Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Favourite Character Voices

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This week is freebie week for Top Ten Tuesday! Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week I’m going to feature some books with strong character voices that I really connected with.

1. Adam (The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten)

I read this novel very recently and Adam’s character and his voice really made this book for me. He’s probably one of my favourite protagonists of all time and I couldn’t stop rooting for him.

2. Simon (Carry On by Rainbow Rowell)

Another one of my favourite characters, I mostly love Simon because of his voice. He’s so incredibly funny and adorable, and I sped through this 500 page book because Simon’s voice was so great. I also really loved Baz’s voice too!

3. Todd (Chaos Walking by Patrick Ness)

The thing that you notice immediately when you read the Chaos Walking trilogy is Todd’s voice and the unique writing in the book. It’s very distinctive and really shows who Todd is as a character.

4. Max (Max by Sarah Cohen-Scali)

The thing that made Max such a wonderful book for me was the main character, Max’s, voice. He’s arrogant and vocal about his opinions but that’s kind of why I love him. His character and personality really come through his voice and it was just so interesting to read from the perspective of a fetus and really young child.

5. Solomon (Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley)

Solomon is an agoraphobic who hasn’t left his house in over three years. But that doesn’t make him a boring character. He was such a funny and interesting person and that really came through in his voice. I thought the writing in this book was super strong.

6. Simon (Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli)

Simon is hilarious. He’s somebody that you automatically connect with from the very first chapter. He has a great personality and his voice is extremely relatable.

7. Audrey (Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella)

Audrey is a 14 year old girl who suffers from severe anxiety and depression but she doesn’t come across that way in the book because her voice is so unique and interesting. You can feel her anxiety and shyness but at the same time, you also can feel that she’s a sarcastic and fun-loving character.

8. Frankie (Frankie by Shivaun Plozza)

If you’re looking for a spunky character with lots of sass and attitude, Frankie is the girl for you. Her voice is feisty and sassy and makes her a character who you can’t turn away from.

9. Allyson (Just One Day by Gayle Forman)

Allyson can seem like a little bit of a bland character to some, but to me, she’s so full of life and her voice was completely relatable. I really connected with her character and I thought her voice was really, really strong.

10. Alice (The Stars at Oktober Bend by Glenda Millard)

In this novel, Alice has been through a traumatic incident and now has trouble expressing herself verbally. So she writes poetry to express herself. This book was super interesting and had a great mix of prose and poetry. Alice’s voice and personality was so unique and strong in this book, and is the main reason why I loved it so much!


What are some of your favourite character voices?

Review: Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

simon-vs-the-homo-sapiens-agenda

Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release date: April 7, 2015
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Pages: 303
Goodreads || Book Depository

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

MY THOUGHTS

5 stars

I recently reread this novel and this post combines my original review that was posted on Goodreads and some of my updated thoughts after my reread.

This book is EVERYTHING. Heartwarming and adorable, Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda is about love, friendship, being yourself, accepting others, eating oreos for every meal of the day, perfect grammar, and flirting with cute guys through email.

This is a novel about Simon Spier’s journey through his junior year of high school as he transforms from Simon the straight guy who’s had 3 girlfriends, to the Simon who thinks boys are cute and is falling in love with Blue, another junior at his school who he exchanges emails with. Neither knows the other’s identity, but through their emails, they are able to find the courage to embrace who they are even when things go wrong. This was a lighthearted book that tackles the issues of being gay, and also to some extent issues of race and colour. I think this book is masterful in the way that it was able to shine a light on the issues without being an angst-filled and heavy novel. It has lots of wonderful messages about being true to yourself and being the person you want to be, while still staying light and fun.

It was nicely paced and kept me so intrigued that I read it in one sitting both times. This book is just so easy to get into and I flew through the first few chapters in no time. I liked the format of the book a lot. Every second chapter was an email exchange between Simon and Blue that would allow us to take a peek inside Blue’s head. Their conversations were the best part of the book in my opinion because we got to see them getting to know each other. They were just so cute together!! I also really liked the mystery aspect of the book and trying to figure out who Blue was, though I did guess who he was quite early on in the book. Knowing who Blue was during my reread of the novel, added to the experience and every mention of him had me squealing and flailing around. Needless to say, I absolutely loved the romance.

