Welcome to Top 10 Tuesday! This is a weekly challenge hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, and this week’s challenge is about books I loved that made me want more books like them!
It’s a wordy title, but I had so much fun thinking back to books that moved me so much that I just had to find more like them. Sometimes this was genre-based (such as my enduring love for dystopian YA fiction), and sometimes it was author-based (such as my dedication to reading all of Sarah Dessen’s books). And sometimes, there were books that I desperately wanted to recreate the reading experience with something similar, but still haven’t been able to find anything to fill that literary void! Without further ado, here are my top ten books that I loved and that made me want more books like them!
To learn more about a book, click on the photo to find the Goodreads synopsis.
1. “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins
My obsession with the Hunger Games began when I first read them during my junior year of high school. I can still remember where I was when I was reading the first book. I remember the thrill of trying to determine if Peeta was really Katniss’s ally or if he was actually her enemy (that reveal that he had teamed up with the careers?? My 16-year-old self was shocked). To say I was hooked after this is an understatement. I had read dystopian YA fiction before this, but this was what really solidified my love for the genre.
2. “Just Listen” by Sarah Dessen
Okay, so for this one I actually don’t remember which Sarah Dessen book was my first. It definitely wasn’t Just Listen, but I went with this one because it’s my favorite. Whenever my family and I would go to the mountains for a vacation, I would always stop by my favorite book store there to pick out a Sarah Dessen book to read during the trip. I wish I could remember which one I picked out first (I think on a recommendation by an employee), because after that is when the tradition began. I was bummed when I got through all of her books because the book store no longer had any new Sarah Dessen books for me to pick out each time I went! Even now, any time Dessen releases a new book I make sure to get it and read it as soon as I can. I’ve grown out of them a little bit since I’m no longer a teenager, but they still feel so nostalgic that I just can’t resist!
3. “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green
Having heard the hype surround this book and author, I eventually decided to try reading The Fault in Our Stars. I loved it, and it made me want to read all of his other books (which, luckily, my sister owned). This one was definitely the first John Green book that I read because I remember feeling like none of the other ones I read afterward lived up to this one. In fact, if I had read any of the others first, I probably wouldn’t have been as hooked. This is another one that I’ve kind of grown out of, and I’m not as attached to them as I am to my Sarah Dessen books. But at the time, it definitely sparked my interest!
4. “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” by Lisa See
This is one of my all-time favorite books! It was so different than anything I had ever read at the time. It definitely reinforced my love of historical fiction, and it made me want to read more of this author’s work (as well as more historical fiction set in China)! I haven’t actually gotten to any of See’s other books yet, but I own a couple and I plan to get to them whenever I can!
5. “Piecing Me Together” by Renée Watson
I read this book in December of 2020 and LOVED it. I immediately became a huge fan of Renée Watson, and wanted to read all of her books right away. I did read one of her middle grade books right after, and it was great too! I’ve already bought a couple of her other books and plan on getting to them soon. I just love her character-driven, “quiet,” subtle stories that cover meaningful themes in a way that is accessible for people of all ages.
6. “The Poet X” by Elizabeth Acevedo
This was another book that I read in December 2020, and I fell in love with it immediately. To me, it’s the epitome of what a novel-in-verse should be. The format actually enhanced the story, and the writing was absolutely beautiful. It made me want to read all of Acevedo’s work right away; I already own With the Fire on High, and I would like to read Clap When You Land soon! It also made me want to read more novels-in-verse.
7. “Bel Canto” by Ann Patchett
I was surprised by how much I loved this one! I knew I would enjoy it, but there was something about it that just felt so special to me and that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about since I’ve read it. I like how characters from so many different backgrounds were brought together and had to work together to survive an incredibly difficult situation. I definitely want to read more from this author, but I’d also like to read more stories like this. I’m just not sure where to start! Based on the synopsis, it seems like Anxious People by Fredrik Backman might be somewhat similar in that people from a variety of backgrounds are brought together by challenging circumstances. I’m looking forward to reading that one at some point!
8. “I Am Malala” by Malala Yousafzai
While there is no person or story like Malala Yousafzai’s, reading her incredible memoir reminded me of just how much I love reading memoirs (especially those written by amazing women like Yousafzai). It made me want to seek out more memoirs written by inspiring people. So far, I’ve discovered Trevor Noah’s “Born A Crime,” “From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home” by Tembi Locke (my review HERE), and more.
9. “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas
Just like I believe that The Poet X is the epitome of a perfect novel-in-verse, to me, The Hate U Give is the epitome of a perfect YA fiction novel. It’s relevant, entertaining, powerful, moving, it provides an entry point to difficult topics for people who might not be as knowledgeable, and it still covers important teen issues like relationships and figuring out who you are. I’m not sure there really is anything else like The Hate U Give, but at the very least it made me want to read more books by Thomas – and I have! I’ve read both Concrete Rose (my review HERE) and On the Come Up, which were both 5-star reads for me!
10. “Dear America” Series
I don’t actually remember which Dear America book I read first, but this cover feels especially familiar and nostalgic to me so I’m going with this one! These books are what sparked my love of historical fiction at a young age. I read SO many of these books, and continued reading historical fiction after I got through as many of them as I could! These books are so great – informative and educational, but also entertaining! It’s a great way to introduce young readers to the historical fiction genre.
Have you read any of these books? What would your top ten be?
Let me know in the comments!