Hello and welcome to yet another TTT post! This week’s theme is books you love but haven’t talked about enough. In all fairness, I probably do mention the books in my list quite a lot, except for the more recent reads… but I’ve tried to shake it up a little bit and included a couple of discussion points. 😛
1) Wolf by Wolf – Ryan Graudin
Germania, 1956. Over ten years since the Nazis won the war. 18-year-old Yael is part of the resistance, and she has just one mission: to kill Hitler.
But first she’s got to get close enough to him to do it.
Experimented on during her time at Auschwitz, Yael has the unique ability to change her appearance at will. The only part of her which always remains are the five tattooed wolves on her arm; one for each of the people she’s lost. Using her abilities, she must transform into Adele Wolfe, Germany’s most famous female rider and winner of the legendary Axis Tour; an epic long distance motorcycle race from Berlin to Tokyo, where only the strongest (and wiliest) riders survive.
WHAT I LOVE: The alternate history. The anticipation.
LET’S TALK ABOUT: What if the experiments did succeed, and there are actually shapeshifters in our world currently? And the races, man… it’s pretty freakin’ cool.
2) The Wrath and The Dawn – Renee Ahdieh
In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.
WHAT I LOVED: Shazi. The lyrical writing. The gorgeous, gorgeous world-building.
LET’S TALK ABOUT: Oh my god, this is forbidden romance at its best. How are they going to solve the problem of [spoiler] Khalid’s curse [/end spoiler]? Will he ever really atone? Can he atone, given the horrors of what he’s done? Is it even really his fault? I hope no one dies. *convulses*
3) Just Listen – Sarah Dessen
Last year, Annabel was “the girl who has everything” — at least that’s the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf’s Department Store. This year, she’s the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong.
Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen’s help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.
WHAT I LOVED: Owen. Annabel. The family relationships. Everything is so freakin’ relatable and quote-worthy.
LET’S TALK ABOUT: Please, someone take me to a car wash because I really want to. Also, who else has created fanmixes or mixtapes before? 😛
4) The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion
Meet Don Tillman. Don is getting married. He just doesn’t know who to yet. But he has designed a very detailed questionnaire to help him find the perfect woman. One thing he already knows, though, is that it’s not Rosie. Absolutely, completely, definitely not.
WHAT I LOVED: The quirky cast of characters. The cute, well-simmered romance. That it’s set in Melbourne and written by a man.
LET’S TALK ABOUT: Who’s read the sequel and thought it was a lesser version of The Rosie Project? I’m gutted it’s not as amazing. 😦
5) Bet Me – Jennifer Crusie
Minerva Dobbs knows that happily-ever-after is a fairy tale, especially with a man who asked her to dinner to win a bet. Even if he is gorgeous and successful Calvin Morrisey.
Cal knows commitment is impossible, especially with a woman as cranky as Min Dobbs. Even if she does wear great shoes and keeps him on his toes. When they say good-bye at the end of their evening, they cut their losses and agree never to see each other again.
WHAT I LOVED: Cal and Min and the way the relationship develops. Crusie’s writing, even though she does have a tendency to say “said” a lot.
LET’S TALK ABOUT: How this book is an attempt to combat the lack of conventionally unattractive women as the main protagonist of romance novels. Hopefully as time goes by, we’ll get more of those.
6) Romancing Mr. Bridgerton – Julia Quinn
Penelope Featherington has secretly adored her best friend’s brother for… well, it feels like forever. After half a lifetime of watching Colin Bridgerton from afar, she thinks she knows everything about him, until she stumbles across his deepest secret… and fears she doesn’t know him at all.
Colin Bridgerton is tired of being thought nothing but an empty-headed charmer, tired of everyone’s preoccupation with the notorious gossip columnist Lady Whistledown, who can’t seem to publish an edition without mentioning him in the first paragraph.
WHAT I LOVED: The light-hearted, easy writing. The two leads—Penelope for being strong, ambitious and independent in an era where women weren’t encouraged to be, and Colin for his happy, jokey demeanour. ❤
LET’S TALK ABOUT: Why are there no more charming, happy male love interests in YA fiction and romance? Why are they all so broody and dark and have tragic past?
7) Devil in Winter – Lisa Kleypas
Easily the shyest Wallflower, Evangeline Jenner stands to become the wealthiest, once her inheritance comes due. Because she must first escape the clutches of her unscrupulous relatives, Evie has approached the rake Viscount St. Vincent with a most outrageous proposition: marriage!
Sebastian’s reputation is so dangerous that thirty seconds alone with him will ruin any maiden’s good name. Still, this bewitching chit appeared, unchaperoned, on his doorstep to offer her hand. Certainly an aristocrat with a fine eye for beauty could do far worse.
WHAT I LOVED: This book is probably THE guiltiest pleasure out of all my guilty pleasures as it has all the things I wouldn’t normally like but LOVED here: a shy and unpopular heroine, an arrogant, playboy-ish male lead, and some sexism. It has a marriage of convenience though, so PLEASE FORGIVE ME.
LET’S TALK ABOUT: If you read tons of historical romance (like I used to), you’ve surely come across this quote: Reformed rakes make the best husbands. I vote HELL TO THE NO.
8) Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears.
Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?
WHAT I LOVED: I’m horrible at guessing twists, so definitely THE twist.
LET’S TALK ABOUT: Amy is so freakin’ crazy, man.
9) Ready Player One – Ernest Cline
In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.
When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.
WHAT I LOVED: The world-building. The way technology is incorporated into society. The fun characters, and the whole plot, really.
LET’S TALK ABOUT: How technology can be fully utilised to combat inequality — imagine the possibilities! ❤
10) Elantris – Brandon Sanderson
Elantris was the capital of Arelon: gigantic, beautiful, literally radiant, filled with benevolent beings who used their powerful magical abilities for the benefit of all. Yet each of these demigods was once an ordinary person until touched by the mysterious transforming power of the Shaod. Ten years ago, without warning, the magic failed. Elantrians became wizened, leper-like, powerless creatures, and Elantris itself dark, filthy, and crumbling.
WHAT I LOVED: This one is my first ever Brandon Sanderson book and it holds a very special place in my heart. The characters are complex and mature and wonderful, and they have their own ambitions.
LET’S TALK ABOUT: Sanderson’s other books! I’m starting to think any of his book should be an insta-read for me.
What’s on your TTT list this week? Let me know in the comments or leave me a link! ❤