Top Ten Tuesday (102): Books I’d Recommend To My Sister

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Books I’d Recommend To My Sister

So friends, my sister is one of my BFFs for real. We have lots in common, but not everything. Case in point? READING. She, like, doesn’t. Well, that’s not fair. She LOVES Harry Potter and the Stephanie Plum series, as well as the Pink Carnation books. But she doesn’t like fantasies AT ALL, or paranormal anything, and YA books aren’t really her jam. Recommending books for her is not easy, but I think she might actually read a few of these, haha! Maybe.

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Reading Recommendations: A Challenge, Week 1


Week 1: The Scorpio Races Audiobook & Under the Never Sky

Time for my first progress report, friends! I have to say, I’m really enjoying myself right now, and I’m LOVING these books!! I’m so glad that both my friends and this challenge lit a fire under my ass to get me to read them (or in the case of THE SCORPIO RACES audiobook, listen to them). Since I have no idea, really, what I’m doing, I decided that I would do weekly updates of the books I’m reading and maybe when I’m finished I’ll review them as well. Haven’t decided yet. I like this flying by the seat of my pants, friends! To the recommendations!


I’m listening to the audiobook of this one–it’s the fourth time I’ve read this book, but my first trip down audiobook road and thanks to Asheley and Hannah, I am basically DYING. Steve West and Fiona Hardingham are brilliant as Sean and Puck, but it’s interesting: you’d think that experiencing the book this way would make Sean and Puck stand out to me even more, hearing their voices. But instead I find myself more affected by things that usually fly slightly under the radar of my adoration of Sean and Puck, namely the relationship between the Connolly siblings. I was always very strongly aware of the way Gabe made Puck feel, her frustration and sadness and stubbornness, but I’m feeling it HARDCORE while listening to the audio. GUYS. THIS IS THE BEST BOOK FOR REAL.


WORD! Hannah is all up in this first check-in with the solid recs! Although, to be honest, SO many people I know have read and loved this book. But Hannah was the one who was like, “WHAT I CAN’T BE FRIENDS WITH YOU UNTIL YOU READ THIS.” I am completely engrossed in UNDER THE NEVER SKY right now. I feel like there are still lots of things about the world-building that I want to learn, but I barely notice them half the time because I’m so caught up in Perry and Aria. I love how I get all buzzy whenever they have a scene together and THEY HAVEN’T EVEN KISSED. Chemistry, friends. These two haz heaps of it. Almost finished with this one!

So that was my first week of my recommendation challenge!! HUZZAH! I’m so looking forward to diving back into these two books and reading all of the others, too! Thanks and big hugs, friends!

Reading Recommendations: A Challenge

book recommendationsIn Which I Challenge Myself to Leave My Reading Choices at the Mercy of Others

I’ve been thinking quite a lot lately, friends, about the books that people tell me I need to read. Those particularly egregious books I’ve missed that people think I would love, or the books that everyone else has read that I haven’t managed to work into my schedule yet. You know, the books that make people go, “AMY. WT ACTUAL F. WHY HAVEN’T YOU READ THIS YET, YOU SLACKER/DUMMY/PERSON WITH QUESTIONABLE PRIORITIES.” Since this seems to be happening more frequently lately, and since I just had TREMENDOUS success with a beyond solid recommendation to read Juliet Marillier’s DAUGHTER OF THE FOREST  (thanks, Alyssa and April!), I’m going to make reading books that are recommended to me officially A THING. That’s right folks: I’ve created a reading challenge for myself.

So what are the guidelines of this project that I’ve just created kind of on the spot? Basically, I’m going to give myself until the end of May to read the following books. I’m not going to make myself nuts by planning on reading 10 books because that’s not really possible in addition to the other books I need to read. Besides, I don’t think there are 10 books that fit my admittedly fluid idea of “books that are recommended to me.” I’m trying to pick books that people who know my tastes at least a little bit have said, “Amy, I think YOU would love this book.” That kind of thing. There might be a few more general recommendations of books that lots of people have loved, too, but I’m really interested in reading books suggested to me by people who’s opinions I trust. And so, THE LIST:

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Recommend A…(20)

Recommend A... meme

…Book That Kept You Up All Night

Recommend A… is a SUPER meme hosted by Shanyn from Chick Loves Lit that lets us get a little random, and a little off the radar. I LOVE IT.

