Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
I’ve been blogging on and off for a few years now. What started as a personal library of reviews became so much more. I love the community I’ve found here and the sense of shared love for reading and books I loved too.
So with this week’s TTT, it really begs the question of what book I haven’t gushed about. If I enjoyed it, it’s probably here somewhere. Even if I didn’t love it, it’s probably here somewhere.
Yet I did manage to scrounge up some contenders. These books are ones I’ve read and enjoyed prior to my blogging days. It’s not that I didn’t want to spread the love, it’s more like I never had the time to play catch up.
So here are ten books/series I enjoyed yet rarely mentioned. It’s about time I suppose.
1. Divergent by Veronica Roth
This is obviously a classic and a beloved book, coming out in the height of YA dystopia. I liked book one more than the rest of them (I can’t even remember if I read Allegiant?) because the world building was so interesting and thought out. I would most definitely NOT be in Dauntless, just saying. Probably an Erudite, knowing me. Let’s just say teen Andge was very into the factions.
2. Across the Universe series by Beth Revis
Is it weird to say I got into this series because an actress on the show Castle was promoting it on social and I wanted to read it ’cause of her promotion? Probably weird, right? Regardless of how I found it, I really enjoyed the writing and storyline. I’m not the biggest fan of space books, but this was the first one that opened my eyes to the potential of such a genre. I was also super into my writing phase at the time so I was analyzing how the author wrote to gather tips for my own stories.
3. Scarlet Nights by Jude Deveraux
This is what happens when young Andge buys bargain books on the Costco book tables. She finds lovely romance reads that may contain mature-ish scenes here and there. Anywayyy. I loved the romantic angst of this book, which happens to be book 3 in the series. I enjoyed the romance more than book 1 – never read book 2 – and felt the pacing of the underlying mystery only added to how much I liked everything. I guess it’s not like the movies where I can close my eyes as a child through certain scenes but at least I was initiated by a great story.
4. The Bride Quartet by Nora Roberts
Not what I typically advertise on this blog because I’m generally not just a straight-up romance reader, but I do feel the mood for such books occasionally. One of my favourite romance series to date still is this quartet of books featuring 4 friends who run a wedding business. Young Andge never dreamt much about weddings – I still don’t even as an adult although I’m probably going to get married within the next year or so – but this tackled all the different ways to cater the dream wedding that it’s hard not to get lost in it a bit. Plus, the romances are absolutely top notch with some of the best tropes around. I will admit book 3 is my favourite of the 4 because it features falling for the best friend’s brother, someone she’s known for forever.
5. Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella
Yep, all the romantic reads I’ve hidden from you all are coming out. I believe this series is still ongoing – I had so much fun with Christmas Shopaholic not that long ago – but I absolutely fell in love with the OG books that started it all. While I liked book 1, is it weird that I fell more in love with Becky the crazier things got with her relationship and life? Book 4 and 5 were probably my favourites featuring the family drama of a long-lost sister who’s nothing like Becky and the ex that keeps hanging around her fiancé, respectively. The angst and drama were for real!
6. Golden by Jessi Kirby
There’s just something so real about Jessi’s writing, but I particularly loved the exploration of life, love and growth featured in this book of hers. It does try to explore a lot but it all worked out so well together. I remember finishing this book and needing to tell someone how I felt because the protagonist felt so much like where I was in life. Instead of writing a review (I didn’t think about that back then), I wrote the author instead, this longgg email that she actually kindly replied to. Here’s a snippet below:
Me: I feel like this story is a mirror’s reflection. I don’t know how you did it, but you were able to capture so much in Parker that I see in myself, probably the biggest part of me. Her inner thoughts were like my own, her reactions and situations similar to what I see my life as at this moment. I wanted to tell you that you did an amazing job capturing a mindset of a young girl who doesn’t know her way in life, her one wild and precious life, and you made it so that readers like me can connect with it to such a deep level.
Jessi: I’m so happy that you were able to relate to Parker and the story–that kind of connection is the best possible thing I could hope for as an author, so it warms my heart to know that you felt that! It sounds like you’re at that critical point in life where it’s all laid out in front of you and it’s up to you to choose which way you go, and I hope you go with your heart and your gut!
7. Shrinking Violet by Danielle Joseph
Less known fact: this was the book the Disney movie Radio Rebel was based on. I was quite a shy, introverted teen girl (hmm, possibly still am in certain situations if I’m being honest), so this book also related to me a lot. I wanted to become the confident, sexy girl who could say and do whatever she wanted with full confidence, much like the protagonist. I liked how the story explored these things and made me feel seen as the quiet one who usually let the louder people overtake her voice. I found my voice eventually – see how I have a blog now? – but it’s books like these that helped validate my feelings and opinions.
8. Meg Cabot books
I mentioned a few series I love from Meg Cabot on the blog before (and no, not her popular Princess Diaries, sorry). So I will take this time to mention a number of her other books I loved. I loved Avalon High, which the Disney movie was based on, and the premise of the Airhead series was fun and thought-provoking at the same time. Honestly, pre-teen Andge was Meg’s hugest fan and I still own so many of her books today. I liked the variety in her writing, from some paranormal elements to your every day contemporary romances, every story had its unique spin. She was my first auto-buy author and I have no regrets at all.
9. Thunder Road series by Katie McGarry
I’ve blogged about Katie’s other series but I find that I never wrote review on these ones. It’s not to say I didn’t like them because I really did. Walk the Edge is probably tied as one of my favourite reads from Katie. Perhaps it was a mix of laziness to catch up on reviews and needing time to process my thoughts. Anyway, I love the romance and realistic exploration of teens at such a complex time in their lives mixed with the drama of growing up in dysfunctional families. I feel no one’s done it as well as she has in the books I’ve read since.
10. Alaska Twilight by Colleen Coble
I grew up reading mysteries, and Colleen is no stranger on my blog, but this was the first book of hers I’ve read before blogging began. I loved the wilderness feeling, the danger lurking in the shadows and no help in sight. The romance was great too, but it’s really the atmosphere in her writing that makes for such a great read. I will definitely continue reviewing her other and future books here, but there’s no better place than wrapping up this list to highlight one of the first wholesome mysteries I was exposed to when I was young.
Whoa, didn’t mean to make this post so long, but I hope you enjoyed getting to see some different book content than I may typically post on the blog these days. In a way, a lot of these books shaped my reading today and I have to give them credit for doing so.
I hope you have a lovely Tuesday! I’m always happy to hear from you in the comments below. Did you read any of these books I’ve mentioned? (I know, these totally date me, don’t they?)