“I’m not going to pretend I know how this ends, and I don’t have a freaking clue if it’s possible to fall in love over email. But I would really like to meet you, Blue. I want to try this. And I can’t imagine a scenario where I don’t want to kiss your face off as soon as I see you.”

I loved the characters that Becky Albertalli created. I thought Simon and Blue were so normal but unique at the same time. I liked that Simon was just an ordinary boy who isn’t popular but isn’t an outcast. He’s just your average kid who’s struggling with revealing his true identity to others in his life, which I think so many people can relate to. His narrative voice was so strong and relatable that you can’t help but root for him and want everything to work out. His personality really comes through in his voice and he was just very easy to connect with. Simon’s story and his character is inspiring and definitely encouraged me to reflect on what I truly want in life and speak up about it too.

I thoroughly loved Simon’s family and the fact that they watch and have discussions about reality TV shows, and that they have Facebook scavenger hunts. Their family dynamic was wonderful and I loved how involved his parents and siblings were in his life. They got along wonderfully and it was beautiful to be able to see such a supportive family. I also liked the side characters because they each had their own quirks, though it did take me a while to warm to Abby. She’s the character who everybody loves and I just had a hard time seeing why she was so special. Having said that, there wasn’t a single character that I disliked in this book because they all brought something special to the story.

Overall this was an amazing debut novel and I cannot wait to read the companion novel that Becky is working on!

Top Ten Tuesday: Quotes From Ten of My Favourite 2015 Reads

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by the team over at The Broke and The Bookish. This week I’m featuring quotes from ten of my favourite books that I’ve read this year. It was really hard to choose just one quote from each book because I love all of these books for their beautiful writing and the quotable quotes…so I did two for some of the books. XD

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Werner hears Marie-Laure inhale, Marie-Laure hears Werner scrape three fingernails across the wood, a sound not unlike the sound of a record coursing beneath the surface of a needle, their faces an arm’s reach apart.

He says, “Es-tu là?

It was so difficult to choose just one quote from All The Light We Cannot See because it’s my favourite book of all time! So I chose a second one 😀 This quote is actually from a radio program that Werner listens to, and it spoke to me because I’m a psychology major and I love the brain.

The brain is locked in total darkness, of course, children, says the voice. It floats in a clear liquid inside the skull, never in the light. And yet the world it constructs in the mind is full of light. It brims with color and movement. So how, children, does the brain, which lives without a spark of light, build for us a world full of light?


A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Wasn’t it a miracle to have survived the unsurvivable? Wasn’t friendship its own miracle, the finding of another person who made the entire lonely world seem somehow less lonely?


I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

Quick, make a wish.
Take a (second or third or fourth) chance.
Remake the world.


Winter by Marissa Meyer

It was unnerving, to think she was being psychoanalyzed by someone who frequently complained that the castle walls had started bleeding again.

This one made me swoon (and it’s directed at someone who you may not expect):

He didn’t apologize. Instead, he set his jaw and met her eye again. “I will protect Winter with my life. Second only to her, I promise to protect you too.”


Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

You know it has to be a SnowBaz quote XD ❤

He’s still looking in my eyes. Staring me down like he did that dragon, chin tilted and locked. “I’m not the Chosen One,” he says.

I meet his gaze and sneer. My arm is a steel band around his waist. “I choose you,” I say. “Simon Snow, I choose you.”


Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

“When you fight now, I will be still by you. When you walk in the world, I will be the light at your side, the ground steady under your feet, the force that drives the sword in your hand. We are bound, beyond the oath. The Marks did not change that. The oath did not change that. It merely gave words to something that existed already.”


Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

“Stay,” he said, his voice rough stone. “Stay in Ketterdam. Stay with me.”


Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

I’m not going to pretend I know how this ends, and I don’t have a freaking clue if it’s possible to fall in love over email. But I would really like to meet you, Blue. I want to try this. And I can’t imagine a scenario where I don’t want to kiss your face off as soon as I see you.

And I couldn’t not include this one:

“Why is straight the default? Everyone should have to declare one way or another, and it shouldn’t be this big awkward thing whether you’re straight, gay, bi, or whatever.”


My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Jase and Samantha are one of my favourite couples but I had to go with some George quotes. He’s just the most adorable 4 year old! He’s super knowledgeable, but also super paranoid haha.

“I like eggs and bacon,” George tells me. “But” – his face clouds – “do you know that bacon is” – tears leap to his eyes – “Wilbur?”