This one is actually harder than I thought it would be. I don’t often read books that scare the crap out of me, so picking a book that kept me from sleeping because it made my mind go a million miles a minute, so I’m sticking with a book that was so good that I couldn’t put it down to go to bed. Which brings me to…

Book cover for Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn AndersonTiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Friends, when I read TIGER LILY just a few months ago, I kind of went into it a little slowly, but by the time I got to the second half, I really couldn’t stop reading. I couldn’t turn away from the heartbreaking story of Tiger Lily and Peter Pan, even though you know from the beginning where things are heading. The way Jodi Lynn Anderson wraps up her story is really beautiful. Sad and emotional, but very poetic. I was up WAY late reading the last chapter or so, and then rereading it over and over. And then I kind of was exhausted from crying and being emotionally wrung out a little bit. But yeah. I wasn’t putting this one down unfinished, friends!


Recommend A…(19)

Recommend A... meme

…Author Similar to an Author You Love

Recommend A… is a SUPER meme hosted by Shanyn from Chick Loves Lit that lets us get a little random, and a little off the radar. I LOVE IT.

I think the hardest part of choosing this week’s recommendation is picking just one author to start with! After much thought and back and forth, I’m going with Morgan Matson. I know, I know. She’s only written two books, but they were both outstanding. Emotional, well-written, sometimes fun, sometimes sad, always heartfelt. I think that if you love Morgan’s books, you’d also totally love…

Jenny Han

Specifically, her Summer series. The story of Belly and the Fischer boys is emo, broody, sweet, sad, and AWESOME. Plus it’s got the bonus of a beach town, a triangle that isn’t irritating at all, and a real sense of…reality, I guess. There are lots of things in the Summer series that ring true–not everything, but lots of things. The tone of Jenny Han’s books would be perfect for fan of Morgan Matson!

Summer series by Jenny Han


Recommend A…(18)

Recommend A... meme

…Book That Reminds You of Summer

Recommend A… is a SUPER meme hosted by Shanyn from Chick Loves Lit that lets us get a little random, and a little off the radar. I LOVE IT.

Ahh, summer. I love it so much when it’s just gathering steam, but I’m never sad to see it go because fall is my FAVORITE season of ever. And since we’re talking about seasons this week, I might as well just tell you up front that I’m a seasonal reader. Like, I won’t read books about summers on the beach at Christmas time, just like I won’t read books that take place in cold, snowy climes in the summer. I also often find myself craving less substantive books in the summer. Fall is basically fantasy time. Anyway, this post is really getting away from me. FOCUS, AMY. BOOK THAT REMINDS ME OF SUMMER. I’m going to hit you with some MG this week, friends.

Book cover for The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

The Penderwicks: Penderwicks #1 by Jeanne Birdsall

This is one of my favorite middle grade series ever, and it just so happens to take place in the summer. I first read it in the summertime, so every time I look at it or reread it, it reminds me of summer. But more than taking place in the summertime, THE PENDERWICKS is a really sweet, funny, heartwarming story about a family of sisters living with their widowed father. The sisters are so different but close, and their father is lovable if a little absent-minded. SUCH a great series, guys.

Recommend A…(17)

Recommend A... meme

…Book You Read on Vacation

Recommend A… is a SUPER meme hosted by Shanyn from Chick Loves Lit that lets us get a little random, and a little off the radar. I LOVE IT.

This is actually hard because I haven’t been on a vacation in, oh, several years. I KNOW. But it’s true. Unless you count weekend trips to Virginia to visit family, which is hard to do because, well, a weekend with family doesn’t usually leave lots of time for reading. So, I’m going to keep it short and sweet this week and recommend not only one my favorite books that I’ve read this year–or possibly ever–and one of the books I read on one of my most recent “vacations.”

Book cover for Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Friends, this book–a Peter Pan prequel/retelling from the point of view of Tiger Lily–is flat-out amazing. Seriously. I’ve always loved the Peter Pan story, but the one that we are familiar with is so different from the one Jodi Lynn Anderson tells in TIGER LILY. I called it a prequel earlier because it really does take place before the timeline of the story most people know. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t heartbreaking and beautiful and basically outstanding. Read this one. At home, on vacation, in the car, wherever.


Recommend A…(16)

Recommend A... meme

…Blog With Similar Reading Tastes as Mine

Recommend A… is a SUPER meme hosted by Shanyn from Chick Loves Lit that lets us get a little random, and a little off the radar. I LOVE IT.

One of the things that I’ve loved about blogging almost from the instant I started my blog is the feeling of not being alone in the things I like. I can think of only a VERY small, not-quite-handful of people in my real life who read the same books I do, and like the same things I like. The people I have the most in common with sometimes are YOU all, and these three bloggers are some of people I often find myself fangirling with over lots of things. But trust me: there’s so many more, and that’s the best feeling EVER.

