This week I’ve decided to take part in ‘Top Ten Tuesday’ again hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, and this week’s topic is ‘books I loved but never reviewed’. This was quite an easy topic for me as I only started this blog back in March, and I also rarely review the books I adore.
Alone In Berlin by Hans Fallada
‘Alone in Berlin’ is based on a true story and follows the Quangles, a family living in Nazi Germany who receives the shocking news that their son has been killed in the war. Shocked and grieving, Otto and Anna begin to quietly resist the Nazi regime and leave defamatory notes against the government in public spaces. It’s a fantastic tale of resilience and resistance and it’s still one of my favourite historical fiction reads after five years since first reading it.
The Humans by Matt Haig
I’ve mentioned this book a couple of times now on this blog, but for anyone who doesn’t know this follows the story of an alien whose consciousness has been implanted into a human’s body. The alien has been sent to Earth to destroy evidence of Professor Andrew Martin’s success in solving a major mathematical problem, and in doing so inadvertently learns about Martin and human life. It’s a remarkably funny tale, but also heartwarming and peaceful too, and one that I think makes you realise the true joys of the human life.
Stranger The Dreamer by Laini Taylor
The book follows Lazlo Strange, orphan and librarian, and his quite obsession with the city of Weep, a mystical place that’s been closed off to the rest of the world for 200 years. Then the Godslayer and his band of warriors arrive from Weep, and an unique opportunity presents itself to Lazlo to see the city he’s been dreaming of for years. The book is full of wonderful characters, a compelling plot and Laini Taylor’s beautiful writing – there isn’t much in here not to love.
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Perhaps the best graphic novel I’ve ever read. Noelle, a shape shifting menace, and Lord Blackheart, a villain with a vendetta, make a great supervillain and sidekick pairing. But as Blackheart’s plans of exposing how the heroes of his city aren’t the good people everyone thinks they are Nimona grows violent, and her past and powers become less clear and more dangerous. I haven’t reviewed this as I read it for the first time years before I started this blog, and also because I’m not sure how I could ever do a masterpiece like this justice in a review.
La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman
I should be very clear on this, I love the audiobook of this, probably because it’s narrated by Michael Sheen which was such a joy to listen to! The book follows a time in Lyra’s world before ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy is set, and tells the story of Malcom Polstead and his adventure with baby Lyra during a great flood, and his determination to keep her safe whilst several different forces chase after them. I listened to this a few months before I started my blog so I never wrote a review, but I can’t recommend the audiobook enough!
City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
Cassidy’s parents are The Inspectors, a ghost-hunting team, but Cassidy really can see ghosts and her best friend, Jacob, is a ghost. Together, they all take a trip to Edinburgh and there she meets new ghosts and Lara, a girl like her who tells her their job is to send ghosts permanently behind The Veil. Unsure about her new mission, Cassidy wanders the streets of the city with Jacob and her parents and ends up getting drawn into a battle with the Red Raven, a being who definitely who doesn’t belong in her world. This was another great book from Schwab, but unfortunately I had no idea how to structure a review for this, I became so frustrated with the thought of one I eventually didn’t write one!
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
A stunning fantasy novel that follows Tristan Thorn in the village of Wall. One night when he sees a shooting star he promises to retrieve it, and give it to Victoria Forester in exchange for her hand in marriage. This oath sends him over their village’s ancient wall and and into a world dangerous, strange and brilliant. Despite reading this in June of this year I haven’t reviewed this as I’m honestly not sure how, it’s so wonderfully imaginative but also short I’m not sure it suits a review format.
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
A group of clever and odd misfits at an elite college all take a classics class taught by an eccentric professor, and slowly begin to distance themselves from the ordinary thinking of their peers into something much darker and mysterious, and into corruption, betrayal and finally evil. I know there are some people out there who have read this who could write whole essays on this book and their theories, but I can’t, I just really enjoyed it and then put it down, which sometimes makes me feel like a fraud (I know, it’s stupid) and that’s why I couldn’t write a review for it.
Vicious by V. E. Schwab
This masterpiece follows Victor, an escape convict, as he hunts down his ex-roommate, Eli, whilst Eli hunts down those like him and Victor: Extra-Ordinarys, those with special abilities after living through near-death experiences. This is one of my favourite books of all time and follows a gritty tale of morally grey characters who share traits with supervillains and superheroes, but also features Schwab’s brilliant writing. I never wrote a review for this as I simply didn’t know how to, anything I wrote wouldn’t have been enough to fully encapsulate how I feel about this book.
Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak
The five brothers of the Dunbar family our brought and bound together by two tragedies, and at the centre of the five boys is Clay, a brother who will build and bridge for all of them and for himself. This is certainly not a book for everyone; it’s a tricky and slow-paced read with an in-depth exploration of Clay and the Dunbar boy’s psyches, but it’s so good. I never wrote a review for this on my blog as it was simply too difficult to capture everything I felt (though I technically wrote one on goodreads but I don’t really regard mine as “proper” reviews, maybe that’s cheating but oh well.)