Mrs Garrett sits down next to him immediately. “George, we’ve been through this. Remember? Wilbur did not get made into bacon.”

“Then is bacon Babe, Mom? Is it Babe?”

And another great George moment:

“Is Jase already going to marry you?”

I start coughing again. “Uh. No. No, George. I’m only seventeen.” As if that’s the only reason we aren’t engaged.

“I’m this many,” George holds up four slightly grubby fingers. “But Jase is seventeen and a half. You could. Then you could live in here with him. And have a big family.”

Jase strides back into the room, of course, midway through this proposition. “George. Beat it. Discovery Channel is on.”

George backs out of the room, but not before saying, “His bed’s really comfortable. And he never pees in it.”


A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

I threw myself into that fire, threw myself into it, into him, and let myself burn.


Thanks for reading. See you in my next post!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Debut Authors Who Have Me Looking Forward To Their Sophomore Novel

ten-exciting-debut-authors

Another Tuesday, which means another Top Ten Tuesday! This is a weekly feature hosted by the team over at The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s topic is top debut authors who have me looking forward to their next release. I have ten 2015 debut authors to share, so let’s get started.

1. Becky Albertalli

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda is one of my all-time favourite contemporaries! It’s a light and adorable read, with a really important message. It’s an absolutely fantastic LGBTQ+ book that I think all young readers would enjoy!

2. Nicola Yoon

There was so much hype surrounding this YA debut and I loved it just as much as everybody else seemed to. It was creative and had lots of wonderful illustrations in it. Hopefully Nicola’s next book is just as wonderful as Everything Everything!

3. Adam Silvera

More Happy Than Not was a book that gave me all the feels. I cried like a baby when the book was over and immediately wanted to read something else by Adam Silvera. Sadly, he only had one book available. I’m super excited to see what his next book is about!

4. Renee Ahdieh

The Wrath and the Dawn was probably my favourite fantasy debut that I read this year (not that I read very many to begin with). I thought it was such a great beginning to the duology. It had a fantastic set of characters and the romance was OMG. I devoured this book in just one day.

5. David Arnold

I really liked David Arnold’s debut novel, Mosquitoland, but was frustrated with the writing style. It was overly purple prose-y and I wished it was slightly more comfortable to read. I enjoyed the story a lot so I’m still excited to pick up something else by him.

6. Jasmine Warga

I read My Heart and Other Black Holes at the beginning of the year and I loved it. I read a whole pile of books on depression and mental illness at around the same time and this debut novel really stood out as one of the best.

7. Erin Gough

The Flywheel is an Aussie YA debut that blew me away! It’s a wonderful LGBTQ+ novel and it’s one of my favourite diverse books. This book is set in Sydney and it was wonderful to be able to read a book and know where the places are. This is probably my favourite OzYA book so I highly recommend it, if you can get your hands on it.

8. Meg Haston

I really enjoyed Paperweight by Meg Haston. It was an emotional book about eating disorders and is set in a treatment facility. I thought it was a wonderful representation of eating disorders and it’s a really important book that needs to be read! I can’t wait to see what Meg Haston brings next.

9. Lauren James

The Next Together was a book that I read recently and really enjoyed. It was unique in its concept and was executed pretty well. It’s the first book in a duology so I can’t wait to see what the next book is about.

10. Melinda Salisbury

I read The Sin Eater’s Daughter at the beginning of the year and thought it was a pretty good first book in a new fantasy trilogy. I had some problems with it but loved the direction that it took at the end. Can’t wait to see what happens next.


My honourable mention goes to Sophie Kinsella’s Finding Audrey. I know that she’s not a debut author since she’s released a million adult books, but Finding Audrey is her first YA novel and I thought it was delightful! I hope she continues to write YA books because I’d pick them up in a heartbeat.

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Author Duos I’ve Love To See Write A Book Together

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is author collaborations I’d love to see. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the team at The Broke and The Bookish. I feel like I chose a lot of authors who have similar writing styles to pair together, instead of being creative and choosing vastly different authors. But oh well. Why change things up when they work?


1. Jandy Nelson & Gayle Forman

jandynelson gayleformanCoincidentally this was the example that Jamie from The Broke and The Bookish gave for this week’s prompt. I agreed so much with it! I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson is my favourite YA book, and the Just One Day/Year duology by Gayle Forman is also one of my firm favourites. I would love to see a collaboration between them. It would have the most beautiful writing!


