Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR

toptentuesday

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. You can find the prompts here.

 

This year has gone by so fast, I can’t believe it will be December on Friday. Where did the time go??

When I started the year, I set my Goodreads goal at 100 books and I’m please to say I’m about 50% past that mark at this point. I didn’t think that was going to happen, what with one thing and another, but there you go. Since I have hit my goal, I was thinking that my Winter TBR could be kind of relaxing, not worried so much about have to.

These ten books are one I’m especially looking forward to reading that I’ve either got ready to go on my Kindle or that I’m hoping to get for Christmas and read before the New Year clocks in.

SPOILERS: The summaries and I might talk about events of the first book for some of these entries. BE AWARE!

 

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The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden (The Winternight Trilogy #2)

The magical adventure begun in The Bear and the Nightingalecontinues as brave Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home—but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege.

Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.

I thoroughly enjoyed Vasya’s first adventure in The Bear and the Nightingale. The imagery, the story, it was superb! I’ve got an arc of this to read, so yes there is a little bit of “supposed to” reading here, but I am also anxious to get back to the world I left off earlier this year.

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Meet Cute by Jennifer L. Armentrout, Sona Charaipotra, Dhonielle Clayton, Katie Cotugno, Jocelyn Davies, Nina LaCour , Emery Lord, Katharine McGee , Kass Morgan, Meredith Russo, Sara Shepard, Nicola Yoon, Ibi Zoboi, Julie Murphy

Whether or not you believe in fate, or luck, or love at first sight, every romance has to start somewhere. MEET CUTE is an anthology of original short stories featuring tales of “how they first met” from some of today’s most popular YA authors.

Readers will experience Nina LaCour’s beautifully written piece about two Bay Area girls meeting via a cranky customer service Tweet, Sara Shepard’s glossy tale about a magazine intern and a young rock star, Nicola Yoon’s imaginative take on break-ups and make-ups, Katie Cotugno’s story of two teens hiding out from the police at a house party, and Huntley Fitzpatrick’s charming love story that begins over iced teas at a diner. There’s futuristic flirting from Kass Morgan and Katharine McGee, a riveting transgender heroine from Meredith Russo, a subway missed connection moment from Jocelyn Davies, and a girl determined to get out of her small town from Ibi Zoboi. Jennifer Armentrout writes a sweet story about finding love from a missing library book, Emery Lord has a heartwarming and funny tale of two girls stuck in an airport, Dhonielle Clayton takes a thoughtful, speculate approach to pre-destined love, and Julie Murphy dreams up a fun twist on reality dating show contestants.

This incredibly talented group of authors brings us a collection of stories that are at turns romantic and witty, epic and everyday, heartbreaking and real.

Aside from the fact that this short story collection features some of my favorite young adult authors, the brief descriptions of the various stories makes this collection sound like a lot of fun. Maybe it’ll be too sweet, but I have high hopes because I know the chosen authors have a lot to say and they’ve said it well in the past, so why not here?

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The Continent by Keira Drake

For her sixteenth birthday, Vaela Sun receives the most coveted gift in all the Spire—a trip to the Continent. It seems an unlikely destination for a holiday: a cold, desolate land where two nations remain perpetually locked in combat. Most citizens lucky enough to tour the Continent do so to observe the spectacle and violence of battle, a thing long vanished in the peaceful realm of the Spire. For Vaela, the war holds little interest. As a smart and talented apprentice cartographer and a descendent of the Continent herself, she sees the journey as a dream come true: a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to improve upon the maps she’s drawn of this vast, frozen land.

But Vaela’s dream all too quickly turns to nightmare as the journey brings her face-to-face with the brutal reality of a war she’s only read about. Observing from the safety of a heli-plane, Vaela is forever changed by the sight of the bloody battle being waged far beneath her. And when a tragic accident leaves her stranded on the Continent, Vaela finds herself much closer to danger than she’d ever imagined—and with an entirely new perspective as to what war truly means. Starving, alone, and lost in the middle of a war zone, Vaela must try to find a way home—but first, she must survive.

I read an earlier version of this book in the beginning of the year and had some things to say. Having become friends with the author and knowing all the work that she’s put into making this book better than it was, I want to read it again. I have an updated arc and have technically started it already. It’s already evident that things are better than the first time around and I look forward to seeing the rest of the story unfold.

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The Book of Pearl by Timothée de Fombelle, Sarah Ardizzone (Translator), Sam Gordon (Translator)

In prose as magical and intricate as the tale it tells, Timothée de Fombelle delivers an unforgettable story of a first love that defines a lifetime.

Joshua Pearl comes from a world that we no longer believe in — a world of fairy tale. He knows that his great love waits for him there, but he is stuck in an unfamiliar time and place — an old-world marshmallow shop in Paris on the eve of World War II. As his memories begin to fade, Joshua seeks out strange objects: tiny fragments of tales that have already been told, trinkets that might possibly help him prove his own story before his love is lost forever. Sarah Ardizzone and Sam Gordon translate the original French into a work both luminous and layered, enabling Timothée de Fombelle’s modern fairy tale to thrum with magic. Brimming with romance and history, mystery and adventure, this ode to the power of memory, storytelling, and love will ensnare any reader’s imagination and every reader’s heart.