Good Books and Good Wine

Guys, April and I seem to always be shouting out some of the same books at the same time. Honestly, it’s a little bit cray. But if she recommends it, and I haven’t read it already, I pretty much know that I’m going to love it. Especially if it’s a fantasy or a middle grade book. I’ve bought/borrowed quite a few books on April’s recommendation and, wouldn’t you know it. I loved them.

Books Take You Places

Alyssa and I just recently had some major Twitter fangirling over TIGER LILY, which I still have not been able to collect my thoughts on enough to write my review. She wasn’t a huge fan of one of my favorite series ever, Outlander, but that’s ok. Every time I check out her blog, which is awesome, I find myself nodding my head or actually talking out loud to her through my computer screen, telling her how much I am TOTALLY on the same page.

Lisa Is Busy Nerding

HEY GIRL! Lisa is my go-to blogger for all of my nerdiness. Legend of Korra, fantasy novels, and just general geekery. But the big one is DEFINITELY Game of Thrones. Now that she’s all caught up, we can nerd about it LOTS. And trust me: If you can’t find something to nerd over when it comes to GoT, you must not have liked it very much, because there’s SO MUCH TO DISCUSS.

Recommend A…(15)

Recommend A... meme

…Book With a Character Who Plays a Sport

Recommend A… is a SUPER meme hosted by Shanyn from Chick Loves Lit that lets us get a little random, and a little off the radar. I LOVE IT.

Friends, I LOVE a good book with sporty things going on. I especially love it when the sport is something random that I don’t encounter often in the books I read. This pretty much eliminates running of any kind, competitive or otherwise. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t lots of great books that highlight some off-the-beaten-path athletes. To the list!

Book cover for the survival kit by Donna FreitasThe Survival Kit by Donna Freitas. THE SURVIVAL KIT is a really thoughtful book about a young girl who is coping with the recent death from cancer of her mother. You all should read about Rose and her grieving. It’s sad but not dark. Of course, part of Rose’s story is about the guy who takes care of her family’s lawn. His name is Will, and he plays hockey, and he is delicious and sweet and a little edgy. Also, HOCKEY. I love hockey. And hockey players.

Book cover for Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey LeavittSean Griswold’s Head by Lindsay Leavitt. AHH, this book! SEAN GRISWOLD’S HEAD will surprise you when you read it. Because it sounds like it’s going to be about a cute little romance, but it’s really about so much more. Payton, the main character, is dealing with a pretty upsetting thing in her family life, and Sean Griswold turns out to be just the thing she needs to help her deal. Plus, see that bike there on the bottom corner of the cover? That’s the sport, friends. BIKING. I mean…how many times have you read about BICYCLING in a YA book? Sean and Payton bike together, although it’s Sean who introduces her to it.

Book cover for Forget You by Jennifer EcholsForget You by Jennifer Echols. Ah, Jennifer. It’s been some time since I last mentioned on of your books around these parts, and to be honest, I’m feeling like I need to reread some of your greatest hits. It’s been awhile since I read FORGET YOU–a story about a girl named Zoey who’s dealing with some family drama–and Doug, the guy who saves her from a nasty car accident at the beginning of the book. As with all Echols books, there’s TONS of off-the-charts drama and some pretty hot sexytimes. But we’re talking about sports here. Doug and Zoey are both on the swim team.

Recommend A…(14)

Recommend A... meme

…Book by a Debut Author 

Recommend A… is a SUPER meme hosted by Shanyn from Chick Loves Lit that lets us get a little random, and a little off the radar. I LOVE IT.

Debut love! I love reading debuts. There’s something so enjoyable about reading a book from a completely new voice. It makes me giddy and so stoked! Here are a few of my favorite debuts! (I’m keeping this list to the last two years or so. Just to keep things from getting out of hand.)

Book cover for Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris

Unraveling: Unraveling #1 by Elizabeth Norris. This book was pretty stellar. It surprised me by going in a totally different direction than I thought it would. It was a nonstop pace, exciting and fresh. Also it made me cry. Books that make me cry automatically make me love them a little bit extra.

book cover for Born wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Born Wicked: The Cahill Witch Chronicles #1 by Jessica Spotswood. Ah, witches! I love witches. What I loved about BORN WICKED was the way it was different from every other witch book I’ve ever read. The time period–turn of the 20th century Maine–was new; the alternate history following the Salem Witch Trials was new; the mythology of the witches and the warlocks and the Sisterhood/Brotherhood was new. And the ending was wrenching.

Book cover for The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder

The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder. WAH FEELINGS! I know that some people found the main character, Cam, hard to like, but I appreciated her prickliness. It had a reason that I found heartbreaking and real. Cam coping with her cancer and her own mortality was devastating and gorgeous, and I can’t wait to see what Wendy Wunder has in store next.