Top Ten of the Most Unique Books I’ve Read

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, she posts an idea relating to books and encourages other book bloggers to respond with their own top ten lists.

This week’s topic is “top ten of the most unique books you’ve read.” Whether it’s in terms of plot, characterization, or narration, there were a lot of books that stood out when I was compiling this list. Here are just a few of them:

1. The Book Thief
Death is not exactly the most traditional choice of a narrator, however Markus Zusak pulls it off with aplomb. It’s such a beautiful yet heartbreaking read, and I often find myself wondering if it would have been as powerful if told from Liesel’s perspective.

2. Shadow and Bone
Ravka is such an intriguing world, steeped in Russian folklore, magic, and fantastic characters (like the Darkling). I haven’t read anything quite like this series, which helps place it even further up on my favourites list.

3. Shatter Me
Although I wasn’t a huge fan of this book, there’s  no denying that it’s very uniquely written. Littered with so many beautiful (and strange) similes, metaphors, and crossouts, Juliette’s thoughts are portrayed in a very interesting style.

4. Cinder
Cinder doesn’t fit the typical Cinderella story to a T and involves a lot of creative liberties, such as the inclusion of aliens and cyborgs, making for a very engaging fairytale retelling.

5. The Night Circus
This is such a beautiful, breathtaking, and magical read. The circus, the tents, the characters, and the plot are all so mesmerizing and different, making it one of my absolute favourite books.

6. Every Day
Every Day has both a unique premise and an unusual choice of narrator: every day, A wakes up in a different body – male, female, old, young, all are possibilities. A’s gender is never established, and it was strange talking about this book and not being able to refer to A as “him” or “her.”

7. Two Boys Kissing
Like Every Day, Two Boys Kissing has an unexpected narrator – this time, in the form of a Greek Chorus of gay men who have lost their lives to AIDS. The use of the inclusive “we” made the story that much more poignant, touching, and memorable.

8. The Knife of Never Letting Go
I didn’t expect to like this book (or series) as much as I did. The spelling and grammar varies between characters, giving them their own distinct voices – and, to further add to that, different fonts, sizes, and italics are used to distinguish between the Noise of the men from each town. The noise itself was such a neat inclusion, making for an unforgettable read.

9. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
The inclusion of found black and white photographs adds to the creepy atmosphere of this read. I’m also still not quite sure what to classify this as: supernatural horror, perhaps?

10. Angelfall
This book restored my faith in YA books that involve angels. A post-apocalyptic setting, cannibalism, angels that certainly aren’t cherubic, and a wonderful female lead make Angelfall a far cry from the “fallen angel falls in love with a human” story that I’ve read far too often.

+ Honourable Mentions
Because I’m awful and can’t choose just ten, here are a few of the others I would include: Harry Potter, The Archived, anything by Neil Gaiman, Good Omens, and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

What are some of the most unique books you’ve read? Leave me a list or a link to your list in the comments below.

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Top Ten Books I Read In 2013

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, she posts an idea relating to books and encourages other book bloggers to respond with their own top ten lists.

This week’s topic is “top ten books I read in 2013.” 2013 was an excellent year for reading, thanks to the discovery of both Goodreads and book blogs. While it’s virtually impossible to narrow down all 217 books that I read this year to the 10 that I thought were the best, the ten below are ones that I really enjoyed reading — and ones that I’ll likely read again.

1. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick
When I received this book, I stayed up all night reading it — I laughed, I cried, I highlighted poignant quotes, I had my heart broken, and I felt a strange sense of hope within all the angst and despair. It’s such a touching, important, powerful book, and I can’t recommend it enough. My review can be found here.

2. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
I’m convinced that Rainbow writes books for me, personally. Fangirl perfectly captures what it’s like to be a fangirl and what it’s like to go away to college in true Rainbow Rowell style: it’s quirky, fun, adorable, and character-driven. My review can be found here.

3. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
This was one of my most anticipated reads of the year, and it completely surpassed my (already high) expectations. I don’t know how I’m going to survive the wait until the third book — I need more of my Raven Boys in my life!

4. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Crown of Midnight addressed all of the issues that I had with Throne of Glass, kept me guessing at every turn, and made me feel all the emotions. It’s such a good example of how to write a sequel since I enjoyed it a lot more than Throne of Glass, and I can’t wait to see where the series will go from there. My review can be found here.

5. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Between swoonworthy boys, magic, and inventive fairytales/mythology, this series is so enthralling. And the Darkling! (I know that I already said swoonworthy boys, but he really deserves his own special mention). Can Ruin and Rising please hurry up and be released?! My review can be found here.

6. The Archived by Victoria Schwab
The Archived has such a unique and spooky premise, and it definitely delivered on that front. I easily got lost in its world, which I desperately wanted to know more about, and the mystery aspect of it, which kept me guessing throughout the story. My review can be found here.

7. Angelfall by Susan Ee
Angelfall single-handedly redeemed angel books in my eyes, which is certainly no small feat! Its post-apocalyptic setting, amazing female lead, and brutal angels make it a step above the rest for good reason, and it’s definitely worthy of all of the hype surrounding it. My review can be found here.

8. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
This book both broke my heart and healed me. It’s a really moving piece on grief and loss, and I’m so, so glad that I read it. My review can be found here.

9. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy NelsonThe Sky is Everywhere is a beautiful piece on grief, love, and loss. It’s lyrical, moving and honest, and will definitely stay with me for a long time to come. My review can be found here.

10. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
I don’t even know how to describe The Ocean at the End of the Lane. It’s beautiful, haunting, nostalgic, creepy, and filled with so much wisdom. There’s a reason that Neil Gaiman is one of my favourite authors, and this book is just another reason why.

What were some of your favourite reads of 2013?3

Top Ten Books That Should Be Turned Into Movies

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, she posts an idea relating to books and encourages other book bloggers to respond with their own top ten lists.

This week’s topic is “top ten books that should be turned into movies.” I’m quite wary when books that I love are about to become movies, since theyre usually fairly disappointing. In an ideal world, though, these are some of the ones that I’d love to see.

1. A Series of Unfortunate Events
I love these books, but unfortunately the movie that combined the first three books was slightly disappointing. I’d eventually love to see all thirteen books turned into a movie (or tv series) since I would love to see the Carnivorous Carnival and all of the other spots the Baudelaire orphans travelled to.

2. Shadow and Bone
I’ll admit that part of this is because I love the Darkling. I mean, who wouldn’t want to see him on the big screen? The world of Ravka is so wonderfully imaginative, and it would be so neat to see the Fold, the volcra, the stag, the Grisha… the list goes on! It’d be an instant box-office hit, I assure you.

3. Throne of Glass
The world needs more movies with kickass female assassins, which Throne of Glass certainly possesses! It’s the perfect mix of action, romance, suspense, and supernatural occurrences, which seem to be requirements for most movies. And the gruff yet loveable Captain of the Guard is also a point in its favour.

4. Looking For Alaska
This is one of my favourite John Green novels. Each time I read it, I fall more and more in love with the characters, and I would love to see them brought to life on the big screen. I would probably spend the entire movie crying, but that’s okay!

5. The Night Circus
I feel like this book always makes my top ten lists, but that’s because it’s absolutely amazing! Imagine a maze of clouds, an ice garden, a wishing tree… Now picture adorable red headed children who train kittens to jump through hoops, and two duelling magicians. It sounds like perfection, and I would gladly line up for hours to see it on opening night.

6. Angelfall
This was the book that redeemed angels (of the book variety) for me. It’s home to a horrifying post-apocalyptic world, compelling characters, and the occasional cannibal. And brutal, destructive angels that aren’t anything like their cherubic counterparts. What’s not to like?

7. The Infernal Devices
It’s no secret that I love Will Herondale. The clockwork creatures are neat, the banter is beautiful and sarcastic, and the story is better than The Mortal Instruments (in my opinion). As long as it doesn’t turn out like City of Bones, I’m happy.

8. The Archived
The idea behind The Archived is so neat: there’s a library of the dead, but sometimes they wake up, forget that they’re dead, and wander around, occasionally killing people. It fits into both the paranormal and zombie genres, so Hollywood should get on it ASAP.

9. Anna and the French Kiss
This would be the most adorable movie. Etienne and Anna’s relationship is realistic yet cute, and is quite high on my list of favourite book relationships. Swooning over Etienne and marvelling over Paris for a few hours sounds quite nice.

10. The Golden Compass
I know that this already is a movie, but I’d love for it to be remade since I was disappointed by it. I love Lyra’s Oxford and her daemon, and would love to see how a filmmaker envisions it.

What books would you love to see as movies? Leave me a list or a link to your Top Ten Tuesday post below.
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Book Review: The Archived by Victoria Schwab

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often—violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper isn’t just dangerous—it’s a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da’s death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.

In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption.

My Rating: 5 cupcakes

The Archived is one of the most unique books that I’ve ever read. Imagine a library, but instead of books sitting on the shelves, there are dead bodies with all of their memories preserved; this is the Archive. Of course, as with any library, the Archive has a group of dedicated staff: Librarians who catalogue the dead, and Keepers who return the Histories (the dead) when they have woken up and left the Archive. It’s such a spooky and fascinating premise, and as information about the Archive was slowly revealed, I found myself wanting to learn even more. It was really easy to get lost in this world that Schwab created, and with the incredibly detailed descriptions, it wasn’t hard to imagine that such a place could exist.

All of the characters in The Archived were incredibly fleshed out and alive – even the secondary characters who only grace a few pages. Da managed to make the biggest impression on me, despite the fact that he was only seen in flashbacks, and I absolutely adored Roland, a librarian who reminded me so much of the Tenth Doctor in his mannerisms and the way that he dressed.

Mackenzie is easily one of my favourite YA protagonists. She’s strong, intelligent, resourceful, and very easy to relate to. The muted grief, anger, frustration, and guilt that she feels over the loss of both her brother and her grandfather are so palpable and realistic, and really resonated with me due to my own experiences with loss.

I quickly fell head over heels for Wesley, who is the perfect love interest. I’m so glad that the fact that he wore guyliner, painted his nails black, and had the whole black spiky hair and clothing thing going on didn’t result in the typical angsty goth characterization. He’s charming, sweet, and witty, and his sense of humour is certainly a refreshing break from the rather dark and heavy plot. I especially love how the romance is subtle ’cause, you know, Mac is a little bit busy with sending back violent Histories who could kill someone on the Outside.

Overall, The Archived is absolutely fantastic. It’s a really interesting murder mystery filled with twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat, and will leave you thinking about the story long after you’ve finished.