Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Enjoyed, but Have Never Mentioned On My Blog

I couldn’t resist doing a tag where I talk about some of my slightly more obscure favourite books. Admittedly, I have included a few more well-known titles too, as I haven’t spoken about them before This was a pretty fun list to pull together, and I obviously highly recommend all these books. So if any of them grab your interest – let me know! I’d be happy to see others read them.

The Top Ten Tuesday tag was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now held over on The Artsy Reader Girl. It’s a weekly tag where everyone is given a bookish prompt for bloggers to curate a top ten list on. You can then share your blog post over on The Artsy Reader Girl’s post for that week. Just make sure you check out and comment on other people’s blog posts too!

Fireblood – Elly Blake

Okay, so this is the second book in a trilogy, but it’s an absolute favourite of mine. I didn’t enjoy the first or third as much, but I still get urges to reread this particular volume. I know I’ve posted pictures of it on Instagram, but I’ve not mentioned it here. So here we go!

Fireblood follows Ruby, who has recently defeated the Frost King. She’s helping her love interest Arcus on the throne until she runs into a fellow fireblood, Kai. He convinces her to travel back to Sudesia with him and compete in trials. Once she has passed, she hopes to gain the knowledge to defeat the evil Minax. The problem is that the longer she spends in Sudesia, she realises she doesn’t know who to trust.

Hello, Kai! He’s a book boyfriend of mine, and I adore him. He’s pretty sassy, loves fashion, and he’s just the best. I so preferred him and Ruby to her and Arcus, so I am disappointed it never happened. But I still love seeing their flirting and Kai in general. I’m not sure I would recommend this series as a whole. I was definitely disappointed by the final book. But I love this book enough that I really did have to mention it.

Exquisite Corpse – Poppy Z. Brite

I’m not the biggest horror reader, but this is a horror book I will always recommend. If you want a book that’s not only dark but incredibly morally questionable? Yeah. This is the one for you. Exquisite Corpse is a cult classic horror novel from the 90s. It was written by Poppy Z. Brite with queer characters. Brite was the King of messed up queer horror, so I’d definitely recommend his work for those of you who love that stuff.

Written in a period of what Brite refers to as Dahmer-mania, Exquisite Corpse follows two serial killers, as well as two other young men. One of those serial killers was inspired by Dahmer and the British killer who you meet first, clearly by Dennis Nilsen. These two serial killers meet in New Orleans and start a relationship as they kill together.

If you are going to pick up this book, there are definitely some trigger warnings to bear in mind. The chosen victims of one of the killers are all East Asian boys, and there is definitely some fetishization. On top of that, you have homophobia, murder, cannibalism and necrophilia. So be warned.

Warcross – Marie Lu

This is probably one of the few books on this list that people will already know and one I love. I’ve read most of Marie Lu’s books, and this one was probably my favourite. Japan, gaming and a lot of romance? Yes, please. I haven’t reread this book since I first read them, thinking about it. I probably should reread them sometime soon! I also love that they’re technically prequels to the Legend books and the little easter eggs in them. Now I’ve read all three books in that series, I feel like these will be a lot more fun to reread.

Emika is a bounty hunter who has been catching people illegally betting on the game Warcross. She’s not always good herself, and after hacking into the Warcross tournament’s opening ceremony, she surprisingly gets invited to join the team. The game’s creator, Hideo Tanaka, wants her to figure out a security problem, and she can only do that by being on the team. There’s a lot more going on with him than she expected.

Warcross is only a duology, but it’s a lot of fun. I do definitely recommend it, and I love how my hardbacks look. The naked books are rainbow patterns, and they’re pretty stunning. Plus, as a gamer, I think these books are so much fun.

Have We Met? – Camille Baker

I only read this one recently, but I enjoyed it quite a bit. I immediately decided I need to read the next books in this series. However long it winds up being. I’m lucky to have an e-arc of the second book in the series, and I’m super excited to get to it. I love chick-lit, and I’m enjoying a lot of romance, and this was a great example. Especially as one of Corinne’s possible soul mates is a nonbinary person who pairs off with one of her friends. That was a lot of fun.

Corinne has recently returned to her home city after losing her best friend to cancer. She’s lost and doesn’t know what to do. So when a mysterious app appears on her phone, promising her that she’s already met her soulmate. She just needs to give in to the chance of romance with them. She’s not sure she believes in the app, especially when she falls for a guy she doesn’t know.

This book had plenty of sad and hilarious moments. I listened to it on audio, and I found it really easy to get through. It felt very chick-lit, and I loved seeing Corinne come into her own. She not only tries to sort out her romantic life but her career too. I might have picked this one up randomly, but I’m glad I did.

Beauty Sleep – Kathryn Evans

Another book I picked up at random but one that I really loved. This is a sci-fi thriller set in the near future with an MC originally from the 1980s. You get hints of British pop culture from the 80s which was fun. You have two protagonists with different lives, both of whom are dealing with some dark issues. It’s at odds with the writing style, which reads like quintessential British YA.