2. Tahereh Mafi & Ransom Riggs

taherehmafi ransomriggsThis is kind of cheating because I still haven’t read the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi… (I did recently read the Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children trilogy by Ransom Riggs though). I just had to put this down as a collaboration though because they’re a married couple. I think they’d work so well together and it would just be an awesome time!


3. Cassandra Clare & Rick Riordan

cassieclarerickriordanCheating again because I haven’t read anything by Uncle Rick yet. Sorry! I will get onto that mission soon. One day I will be caught up. One day.

A while ago when I was at a Cassie Clare event, she mentioned that she absolutely loves Rick Riordan. So for Cassie’s sake, I’d love to see them get together and write a fantasy series!


4. Jenny Han & Becky Albertalli

jenny han View More: http://thedecisivemoment.pass.us/becky-headshotsJenny Han and Becky Albertalli both write the sweetest books! I mean there are cookies and baked goods on almost every page of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and there are Oreos in Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda.

Yup, I want this collaboration solely because of food. I have a sweet tooth okay?! Who can resist cookies?


5. Patrick Ness & Maggie Stiefvater

patrickness maggiestiefvaterI’ve only read one Patrick Ness book (as I’m writing this up I am reading my second, A Monster Calls), but I’ve been told by many that he’s a bit of a literary genius. Maggie Stiefvater is a jack of all trades and a genius herself.

What happens when two geniuses come together to write a book? Best. Book. Ever. Undoubtedly.


6. Sarah J. Maas & Sara Raasch

sjmaas sararaaschThe Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas and Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch are two of my favourites. They’ve both got AMAZING worlds and some fierce female protagonists. I’d love to see them come together and create another epic world and charming characters. Plus they’re both young and they could be besties (coz I’m totally in a position to decide this).


7. David Levithan & Patrick Ness

davidlevithan patricknessSo remember what I said about Patrick Ness being a literary genius? To me, David Levithan is a literary genius. I’ve loved every single one of his books that I’ve read. They’re both incredible writers and I think they could come together and write a fantastic diverse book. It would have great writing and can you imagine the feels you would get? (coz feels are totally additive like that)


8. Maggie Stiefvater & Holly Black

maggiestiefvater hollyblackMaggie Stiefvater is a really quirky writer and her books have a really great paranormal/creepy vibe (speaking from my experience with the Shiver trilogy and what I know about The Raven Cycle). When I read The Coldest Girl in Coldtown and The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black, I kind of felt the same vibe. They both write paranormal books set in creepy small towns.


9. Ransom Riggs & Marissa Meyer

ransomriggs marissameyerI think this would be a really cool collaboration! I LOVE Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles and I also love Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children. I would love to see a sci-fi series (maybe another fairytale retelling?) featuring peculiar children with special abilities. Or maybe the peculiar children from Miss Peregrine’s can time travel to the future?! I want this!


10. Sarah J. Maas & Susan Dennard

sjmaas susandennardI think this collaboration is already happening actually. If you weren’t aware Sarah J. Maas and Susan Dennard are besties. It would be awesome to write with your best friend. I think they’d bring out the best in each other and they probably know each other so well that their book would be super seamless and cohesive. Plus the writing process would be so much fun!


Do you agree with any of these collaborations? Which authors would you like to see write a book together? And which released collaborations do you love and recommend?

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books To Read If You Like…

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the team over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is a ‘if you like this, read this’ list. Instead of choosing one book/author and giving ten recommendations based on that one book/author, I decided to do ten separate ones instead.


1. IF YOU LIKE SIMON VS THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA…

simon-vs-the-homo-sapiens-agendaYou might like The Flywheel by Erin Gough.

The Flywheel is an Australian YA novel that has very similar themes to Simon vs by Becky Albertalli. These both contain LGBTQ+ characters and love interests who are hesitant about coming out to their family and friends. The Flywheel is about a lesbian relationship and is set in Sydney, Australia! They’re both light and fun reads!


2. IF YOU LIKE TWILIGHT…

twilightYou might like The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is, in my opinion, a far superior book to Twilight. Don’t get me wrong, my teenage self loved Twilight, but I just think that The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a much better vampire story. It’s also a standalone so you don’t need to push through 4 long books. And there’s also no love triangle!


