Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books to Read If You Like These Popular Books/Authors

Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday, as hosted by the lovely people over at The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s topic is all about those popular books and authors that we all know and love (or don’t love) and some book recommendations to go along with those books/authors. So, here are books you might like if you like these popular books/authors:

  1. The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green – Everyone and their mother has probably heard of this book by now. It was hugely popular for years, especially last year when the movie came out, so here’s my recs for something that’s similar, heart-wrenching, romantic, and awesome:
    1. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight” by Jennifer E. Smith – This title is forever long, but it was a cute contemporary with star-crossed lovers who, against many odds, ended up meeting and coming together.
  2. Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda” by Becky Albertalli – This book went wildly popular when ti was released earlier this year and I think that it was rightly so. And sticking on the theme of diversity, you might like these books if you like Simon:
    1. None of the Above” by I.W. Gregorio – This book is all about a girl who is intersex and doesn’t know it until after a painful first sexual encounter with her boyfriend. It opens your eyes to a world of people who have this condition and how many handle it.
    2. My Heart and Other Black Holes” by Jasmine Warga – A trigger warning of suicide, this book deals with mental illness and how two teens make an agreement to commit suicide together on the same day, but can they go through with it?
  3. The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare – Everyone and their mother knows about this series, too, right? Well, it’s an urban fantasy story with Shadowhunters, demons, warlocks, and a fight between good and evil.
    1. The Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews – This is an adult urban fantasy series, and it’s similar in that there is magic in the world that we know, but the circumstances and location are entirely different.
    2. Stardust” by Neil Gaiman – Though this is more on the magical side than the others, there are still elements of real world understanding and happenstance that take place in this book and I think it’d be a great read for someone who enjoys subtleties and more plot.
  4. Shatter Me” by Tahereh Mafi – This is a trilogy that gets better with each book, and definite character growth takes place in it. What I recommend is:
    1. The House of the Scorpion” by Nancy Farmer – This is one of my favorite all time books because not only did it introduce more mature themes at a younger age for me, but the story was different and rich, the characters were empowering and strong as time went on, and the world building was great.

Now those are really all the ones I can think of at the moment that I can recommend and all that.

Have you read any of these books? What were your thoughts? Let me know!

Rayna Recommends: High Fantasy

Welcome to another recommendation post! I figured I haven’t done one in a while and I really wanted to post something for the weekend (even if it’s a bit late in the day) so here it is!

Today I’m going to be recommending high fantasy books/movies/etc. What is high fantasy? It’s fantasy not set in modern times or in a modern setting with some sort of magical or out-of-this-world element. You’ll see below exactly what I mean.

Books

I can go on for days with books as fantasy is my favorite genre, but here are a few I highly recommend:

  • Falling Kingdoms” by Morgan Rhodes. This series is all high fantasy in that it follows four main characters – one of which has the ability to control the four elements – and is set in a world unlike our own. There is magic, Watchers (people that can turn into hawks and have powers), romance, blood, politics. It’s got a lot of elements that make for a good high fantasy story.
  • Throne of Glass” by Sarah J Maas. This series includes magic, as well, but with a twist: there is something in the land that is preventing magic from flowing on one continent. But among that there are kickass assassin’s, charming princes, loyal guards, sword fights, beings coming to life, witches, demons, faeries, and more. It’s set in a world apart from ours, making it a perfect setting for the story.
  • The Final Empire” by Brandon Sanderson. I’m not even finished with the first book yet, but I’m already recommending it. This book is phenomenal so far, featuring an interesting cast of characters, a magic system unique in its own way, and a world that is so sad compared to ours. It has enough to keep wanting to draw you in and wanting to read more and more and more. Highly recommend this one.

Movies

  • Nausicaa: Of the Valley of the Wind: This movie is beautiful and so under appreciated. This is an earlier film of Studio Ghibli’s but it still holds so much magic and wonder in it, with hints of politics, adventure, and more. This movie tells the story of a princess who is desperately trying to save her planet by stopping two warring parties from destroying each other and the planet they live on. It’s a deep and moving story, but it has its fun parts.
  • Avatar. Okay, this movie is phenomenal. I hadn’t seen it in years, but when I watched it recently I loved it just the same, if not more, than when I first saw it. It has beautiful imagery and lands, and it tells a great story about how humans are trying to steal from this planet, but the native people aren’t having it, even if some of the humans “disguise” themselves as natives: the Na’vi.  I highly recommend this one if you’re looking for something with romance, adventure, politics, and cool blue peeps.

Video Games

Hey, this is a new category! But I love games, so here we are.

