Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Times I Judged a Book By its Cover + Ten Poetry Books I Loved This Year (#20)

12:22 PM

I am the Queen of uncentered text AND judging books by their cover. 
As an added bonus, and because I couldn't decide between the two: POETRY FUN! 



All right, all right, all right... For those of you who are new to my blog, or the book blogging community, Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Artsy Reader Girl, originating over at the Broke and the Bookish, and is exactly what its title hints at. Each week we're given a topic to explore in our entries. 
Today has already been #ADAY. I have a headache. My brain is mush. I'm distracted by pretty books AND I have a bookish hangover from Queen of Air and Darkness

Also, I'm rambling again. And rambling takes A LOT OF ENERGY. Like, three cups of coffee worth of energy. It's exhausting being me, sigh. But, for real, I couldn't decide on a freebie topic this week. At. All. I narrowed it down to these two, and then just decided: what the heck? Why not both? 

And that's the story of where babies come from how this week's duo of topics came to be. 

Let's start with the aesthetically pleasing, first, and then the prose that has touched my soul this year. 






COVERS THAT MADE ME SWOON
+what the books are about 
*means I haven't read yet.

Unbecoming by Jenny Downham 

Synopsis: Katie is seventeen and in love with someone whose identity she’s afraid to reveal.

Caroline, Katie’s mother, is uptight, worn out, and about to find the past catching up with her.

Mary, Katie’s grandmother, suffers from Alzheimer’s and suddenly appears after years of mysterious absence.

As Katie cares for an elderly woman who brings daily chaos to her life, she finds herself drawn to the grandmother she never knew she had. Rules get broken as allegiances shift. Is Mary contagious? Is “badness” genetic?

In confronting the past, Katie is forced to seize the present. As Mary slowly unravels and family secrets are revealed, Katie learns to live and finally dares to love.

Unbecoming is a vivid and exhilarating celebration of life and learning to honor your own story, infused with jenny Downham’s signature warmth, humor, and wisdom.



Wicked Like Wildfire by Lana Popavi

Synopsis: All the women in Iris and Malina’s family have the unique magical ability or “gleam” to manipulate beauty. Iris sees flowers as fractals and turns her kaleidoscope visions into glasswork, while Malina interprets moods as music. But their mother has strict rules to keep their gifts a secret, even in their secluded sea-side town. Iris and Malina are not allowed to share their magic with anyone, and above all, they are forbidden from falling in love.

But when their mother is mysteriously attacked, the sisters will have to unearth the truth behind the quiet lives their mother has built for them. They will discover a wicked curse that haunts their family line—but will they find that the very magic that bonds them together is destined to tear them apart forever?


Two Princes of Summer by Nissa Leder 

A mortal lured into Faerie and caught in their web.
The battle that changes everything.


After her mother's suicide, Scarlett's grief consumes her. When a beautiful, otherworldly stranger offers her a release from her pain, it’s too tempting an opportunity to resist. She’s lured into Faerie and sucked into a royal battle as two fae brothers prepare for the Battle of Heirs where the winner earns the right to the throne.

Human emotion fuels fae power and Scarlett’s is the most potent Cade has ever tasted. He’s certain she is the key to defeating his brother Raith. But Raith has surprises of his own, and Scarlett fits perfectly into his devious plan.

Scarlett must decide how far she's willing to go to avoid her guilt and heartache. As she is pulled further into the realm of magic and power, she discovers a dangerous secret that could change her fate forever.

Will Scarlett find a way to cope with her sorrow and untangle herself from the two princes?

Or will they devour her completely?


It's Not Like It's a Secret by Misa Sugiura*

Sixteen-year-old Sana Kiyohara has too many secrets. Some are small, like how it bothers her when her friends don’t invite her to parties. Some are big, like that fact that her father may be having an affair. And then there’s the one that she can barely even admit to herself—the one about how she might have a crush on her best friend.

When Sana and her family move to California she begins to wonder if it’s finally time for some honesty, especially after she meets Jamie Ramirez. Jamie is beautiful and smart and unlike anyone Sana’s ever known. There are just a few problems: Sana’s new friends don’t trust Jamie’s crowd; Jamie’s friends clearly don’t want her around anyway; and a sweet guy named Caleb seems to have more-than-friendly feelings for her. Meanwhile, her dad’s affair is becoming too obvious to ignore anymore.

Sana always figured that the hardest thing would be to tell people that she wants to date a girl, but as she quickly learns, telling the truth is easy… what comes after it, though, is a whole lot more complicated.


Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong* 

Goodbye, Vitamin is the wry, beautifully observed story of a woman at a crossroads, as Ruth and her friends attempt to shore up her father's career; she and her mother obsess over the ambiguous health benefits - in the absence of a cure - of dried jellyfish supplements and vitamin pills; and they all try to forge a new relationship with the brilliant, childlike, irascible man her father has become.


Romanov by Nadine Brandes 

The history books say I died.

They don’t know the half of it.

Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them . . . and he’s hunted Romanov before.

Nastya’s only chances of survival are to either release the spell, and deal with the consequences, or enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya’s never dabbled in magic before, but it doesn’t frighten her as much as her growing attraction for Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her . . .

That is, until she’s on one side of a firing squad . . . and he’s on the other.




The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden*

For a young woman in medieval Russia, the choices are stark: marriage or a life in a convent. Vasya will choose a third way: magic...

The court of the Grand Prince of Moscow is plagued by power struggles and rumours of unrest. Meanwhile bandits roam the countryside, burning the villages and kidnapping its daughters. Setting out to defeat the raiders, the Prince and his trusted companion come across a young man riding a magnificent horse.

Only Sasha, a priest with a warrior's training, recognises this 'boy' as his younger sister, thought to be dead or a witch by her village. But when Vasya proves herself in battle, riding with remarkable skill and inexplicable power, Sasha realises he must keep her secret as she may be the only way to save the city from threats both human and fantastical...




Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be. 

Monday's Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson*

Monday Charles is missing, and only Claudia seems to notice. Claudia and Monday have always been inseparable—more sisters than friends. So when Monday doesn’t turn up for the first day of school, Claudia’s worried. When she doesn’t show for the second day, or second week, Claudia knows that something is wrong. Monday wouldn’t just leave her to endure tests and bullies alone. Not after last year’s rumors and not with her grades on the line. Now Claudia needs her best—and only—friend more than ever. But Monday’s mother refuses to give Claudia a straight answer, and Monday’s sister April is even less help.

As Claudia digs deeper into her friend’s disappearance, she discovers that no one seems to remember the last time they saw Monday. How can a teenage girl just vanish without anyone noticing that she’s gone?
The Wicker King by K. Ancrum*

When August learns that his best friend, Jack, shows signs of degenerative hallucinatory disorder, he is determined to help Jack cope. Jack’s vivid and long-term visions take the form of an elaborate fantasy world layered over our own—a world ruled by the Wicker King. As Jack leads them on a quest to fulfill a dark prophecy in this alternate world, even August begins to question what is real or not.

August and Jack struggle to keep afloat as they teeter between fantasy and their own emotions. In the end, each must choose his own truth.


 POETRY I LOVED THIS YEAR
Full list at the end of the year.
*Means out in 2019, but read in 2018.
**Means story told primarily in prose. 

 


 

Talk to me in the comment section! 
  • Do you participate in Top Ten Tuesdays? What freebie topic did you pick this week? 
  • What book(s) have you ever judged by their cover? 

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