Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Bout of Books 12 Challenge | Top 10 Recommendations


Top -10 Book Recommendations

Today's challenge is hosted over at http://treesofreverie.com

You can find the link to Sarah’s post here

Top Ten Recommendations

This list is in no order of preference, as these are all favourites in my opinion, it was hard to slim it down to just Ten. Some are older reads, others are newer. I have noted what genre they are in, and the Authors as well. 

It was an eye opener to the diversity of my reading, and I found it interesting to see the books I have kept on my shelf even after all the years that have passed since reading them.

Without further ado... 

1.      Taken- Erin Bowman [Y.A Sci-Fi/Dystopian]


The minute that I started reading Taken I knew I was hooked. Not only did Erin’s writing style draw me in with the beautiful prose and power character development, the concept of the world took over, and I was immersed; fearful, exhilarated, excited and turbulent.

When I finished the book I knew that I needed more. It was fast dubbed my ‘crack’ book as I avoided going out and being social so I could spend more time in the world.

If you like a mixture of Science-Fiction and Dystopian, Male protagonists, diverse landscapes and political intrigue you are going to love Taken.

2.      Touch of Power [Y.A Fantasy]


I first discovered my love of Maria V Synder in the first book to her Healer Trilogy. I’d seen it at my local department store, though the cover was pretty and was drawn to the main character being a healer.
Little did I know this would be one of the most memorable books not only from the novel itself, but the personal reading experience that I shared with one of my good friends, who is no longer in my life.

The Fantasy elements in this book are well crafted, and atmospheric. The pacing of humor, tenderness, war, friendship, and magical intrigue makes it a rich read. Several times my eyes got watery with emotion, and I remain attached to the Male characters that surround the Female protagonist in her journey to self discovery and safety.

If you are pulled in by sharp wit, captivating and muti-faceted characters, touches of romance, and page-turning action you will enjoy Touch of Power.

Look out for my series wrap up later in the year when I complete the trilogy.

3.      Born Wicked – Jessica Spotswood [Y.A Historical]


This was my first completed Trilogy in physical form. From the first book Born Wicked, to the last, the trilogy kept me pining for the next one after each books release.

Let’s start with Born Wicked though.

You are going to want to get your hands on it if you haven’t already, and if you have, and are a fan of Witch stories. This one is sure to have you reading by candle light, enchanted with Jessica’s stunning prose, provocative prophecy, and swoon worthy romance. Don’t let the romance fool you though, it is intense, complicated, beautifully explored and one of my favorite couplings in Y.A fiction to date. Finn and Cate – their love story is one to last.

Along with this, the relationship between the sisters collectively and individually was hard hitting, and real, yet with the touches of magic and Historical exploration, coupled with humor, and humanity this by far one of my favorite books of all time.

4.      You’ve Got a Book in You - Elizaberth Sims  [Writing Reference]


You’ve got a Book in you is a must read, go-to guide to writing your book and developing trust in your own process. With guided, grounded advice, humorous commentary and simple to begin techniques that can be re-used this book has become my new writing Bible. 

Aimed at those embarking on their first larger Fiction or Non-Fiction project this book is also essential for seasoned writers, both published and unpublished as it offers guidance that you can put into practice to cultivate a fun, easy, and achievable daily writing practices. 

I found the concept of Storm Writing, Heart clenching moments, and her process for ‘making the book better’ changed my perspectives on writing, and my own practice. Writing is not a chronological process, and the revision state need not be either. If you buy one book on writing on writing your first book – look no further than: You’ve got a Book in you.

5.      Writing Down the Bones- Natalie Goldberg [Writing Reference]


Whether you are new to writing or a seasoned pro Writing down the Bones is an essential for any writer or creative spirit. Written in essay form, each chapter is full of insight, inspiration, and person experience in her years of writing. Her approach is fresh, humorous, sensuous, and engaging. Scattered throughout there are exercises to explore, that I myself have done many times. In terms of Non-Fiction books this is my most re-read book, and I will continue to rave and recommend anything by Natalie Goldberg as she is one of my favorite writers.