  • Any Final Fantasy game ever. I love, love, LOVE this franchise so much: the stories are always amazing, the worlds are gorgeous beyond belief, and the characters are always unique and different from one another. I highly recommend any of the FF games to anyone. If you’re wondering, I’m currently replaying through FFXIII (I never actually finished it the first time around, but that’s a different story). Mind you, these games are extremely time consuming, so just be prepared for that.
  • Kingdom Hearts. I LOVE THIS GAME SO MUCH. I’m a major Disney fan, so when I first played these games years ago, I fell in love. It has fun, it has Disney, it has awesome characters, unique monsters, cool stuff. Just go play it. Right now. Go.
  • Ni no Kuni. This is a cute middle grade type game where it has so much adventure, a neat magic system, boss battles, and so much more. Yes, this may be tailored toward the tween/young teen age group, but I think anyone that enjoys RPG games will enjoy this one.

So there you have it! I could think of a crap ton of fantasy titles, but thinking of high fantasy specifically was a lot harder to do, but I managed to narrow it down! So yes, I recommend these cool things to you peeps; really, any age group can enjoy these as long as you have the desire to. Definitely give them a try if you haven’t yet!

Rayna Recommends: Romance

Hey everyone! So, I planned on doing this last month, but never got to it, so I’m going to start doing it this month! What is “this” that I’m talking about? It’s called Rayna Recommends.

On the first Saturday of every month I plan on doing a recommendation post where I will list five to ten books, movies, and/or TV shows that feature a certain genre or theme that I think other people might enjoy and should check out. Sounds cool, right?

Okay, so this month’s topic is…. romance! I love love. Like seriously, if it’s not in a novel or movie or show somewhere, I feel a pang of sadness within me. (I mean, I’m totally fine about it if there’s no obvious tension between characters that can lead to it at some point…)

So, without further ado, here are some of my top picks where romance is a big element:

Books

  • Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda” by Becky Albertalli. Guys. I mean, I’ve already read and reviewed this book, and it’s become one of my favorites really fast. Not only is there romance in it in multiple ways, but it’s a diverse read (gay teens), it made me laugh out loud (literally) so many times, and it’s just a fun read that I think everyone can enjoy.
  • The Kiss of Deception” by Mary E. Pearson. I loved this book (which I listened to via Audible & I reviewed it). It had romance in it – a good love triangle, if you ask me. There were times when I rooted for the main character, Lia, to be with one guy, but then later I really wanted her to be with the other. Frankly, I don’t know where I stand anymore, haha! But it also included betrayal, plot twists, great narrative, and a good plot.
  • The Selection” by Kiera Cass. I mean, a dystopian book around the themes of The Bachelor? Yes, it sounds cheesy, but it became a favorite series of mine. I did a review of the whole trilogy, and I really enjoyed it. The romance aspect was obviously the most prominent part to the story, but it also included themes of friendship, never losing yourself to pressure, a kingdom and war, and more.
  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone” by Laini Taylor. This book was awesome, as I did a review of it, and though it features a lot about chimera and it had a lot of fantasy elements to it, it also featured a romance that stretched beyond time. I loved this book. I thought the romance was going to feel rushed and out there, but it was actually kind of beautiful the way it was written and I just loved it so much. I can’t express into words how much, actually.

Movies

  • The Notebook. Based off of the book by Nicholas Sparks, this movie will always be one of my favorites. It’s romance heavy, yes, but it’s a story that is beautiful and well loved (my mom has watched it over 100 times, I swear). It’s a story about a summer romance and young love, and how that love comes back to flourish years later and how it can transcend even a disease such as Alzheimer’s. If you haven’t seen this, see it. Now. Go. Cry like a baby (because I do, too).
  • The Lake House. I never manage to see this from the beginning, but close to it. It’s about a man and a woman who live in the same lake house built by the guy’s father a long time ago, BUT the man and woman live in different time periods. They go back and forth to communicate with one another in letters and eventually they fall for one another because of that. Even though they’re apart by years, it’s a sweet tale and I really, really loved it.

TV Shows

  • Ore Monogatari. It’s an anime & manga, but it’s about this guy who’s ginormous in stature and he falls for these girls who are kind of really mean to him. But one day, while he’s on the train, his friend spots a sketchy guy and the girl the guy is next to. So, Gouda (the big dude), goes up and yells at the guy and the girl instantly falls for Gouda and Gouda for her. AHH. So much squee and laughs and adorableness and GO WATCH IT. I can’t even right now.
  • Reign. Talk about drama! Set during the time with Mary Queen of Scots and the French court, it follows Mary and how she is to marry the heir to the French throne, Francis. But Francis doesn’t want to marry Mary and there’s a bunch of drama and twists and turns and sex. Oh my. It is a teen drama, but I really enjoyed it more than I thought I would (and since I only have Netflix, I need the second season, like, now).

Okay, I think that’s a decent list. GO CHECK THEM OUT! (I mean, if you want. You don’t have to.)

But yes! These are the recommendations I have for romance! So I’ll do my best to do this every month and give new recommendations every month. I may go back to certain themes and topics as the time goes by, but I’ll be sure to include new content and everything.

Do any of these recommendations sound interesting to you? Would you read/watch any of these? What do you recommend to me for romance books/movies/shows? Let me know!