Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday! Founded through The Broke and the Bookish, Top Ten is about showcasing a list of some of our favorite things. August 8, 2017, we’ll talk about our Top Ten Series I Know I Should Read.
Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan I loved Percy Jackson. I mean, L-O-V-E. Not on a Harry Potter level. Or maybe. I’m not sure. I actually read Percy Jackson when I was in college so I don’t know what’s stopping me from reading about HOO. I feel like it’s because I haven’t read a middle-grade in so very long and I just never found the intense desire to jump back into it – but Percy Jackson was so near and dear to my heart. I started reading HOO with the first book, but then MARK OF ATHENA came out and then I don’t know what happened. I bought the book. I was gonna read it. And then it ended up in my TBR pile for years! I want to revisit this world. Seriously.
Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes Falling Kingdoms is a series that I am hesitant to dive into now, especially because there are so many books out. How many are there? Seven including the companion series? GEEZ. And the next one is coming out soon, too, right? I’ve heard nothing but good things about Falling Kingdoms and I’m so in love with the covers. I think that another thing that has thrown me off is that there are lots of characters and I’m hesitant to try to keep track of them, especially because I love being able to watch development in the core ones. There’s JUST SO MANY, but it’s set in a historical period with magic and unrest and ALL THE GOOD STUFF.
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh I need to read this on the sole reason that the food descriptions in it are just simply scrumptious. I’ve heard nothing is more scintillating than how Ahdieh describes food (except her extravagant storytelling). Plus, I love a good love story and I’ve been told time and time again that this is a beautiful and gut-wrenching one. I love angst.
I know that The Broke and The Bookish are taking a break from their Top Ten Tuesday prompts, so I’ll go ahead and wing it until they return! Top Ten Tuesday is a feature originated by TBATB that features a list of whatever fits the prompt for that week. Since it’s start, so many bloggers have taken part and shared their own lists. So if you have your own Top Ten feature, we would love to read it. For this week, we’ll be doing Top Ten OTPs.
In no particular order:
Elias Veturius/Laia of Serra from Sabaa Tahir’s Ember Quartet Even as I write out their names, my heart is in so much pain because I love them too much. I have not shipped this hard since SHADOW AND BONE and that is saying something. There is just something about Elias and Laia’s relationship that just hits all the good parts of my emotional psyche. Or maybe it’s because the writing for these books are so flippin’ superb that the romance is automatically amazing. Obviously, their relationship is not at the forefront of these books, but there is enough to tease me to curling up into a ball after I’ve finished a new book. I love that they come from different places, but have so much in common. And I appreciate that they have endured so much on their own and do not rely on each other, but they do strengthen one another. Now that their paths have become so different at the end of A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT, I know that I will be destroyed by any moments that they sure in subsequent books.
Malyen Oretsev/Alina Starkov from Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone
Talk about original OTPs…I know that this will be controversial for some people because of course, the other side of things is Alina and the Darkling and who doesn’t love being seduced by the Darkling? -swoons- I will admit that I enjoy Alina/The Darkling as much as everyone else but at the end of the day, I think my heart lies with Mal and Alina because they get a bittersweet ending and it just made my heart ache at how melancholy things became for both of them and yet, they always had one another. I know that Mal has had his flaws and probably doesn’t deserve Alina, but good gosh, their chemistry was lovely for me. I know that some other people didn’t see it – they saw more steam from Alina and the Darkling, but there was an innocence and a tenderness to Mal and Alina’s friendship and relationship that made me fall in love with them as a couple. Man, when RUIN AND RISING came out and I read it, I was just so freaking happy. I am glad that they got a semblance of a happy ending.
Cress Darnell/Carswell Throne from Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles CRESSWELL gives me life. I seriously love the dynamic of Cress/Thorne because they make each other better without all the drama. Plus they’re so cute together with all of Thorne’s quippy lines and Cress just doing what she does best, which is be a badass computer wizard.
Kate Harker/August Flynn from Victoria Schwab’s Monsters of Verity Kate and August were a surprise for me. Their relationship was very much in the backdrop of the Monsters of Verity plot and for very good cause. There was just so much that needed to be told about their worlds and I really appreciated the little moments of intimacy and tenderness they shared with one another. I’m sure there are people who have said they have no chemistry or are nothing more than friends, but when two characters are pitted in a conflict that these two are, it’s so very hard for me not to ship them. I think they were both poetically and tragically written and to show their vulnerabilities to one another just leaves me wanting. How can I not ship a couple that is like that?
