Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
This week’s topic is:
Books I Loved That Made Me Want to Read More Like Them
I am definitely a binge and mood reader. When I find an author that I love, I tend to read all of their books in quick successions. The same goes for genres. I love romance and fantasy and often get caught up in subgenres based on my mood and books that inspire me. Here are some books from the past year that made me want to read more like them:
1. Fable by Adrienne Young
I adored the Fable duology and bought all of Adrienne Young’s books right after I finished reading Fable. I also bought several other YA pirate romances. I’m all for a swashbuckling romance and adventure!! Young has a new book coming out soon that takes place in the same universe as the Fable duology, and I am totally here for it!! It’s called The Last Legacy, and it sounds amazing!!!
Page Length: 368
Publication Date: Sept. 1, 2020
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Synopsis: As the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home seventeen-year-old Fable has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.
But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive.
Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men.
2. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
This book! I taught The Odyssey at least twice a year for seventeen years and The Iliad almost as much, so I wasn’t super interested in this book when I first got it. However, a bunch of my blogging friends raved about it, so I gave it a shot. I am so glad i did because I absolutely loved it, and it is now firmly in the top 5 of my favorite all-time reads. This is a beautifully written story that I haven’t stopped talking about since I read it. It also inspired my love of mythological retellings!
Title: The Song of Achilles
Author: Madeline Miller
Page Length: 352
Publication Date: Sept. 20, 2011
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Synopsis: Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. By all rights their paths should never cross, but Achilles takes the shamed prince as his friend, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’ mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But then word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus journeys with Achilles to Troy, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.
Profoundly moving and breathtakingly original, this rendering of the epic Trojan War is a dazzling feat of the imagination, a devastating love story, and an almighty battle between gods and kings, peace and glory, immortal fame and the human heart.
3. Crownchasers by Rebecca Coffindaffer
Crownchasers if the best YA sci-fi I’ve read in years! I loved the characters, the universe-building, and the immersive story. It definitely inspired me to read more sci-fi stories. However, I haven’t enjoyed any as much as I enjoyed this one!!
Author: Rebecca Coffindaffer
Series: Crownchasers (Book 1)
Page Length: 384
Publication Date: Sept. 29, 2020
Publisher: Harper Teen
Synopsis: A deadly competition for the throne will determine more than just the fate of the empire in this riveting duology opener, perfect for fans of The Hunger Games, Aurora Rising, and Three Dark Crowns.
Alyssa Farshot has spent her whole life trying to outrun her family legacy. Her mother sacrificed everything to bring peace to the quadrant, and her uncle has successfully ruled as emperor for decades. But the last thing Alyssa wants is to follow in their footsteps as the next in line for the throne. Why would she choose to be trapped in a palace when she could be having wild adventures exploring a thousand-and-one planets in her own ship?
But when Alyssa’s uncle becomes gravely ill, his dying wish surprises the entire galaxy. Instead of naming her as his successor, he calls for a crownchase, the first in seven centuries. Representatives from each of the empire’s prime families—including Alyssa—are thrown into a race to find the royal seal, which has been hidden somewhere in the empire. The first to find the seal wins the throne.
Alyssa’s experience as an explorer makes her the favorite to win the crown she never wanted. And though she doesn’t want to be empress, her duty to her uncle compels her to participate in this one last epic adventure. But when the chase turns deadly, it’s clear that more than just the fate of the empire is at stake. Alyssa is on her most important quest yet—and only time will tell if she’ll survive it.
4. A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
Fairy tale retellings? Yes, please!! Between this series and the A Court of Thorns and Roses series, I am a firm lover of fairy tale retellings, especially Beauty and the Beast. Since reading these, I’ve read more retellings than I can count!
Page Length: 484
Publication Date: Jan. 29, 2019
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Synopsis: Fall in love, break the curse.
Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. Before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.
Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s pulled into a magical world.
Break the curse, save the kingdom.
Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. A prince? A curse? A monster? As she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.
5. A Cowboy of Legend by Linda Broday
I love historical romance, but I usually read ones that are set in England and Scotland. A Cowboy of Legend is an American Western, and it totally made me want to read more like it! I loved the characters and the snippets of American life from over a century ago.
