I’ve very recently done a review of the best books of the year so far so you can read that one here. But I thought I would repeat and expand on the five on this list, seeing as I have read a few more books since then and some of them have been really great reads. The first five are repeats from my list linked above, but the last five are repeats:
Number one:And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
Genres: Historical Fiction
Published by Riverhead Books
So, then. You want a story and I will tell you one...Afghanistan, 1952. Abdullah and his sister Pari live with their father and stepmother in the small village of Shadbagh. Their father, Saboor, is constantly in search of work and they struggle together through poverty and brutal winters. To Abdullah, Pari - as beautiful and sweet-natured as the fairy for which she was named - is everything. More like a parent than a brother, Abdullah will do anything for her, even trading his only pair of shoes for a feather for her treasured collection. Each night they sleep together in their cot, their heads touching, their limbs tangled. One day the siblings journey across the desert to Kabul with their father. Pari and Abdullah have no sense of the fate that awaits them there, for the event which unfolds will tear their lives apart; sometimes a finger must be cut to save the hand. Crossing generations and continents, moving from Kabul, to Paris, to San Francisco, to the Greek island of Tinos, with profound wisdom, depth, insight and compassion, Khaled Hosseini writes about the bonds that define us and shape our lives, the ways in which we help our loved ones in need, how the choices we make resonate through history and how we are often surprised by the people closest to us.
Khaled Hosseini for me never writes a bad book, I always love how rich his characters and the scenery they are placed in. This story for me was written so well, with so much detail and complex storyline I was so impressed. I think this book and all of his books hold special places in my heart and on my shelves. If you haven’t picked up one of his books, I highly recommend them, each are very different but hold the same greatness in them.
Number two:The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
Series: Hercule Poirot, #4
Also in this series: The Mysterious Affair at Styles
Published by HarperCollins
Roger Ackroyd was a man who knew too much.
He knew the woman he loved had poisoned her first husband. He knew someone was blackmailing her ― and now he knew she had taken her own life with a drug overdose.
Soon the evening post would let him know who the mystery blackmailer was. But Ackroyd was dead before he'd finished reading it ― stabbed through the neck where he sat in his study...
I had heard such great things about this book, it being touted as the only book you need to read of the Poirot series. It definitely lived up and surpassed any of my expectations. I think this was the first Poirot novel that the ending actually shocked me to the core. I couldn’t believe I had missed it and I definitely think that that is a sign of a great crime novel.
Number three:The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Series: The Kingkiller Chronicle #1
Published by Penguin Group DAW
Told in Kvothe's own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen.
The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature.
A high-action story written with a poet's hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard.
I loved the depth that this book went into, both with the characters and the storyline and plot. I loved the mythology that wound its way all the way through this novel and the world that had been created. I loved the premise and how well written this book was. I would definitely recommend this book, if you’re a big fan of fantasy and looking for something new to read! One of my all time favourites and I cannot wait to jump into the sequel.
Number four:The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North
Genres: Science Fiction
Published by Redhook
No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes.
As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside. ‘I nearly missed you, Doctor August,’ she says. ‘I need to send a message.’
This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August is a book that surprised me. I don’t know quite what I was expecting but this book delivered on all accounts, I LOVED reading about the different lives and the way that Harry dealt with different situations and the isolation that comes with some of them. It was a really interesting book, and one that I will definitely be reading again.
Number five:Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
Series: Hercule Poirot #10
Also in this series: The Mysterious Affair at Styles
Published by HarperCollins Publishers
What more can a mystery addict desire than a much-loathed murder victim found aboard the luxurious Orient Express with multiple stab wounds, thirteen likely suspects, an incomparably brilliant detective in Hercule Poirot, and the most ingenious crime ever conceived?
I loved how this book really flipped the tables for me. You don’t feel how you would think you were going to feel when it comes out who has been murdered and why. That twist alone is what earnt this book its place on this list. It is definitely one of my favourite Poirot books, and one of my favourites of the year! I’m looking forward to carrying on listening to the Poirot books as soon as my schedule calms down a little.
I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey
Series: Sovereign #1
Source: the author
Also in this series: The Blood Prince
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Published by Josie Jaffrey
In the Blue, the world’s last city, all is not well.
Julia is stuck within its walls. She serves the nobility from a distance until she meets Lucas, a boy who believes in fairytales that Julia’s world can’t accommodate. The Blue is her prison, not her castle, and she’d escape into the trees if she didn’t know that contamination and death awaited humanity outside.
But not everyone in the Blue is human, and not everyone can be contained.
Beyond the city’s boundaries, in the wild forests of the Red, Cameron has precious little humanity left to lose. As he searches for a lost queen, he finds an enemy rising that he thought long dead. An enemy that the humans have forgotten how to fight.
One way or another, the walls of the Blue are coming down. The only question is what side you’ll be on when they do.
This was a complete surprise, but one that I thoroughly enjoyed! It has a great mythology built all the way through it, and there’s a new look at vampires and their vulnerabilities. Something that made this book super original and one of the main reasons it’s on this top ten list!
I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Sea Witch by Sarah Henning
Published by Katherine Tegen Books
Everyone knows what happens in the end. A mermaid, a prince, a true love’s kiss. But before that young siren’s tale, there were three friends. One feared, one royal, and one already dead.
Ever since her best friend, Anna, drowned, Evie has been an outcast in her small fishing town. A freak. A curse. A witch.
A girl with an uncanny resemblance to Anna appears offshore and, though the girl denies it, Evie is convinced that her best friend actually survived. That her own magic wasn’t so powerless after all. And, as the two girls catch the eyes—and hearts—of two charming princes, Evie believes that she might finally have a chance at her own happily ever after.
But her new friend has secrets of her own. She can’t stay in Havnestad, or on two legs, unless Evie finds a way to help her. Now Evie will do anything to save her friend’s humanity, along with her prince’s heart—harnessing the power of her magic, her ocean, and her love until she discovers, too late, the truth of her bargain.
The rise of Hans Christian Andersen’s iconic villainess is a heart-wrenching story of friendship, betrayal, and a girl pushed beyond her limits—to become a monster.
Sea Witch is definitely a unique book with a great twist on such a classic story. It’s one that I will be picking up to read over and over again. I loved the plotline and how everything winds up being connected, and boy did this book keep me on my toes, in so many ways! I recommend this book over and over again!
Number eight:Illuminae by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files #1
Also in this series: Gemina
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers
This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.
The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.
But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.
BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.
This book was a complete surprise in the sense that I had already read it, thought I wasn’t too keen, reread it and loved it. I enjoy the badass girls in this book and the ones that follow after in the series. I cannot wait to read the finale and find out how everything comes together in the end.
Number nine:Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
Series: Three Dark Crowns #1
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Published by HarperTeen
When kingdom come, there will be one.
In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.
But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.
The last queen standing gets the crown.
This book was another surprise to read and one that I really enjoyed. I loved the way that the three sisters wound up together and the whole internal politics of the different factions. I really love the different magic systems and how there are supporters for each of the elements.
Number ten:Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Series: Outlander #1
Also in this series: Dragonfly in Amber
Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance
Published by Dell Publishing Company
The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord...1743.
Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.
I still have Jamie Fraser withdrawal symptoms. I love this series and how the two worlds entwine into one. I think my favourite thing about this book is Claire’s frustration with wanting to have the modern necessities in the early centuries. Seriously if you haven’t given this series ago, pick it up!
I would love to read some of your top 10 best reads of the year, leave them below!