Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic was made for me! I’m attempting to read a book from every country in the world before I’m 30, this is the Read the World Project, so I’ve read some great books that take place outside of the UK. Here are ten of my favourites I’ve read for that challenge and just generally.
Frangipani by Célestine Hitiura Vaite
I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this book a lot now but it’s just so nice. Set in Tahiti, it’s about the relationship between a mother and daughter and their lives spanning about thirty years. It’s like an insight to a normal family’s life, it’s got the highs and lows but it’s also funny and never overly dramatic.
The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Riley
This book was like an action film playing in my head. Set in China, it’s revealed that scientists have actually created dragons, but of course, things don’t go to plan, nature can’t be controlled and the special guest have to survive when the dragons go on the rampage. It’s like Jurassic Park but with dragons and is a lot of fun.
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
Set in South Korea and Japan, Pachinko follows one family through the generations and you get to see how their lives change, for the good and the bad, and time moves on and they are affected by some major historical events. (more…)
Top Ten Tuesday is a feature run by BrokeAndBookish each week. As 2016 is coming to a close, this week’s theme is all about our favourite books of the year. I didn’t really get much reading done in the last few months of the year, I started a new job and couldn’t really get into any of the books I was picking up but I did read some good books in 2016. So below, in no particular order, are my ten favourite books I read this year – the links in the book titles go to their reviews where you can find out more about why I liked them so much.
The Murdstone Trilogy by Mal Peet
This book was unlike anything I’d read before. It’s the perfect commentary on the fantasy genre and it’s a very funny read as well.
Asking for It by Louise O’Neill
This was such a tough read but it was still a really good and important book. It is often a frustrating book with a frustrating and unlikable protagonist but that makes it all the more interesting and memorable. (more…)
Avery West is sixteen years old and knows nothing about her father until a boy comes into her life saying he works for her father’s family and they want to meet her. Soon she’s on an adventure in Paris, learning about her so-called family that is a part of a secret society called the Circle that seems to be able to control the world and her part to play in a prophecy. Two boys who work for Circle are Jack and Stellan and Avery isn’t sure if she can trust either of them as she discovers the prophecy is more like a conspiracy and it could destroy her life, along with the world.
The Conspiracy of Us is a great adventure story. It incorporates secret, world-controlling societies (think of the conspiracy theories about the Illuminati) with historical figures like Alexander the Great and how they relate to what’s going on today a bit like The Da Vinci Code. It’s a fast-paced book as you follow how all these clues are connected together and how it relates to a prophecy that Avery appears to be the centre of.
Avery is your standard YA heroine but a lot of her actions make sense. Thanks to her mother’s job, they’re constantly moving around the country so she’s never really made any long term friendships or connections meaning she’s quite closed off. What she’s always wanted though is to know who her father is so when that opportunity comes along she’s almost painfully naïve as she impulsively follows Stellan abroad in the hope to find him, not realising how reckless her actions could be.
Jack and Stellan are both intriguing characters. They both clearly have painful pasts but the way in which that has shaped them is different. There is a bit of a love triangle in The Conspiracy of Us which isn’t so great (not a fan of love triangles) but the way it sets it up means there’s interesting character moments.
One thing I really liked about The Conspiracy of Us is that it throws you pretty much straight into the action, there’s no long set up or world-building so with 30 pages you’ve met the three main characters and the plot is really kicking off. While the starting point of the book might not be that fleshed out, when it comes to the descriptions of cities like Paris and Istanbul, they were very vivid.
The Conspiracy of Us is an action-packed ride and would be great for people who like stories about treasure hunters. 4/5.
Top Ten Tuesday is a feature run by BrokeAndBookish each week – I’m thinking I might not take part every week but just see if a week takes my fancy. As the title suggests, these are ten books I hope to get to over the next few months. Pretty much all of my books are currently packed in boxes as we’re moving house next week so these chosen few (plus my kindle) are to see me through until we’re all unpacked in the new place in a months’ time.
The Secret Fire by C. J. Daugherty and Carina Rozenfeld
This is like a supernatural/mystery/end of the world type book and it’s been ages since I’ve read anything like that and I got to say the cover is one of the first things that drew me to this book – I love it!
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
This one is getting all the buzz at the moment so I’m intrigued to see what I make of it. I might wait a while to read it though as I read A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston in January and I’m slightly worried they’ll be very similar and then I’ll get bored/be biased.
Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
I got this in the Illumicrate box and I’m interested to see what I think of it. While I like fantasy books I have very rarely read any book centred on witches so it will be new territory for me. (more…)