Title: A Cowboy of Legend
Author: Linda Broday
Series: Lone Star Legends #1
Page Length: 384
Publication Date: April 27, 2021
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Synopsis: It’s time for a new generation to become Legend.
Deacon Brannock is determined to make a name for himself and the saloon he’s worked his whole life to afford. He was prepared for life in the Wild West, but he hadn’t counted on Grace Legend…
Grace has always fought hard for what she believes in, and after her best friend is killed at the hands of her drunk and angry husband, that includes keeping alcohol out of her town. When the owner of the new saloon turns out to be a kind and considerate man, she can’t help but wonder if they could have a future together…if they weren’t on opposite sides of every issue.
6. The Underground by Liv Evans
The Underground reminded me why I love dystopias so much. And it really solidified my love of dystopian romance!! This is such a fantastic and unique story, and the characters are so dynamically developed! I loved the messages, and the romance was swoon-tastic!!
Title: The Underground
Author: Liv Evans
Series: Derivates Rising
Page Length: 395
Publication Date: Oct 10, 2020
Synopsis: “When freedom is a luxury, resistance is inevitable.”
The Government rule the Hub with an iron fist, their strict laws enforced by Derivates, humans with psionic abilities. When one of these Derivates flees her post, they send KC-847, a powerful telekinetic, to bring her back. However, KC-847 soon learns his team are unprepared for what they find in the tunnels, and the mission goes awry.
Flit, a plucky teleporter, works for the Underground resistance, the last refuge for Derivates wishing to live free of the Government’s control. On a routine security patrol, Flit comes across KC-847 and breaks all the rules to bring him back to the Underground.
However, KC-847’s arrival brings with it a string of deadly events that threaten the safety of the Underground. Convinced the incidents are more than unfortunate coincidences, Flit refuses to fall back on a false sense of security and drags KC-847 on an investigation that will change the trajectory of Derivate-kind forever.
7. Choosing Theo by Victoria Aveline
As you know by now, I love a good love story and will read almost any genre of romance. I hadn’t read any sci-fi romance in a while, and then I read Choosing Theo. Sa-woon!!!! Basically, a woman ends up on an alien planet filled with hunky males who are trained to care for their women. Like, they go to school and are educated on this!!! If this were a real place, I would sign up to go in a heartbeat!!! (Though I’m not sure how my hubs and kids would feel about this. lol)
Title: Choosing Theo
Author: Victoria Aveline
Series: The Clecanian Series (Book 1)
Page Length: 306
Publication Date: March 4, 2020
Synopsis: Choosing Theo is the first book in The Clecanian Series by Victoria Aveline. When Jade is abducted by aliens, she fears the worst. Luckily, she is rescued by the benevolent Clecanian’s. They offer her protection and security, as, according to the laws, she must remain on the planet for one year. She also must follow the customs of the planet, which includes participating in a marriage. Initially, Jade refuses. However, as she realizes the futility of her situation, she decides to embrace this new and unusual world where women are put on a pedestal by the males.
Jade chooses Theo as her husband, much to everyone’s surprise. A strong, silent, brooding mercenary, Theo has never been chosen and doesn’t ever expect to be. He is shocked and suspicious when Jade chooses him. What are her real motives? Could she be a spy for one of his enemies? Theo doesn’t trust her and is determined to find out her intentions.
Jade wants to go back to Earth and her life before the abduction. Yet, she is drawn to Theo. Can she get through his defenses, and does she want to? Choosing Theo could be Jade’s best decision or her biggest mistake.
8. Beneath Cruel Fathoms by Anela Deen
When I read Beneath Cruel Fathoms, I was completely enthralled. I fell in love with the characters and the story and the writing. If you follow this blog, then you’ve seen this book mentioned a bunch, and probably already know that I bought all of Deen’s books after I finished this one. If you haven’t read this an like fantasy/romance/mythology, you should totally check this one out!
Title: Beneath Cruel Fathoms
Author: Anela Deen
Series: The Bitter Sea Trilogy (Book 1)
Page Length: 386
Publication Date: May 2019
Publisher: Fine Fables Press
Synopsis: After a violent storm destroys her ship, Isaura Johansdottir knows better than to hope she’ll be rescued from Eisland’s vast Failock Sea. Adrift and alone, her plans to start over lost, it’s a tragic conclusion after the disastrous end of her marriage—until she’s saved by Leonel, one of the merfolk, a creature long believed extinct. In repayment for her life, Leonel enlists her help to investigate the Failock’s mysterious and deadly plague of squalls. But when Isaura discovers Eisland’s ruthless new Lord commands the storms, her life will be in more danger on land than it ever was at sea.
