Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Made Me Cry

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. I am not an emotional person, but through the years I’ve come to realize that I am an emotional reader. Years ago, I never would have admitted if a book made me cry, but today I’m here to unashamedly list the top ten books that made me shed a few tears – or just flat out sobbed.


257391881. THE BOOK THIEF
How could a book narrated by Death set during WWII not be a tearjerker? Some books stick with you forever, and for me I’ll never forget reading this amazing story for the first time. The entire book is really poignant and sad, but there’s a particular moment at the end where I lost it. This is one of my favorite books ever and I always recommend it to everyone.

327024872. THE BIRD AND THE BLADE
I read the reviews before I started this, and I familiarized myself with the opera in which the plot is loosely based, and so I knew going into it that the ending was going to hurt spectacularly. And yet even after preparing myself for the heartbreak, Megan Bannen was able to absolutely annihilate my emotions. The story ends in a way that is heartwarming, heart-wrenching, and altogether unforgettable. Of all the books on this list, this one produced the most tears.  [review]

254463433. MUSE OF NIGHTMARES
As anyone who’s read my reviews for this series knows, my two favorite characters are actually Erin-Fane and Azareen. And as anyone who’s read these books knows, those two have one of the most gut-wrenching and heartbreaking stories that I’ve ever read. Everytime another piece of their background was revealed, it was like being stabbed in the heart all over again. And then that happened in this book and I became a mess; I went through all five stages of grief. I don’t know what it is about Eril-Fane and Azareen’s tragic love story, but it just gets to me every time. The epilogue nearly put me in an early grave.  [review]

311790064. SWEET BLACK WAVES
Hey, remember when Kristina Perez wrote a beautiful, magical story set in ancient Ireland, based on the legend of Tristan and Iseult, with an amazing, wonderful love story between Branwen and Tristan and then DESTROYED EVERYTHING within the last ten pages? Yeah, me too. If you’ve read this book, you know exactly what scene I am talking about. When I read it I was dumbstruck. I must have yelled “what the fuck” half a dozen times and contemplated throwing my kindle across the room. Even just thinking about it right now, that particular part of the book still makes me sick to my stomach and want to curl up in a ball and sob. And from what I’ve read of the reviews so far, the sequel is just as heartbreaking, if not worse 🙃  [review]

25. ORDER OF THE PHOENIX
This book came out so long ago, and yet I remember vividly reading this for the first time. I also remember exactly when I read about Sirius’ death. He quickly became my favorite character after Prisoner of Azkaban, so his death hit me hard. The book also released a couple months after my grandmother had passed, so I also think that had something to do with all my emotions while reading. Sirius’ death is the worst in the series and I won’t be convinced otherwise.

300400686. A SHORT HISTORY OF THE GIRL NEXT
My expectations of what was going to happen in this book and what actually happened were vastly different. There is a plot-twist that basically comes out of nowhere and sucker punches you straight in the face. Except getting punched in the face would actually have hurt less. My heart broke so hard for the main character, Jared. I’ll admit I cried some ugly tears as I whispered to myself, “oh no” over and over. This is such a touching and emotional story and yet unfortunately a really underrated YA contemporary.  [review]

140619577. RUIN AND RISING
This book only made me cry for one particular scene and – lo and behold, what a surprise – it happened to be the death of my favorite character. I remember feeling so despondent because I couldn’t believe it was happening. All I wanted was for him to have the happy ending with Alina that he deserved and then Leigh Bardugo went and betrayed me.

173476348. ME BEFORE YOU
Reading this was an emotional rollercoaster. I laughed. I cried. I’m pretty sure I screamed obscenities at one point (the ending). The relationship between Lou and Will was so honest and beautiful. The reactions and choices the characters made in the book were absolutely realistic and natural. The book also brings to light some ethical dilemmas and thought-provoking situations that have stuck with me for a long time, especially as someone who works in health care. [review]

118700859. THE FAULT IN OUR STARS
Some of the most beautiful love stories are wrapped in tragedy. We all knew what was going to happen by the end of this book, and yet it didn’t stop me from hoping and believing in a happy ever after. This is an iconic YA contemporary book that really started a whole trend of other tragic YA stories in a similar vein. This book taught me that anything can happen and to never trust the author.

3673955310. FURY
This remains one of the endings I hated the most for any book or series. Without spoiling too much, I spent all three books rooting for two characters to finally realize their feelings for each other, only for it to happen LITERALLY pages before one of those said characters dies. There was no gratification for me as a reader, which was upsetting, and then we added up the death which was even more upsetting given the story. To put in shortly, I cried in both despair and anger at the last chapter.

