Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Top 5 books I love but haven’t spoken about in a while

Gosh, it’s been a while since I’ve done (much less remembered to do) a Top 10 Tuesday feature, but when I saw this week’s topic, I just simply couldn’t resist. Brought to you by the fabulous bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish, Top Ten Tuesday (I’m choosing to do a top 5 this time around) is a weekly meme featuring different bookish topic each week.

This week we’re chatting about books we’ve loved by haven’t spoken about in a while – a subject that brings me so much joy because as fabulous as it is talking about all the new releases we love, there’s nothing better than potentially introducing a reader to a backlisted title that still deserves to be spoken about.

So, in honour of this week’s topic, here’s my list of top 5 books I love, but haven’t spoken about in a while.

1. The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

I’ve loved Sarah Ockler’s books since I first read Twenty Boy Summer and over the years that love for her writing has only increased.

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids, a book I view as a contemporary retelling of The Little Mermaid, is an absolute gem of a book and features a diverse cast of characters, magical realism and tells the story of a girl who has to figure out how to find her inner voice and strength after losing her physical voice. 

This book, inspired by mermaid lore and Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid, is a novel about family, friendships, and learning to let go.

It’s a novel about learning to let people in and it’s a book about learning to accept the things that you can’t change. Beautifully written, it’s a multicultural read that ticks all the diversity boxes without any of the characters ever feeling like they’re token caricatures.   

2. All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry

Quite possibly one of the most beautiful and heart-breaking reads I’ve read to date, Julie Berry’s All the Truth That’s in Me is a novel that, by all accounts, shouldn’t work, but does.

With its disjointed narrative structure, second person point of view and snippets shifting between past and present, this is certainly a book that doesn’t work for everyone, but boy, oh boy, did it work so very beautifully for me.

Our protagonist is Judith, a girl who can’t speak as a result of an incredibly traumatising event in her past. Isolated, and ostracised, Judith is a girl whose silence has set her apart from the community.

Notice how I seem to love books about heroines finding their voices in the midst of darkness? All the Truth That’s in Me is a book that is all that and so much more. 

It’s a novel that also explores prejudice, the narrow-mindedness and mob mentality prevalent in some small-town communities and examines how easy it is to form an opinion based on what you see and not what you know. It’s a beautifully written and heart-breaking read, and one I’ll recommend until my dying day.

3. The Apple Tart of Hope by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald
Another contemporary gem with splashes of magical realism is Sarah Moore Fitzgerald’s The Apple Tart of Hope.  A boy gone missing, a girl who refuses to believe he’s dead and a misunderstanding that nearly ruins it all.

Exploring themes of love, loss, family and friendship, this little read is that pick-me-up you need when you feel like giving up. 

It’s an exquisitely written novel that is filled with characters whose stories will grip you to your core and have you rooting for them.

This novel is also not so much an instant recipe for hope, but is rather a journey that takes you there – one that helps you to meld through the tangled mess that is life and take down the obstacles one by one. 

Oscar, Meg and Stevie are three characters who are unforgettable, not just for their quirkiness, but also for their strong bond that pulses throughout the book.

You can read my review here. 

4. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

I’m well aware that this standalone from Maggie has a lot of divisive opinions about it, but I, for one absolutely adored it. 

From my review:

“Based on a combination of Scottish and Irish mythology, Maggie brings to life a world that's deadly, untamed and indescribably beautiful.

Take deadly flesh-eating, blood-hungry water horses, add a horse whisperer who is as part of the horses as he is part of the sea and include a feisty, snappishly abrasive but incredibly brave heroine who dares to defy convention.”


It’s a luscious read that’s all the more worth it for its slow and languid pace.

Read more here.

5. Revolution by Jennifer Donnolly

Jennifer Donnolly’s Revolution is one of those books that I find myself including in so many lists. Favourite novel of all time? Check. Gorgeous historical fiction reads? Check. Books featuring ridiculously courageous teens fighting in the midst of a revolution? Double check.

You name the list, I’ll probably find a way to feature this book in it.

Combining music and history, this gorgeous read employs a dual-narrative structure and is narrated by two very different heroines whom, at first glance, have nothing in common. 

One lives in modern day New York and makes a new life for herself in Paris, while the other lives in France in the midst of the French Revolution.

Two opposite sides of the coin, yet connected by more than they’ll ever know.  The last bits of my review sums it up:

“ It's a beautiful, brutal and bloody tale of music and ghosts of the past. It’s a tale of guillotines and massacres, and a tale of romance and catacombs.

It’s a story where the dead come alive and history is relived through the eyes of an angry, sad girl who, in the midst of her downward spiral, finds that sometimes the biggest revolutions that happen are the ones that occur within.”


You can read my full review here.

What are some of the books that you love but haven’t spoken about in a while? Leave your link in the comments section so that I can check out your list!


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