Updated: Feb 11
I don't think this post needs much of an introduction but some part of my brain deep down is telling me it does thus the small line of words at the top of the list. I will say, there is a tiny bit of explanation that needs to be made here. First: these books are in no particular order. While I can manage to pick a list of ten books that are my favorite I can not put then in order of which are my most favorite. Except for the first on the list. That is most definitely my most favorite (it has it's own shelf). Second: the books are not actually books. They are more like series or even more accurately, authors. If I were to individually label ten separate books as my ten favorite books, they would all be by Marissa Meyer. Seriously. I just went over to my Marissa Meyer shelf and counted and there are eleven books there. Twelve if you count Because You Love to Hate Me which is actually an anthology and not written entirely by Marissa Meyer but because it includes a story by her I keep it on that shelf.
And so begins the list:
1. Marissa Meyer's books of course: This includes all five books from The Lunar Chronicles (my favorites of hers if I have to choose), Stars Above, Heartless, Wires and Nerve, and the Renegades Trilogy (theres only two so far but I'm sure I'll love the third as well). In case you haven't read them, The Lunar Chronicles are twists on fairytales with a little sci fi added (Cinderella is a cyborg for instance). Marissa Meyer twists Cinderella, Rd Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Snow White. The fifth book is actually a prequel called "Fairest" which looks at the evil character's (Levana Blackburn) past. Stars Above is a collection of stories set in the world of The Lunar Chronicles. Wires and Nerve is a graphic novel series set also in the same world with the main character being the most beloved Iko (a very human like android from The Lunar Chronicles). Heartless is a twist on Alice in Wonderland which tells the backstory of the queen of hearts. And The Renegades Trilogy is a story of superheroes, good and bad, clashing and falling in love. I would seriously recommend you read them all.
2. Rick Riordan: This includes Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Heroes of Olympus, The Apollo Trials, and Magnus Chase and the Gods Of Asgard. For awhile as a child I was not actually allowed to read these books. My mother wanted me to make sure I knew what was real and what was not. On top of that I did have younger siblings and if I was to read it, it was quite possible they would too. When I did finally get around to reading the series, Percy Jackson became my favorite of all time (this was before I'd ever heard of Marissa Meyer). I fell in love with the Greek myths and even took Latin at school. While the myth in the books is not always right on, it's pretty close and I would always be one to recommend these books to someone wanting to learn a little while enjoying themselves with a good book.
3. The Land Of Stories: Like Marissa Meyer's twists on fairytales, this series impacted my writing quite a bit. My series of twists on fairytales takes little ideas (not copyrighted ideas just random inspirations that pops into my head while reading/watching) from all sorts of fairytale twists but the two series that inspired me perhaps the most were Marissa Meyer's and this one. I first read the Land of Stories quite a number of years ago (well before I came up with the idea for my own series and well before I was old enough to watch Glee, the show the author of The Land of Stories plays a role in). The series creates a beautiful magical world of twisted fairytales, telling the tales long after they happened and telling the tale of Connor and Alex two twins born of both our world and the fairytale one. The magical world drew a younger me in and while the storytelling is meant for a younger audience, the tale Chris Colfer tells is an excellent one and the world he has created has inspired me in a hundred different ways.
4. The Red Queen Series: I had heard of the Red Queen book at least a hundred times before I finally decided to read it (I think I was in a reading rut or something when I gave in). I didn't really know what it was about but when I started to read it I almost immediately got into, falling in love with the characters the author created and getting into the action and mystery of the storyline. By the time I got to the end of the series, I decided to buy myself the last book (which now has at least a couple of post it notes in it telling me how I can use her excellent fighting scenes as inspiration for my own).
5. The Talon Saga: Yet another series I own all the books in, the Talon Saga is one I have been reading for a while now, collecting the books as they come out. It is also another one with a firey (those who have read the series will understand that that's a pun) sarcastic, stubborn main character who goes against the flow. While Talon (the first in the series) is written as a romance, with a love triangle thrown in just for the fun of it, the series also has the element of fantasy with dragons who can shape shift into human forms as well as action as said dragons attempt to overthrow an organization and create a better life for themselves. A pretty good mix for a book series if you ask me.
