books

Top Ten Tuesday: Holiday Gift Guide

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Today is a holiday gift guide freebie, so here are ten books I recommend for the readers in your life!

The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

The Wrath & The Dawn is the first book in a young adult fantasy duology. It’s a retelling of a classic Middle Eastern and South Asian tale “One Thousand and One Nights”.

Every night, boy-king Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride and has her executed at dawn. After her best friend Shiva is taken and murdered, Shahrzad decides to take revenge and willingly chooses to marry Khalid.

Meanwhile, Shahrzad’s father and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, are unaware of her scheme and plot to save her.

I recommend The Wrath & the Dawn to romance and fantasy lovers, and readers who love strong and sassy female leads.

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Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Uprooted is a young adult fantasy standalone that follows Agnieszka, a farmer’s clumsy and awkward teenage daughter. Agnieszka lives in a village near the mysterious and malevolent Wood that is guarded by a powerful wizard know as The Dragon.

When Choosing Day comes, Agnieszka expects her talented, perfect, and beautiful best friend Kasia to be chosen by The Dragon, but he chooses Agnieszka and takes her away to his tower.

Uprooted is about love, friendship, and finding yourself. It’s such a breath of fresh air in the YA fantasy genre. I recommend Uprooted to fans of fantasy and fairy tales with dark edges.

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Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

The Final Empire is the first book in a high fantasy trilogy. That trilogy is also a prequel to a four book series that is still in the works.

While living on the streets, sixteen year old Val meets Kelsier (I don’t remember his age, I want to say early to mid 30’s), and he takes her to join his misfit crew of Allomancers to overthrow the oppressive noblemen/government and evil Lord Ruler.

Val and Kelsier are both Skaa Mistborn, and are illegitimate children of noblemen. Although the book does not revolve around Val, it still shows her coming to age. I recommend this book to fantasy lovers of any age and gender.

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Fablehaven by Brandon Mull

Fablehaven is the first book in a five book middle grade fantasy series. When visiting their grandparents while their parents are on a cruise, Kendra and Seth find out their grandparents run a sanctuary full of magical creatures called Fablehaven.

Fablehaven is one of five sanctuaries in the world. Each sanctuary has a powerful magical artifact hidden on the grounds. An evil organization known as The Society of the Evening Star is set on destroying all sanctuaries, and gathering all five artifacts so they turn into a key to open a prison full of thousands of demons.

I recommend Fablehaven to readers who have enjoyed Percy Jackson and The Spiderwick Chronicles.

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The Faerie Guardian by Rachel Morgan

The Faerie Guardian is the first book in the indie Creepy Hollow series, and it follows faerie guardian trainee Violet (Vi). Faerie Guardians protect humans from other types of fae creatures.

While on assignment, Vi accidentally breaks two important Guild rules; never reveal yourself to a human, and never bring a human into the Fae realm. The human who follows her into Creepy Hollow is more than meets the eye.

The Creepy Hollow series is very clean (aside from minor cursing, if that sort of thing bothers you). It has such a unique take on faeries and the fae world. The first book is free wherever ebooks are sold.

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A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses is the first book in a new adult fantasy series and is a fairy tale retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

Once wealthy, but now poor, Feyre takes care of her disabled father and sisters by hunting. While hunting, Feyre kills a faerie in wolf form and her life becomes forfeit. Feyre is taken to the Spring Court where everyone has been cursed wearing masquerade masks for the past fifty years.

A Court of Thorns and Roses is a sexy, action-packed, emotional, and phenomenal read. I recommend this to more mature readers, as the second book has graphic sex scenes.

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The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

The Forbidden Wish is a young adult reimagined version of Aladdin. Unlike the Disney favourite we all know and love, the genie is a girl named Zahra. Haunted by her past and her former master, Zahra has to choose between her freedom and love.

This book is a must for all Aladdin and fairytale fans.

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The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

The Girl of Fire and Thorns is the first book in a young adult fantasy trilogy that follows princess Elisa, the “chosen one” and Godstone bearer.

Elisa is married off on her sixteenth birthday to King Alejandro for her protection, and because he thinks it will benefit his country during the war. After a month or so at her new home she is kidnapped by rebels who trek her through the desert.

What’s really awesome about this trilogy (and three novellas) is that it’s a non-anglo fantasy world that heavily inspired by Spanish and Moroccan influences.  Oh, and Elisa? She’s overweight. She goes through some amazing character development from thinking she’s ugly, fat, and useless, to being really awesome, powerful strong, and confident.

This trilogy has so much diversity into today’s all too white fantasy genre. Plus the romance is pretty freaking great.

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Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Dark Matter is an adult science fiction thriller about a man named Jason who is abducted and unwillingly switches places with himself from another reality. The other Jason/Jason #2 gave up the love of his life for his job, while our Jason gave up his job for the love of his life.

Jason travels through a box that Jason #2 created. It’s a superposition of endless doorways with different realities. At first Jason doesn’t know how to control what’s behind the doorway he opens, and he sees some pretty gnarly and traumatic stuff.

I recommend Dark Matter to those who like science fiction, thrillers, or someone looking for a new genre.

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The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

The Knife of Never Letting Go is the first book in the young adult dystopian Chaos Walking trilogy. This book follows Todd Hewitt, the only boy remaining in the small New World settlement of Prentisstown, on a planet where men’s thoughts can be heard by everyone.

Todd has lived his entire life believing women don’t exist, until he senses silence in all the Noise and stumbles across a girl named Viola.

I recommend the Chaos Walking trilogy to science fiction and dystopian fans. I absolutely hate dystopia, but I adore this series with every fiber of my being and need more people to read it.

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