You know when you read a book and it’s all the hype at the time and everyone’s talking about it? But then as years go on, new bloggers join the fray, and they haven’t even heard of those books that were once hyped? Maybe they’re younger and weren’t of the age to read those books when they were published, or maybe they weren’t reading at the time etc.
I was thinking about this, and I was thinking about how when I ran my first book blog five years ago there were some really great books that I fell in love with that were published at the time. Books that I never see mentioned these days because they were written 5+ years a go. I mean sometimes these books may pop up because a TV series/Movie adaptation is being released based off of it, but mostly it’s all new books (which I love, don’t get me wrong).
Then I was thinking about the books I loved to read as a child and as a teenager, and I think, well those books definitely won’t be appearing in the book blogosphere right now. They’re definitely too old. I mean, I didn’t read super old books or anything because I didn’t know how to find them. But there are a few listed here because they were on my mums bookshelf and she got me into reading them.
Then I was thinking about all of the books published before my time and how many good books there must be out there that I’ve never thought to pick up, simply because I don’t know about them. Usually I would find these old books in libraries, but since moving to London and discovering the library system isn’t as amazing as the system back home – I just haven’t been to many.
I wanted to list some of my highly rated books that were published a few years ago, and also my favourite books of all time that I love to recommend to anyone that asks. There were quite a few books on this list so I’ve separated it into two.
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The Famous Five by Enid Blyton
My mum got me into The Famous Five. She had nearly every single book in her bookcase and I fell in love when I started reading them. This series is about a group of children having adventures, spoiling thieves plots, and uncovering mysteries. I loved this series. When I got to the end I felt like I was saying goodbye to friends.
I haven’t actually read these books since I was a child, so I have no idea how I would feel about them today. But the feeling I get when I remember these stories makes me nostalgic for my childhood. It was also like being transported back in time because life was so very different in the 1940’s. It makes you feel like that children now don’t get to have as much adventure or fun because they’re on their smart phones, computers, video games and the such.
The Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings
My mum loved this series when it first came out, so she had all of David Edding’s books in her bookcase. When I was bored one afternoon and complaining about being bored, she gave me this book. I started it and found I could not put this down.
The Pawn of Prophecy is solely based on Garion, the main characters, childhood. You see his life through his eyes, growing up with Aunt Pol, hating chores, sneaking away to play with his friends. As the series progress’ the adventure really gets going, and the older Garion gets, the more he puts things together. I adored this series so much that I’ve re-read it so many times, I can’t actually remember how many times I’ve read it.
The Belgariad & the Mallorean series are an Epic Fantasy. You grow up with the main character Garion, you learn about the world as he does. This series is about a group of travellers, travelling on the road for something big. But what? Garion isn’t sure yet. He’s just doing as he’s told by Aunt Pol otherwise face her wrath.
This series, I can’t recommend enough for fantasy lovers.
The Baker’s Boy by J. V. Jones
I stumbled across The Baker’s Boy at the library. They must have had a new release of the series because this series was on the ‘New In’ shelf. I didn’t even realise how old this series was until this moment. Interesting.
I really enjoyed reading this series as far as epic fantasies go. It was on the same sort of theme as The Belgariad series, however very different and not as amazing, but still enjoyable. A boy is unwittingly roped into helping the princess escape the castle so she does not have to marry a horrific prince. Magic, adventure, and knights.
So now I’m already into the 2000’s. I really need to read more older books because they were so very different to today’s style of writing. It’s interesting comparing the styles and reading those stories.
Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier
Oh how I adored Wildwood Dancing. This was the first Juliet Marillier book I ever read, it made me pick up her other books, and now Juliet Marillier is one of my favourite authors.
Wildwood Dancing is a fantasy book based on the twelve dancing princesses and other fairy tales. It’s a magical series based around a girl Jena who has a pet frog. She’s the second eldest daughter and has to set an example for her younger sisters. When their father falls ill and has to leave the castle to get better, her cousin Cezar arrives to look after things but Jena does not agree with Cezar’s ideas. All of this mixed in with folklore and magic, I loved this book.
The second book Cybele’s Secret is just as good as this book. I hope a third book will be written at some point.
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
I loved Graceling when I read it. It was magical, the characters were flawed and definitely weren’t perfect. There was magic, adventure, and a tiny bit of romance. This story was character driven, you fell in love with both of the main characters, but the love-to-hate romance was just as entertaining.