Kestrel Trajan/Arin from Marie Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Trilogy Do you know that when someone is playing a stringed instrument in some classical piece and then there’s that epic crescendo and then the single bouncing pluck of the bow against the string that echos? I feel like that perfectly describes Kestrel and Arin for me. I think they have such a theatrical and dramatic way about them, but yet their romance is so subtle and lovely as it developed throughout the trilogy. Both of them came from very similar beginnings but Arin did not remain in the same place that Kestrel was born into and despite a war breaking between them, they were still able to come together by the end. And oh my gosh, how can you not love a couple that giggles about playing piano and singing together? It’s just such a wonderful thought.
Kaz Brekker/Inej Ghafa from Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows Duology I remember a brief time when Kaz and Inej suffocated me with the turmoil of their angsty relationship, especially after what happened in Six of Crows. I just wanted them to be together, these tough little children, and squish them against my chest. IS THAT SO MUCH TO ASK FOR? I just wanted them to have their happy endings with a butt ton of kruge and the Barrel at their beckoning AS KING AND QUEEN. Plus, like all couples, they had some amazing dialogue exchanges that ripped me to pieces.
Feyre Acheron/Rhysand from Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses Series They were my first ever steam couple and damn, they got me going. -fans self- I feel like Maas is really known for being able to write intimate scenes with her characters (see THRONE OF GLASS) and when Rhysand and Feyre had their first meeting, I remember all the steam and sparks that rose from their interaction. And it just built from there. And I think it can be safely said how much people loved A COURT OF MIST AND FURY, considering how central their relationship was in the story. They were just so memorable to me and it didn’t hurt that he oozed the sex appeal. -heart eyes-
Lara Jean Song/Peter Kavinsky from Jenny Han’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before Trilogy Talk about the epitome of a contemporary romance. I remember how much I fell in love with TATBILB and how there was Asian representation in the MC and obviously, Peter Kavinsky. I don’t know what it was about him besides the fact that he was a big ol’ geeky teddy bear underneath his air of popularity. I feel like he just represented that typical popular boy that all the girls, ALLLL THE GIRLS, had a crush on when they were in high school. I love how he was with Kitty and their father. And I love how they both helped each other grow into the better parts of themselves.
Linh Cinder and Emperor Kaito from Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles Well, I feel like a Cinderella retelling is self explanatory if we’re talking about Cinder and Kai. Marissa Meyer could have made their relationship full of stinky cheese and cliche, but she definitely did justice to her original characters. I loved watching Cinder kick butt with her brain and Kai with his diplomacy when dealing with the enemy. Their relationship was not something that I would call topsy-turvy or dramatic, but it did just have an ease about it that made me rather happy. Plus, how could you say no to Cinderella and her prince? Geez.
Lila Bard/Kell Maresh from V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic OH THIS IS THE EPITOME OF SLOW BURNS. I find it incredibly astonishing and awing when an author can completely immerse her readers in the story enough that when romance happens that it is just a sweet treat of a surprise. I found that in Schwab’s writing pattern and I seriously applaud her for it – if I were to ever aspire to write like someone, it would be her. I loved the development that she put into both Lila and Kell and how they seem to be the complete opposite of one another. They exist as such strong characters and together, they’re just as good, but at the same time, I could feel that they were one another’s weaknesses as well but not in the way that’s traditional. If an enemy were to use one of them against the other, I think it would just drive them harder, but around each other specifically…it’s like that quote from Richelle Mead – “Ah, those two. In a fight, they’re lethal. Around each other, they melt.’ I don’t think any words were ever truer than these when talking about Kell and Lila.
Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday! Founded through The Broke and the Bookish, Top Ten is about showcasing a list of some of our favorite things. For July 11, 2017, we’ll talk about our Top Ten Favorite Finished Series.
The Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
I don’t think anyone has not heard of the Shadow and Bone trilogy from Leigh. It’s probably one of the best and earliest examples of how to do phenomenal world-building. And her storytelling has led to creating Grishaverse, a place where all fans of the series come to when they want to get engrossed in the world again. There’s magic, seduction, magic, corruption, and a powerful cast of characters who come together behind one of my favorite heroines of all time, Alina Starkov (also, I love this name – can I have this name?)