I love the thought of fairy tales being real and Joshua’s story, taking place in the mid-twentieth century, sounds both beautiful and tragic. Will he find his way back to his story before it’s too late? What is it like, working in a marshmallow shop? What magic is left in this time and place, so close to World War II?

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An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

Maf and Brittney have been talking about this book so much lately on Twitter and I did buy it ages ago, so I think it’s about time I read about Laia and Elias (pay no attention to Helene I guess? *lol*).

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The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

Having already read Simon vs. the Homosapiens Agenda and really, really wanting to see the film, there’s the option of reading it again OR…reading more of Albertalli’s books. There’s only one right now, but somehow I haven’t gotten around to it. This winter, though, in anticipation of the adaptation of her first book, I’ll be tackling her sophomore novel.

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The Wicker King by K. Ancrum

The Wicker King is a psychological young adult thriller that follows two friends struggling as one spirals into madness.

When August learns that his best friend, Jack, shows signs of degenerative hallucinatory disorder, he is determined to help Jack cope. Jack’s vivid and long-term visions take the form of an elaborate fantasy world layered over our own—a world ruled by the Wicker King. As Jack leads them on a quest to fulfill a dark prophecy in this alternate world, even August begins to question what is real or not.

August and Jack struggle to keep afloat as they teeter between fantasy and their own emotions. In the end, each must choose his own truth.

I don’t know a whole lot about this other than what can be learned from the synopsis, but it along with the cover make the book sound pretty darn fantastic. It’s going to be a strange read, I think, because I’m not 100% sure if the things that Jack is leading August toward are real or symptoms of his illness. Is it possible to weave the two together? I don’t know, but I hope to see what kind of story K. Ancrum has to tell.

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Chainbreaker by Tara Sim

Clock mechanic Danny Hart knows he’s being watched. But by whom, or what, remains a mystery. To make matters worse, clock towers have begun falling in India, though time hasn’t Stopped yet. He’d hoped after reuniting with his father and exploring his relationship with Colton, he’d have some time to settle into his new life. Instead, he’s asked to investigate the attacks.

After inspecting some of the fallen Indian towers, he realizes the British occupation may be sparking more than just attacks. And as Danny and Colton unravel more secrets about their past, they find themselves on a dark and dangerous path–one from which they may never return.

I read Timekeeper earlier this year and loved the audiobook. The relationship between Danny and Colton was one of my favorites of 2017 and now there’s a sequel. What is going to happen?? Will they get to be happy or will Danny’s journey to India break them apart? It feels like such a long wait to find out! ;_;

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Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

A cannon. A strap.
A piece. A biscuit.
A burner. A heater.
A chopper. A gat.
A hammer
A tool
for RULE

Or, you can call it a gun. That’s what fifteen-year-old Will has shoved in the back waistband of his jeans. See, his brother Shawn was just murdered. And Will knows the rules. No crying. No snitching. Revenge. That’s where Will’s now heading, with that gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, the gun that was his brother’s gun. He gets on the elevator, seventh floor, stoked. He knows who he’s after. Or does he? As the elevator stops on the sixth floor, on comes Buck. Buck, Will finds out, is who gave Shawn the gun before Will took the gun. Buck tells Will to check that the gun is even loaded. And that’s when Will sees that one bullet is missing. And the only one who could have fired Shawn’s gun was Shawn. Huh. Will didn’t know that Shawn had ever actually USED his gun. Bigger huh. BUCK IS DEAD. But Buck’s in the elevator? Just as Will’s trying to think this through, the door to the next floor opens. A teenage girl gets on, waves away the smoke from Dead Buck’s cigarette. Will doesn’t know her, but she knew him. Knew. When they were eight. And stray bullets had cut through the playground, and Will had tried to cover her, but she was hit anyway, and so what she wants to know, on that fifth floor elevator stop, is, what if Will, Will with the gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, MISSES.

And so it goes, the whole long way down, as the elevator stops on each floor, and at each stop someone connected to his brother gets on to give Will a piece to a bigger story than the one he thinks he knows. A story that might never know an END…if WILL gets off that elevator.

One of my favorite things about audiobooks is when they’re read by the author. It gives the book a little something extra and when I listened to the clip of this one, I knew I had to read the rest. It’s a tense journey and one with so many questions, but will there be answers?

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Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng

Catherine Helstone’s brother, Laon, has disappeared in Arcadia, legendary land of the magical fae. Desperate for news of him, she makes the perilous journey, but once there, she finds herself alone and isolated in the sinister house of Gethsemane. At last there comes news: her beloved brother is riding to be reunited with her soon – but the Queen of the Fae and her insane court are hard on his heels.

I miss reading books about Fae. I did so a lot more when I was younger. Getting back to that, I’ve got Under the Pendulum Sun on it’s way to me right now, courtesy of the Barnes & Noble Black Friday sale.

It sounds like an insane adventure, one with rescue and battle against a mad queen. Plus, that cover?? GORGEOUS!

 

 

 

What book are you most looking forward to reading this winter? Let me know in the comment section. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

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