Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl
If I scroll through Goodreads or just browse my personal bookshelves, I’ll find so many books that I’m sure I enjoyed but I honestly couldn’t tell you why. Did it have pretty writing? Did I have a serious (debatably healthy) crush on one of the characters? Was it dark or funny or buy-tissues-now sad? Sometimes I feel like the time I spent re-reading a book could be better spent with a new one, but I do it anyway because I love it. Plus if I don’t, I’ll start questioning why I buy books in the first place and we can’t have any of that happening.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone (#1)
Published: September 27th, 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.
When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
I might have skimmed half of the last book in this series, but I can’t even remember a quarter of what happened in the first one. All I know for certain is that Laini Taylor has a way with words and more Brimstone makes me a happy reader. I’m also 99% sure these books are heavy in emotion so maybe I need to prepare myself for some heartbreak.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter (#5)
Published: August 10th, 2004
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Harry Potter is due to start his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. His best friends Ron and Hermione have been very secretive all summer and he is desperate to get back to school and find out what has been going on. However, what Harry discovers is far more devastating than he could ever have expected…
Suspense, secrets and thrilling action from the pen of J.K. Rowling ensure an electrifying adventure that is impossible to put down.
Can you believe I’ve never read the Harry Potter series in order? Every year I try to re-read them in the right sequence, and almost every year I get past the first three book and just stop. The last time I tried, I finally managed to break through the dauntingly (seriously how do you go from moderately sized books to the Goblet of Fire) sized fourth book, but then the hurdle I wasn’t expecting to overcome in the fifth book appeared.
and I haven’t been able to read much of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix since she was introduced. We just don’t get along.
The Demon King by Cinda William Chima
Series: Seven Realms (#1)
Published: October 6th, 2009
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for his family. The only thing of value he has is something he can’t sell—the thick silver cuffs he’s worn since birth. They’re clearly magicked—as he grows, they grow, and he’s never been able to get them off.
One day, Han and his clan friend, Dancer, confront three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to keep him from using it against them. Soon Han learns that the amulet has an evil history—it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece that powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back.
Meanwhile, Raisa ana‘Marianna, princess heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. She’s just returned to court after three years of freedom in the mountains—riding, hunting, and working the famous clan markets. Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea—the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But her mother has other plans for her…
Although the first book is pretty slow and I spent a lot of wondering when the two main characters would finally meet, the three books I read were fun fantasy books to indulge in. Han and Raisa are great characters, and now that there’s a spinoff series, I really want to get to the fourth book.
I’m trying not to remind myself that I’ll have to read three whole books first.
Bleach by Tite Kubo
Published (Volume One): May 19th, 2004
Publisher: Viz Media LLC
Hot-tempered 15-year-old Ichigo Kurosaki, the hero of the popular fantasy-adventure Bleach , has the unsettling ability to see spirits who are unable to rest in peace. His sixth sense leads him to Rukia, a Soul Reaper who destroys Hollows (soul-devouring monsters) and ensures the deceased find repose with the Soul Society. When she’s injured in battle, Rukia transfers her sword and much of her power to Ichigo, whose spiritual energy makes him a formidable substitute Soul Reaper. But the orange-haired teenager isn’t sure he wants the job: too many risks and moral dilemmas.
I actually started re-reading Bleach recently after watching some of the anime years ago. I never finished the anime adaptation, but the manga is just as entertaining as I remember the former being. Reading it lets the story move at a much faster pace, and the content is all canon so I’m not distracted. At the heart of Bleach is a lot of great characters. I just wish the ending was a little more fleshed out, because after 76 volumes, I still have so many questions. Maybe Viz will translate the novels in English?
Can I get more Byakuya Kuchiki? (The cover choice was purely selfish.)
Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama
Published (Volume One): June 19th, 2012
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
In this post-apocalytpic sci-fi story, humanity has been devastated by the bizarre, giant humanoids known as the Titans. Little is known about where they came from or why they are bent on consuming mankind. Seemingly unintelligent, they have roamed the world for years, killing everyone they see. For the past century, what’s left of man has hidden in a giant, three-walled city. People believe their 100-meter-high walls will protect them from the Titans, but the sudden appearance of an immense Titan is about to change everything.
Even though season two of the anime has been released, I haven’t even watched the first episode for some reason. I have a decent memory of everything that happens up to that point (how can you not remember Levi), but looking at the newest chapters, it’s clear how much I need to catch up on. It’s now a question of whether I should watching season two and go from there, or start from the very beginning (those were the happier times believe it or not).
(Another purely self-serving cover choice, because Levi is right up front even if he isn’t quite center.)
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Series: Under the Never Sky (#1)
Published: January 3rd, 2012
Since she’d been on the outside, she’d survived an Aether storm, she’d had a knife held to her throat, and she’d seen men murdered.
This was worse.
Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland–known as The Death Shop–are slim. If the cannibals don’t get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She’s been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He’s wild–a savage–and her only hope of staying alive.
A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile–everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria’s help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.
I read Under the Never Sky when it first came out in one day and fell in love with it. I’m going to be sad if this series doesn’t hold up so many years later, but I would like to return to Aria’s world once more. If nothing else, I hope that it’ll still be a fast enjoyable read all the way to the finale I never opened.
Legend by Marie Lu
Series: Legend (#1)
Published: November 29th, 2011
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.
From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.
Another dystopian I read when it first released, Legend was fast paced and filled with action. The characters were easy to fall in love with, and because I liked them so much, I remember distinctly refusing to read Prodigy and Champion because I didn’t want to see any pain befall them.
I guess 2018 is the year where I’m ready to see this series to the end, especially if The Young Elites is suppose to be a lot more ruthless. Maybe I should stick with Warcross and see if I can save my heart.
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Wolves of Mercy Falls (#1)
Published: August 1st, 2009
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can’t seem to live without.
Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human… until the cold makes him shift back again.
Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It’s her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human—or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.
Chances are that I’ll enjoy continuing with The Dream Thieves more would be a much more enjoyable experience, but quite a few years ago I started reading the Shiver series on my NOOK (which is quite ancient). I’m hoping I enjoyed it at that time because otherwise the fact that I bought this book in a physical copy makes no sense. Maybe I was sucked in by the blue ink?
Anyways, its been a constant point of contention – do I unhaul it, do I not? I guess trying to re-reading it is the only way to make the decision without any regrets.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Published: March 14th, 2006
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery …
Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist – books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau. This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.
When I read The Book Thief for school, I don’t think a deadline allowed me to fully appreciate this uniquely narrated story. I’ve been equal parts wanting to revisit it and being deterred by the heavy World War ll backdrop.
The writing is really fantastic though.
Death makes a great main character.
Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
Series: Bloodlines (#1)
Published: August 23rd, 2011
Publisher: Penguin Group
I wasn’t free of my past, not yet.
Sydney’s blood is special. That’s because she’s an alchemist – one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives. But the last encounter Sydney had with vampires got her in deep trouble with the other alchemists. And now with her allegiences in question, her future is on the line.
When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she’s still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir – the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir – is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill’s guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the unlikeliest of places: a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. The last thing Sydney wants is to be accused of sympathizing with vampires. And now she has to live with one.
The Moroi court believe Jill and Sydney will be safe at Amberwood Prep, but threats, distractions, and forbidden romance lurk both outside – and within – the school grounds. Now that they’re in hiding, the drama is only just beginning.
I’ve read the Vampire Academy series twice, but I haven’t made my way through the Bloodlines series. The last book I finished was probably The Indigo Spell, but then I just sort of fell off Mead’s vampire stories. I wonder if Adrian will still be as likable as I remember?