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Underrated Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is similar to a post I did not too long ago about last year’s underhyped releases, but I was excited for another chance to showcase some books that I think really need for exposure and love from the bookish community. All of the following books have less than 2,000 ratings on Goodreads – which is huge shame!

400460301. ECHO NORTH
Okay, so this was just released last month but I’m still including it because doesn’t even have five hundred ratings and it’s so freaking good. There was also hardly any hype over this book and it took me so long to find an ARC, that I really thought there were none out there. I highly recommend this if you’re looking for an amazing fairytale retelling.

311790062. SWEET BLACK WAVES
This is a YA retelling of Tristan & Iseult that needs more readers. It features a wonderful Irish setting, a lovely heroine, angst, betrayal, friendship, magic, love, and an ending that’s sure to make you feel like you were stabbed repeatedly in the heart.

 

303394933. ISLE OF BLOOD AND STONE
I hadn’t read this yet when I wrote my post on the least hyped books that released last year, but I’m glad I included it because I can now say after reading this, that it deserves so much more recognition than what it gets. This was an excellently executed fantasy: the perfect blend of adventure, mystery, a hint of romance, great writing, and dynamic characters. I’m so excited to read the companion novel set to release later this year!

346405724. STATE OF SORROW
I hadn’t even heard of this book until it arrived in my March FairyLoot box. It’s an absolutely spectacular book; the storytelling and the worldbuilding were stunning, and it’s full of political intrigue, breathtaking descriptions, and dynamic characters. The protagonists doesn’t fall under the typical “strong, female heroine” expected of YA fantasy books, but instead is clever, passionate, and possesses a quieter kind of strength.

320729245. GODBLIND
This book was nothing short of amazing, and I have no idea why it is not more popular. I have to confess that this was my first grimdark fantasy book but I absolutely devoured this: it was utterly fantastic and completely engrossing to read. From the compelling characters, to the excellent worldbuilding, I cannot wait to read more in this series.

349649216. THIS HEART OF MINE
A very touching story focused on family, friendship, grief, love, and life. It’s easy to see that this book means a lot to the author by the love and care infused into the writing. The book has a compelling story with an inspiring message. It left me feeling glad I choose to be an organ donor, and can possibly one day in the (hopefully far) future give life back to someone. If you’re looking for a light, fun, uplifting read, I would recommend this one!

369525967. BLANCA & ROJA
Anna-Marie McLemore’s books are something special. She’s so talented at writing magical realism and I love getting lost in her stories. Her books are all extremely well-liked and highly rated, but I still feel like they have hardly any hype? None of her books have over 5,000 ratings which was actually very surprising to me. Why are people sleeping on her?!

250600628. THE WEDDING SHROUD
This is really a fantastic historical fiction series. It’s incredibly well-written and researched, including great characters, complex relationships, and the political and religious intricacies of two very different cultures at a time before Rome was the Roman Empire as we know it. I loved reading about the different political and religious aspects of the Etruscan and Roman cultures during that time period and the conflict between the two civilizations.

204864959. LADY OF THE ETERNAL CITY
This is the last book in the Empress of Rome historical fiction series – one of my favorites ever – and it’s such a shame that it has the least amount of ratings. In my opinion, this is the best book in the whole series and one of my absolute favorites. I always recommend these books to fans of historical fiction so if you enjoy that genre and haven’t checked these out yet, please do!

3270248710. THE BIRD AND THE BLADE
After I had finished reading this, I did two things: I ran to the bathroom for tissues since I was a hot mess and then immediately marked this as a favorite book. I really wish more people would read this book because it was truly phenomenal.

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Couples in Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. How did I manage to narrow this down to just ten, you ask? I basically just wrote down the first ten I could think of off the top of my head and then refused to second guess myself or go back and change anything (okay I did change one because I wrote this entire post and then I realized I forgot Jude and Cardan and had to fix the whole thing) 😂 As you can see from my list, I enjoy pairings that are synonymous with angst and having my heart treaded upon. It’s basically my brand.

1. MALYEN + ALINA from The Grisha trilogy
The entire reason I even got into this series was because I happened upon Shadow and Bone under new releases on the Barnes and Nobles website years ago and read the excerpt of the prologue. Beautiful writing + childhood friends-to-lovers? Sign me up. 

2. ERIL-FANE + AZAREEN from Strange the Dreamer
Eril-Fane and Azareen have one of the most beautiful, tragic, heartbreaking stories I’ve ever read. I felt so deeply every time a part of their relationship was revealed. And Laini Taylor damn near destroyed me with Muse of Nightmares. Every scene with them was so emotional that sometimes I had to take breaks afterwards. These two are arguably only side characters and yet still one of my favorite pairings ever.