6. The Matched Series: Think Divergent but with a bit more romance and with the second book set in the dessert. And with a less sarcastic main character. Ok soI may have jus made it sound boring but actually, it's pretty cool. The book series is basically a romance mixed with a distopia and the main character gets accidentally given two matches, one of them isn't even allowed to be matched. But while the main character is not that sarcastic, she is strong-willed and decisive and she creates lasting relationship with those around her, not wanting to hurt others. It truly is beautiful to watch as she finds her way throughout the story and manages to find love, friendship, and family and overthrow the government all at the same time. It's a bit slower paced but also a bit more heartwarming and still hard to put down.
7. As Old As Time: This book actually has a funny story behind it. I believe I went into Barnes and Noble with a gift card, ready to buy whatever book caught my eye. And this one certainly did. Now some backstory is needed here (SPOILER ALERT!). In my own series, I planned to twist the story of Beauty and the Beast and make it so that Belle's mother was a witch (sort of good sort of bad you'll have to read the story to decide for yourself whether you think she's evil) and that she herself was the one who cursed the beast Belle falls for. Gasp! I thought making it that way would make my book one of a kind (to be clear that's not the only thing that will make my book one of a kind its a tiny detail) but as I went to Barnes and Noble that day this book caught my eye with the catchphrase "what if Belle's mother was the one who cursed the beast?" plastered across the top of the front cover. I decided I had to read the book that had the same idea as me. And I loved it. As Old As Time takes the story and adds that little detail in and then twists everything around Belle's mother (i.e. that's the main point of the story therefore making my book entirely different in case you were wondering). It's a wonderfully written book and a beautifully twisted tale (my favorite type of book BTW).
8. The Help: I actually saw this movie before reading the book (oops!). But I loved the movie so when I was strolling through the sale at the library bookstore and saw the book I knew I just had to get it. I don't often read books like this, so close to non-fiction but I absolutely loved The Help and just couldn't put it down. It was just as hilarious as the movie with even more detail. I would 100% recommend the book (and the movie) to anyone whether you enjoy fantasy, romance, thriller or drama, the book is just an excellent read for all. Though I would warn there are some mature topics in it that you perhaps wouldn't want a child reading so perhaps everyone over 13.
9. Alice In Wonderland: A classic that gives inspiration to about half the decor in my room and 100% of my birthday party this year, this book has been a favorite of mine for quite some time now. I have always been a book gal but in more recent years I've started getting into fairytales and books almost as classic as the Grimm fairytales even more than before (something that could probably be attributed to the book I'm writing). Alice In Wonderland, at least in my opinion, is practically a fairytale. I love the wonder (hehe) and imagination that the book inspires and the way that it spans the generations. I have seen Alice in Wonderland decor, party stuff, mugs and all sort of other things aimed at not only young ages but at teens and young adults and I find that to be something s inspiring and wonderful.
10. The Selection Series: I believe this is a series my sister would claim (meaning she read it first). But many of the series my sister reads, I catch on to and hold close, this being one of them. I am not lucky enough to own any of this series but I have read them through many a time and each time I read them I find myself inspired by the characters to get out of my comfort zone and try something new. I love not only the romance in this story but the way the author created a character that is sarcastic and stubborn in a way different to the sarcastic stubborn characters or Divergent and Red Queen. The Selection Series is always a good series to turn to when I fall into a reading rut and for that I am grateful.
Honorable Mentions: Some books obviously hold a place in my heart. I haven't read any books from the Hannah and the Angels series in many (many) years but I do recall reading those when I was little and absolutely loving them. I did enjoy the Hunger Games Series and own 2/3 books of that and same to the Divergent series however I feel the books are given so much praise and are so popular I tend to go more towards less popular books such as The Matched Series. I also like many of John Green's books but similar to Divergent and The Hunger Games, they are very popular and I am the kind of person who would choose a less popular book over one in the spotlight most days. Other classics such as The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan and other Fairy Tales have a place in my heart but it can be hard to track down and buy copies of originals and thus it is only Alice in Wonderland that I can be sure I have read the entirety of.
This is my top ten list of books (all of which I would definitely suggest checking out).Hope you enjoyed it!