6.      Frankie Says Relapse – Siobhan Curham [Adult- Contemporary]

This one is another book that I have recommended ever since starting my book blog back in 2010. My copy is so well read and beat up that when I saw it in a cheap bookshop I brought myself a backup copy. That alone should tell you enough when it comes to wanting to pick it up, but let me sell it to you better.

Sassy female protagonist – flashbacks to the 80’s – intense romance – raw teenage emotions – Journal entries written to Anne Frank as a confidant, and plot twists that make you both cry and laugh at the same time.

Have I sold it? I sure hope so because this book is up there with my favourite books of all times, and I am well due for a re-read.

7.      Blue Eyed Boy – Joanne Harris [Adult – Psychological]


It has been many years since I have read this book, a lot of it is amiss in the jumble of books I have read in the interim, but one thing that has stayed in my mind is the way that this book affected me while reading it. I cannot remember reading something since it, aside from Chelsea Cain’s Heartsick that totally took me over, and had me questioning my sanity.

Written in a creative format, this intense, somber, and at times perverse story of a dysfunctional family, and a haunting tale of murder is a must read for lovers of psychological thrillers, and mysteries.
By the end it will have you highly wired, and unable to rest.

8.      Living Dead Girl – Elizabeth Scott – [Y.A Contemporary [Y.A]

Living Dead Girl

If there was ever a book I could recommend you read that will disgust you, scare you, captivate you and keep you hooked page after the page it is Living Dead Girl. I picked this one up on recommendation a few years back, started reading in the morning and read the entire thing in one day [this is rare for me, I am a slow reader] I could not stop, despite the tears, the repulsion and the agony that the main character, a young kidnapped girl has to experience.

The ending to this one lingers long after you read it. I would recommend this for those who enjoy darker tales, although if Child abuse is a trigger for you then I would read at your own risk. Elizabeth did an amazing job at handling the topic, especially for the young adult genre. Her writing is both beautiful and harrowing given the content, but if you feel you are mature enough to handle it, take the time to read it.

9.      One Past Midnight – Jessica Shirvington [Y.A Contemporary]


As beautifully heartbreaking as The Fault in Our Stars, One Past Midnight is a creative, unique and fresh take on the concept of parallel worlds.

Set in two locations, running along the same time line, the main character Sabine has to live two completely different lives that pose their own challenges both internally and externally. She feels out of control, and tired and makes a chilling decision that will not only affect both lives, but the fabric of time, and how it influences other people and their experiences of life and death, love, and hate, compassion and fear.

Jessica’s writing was powerful, and phenomenal. When I finished the novel I had to wipe the tears from my eyes, and I wanted to start it all over again. Her execution of the premise was superb, and has started me on a journey to read all the books she has in publication.

10.  This Song Will Save Your Life- Leila Sales  [Y.A Contemporary]


I dub thee the book that surprised me the most. While reading it, and through to the final page. Leila Sales has a way of striking deeper chords in me, and this book is no different. If you are a fan of music, freedom, learning to self love, acceptance, family, and the power of passion you will love this book.

It really drew me in to connect with a character who, through the novel, really finds her passion. It made me laugh, drew me into a world I had only heard about through the grapevine. It felt as though I was there the whole time. I resonated with her story in ways I could not even begin to imagine.

This book changed my life. It opened up parts of myself that I never knew existed and helped me to understand the important of music and creativity in my own life, and to never give that up.

Highly recommended for all ages, pick this one up NOW.

There we go, just a few of my all time favorites that I wanted to recommend and that jumped out at me to grab my attention, and share my heartfelt thoughts about them.What about you? What are your favorites? Link me up in the comments below so I can check out your lists, and as always – Happy Reading. 


  1. This is a great list! I loved Touch of Power too. I haven't read the rest of the series but we've recently started stocking them at work so I'm determined to pick up the second book soon. Thanks for participating in this challenge!

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read them. I look forward to seeing you pick up the rest of the series soon <3