3. IF YOU LIKE THE FAULT IN OUR STARS…

the-fault-in-our-starsYou might like Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider.

The Fault In Our Stars is about two teenagers battling cancer and Extraordinary Means centres on two teenagers who are battling a new strand of tuberculosis. Both novels have really cute romances and are filled with fun and adventure. Also, both of these books made me cry like a baby… for hours and hours.


4. IF YOU LIKE HARRY POTTER…

harry-potter-and-the-philosophers-stoneYou might like The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare.

Harry Potter is a really well-loved series and I don’t think anything can compare to it. But The Iron Trial is a middle-grade series that features a magic school, magic system, and a trio of friends who remind me of Harry, Ron and Hermione. It’s fun and it’s fast-paced and if you try not to compare it to Harry Potter, it’s actually really good!


5. IF YOU LIKE FANGIRL…

fangirlYou might like My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick.

I think I like My Life Next Door more than I like Fangirl (sorry!). Both books have adorable romances and explore family dynamics. These books both kept me up all night reading, and they left me feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. The male love interests in these books are some of my favourite contemporary guys ❤


6. IF YOU LIKE ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS…

anna-and-the-french-kissYou might like The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith.

These are both really light and fluffy contemporary romances. They’re both set in European countries and feature an American female protagonist and a cute male love interest with a British accent. I love both Etienne and Oliver so, so much!


7. IF YOU LIKE TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE…

to-all-the-boys-ive-loved-beforeYou might like The Distance Between Us by Kasie West.

Again, these are both cute and fluffy contemporary romances. Both of these novels are page-turners and feature some really cute guys ❤ If you were frustrated by the love triangle in To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, you’ll be pleased to hear that The Distance Between Us does not have multiple love interests!


8. IF YOU LIKE CINDER…

cinderYou might like Wonderland by Robert McKay.

The Lunar Chronicles is one of my favourite series and what I love most about it is that each book is a sci-fi fairytale retelling. Wonderland is a sci-fi Alice in Wonderland retelling and I was surprised by how interesting the characters were, and how exciting and different the plot was to the original Lewis Carroll story.


9. IF YOU LIKE THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER…

the-perks-of-being-a-wallflowerYou might like The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky is written in epistolary form, and I almost felt like Charlie was directly telling me his story. I had the same feeling when I read The Shock of the Fall. Both books are so honest and moving. They also both tackle some mental health issues if you’re into that sort of thing.


10. IF YOU LIKE ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE…

all-the-light-we-cannot-seeYou might like The Narrow Road To The Deep North by Richard Flanagan.

I had to include All The Light We Cannot See in this post! Both of these books are prize winners. The Narrow Road To The Deep North won the 2014 Man Booker Prize 2014. Both are WWII historical fiction novels, one set in France and Germany and the other in Japanese Prisoner of War camps.


Do you guys have any recommendations based on the 10 books that I’ve featured today? I’m always looking for new books to read (even though my TBR pile is massive) so let me know your thoughts and opinions!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far This Year

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week is a freebie week so I’ve chosen to feature ten of my favourite titles that I’ve read so far in 2015. I believe this was a topic back in June but I missed out because I hadn’t started doing Top Ten Tuesday posts. I’ve read 144 books so far this year, so the 10 that I’ve chosen to feature are the creme de la creme of them all (in my opinion).

My Top Ten Tuesday lists are usually in no particular order, but today I’ve tried to put them into some sort of order for you, starting with the book in the 10th place position.


10. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry – Gabrielle Zevin:

This is a book that I think all book lovers would enjoy. I definitely enjoyed it immensely when I read it in March. It centres on the life of A.J. Fikry, a grumpy bookstore owner who has had some terrible luck in the last 18 months. He feels like there’s nothing good in life, but one day he finds a package left in the children’s section of his bookstore – a baby. He then cares for this baby as if she’s his own and he is transformed in the process. This book contains so many kinds of love: familial love, romantic love and of course, love for books. It had so many heartwarming moments and also a lot of heartbreaking ones too.

9. Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli:

I read this novel in April and it is one of my favourite diverse books that I’ve read this year. (For more diverse recommendations, check out my previous Top Ten Tuesday post on diverse characters. I also recommend David Levithan’s books.) This was a cute and light-hearted LGBTQIA+ book that also contained some serious messages. I think this book is masterful in the way that it was able to shine a light on the issues without being an angst-filled and heavy novel.