The writing was astounding, the world was rich & vibrant. I absolutely adored this series. This is one of the few books that left its mark on me, I always think of this story and marvel at how amazing it was.
The companion novels Fire & Bitterblue were just as amazing. I’ve been dying to read more books by Kristin Cashore, however, she’s never released a book since. Well until this year. I’m definitely reading it when it’s published!
The Host by Stephanie Meyer
The Host really surprised me when I read it. Not because of Twilight and how different it is compared to it. But because I watched the film adaptation first. The Host surprised me because this book is so in-depth and character driven, the movie really didn’t pull that aspect off. Even though I had already seen the movie, I could not put this book down. There is just so much in this book, character relationships, the world, the history of the aliens. I loved every minute of it.
Aliens have taken over the Earth. When did they arrive? No one knows exactly, all they know is that one day everything changed. People started acting differently, friends and families were taken away. Mel isn’t going to let them take her brother away, but that doesn’t stop them from taking her.
Apparently Stephanie Meyer is writing a second and third book to the series? I would read those in a heartbeat! I hope she finishes them and they get published soon.
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
When I read The Forest of Hands and Teeth I had no idea what I was getting myself into. This book was at the beginning of a zombie phase I was going through. And boy, this is a zombie book set in a world like no other. A hidden village surrounded by fences that protect everyone that lives inside it. What happens when those fences fail?
This book is more of a character based book than a zombie based book. It’s not about fighting the zombies or getting rid of them, but rather a story about the main character and her life after her mother dies. I read this book in the middle of the night in the dark, not a good idea, it scared the crap out of me…
Each book after is based on different characters in different places.
Messenger in the Mist by Aubrie Dionne
I randomly discovered this author on a blog hop. She had written a YA Sci Fi series about colonizing a new planet, I read that series and had a lot of fun so I checked out her other books.
Messenger in the Mist has such a cool world that I wish this were a series! In this world, a deadly mist covers the world. The towns that survive the Mist either have very tall walls that the mist can’t breach or are situated on a mountain where the Mist does not reach. The Mist brings carnivorous creatures that feast on humans, so it’s nearly impossible to survive out there. Each town has skilled riders that race on horseback through the mist to deliver messages and the such. But now, the Mist may be rising…
This story vaguely reminded me of my favourite Playstation game, Legend of Legaia, with the Mist, so I loved that the idea was turned into a story.
Born at Midnight by C.C Hunter
When I picked up Born at Midnight I was delightedly surprised at how much this book drew me in. I couldn’t put it down and I soon found myself binge reading all of the books in this series.
This book is about Kylie, a girl whose parents are getting divorced. Her life is turned upside down, she decides to go out to let off some steam and ends up getting in lots of trouble. Because of this her mum sends her to Shadow Falls Camp, a summer camp where troubled teens are sent. Except once she arrives, she realises there’s more going on than that, and that maybe this is the one place where Kylie actually fits in.
A character relationship driven, YA paranormal, with a side of mystery. This series was a lot of fun to read.
Enclave by Ann Aguirre
I read Enclave in my zombie phase. However I didn’t realise until I started reading this, that this book isn’t a zombie book. It’s a post apocalyptic book with creatures that eat human flesh. And it was so good. The book. Not the human flesh…. (Ha! I make myself laugh).
Deuce has lived in the dark Enclave since birth, it’s all she’s known. No one new has ever arrived except the boy Fade who used to live Topside, but plenty have left and never returned thanks to the Freaks; creatures that feast on human flesh. To keep the Enclave thriving, each person must earn a position that helps them. Deuce has wanted to be a hunter since as long as she can remember, and so on her 15th birthday, she chooses her new name, Deuce, and thus officially becomes a hunter. But is paired with Fade which she is not too thrilled about. On a mission, her and Fade are ambushed by a group of Freaks. But the Freaks aren’t meant to be able to work together like that, could they be changing?
The world Ann Aguirre has created is so exciting, I couldn’t put this book down. I loved each book even more than the last. I am so excited that there is a spin off series being released this month!
Whenever anyone asks me for a book to read, I turn to the above list. It depends what their tastes are so I work off of them and then recommend some of my favourites. This list by far is not all of my favourites, in fact I had so many books I love to recommend that I had to create two separate posts.
If you’re looking for a read and haven’t read any of the above, I definitely recommend checking them out! I recommend them all.
What books are your absolute favourites that you turn to when someone asks for a recommendation? Have you read any of the above? Did you love them as much as I did?