Top Ten Books From My Favorite Genre, Part 1

Hey guys!  When I saw this topic, I got really excited.  So many books to choose from!  So many different topics.

And then I realized I don’t actually know what “my favorite genre” is because I’m devoted to so many of them.  Contemporary romance, fantasy, historical fiction, dystopian.  I’m all in with a bunch of these.  So I decided that for the rest of the week, I’m going to pick a different genre each day and share with you my favorites from each!

Today’s top ten…

Top Ten Fantasy Novels

1. A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas

What would a fantasy list be without mentioning Sarah J. Maas?  This woman has taken the YA fantasy world by storm and she owns it.  And for good reason.  Her books have depth and great characters and wonderful plots.  You’re hooked from beginning to end.  But, for the sake of fairness, I only wanted to pick one of her series to spread the love around.  And ACOTAR is my favorite of hers.  I love Feyre and the entire fey world she falls into is enthralling.  I loved it and I frequently reread these books.

2. The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones

So underappreciated.  I think I’ve mentioned this book lately in a list and that’s because it’s wonderful.  It was one I picked up off the shelf, not knowing what to expect.  And the first page opens with a demon knitting.  (It’s been over a year since I read this and I can still tell you this.  That’s how well it’s stuck with me.)  Y’all, I’ve read a lot in my time, but this is some Supernatural level stuff.  This standalone is more like Urban Fantasy than high fantasy, but it’s so enjoyable.  I had such a hard time putting it down for any reason.

3. The Great Hunt duology by Wendy Higgins

Now, here’s a high fantasy!  Princesses, monsters in the woods, witches, valiant knights.  It’s all there.  I really appreciated that it played into many of the cliches I enjoy about fantasy while also turning a few of them on their head.  It won’t always go exactly how you expect.  But it was cute and suspenseful and, being only 2 books, isn’t much of a time commitment.

4. A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

I also tried to limit myself, while making this list, from turning it into a complete Beauty and the Beast retelling list.  (I could have–and I’m pretty sure already have–done this.)  But this recent publication is worth the read.  You have world jumping between Washington D.C. and the fantasy world, you have a main character with cerebral palsy that never defines her, and you have witches and monsters.  It’s smart, fast paced, and really plays up that “stranger in a new land” angle that I love so much.

5. Splintered series by A.G. Howard

Speaking of stranger in a new land, this Alice in Wonderland retelling is so bizarre that when I read Splintered for the first time, I couldn’t follow what was happening at all.  But I want to go back and reread it soon.  Hopefully, knowing the characters and their world a little better, I’d be able to follow it more.  Still, if this isn’t the most bizarre fantasy you’ve ever read, then I don’t know what could top this.

6. The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa

I went a little more old school with this one, but it also has elements of stranger in a new land.  This series involves faeries and all the usual suspects that entails (Puck, Oberon, Mab, etc.  The ones Shakespeare talks about.)  I loved the suspenseful twist on it as well as Puck’s ever-present sarcasm.  You have no idea how much I love his sass.

7. Strange Sweet Song by Adi Rule

I’m still in awe of this book even years later.  This standalone mock-fairy tale is beautifully written and weird in the way that mock-fairy tales are.  (And by “mock-fairy tales” I’m referring to books that aren’t actually based on any fairy tales we grew up hearing about.  I mean, we’re used to the weirdness in our fairy tales because of years of Disney movies and Brothers Grimm.  Sleeping Beauty falls into an eternal sleep by pricking her finger on a spindle…weird.  Cinderella’s stepsisters lop off their feet to fit the glass slippers…disgusting.  You get my point.)  THE POINT here is that it’s full of magic and music and oddities that feel fresh because we haven’t grown up with this story.  It’s entirely new.  And it’s wonderful.

8. The Girl of Fire and Thorns series by Rae Carson

I will never not love and appreciate this series for what it did.  I hate to call it revolutionary, but this was probably the first time I’d ever read a book involving an obese protagonist whose worth was more in who she was inside.  And the fact that she went through incredible struggles, questioned her faith, and emerged a warrior was inspiring in a way I can’t even describe.  This first book especially is daring and twisting.  It did not end how I expected.

9. Graceling by Kristin Cashore

I know this is a series and I enjoyed all the books in the series, but this was my favorite.  This is very typical YA fantasy with overreaching powers, discrimination, sarcasm, betrayals and plots, and overcoming challenges.  It’s been a while since I’ve read this, but I remember a few very interesting parts of it.  It’s definitely worth a read, even though it’s got to be like 10 years old or more.

10. This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

I actually haven’t read the second book in this series yet, so I can’t speak for that.  But my cousin loved this series.  The first book really toys with that idea of who is a monster: the one who looks like a monster or the one who acts like a monster.  And I liked that.  I’m drawn to those kind of books.  It’s dark and dangerous while still being thought-provoking and suspenseful.  Tie in the fact that it deals with music and I was sold.  I love books about music.

 

Tomorrow I’ll be sharing my Top Ten Historical Fictions!  So come back and see what I have in store there!

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