This novel follows Simon who is emailing another boy called Blue. They are both gay but have not come out yet. Somebody then stumbles across Simon’s emails to Blue and starts blackmailing Simon. Through the process, Simon and Blue are able to find the courage to embrace who they are and even fall in love.

8. SNOW LIKE ASHES – Sara Raasch:

Snow Like Ashes is the first book in a fantasy trilogy. I read this in August and I fell in love with the world and the characters. It is set in a fascinating world that is split into 8 unique kingdoms. The book was intense and action-packed and I need the next book, Ice Like Fire, RIGHT NOW.

7. MY LIFE NEXT DOOR – Huntley Fitzpatrick:

I only discovered Huntley Fitzpatrick this year when I read her books in July. My Life Next Door is the kind of contemporary novel I enjoy. The pace of it is just right and it contains some very sophisticated writing.

This book is inspired by Romeo and Juliet, and it follows Samantha and Jase who are next door neighbours. Sam’s mother is very put together and controlling, and she hates the Garretts who have moved next door. The Garretts are loud and there are 7 kids in the family. I loved the family elements that were explored in this book, and I really loved all of the characters in this book.

6. Just One Day – Gayle Forman:

This was the first Gayle Forman book I had ever read and it’s my favourite out of everything she’s written. I read this back in March and then marathoned Just One Year and Just One Night straight after. This book follows Allyson, who is a recent high school graduate. Her parents send her on a teenage tour around Europe. On her last day abroad, she meets a mysterious guy named Willem in London, and they decide to take an overnight trip to Paris. But when Allyson wakes up the next morning, Willem has disappeared. This is a book about self-discovery and Allyson is always the character that comes to mind first when I think about character development.

5. QUEEN OF SHADOWS – Sarah J. Maas:

This is the fourth instalment in the Throne of Glass series. This was released at the beginning of this month so it’s a very recent read for me. This is my favourite book in the series so far. It’s filled with so much drama, action and revenge! Plus the romance in the book… my ship is sailing!

4. Clockwork Princess – Cassandra Clare:

Clockwork Princess is the last book in The Infernal Devices trilogy. I read this in May. It was definitely the best series finale I’ve ever read. It made me love, it made me ugly-cry and it made me so happy too. This is my favourite book of Cassandra Clare’s.

3. I’ll Give You The Sun – Jandy Nelson:

I read this book at the end of February and it is by far my favourite YA book I’ve read this year. It won the Printz Award 2015 and I think it was well deserved. I’ll Give You The Sun is heartwarming, funny, romantic and quirky. It follows Jude and Noah, twins, who used to be very close up until they turned 13. They’ve each kept secrets from the other and told lies but now, at 16, they need to come back to each other and ‘remake the world’. The novel is written from dual perspectives and dual timelines. We see Noah’s side of the story from when they’re 13 and Jude narrates their 16 year old lives.

Go read this book. You won’t regret it!

2. A LITTLE LIFE – Hanya Yanagihara:

A Little Life is a recent read for me, but it has become my second favourite book I’ve ever read. It’s been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize this year and I think it’s absolutely brilliant. The novel follows four men, who were college roommates, from their college years up until their 50s or 60s. It’s a real and haunting story about the ordinary and extraordinary moments in life. The story has really stuck with me and I still think about it even now.

If this sounds interesting to you, I encourage you to check out my review, as well as other reviews, because this book contains some very mature themes as well as some triggers.

1. ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE – Anthony Doerr:

This should come as no surprise to anybody who has been following my blog for a while. This is my favourite book of all time. Ever since I read it back in February, I’ve been recommending it to everybody I see (including strangers at bookstores) and I’ve bought it for 3 of my friends for their birthdays this year. It is also the 2015 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

This is a World War II historical fiction novel about a blind French girl and an orphaned German Nazi youth, and how their stories eventually intertwine. This book has some of the most beautiful writing I have ever read and a story that has stuck with me for the last 6 months.


Honourable Mentions:


What are your favourite books you’ve read this year?

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books On My YA Contemporary 101 Syllabus

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the team at The Broke and the Bookish. I’m really excited about this week’s theme, which is Ten Books On My xxx 101 syllabus. So I’ve chosen YA contemporary books, because it’s my favourite genre and I feel like I’d be able to recommend some really great books from the genre.