As guardian of the Fathoms, Leonel must find the cause of unnatural storms ravaging the tidal currents and destroying the sea life. There are rumors of dark magic stirring in the Orom Abyss, the resting place of old, vanquished gods who tried to submerge the land millennia ago. Yet without proof, no one in King Ægir’s court will listen to him. And if it’s discovered he broke the Blue Laws to save a shipwrecked landweller, he might not survive the consequences.
As storms spread, Leonel and Isaura uncover secrets as forbidden as the bond that grows between them. Betrayal lurks in the restless sea, and when ancient powers lay siege to Eisland’s coast, the truth may be drowned along with everything else.
9. The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel
After reading The Book of Lost Names, I read about a half dozen more pieces of historical fiction that took place around the same time period. I loved this story and the author’s writing style.
Title: The Book of Lost Names
Author: Kristin Harmel
Page Length: 400
Publication Date: July 21, 2020
Publisher: Gallery Books
Synopsis: Eva Traube Abrams, a semi-retired librarian in Florida, is shelving books one morning when her eyes lock on a photograph in a magazine lying open nearby. She freezes; it’s an image of a book she hasn’t seen in sixty-five years—a book she recognizes as The Book of Lost Names.
The accompanying article discusses the looting of libraries by the Nazis across Europe during World War II—an experience Eva remembers well—and the search to reunite people with the texts taken from them so long ago. The book in the photograph, an eighteenth-century religious text thought to have been taken from France in the waning days of the war, is one of the most fascinating cases. Now housed in Berlin’s Zentral- und Landesbibliothek library, it appears to contain some sort of code, but researchers don’t know where it came from—or what the code means. Only Eva holds the answer—but will she have the strength to revisit old memories and help reunite those lost during the war?
As a graduate student in 1942, Eva was forced to flee Paris after the arrest of her father, a Polish Jew. Finding refuge in a small mountain town in the Free Zone, she begins forging identity documents for Jewish children fleeing to neutral Switzerland. But erasing people comes with a price, and along with a mysterious, handsome forger named Rémy, Eva decides she must find a way to preserve the real names of the children who are too young to remember who they really are. The records they keep in The Book of Lost Names will become even more vital when the resistance cell they work for is betrayed and Rémy disappears.
An engaging and evocative novel reminiscent of The Lost Girls of Paris and The Alice Network, The Book of Lost Names is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of bravery and love in the face of evil.
10. Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft
Down Comes the Night reminded me why I love Gothic literature and Gothic romance so much. The imagery in this book is fantastic and really creates a tense and foreboding mood. The setting, characters, and suspenseful mystery all contribute to the exceptional Gothic feel.
Title: Down Comes the Night
Author: Allison Saft
Page Length: 400
Publication Date: March 2, 2021
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Synopsis: He saw the darkness in her magic. She saw the magic in his darkness.
Wren Southerland’s reckless use of magic has cost her everything: she’s been dismissed from the Queen’s Guard and separated from her best friend—the girl she loves. So when a letter arrives from a reclusive lord, asking Wren to come to his estate, Colwick Hall, to cure his servant from a mysterious illness, she seizes her chance to redeem herself.
The mansion is crumbling, icy winds haunt the caved-in halls, and her eccentric host forbids her from leaving her room after dark. Worse, Wren’s patient isn’t a servant at all but Hal Cavendish, the infamous Reaper of Vesria and her kingdom’s sworn enemy. Hal also came to Colwick Hall for redemption, but the secrets in the estate may lead to both of their deaths.
With sinister forces at work, Wren and Hal realize they’ll have to join together if they have any hope of saving their kingdoms. But as Wren circles closer to the nefarious truth behind Hal’s illness, they realize they have no escape from the monsters within the mansion. All they have is each other, and a startling desire that could be their downfall.
Allison Saft’s Down Comes the Night is a snow-drenched romantic fantasy that keeps you racing through the pages long into the night.
Love makes monsters of us all.