEST, just make sure to read/watch it first, otherwise you're just a jerk who parrots other people's opinions. If you want to get on the bandwagon, at least do some research first and have real opinions instead of being all: "It sounds stupid" or "Well, everyone else hates it." Even if the product you're bashing is so awful you only make it through the first 20 pages or watch the first 20 minutes, at least you've earned the right to complain. Don't borrow opinions. Form your own.
This list is full of cheating, but I still think you should read all of these books anyways. Based on my feels, not on your personal preferences, of course. But since I do care about your feels and all that, let me know whats on YOUR list in the comments below - and how you feel about mine!