The Pledge Trilogy by Kimberly Derting
There’s a pattern here when it comes to some of my favorite finished series and it means a lot of older series. I fell in love with THE PLEDGE and the mythology of the universe. I loved reading about the class struggles and class distinctions – especially seeing as the heroine, Charlie, is a polygot and language alone is what causes the biggest danger for her as someone in the lower rung of society. Beyond being intelligent, Charlie has to deal with a vicious queen, struggling relationships, and what it means to serve her country.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
What is there not to love about TATBILB? The fact that it went from being a duology to a trilogy? Or that there’s an Asian American on the cover and it hit the NYT Bestsellers’ list with an Asian American on the cover? I ask again, what is there not to love? It’s a heartfelt and humorous story about a young girl who writes love letters to boys who she realizes she needs to get over. When they’re mistakenly sent out, her world is turned upside down and she learns that the biggest mishaps can turn into good things – including experiencing a real first love. GAH, I fell in love with all the characters and at the root of the story, it’s a love story about the Song sisters and that touched me the most.
The Mara Dyer Trilogy by Michelle Hodkin
Another early favorite of mine. I think this was one of my first exposures to thriller and suspense in the YA genre. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the hugest fan of Mara, but I grew to love her, especially through the heartbreaking relationship she has with Noah Shaw. And now that @simonandschusterbooks-blog is coming out with another series surrounding the aftermath of what happened in the Mara Dyer Trilogy (The Shaw Confessions!!!!), I am pulling this goodie out to reread.
The Young Elites by Marie Lu
UGH, I can’t even with this series. What happens when you have the antagonist as the protagonist? You get one of the coolest series ever. I really liked The Young Elites, but I was madly in love by the time The Midnight Star came out. I think that Marie Lu became an exceptional writer in this series, weaving the story the way that she did. I was always caught off guard by what would happen and her characters were so unpredictable. And the ending – my gosh, the ending was beautiful.
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
I’m pretty sure that you have to be living under a rock to not have heard about ACOTAR. Whether it was good or bad to anyone else, Sarah J. Maas is one writing legend who has not gone unheard. I loved ACOTAR. It was my first exposure to odd balance between the young adult and new adult genres and I’m glad I read this series when I was older because I got to enjoy it more and NGL, it seduced me with both its characters and the beautiful backdrop of the Night Court and Velaris. It left me swooning and realizing that the first guy isn’t always the last guy.
The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
This series took me a while to get into. I think I started reading Cinder and didn’t finish and then I was encouraged to give it another try and fell in love that time. I love when an author has a big ensemble of characters and allows all those characters to breathe and grow into their own arcs. Marissa Meyer did such a great job of telling all their stories and weaving them around the central plot she introduced in book one. And then she had the audacity to write an epilogue and IT DESTROYED ME.
The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski
Yet another series that needed a second attempt to fall in love with the story. Nothing against these books, I seriously think it was my fault that I didn’t fully appreciate how wonderful these books could be. I loved Kestrel and I loved Arin. I loved the Hamilton-esque kind of storytelling that Rukoski tackled these books with. I was always rooting for Kestrel and loving that she didn’t need to have a sword in her hand to fight, that she could wear a dress and neatly pin her hair back. And it broke my heart that deep down, she only ever wanted to appease her father. I remember reading a particular passage that left me with shaking breath because it was so painful to watch her and her father interact. And please, do not get me started on that political love story. -dead-
Shades of Magic by V.E. Schwab
I’ve heard some conversation floating around on Twitter that if V.E. Schwab were to co-write with someone that it would be Leigh Bardugo. And I absolutely agree. Do you know why? Because V.E. Schwab IS ALSO A GENIUS AT WORLD-BUILDING. I fell in love with the four Londons and the unique stories of each one. I was crazy about Kell, Rhy, Lila, Holland, and Alucard. I think it’s so easy for a writer to make you hate a supposed antagonist of a story – but it takes a master writer to make you love a broken character who you might have mistaken as the villain in the first place. Have I also mentioned Lila Bard? Knife-wielding, sassy-mouthed, cross-dressing, dangerous Lila Bard? Well, if I haven’t, please go read these books. @veschwab
Monsters of Verity by Victoria Schwab
I think this is one of the more recent series on my list. TSS only came out last year and Our Dark Duet came out recently last month. It was my introduction into the horror genre that mixed in with the supernatural. What I really find myself drawn to with Victoria Schwab’s writing is her ability to make a fully-fleshed out story. Everything has a reason for happening in her books and while I looooove romance in a story, it is very scarce in TSS and ODD. She makes it so easy to be engrossed in the story that love and romance are just an added bonus. I’m pretty sure if it actually didn’t happen, I would have been completely satisfied because she wrote a story that had a real beginning, middle, and end. Plus, hot damn – her characters. -heart eyes-