Laura can’t remember who she is or much about her past. When she was up one day, 40 years in the future, she has to remember who she is. She’s trying to find her way in a world that’s moved further forward than she would have ever expected. She makes new friends, but not everyone can be trusted, and she has to figure out what had really happened to her and her family in the past.

I didn’t know what I was getting with this book. I actually did a reading thread on Twitter for this one, and I enjoyed it so much. I definitely want to read more Kathryn Evans now as this was so much more than I ever expected it to be.

You Don’t Know Jack – M.C. Lee

I had to have some kind of queer YA on this list, right? I’m not sure about the author, and they haven’t written anything recently. I absolutely adore this series, and I’m finally on the final book in the series. I’ll be sad to see it over. I’ll definitely be rereading this series at some point. Every book in this series is short, and I think it could have gone on longer than it did, but it’s worth checking out. This is a YA spy kind of series. The characters aren’t technically spies, but it is the best description that I can think of. It’s more along the line of The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich.

Jack has been raised by the Center. Sent on missions with other agents to find out information on people from their agency. That information is often used to destroy or assassinate people, but Jack has never been involved in that himself. Still, after his last mission, he’s been feeling guilty. His current mission is to befriend a runner called Leo to find out about him and his father. Leo is fun and attractive, and Jack soon finds himself falling in love, even though he’s not meant to develop feelings for any of his targets.

I know a lot of this book sounds pretty stereotypical, but it’s a lot of fun. I can’t really think of what else to say about this book. I love it so much though, and I recommend it to all.

Pivot Point – Kasie West

Kasie West isn’t usually known for sci-fi. The majority of books she has written have been YA contemporaries or romance. But she did write this one YA sci-fi duology, and this is the first book. I loved it more than I had expected to but only recently got my hand on the second to finish this duology off.

In this book, we have characters with abilities who live in a secret city in America. Addison can see her possible futures. She can view each of them and then decide which action to take. When her parents tell her they’re getting divorced, she has to choose whether she goes with her mum or dad to live. Down both those roads, she’ll experience love and loss, and she’ll have to decide which is the better path to take.

The idea of this book is a pretty interesting one. I wasn’t sure West would write a good sci-fi, but she did. You get the fun school experiences you expect, but there are also some awful circumstances. I loved this book, and even if you aren’t usually interested in Kasie West, you should try this one.

Disruption – Jessica Shirvington

There seems to be plenty of sci-fi on this list. That seems to suggest that though I read sci-fi, I don’t talk about it much. I should change that.

Disruption is a dystopian where everyone in the world has devices attached that will rank your possible relationships with people. If people score too low with others regularly, they’re taken away and considered dangerous. Maggie has a way to disrupt these rankings, and she wants to use it to bring down the empire that created the devices and got her father taken away from her. She gets herself into the same school as the youngest son, Quentin. But as she starts to put her plan into place, she finds out that he’s not what she expected.

I do love a good dystopian novel. Plot-wise, this book isn’t anything special, but I enjoyed it a lot. It’s only a duology and was super easy to read. You have some great world-building and a few fun friendships. I was recommended this book on GoodReads, and I’ve never seen anyone talking about it. It’s the sort of book that I kind of wish that others would talk about.

Kitty and the Midnight Hour – Carrie Vaughn

I do enjoy a good adult urban or paranormal fantasy. This series is getting on in age and only finished recently, but it’s one that I’ve been having fun slowly getting through. The werewolves do sometimes have things about them that I don’t hugely enjoy in werewolf novels, but I mostly enjoy this. You have plenty of murder and other paranormal elements, as well as romance that makes these books so much fun.

Kitty Norville is a werewolf and a radio DJ. She talks about the paranormal on her show until one day a hunter gets in contact with her. Problems with her pack, dealing with the undead and having to avoid this hunter mean her life has suddenly gotten a lot more complicated, and Kitty is going to have to solve some crimes if she doesn’t want to take the blame for murders.

If you like fantasy romance and urban fantasy, I would recommend checking this series out. It’s not exactly very smutty, and you do wind up with a single relationship with Kitty in the later books, but it has many of the aspects we like in fantasy romance. This sort of series is about as close to paranormal romance as I get it, and I’m really wanting more like it at the moment.

Sabriel – Garth Nix

The final book is one of the most popular on this list. I adore the Old Kingdom books by Garth Nix, so I obviously had to list the first book I read in this series. I wouldn’t recommend starting with Sabriel. I’d say start with Clariel now. But this one feels like the one I should be recommending to get people into the series.

Sabriel is the daughter of a necromancer who has been going to school in a magicless land. She sees her father regularly, and when he doesn’t turn up one day, she knows something has gone wrong. She has to travel back to his home to figure out what’s really going on and when she has to take over his duties, she winds up on an adventure that she never expected.

This series has great world-building, sweet romance and a lot of fun characters. I think there’s going to be more books in this world and I’m very excited about them. I still need to get to Terciel and Elinor, and I’ll also be doing a reread. I love this series, and I know a lot of you do too!

5 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Enjoyed, but Have Never Mentioned On My Blog

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