I’ve tried to include a variety of themes and contemporary styles, so without further ado… I present to you my YA contemporary syllabus!

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I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson:
This is one of my favourite books ever! It’s about twins Jude and Noah, who used to be very close but something has torn them apart in recent years. This book is very interesting in the way that it’s written. It’s written from two perspectives, but also from two different timelines. The story is beautiful, the writing is beautiful, and the characters are beautiful too. I’ll Give You The Sun has everything, from family to romance, and also has LGBTQ characters too.

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick:
On the surface, this seems like a fluffy contemporary romance. But it’s actually a very complex and layered story, with very likeable and relatable characters. It’s a modern spin on Romeo and Juliet. Our main characters are neighbours but the families are completely different in their appearances and values. If you’re looking for a book with a fantastic romance, as well as an exploration of some deeper issues, this is the one for you. The writing flows so nicely and the pace of the book is just perfect. I have written a review of this book.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell:
This is another contemporary romance that explores family. Cath has always done everything with her twin, Wren. But as they start their freshman year of college, Wren decides that she wants to go off on her own. Fangirl is such a fun book, with some serious themes. There is also a great romance that develops in the book. Best of all, I feel like everyone can relate to Cath, who is a fangirl. This book definitely gave me the warm and fuzzy feels.

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky:
This is a great coming of age book that is written in epistolary form. It follows Charlie through his freshman year of high school, as he makes new friends and discoveries about himself. The fact that the book is written as a series of letters to an anonymous recipient allows us to see Charlie’s most intimate thoughts and feelings. The book explores grief, loss and belonging, and it’s definitely one that hit me really hard. It also has a gay side character.

Just One Day by Gayle Forman:
This is an incredible book about finding love, losing love, and finding yourself and your own voice in the process. Allyson has always been the perfect girl who has done everything her parents have wanted. She meets a mysterious boy named Willem on her trip around Europe. They end up going on a one day trip to Paris but he randomly disappears the next day. Allyson then has to figure out what went wrong, and in the process, ends up discovering more about herself and the type of person she wants to be. This book was so moving and touched me in so many different ways. I was constantly rooting for the characters and those are the best books to me.

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson:
This is fun, summery book about friendship and finding yourself. Emily has always kind of been in the shadows of her best friend, Sloane, who is spontaneous and interesting. But one day Sloane goes missing and leaves Emily with a list of things she should do for the summer. Emily starts doing the things on the list in the hopes of it being able to lead her back to Sloane. In the process, she forms new friendships and relationships, and learns about who she is independent of Sloane. This is a fast-paced book that also touches your heart.

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Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli:
This is an incredibly adorable book with a serious message. Simon has been emailing a mysterious boy called Blue, who goes to his school. Neither of them have come out as gay yet, but as they continue talking to each other, they gain the courage to come out to their family and friends. Throw in some subplots and some interesting characters we’ve got ourselves a fun and adorable story. If you’re looking for something that is light-hearted but still contains important messages, I think Simon is for you.

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan:
This is a much darker and serious LGBTQ book than Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda. Told from the perspective of a generation of gay men lost to AIDS, we follow 4 different pairs of gay boys, as they go through their ordinary lives. It explores homophobia and what it means to be gay. This book affected me so much and I think it’s definitely a must-read for all teens and young adults out there. And I have a review for this.

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The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith:
Hadley is travelling to London to attend her dad’s wedding to a woman she has never met. She meets a British boy, Oliver, at the airport and they spend the whole flight getting to know each other. They lose each other when they arrive in London, but you never know what can happen when you’re in love. This isn’t just a fluffy romance. It also has a family element to it. It was heartbreaking and heartwarming. Jennifer E. Smith is a master at conveying emotions – I felt everything that Hadley was feeling in the book. This book is very easy to read and definitely a page turner.

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins:
I love all of Stephanie Perkins’ books but Isla and the Happily Ever After is my favourite of the three. I love Isla and Josh. Josh is romantic and sweet, and who doesn’t love an artist who is able to draw you pretty, pretty things? This book is set not only in Paris, but also New York and Barcelona, and it takes you on a romantic adventure.


I wish I could’ve included more on this list because I have so many contemporary favourites! What are your top YA contemporaries?