Finally! I’m getting to this post! I’ve wanted to create this list for SOOO long! I’ll start off by saying that I love that there’s book hype. I don’t always feel that the hype is deserved for the content in some cases, but the fact that there’s hype about books in general always makes my heart go mushy. When people are THAT excited and talking about reading is a positive no matter what. Reading is awesome brain food 🙂
Over the years I’ve found some real gems. Some are newer or undiscovered authors, while other books are by popular authors that just aren’t talked about as much as their more popular works. So I hope to bring some amazing reads into the spotlight today and give them the proper hype they deserve!!
Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme where I explore different topics. If you are interested in doing my topic on your blog feel free! Here is a list of my upcoming topics if you’re interested in participating in future Top 5’s!
The first book I want to mention is Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys. If the name sounds familiar, she is the author of the very popular books Between Shades of Grey and Salt to the Sea. Both of those popular novels are centrally focused on the WWII time frame. She is an absolute master of powerful, hard hitting historical fiction!! I saw this one on Book Depository for only a couple dollars and thought I would give it a shot. I hadn’t heard anything about it but her other two books were just so GOOD! Well I was not disappointed! This one is set in America (New Orleans to be exact) in the 1950’s. 17 year old Josie is the daughter of a brothel prostitute and wants more for herself. She sets a plan to leave her world behind to better herself, but she gets caught up in a murder investigation. Caught between the dream world of college life and the reality of her world within the French Quarter, her need for the truth sucks her in to the Big Easy’s underworld. The characters are so stunning – in true Ruta Sepetys fashion. This one isn’t as hard hitting as Between Shades of Grey was but it still packs a punch!!
The Walled City by Ryan Graudin is yet another book by a famous author that doesn’t get talked about nearly enough! She wrote the famous alternate historical fiction, Wolf by Wolf, where Hitler won the war instead of lost. While that was a great duology, this one stopped me in my tracks with it’s beauty. I VERY MUCH preferred this one to the Wolf by Wolf series!! Just like the book mentioned above, this is another historical fiction that also includes prostitution. This won’t be a trend in this post I swear! This book is set in the Kowloon walled city which was a real place at one point in time. It has since been torn down, which is a good thing if it was really like it was described in this book. It’s not an easy read, but man it was beautiful writing!! Jin, posing as a boy to keep herself out of the brothels, is searching for her long lost sister. Dai is trapped inside, dealing with gangs and drug lords, waiting to find the right person who will help attain his freedom. Mei Yee is trapped in a brothel, watching the girls fail to escape, and is getting ready to give up. They must somehow come together to escape before it’s too late. For my full review click here.
If you like science fiction then what are you waiting for?? The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet is a must read. This book has been getting a little bit of hype over the last year but it seems to be sporadic and in small circles. I think that availability has a lot to do with it. I don’t remember how I heard of this one but when I went looking I couldn’t find it anywhere. I searched all main Canadian online book sellers and nothing. I was even calling book stores 4 hours away! I ended up having to order it from the UK and I’m so glad I had the chance to read it! I first rated it 3.75 stars but I’m bumping it up to a solid 4 because the story and characters have stuck with me so much!!
When Rosemary Harper joins the crew of the Wayfarer, she isn’t expecting much. The Wayfarer, a patched up ship that’s seen better days, offers her everything she could possibly want: a small, quiet spot to call home for a while, adventures in far off galaxies, and distance from her troubled past. But Rosemary gets more than she bargained for. The crew is a mishmash of species and personalities, from Sissix the feathered friendly pilot, to Kizzy and Jenks, the loud engineers, to Corbin, the angry algae guy. On board the ship is loud and chaotic at times, but it’s just what Rosemary wanted. Soon the crew are offered the job of a lifetime – the chance to build a hyperspace tunnel to a distant planet. They’ll earn enough money to live comfortably for years… that is if they survive the long trip through war torn space. But Rosemary isn’t the only person on board with secrets to hide, and the crew will soon discover that space may be vast but ships are very small indeed.
This book was beyond unexpected and I need to start book 2 really soon! If science fiction scares you then there’s no need to worry. At times the science was a little thick but this was such a beautiful story of connection!! For my full review click here.
Yes, that’s right, another science fiction! It’s kind of a dystopian as well but not in the typical way that you’ve seen before in Hunger Games or The 5th Wave. I know the word dystopian can sometimes induce cringing but have no fear! This one was a total cover buy – it’s beautiful! I can’t remember where I saw the cover but I had to know more immediately, so I read the synopsis and was hooked! At the time that I read it there was less than 500 reviews on Goodreads.
Augustine, a brilliant, aging astronomer, is consumed by the stars. For years he has lived in remote outposts, studying the sky for evidence of how the universe began. At his latest posting, in a research center in the Arctic, news of a catastrophic event arrives. The scientists are forced to evacuate, but Augustine stubbornly refuses to abandon his work. Shortly after the others have gone, Augustine discovers a mysterious child, Iris, and realizes the airwaves have gone silent. They are alone. At the same time, Mission Specialist Sullivan is aboard the Aether on its return flight from Jupiter. The astronauts are the first human beings to delve this deep into space, and Sully has made peace with the sacrifices required of her: a daughter left behind, a marriage ended. So far the journey has been a success, but when Mission Control falls inexplicably silent, Sully and her crew mates are forced to wonder if they will ever get home. As Augustine and Sully each face an uncertain future against forbidding yet beautiful landscapes, their stories gradually intertwine in a profound and unexpected conclusion. In crystalline prose, Good Morning, Midnight poses the most important questions: What endures at the end of the world? How do we make sense of our lives?
It’s a slow burner that’s for sure. At times it was a little too slow and that’s really the only problem I had with it. Well that and the main character Augustine is kind of an ass. But its one of those books that you read and form thoughts, only to get to the end and you find yourself reconsidering everything you just read. For my full review click here.
Lastly we have A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay. I don’t often read horror/thriller novels. It’s not that I don’t like the genre. I LOVE LOVE LOVE horror movies! I just rarely find horror/thriller books that actually horrify and scare me (by the way if you have any suggestions I am more than open to any! Like I want scare your pants off books that make it hard to sleep at night!) When this book came out it actually did get quite a bit of hype. I kept seeing it on bestsellers lists and the cover would pop up on online stores. But since its release I haven’t heard anyone talking about it! And if you like horror then people should be talking about it.
The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia. To her parents’ despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie’s descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts’ plight. With John, Marjorie’s father, out of work for more than a year and the medical bills looming, the family agrees to be filmed, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show. When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend. Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie’s younger sister, Merry. As she recalls those long ago events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets and painful memories that clash with what was broadcast on television begin to surface–and a mind-bending tale of psychological horror is unleashed, raising vexing questions about memory and reality, science and religion, and the very nature of evil
The lines between what was real and fake were so blurred that I didn’t know what to think. What happened throughout made my skin crawl – it was just so creepy! And the fact that this was happening to a child made it even creepier! If the involvement of reality TV annoys you, I can assure that it’s not done in a tacky kind of way. It only adds depth and involvement to the story. And there are so many plot twists sprinkled throughout which blurs the lines even more. You think you understand and then you’re knocked back thinking “How did I not see that?!?”. Sooooo good!
I could have made this post a little longer but luckily some of the books on my list were starting to get more hype (Dark Matter by Blake Crouch was one of them!) so I’ll hold back any maybe do a part two of this at a later date.
Have you read any of these books? If so, did you enjoy them? If not do they interest you? I hope you enjoyed this post! If you choose to participate in this then please send me your link as I would love to see your answers!!
Until next time, happy reading!