3. CARDAN + JUDE from The Cruel Prince
This entire relationship is so on brand for me it’s not even funny. Hated words, veiled threats, sexual tension? I barely survived The Wicked King. And there are so many amazing pieces of  fanart floating around at there that I could fill an entire wall of my room with a Jude/Cardan shrine. 

3. MAGNUS + CLEO from Falling Kingdoms
This ship marks my proudest bookish accomplishment to date. Magnus and Cleo were my trash ship from book one, back when most people were arguing for the sides of Cleo’s two other love interests. When Falling Kingdoms first came out, never in a million years would I ever have guess that it would become endgame.

4. MATTHIAS + NINA from Six of Crows
*thinks about the ending of 
Crooked Kingdom*
*cries*

5. CHAOL + CELAENA from Throne of Glass
Chaolaena was originally written as endgame/mates. I have all the receipts. Don’t @ me.

6. VIKRAM + GAURI from A Crown of Wishes
This is another example of an excellent hate-to-love romance. The dynamic between these two was so realistic and convincing, and the witty banter between them was a on a whole other level. And their novella story in Star-Touched Stories was so amazing and emotional.

7. VIX + SABINA from The Empress of Rome series
If there is any couple that can rival Eril-Fane/Azareen as the angiest of all ships, it’s THESE TWO M*THERF*CKERS. I think I developed hypertension while reading these books. So many miscommunications. So many missed opportunities. So much angst.

8. DARA + NAHRI from The Daevabad trilogy
*ignores anything S.A. Chakraborty says on Twitter*
They are going to live happily ever after together in Empire of Gold, sorry I don’t make the rules.

9. JULIAN + EMMA / WILL + TESS from The Dark Artifices / The Infernal Devices.
I don’t know why Cassandra Clare writes relationships with the ultimate goal of hurting me, but she does. I couldn’t even choose between the two of these because they both cause me equal heartache, which therefore means I love them.

10. ARIN + KESTREL from The Winner’s Curse
Enemies-to-lovers. Secrets. Betrayals. Angst. Kissing. What more could a girl ask for in a bookish OTP?

Honorable Mention: ELIAS + LAIA from An Ember in the Ashes because I have no self control.

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Character Names

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today is a throwback week, and since I was really bummed when I missed this theme earlier in the year, I decided to dedicate today’s post to my favorite character names! Although this post could also be appropriately named: Favorite Character Names I Plan to Give My Future Children 😂 because yes, I am That Girl™️ who already has her future children’s names picked out, and yes they are all book related. 

1. LARK  from The Bird and the Sword
This is one of my favorite names ever and you can bet if I’m ever blessed with a daughter this will be her name. 

2. KESTREL from The Winner’s Kiss
Another name that I really adore, and if I’m blessed enough with two daughters, this will be the second’s name. And actually not too long ago I mentioned how much I love this for a girl’s name and my mom agreed, so it already has Mother’s Approval! 

3. LUKA from Wolf by Wolf
I am obsessed with this name, but unfortunately it’s now becoming very popular (I work on a mother/baby unit and so I keep track of these things 😂). Regardless, if I have a son there is a 100% chance this will be his name.

4. ELIAS from An Ember in the Ashes
Life is full of learning, and this year I learned that I have been mispronouncing this name all along…whoops. And even though it sounds differently than what I had first thought, I still really love it and hope I have a chance to use it for a son. 

5. MAL from The Grisha Triology
Yes, I’m aware that this is actually short for Malyen, but I love the nickname Mal so much, and it’s also frequently used as short for Malcolm as well. 

6. LIESEL / LIESL from The Book Thief and Wintersong
This is such a beautiful name for a girl. It sounds so whimsical and feels like it belongs in a fairytale. 

7. THEA from The Mistress of Rome
I really love how classical this name sounds and it’s meaning and origin. 

8. MARGEURITE from Firebird Trilogy
Another name I love just because it sounds so beautiful and feminine. 

9. ALINA from The Grisha Trilogy
I love this name mostly because I love this character so much. It’s such a pretty name and I really like it’s Slavic meaning, “bright or beautiful”.

10. REYNA from The Heroes of Olympus
In the past, this definitely would have been in contention for a future daughter’s name. However, I bestowed the name unto my wonderful Australian Shepherd and I can’t imagine ever reusing the name (for a child or another pet). 

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Fanart

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week is a Thanksgiving freebie, and I was inspired by Melanie’s post to showcase some of my favorite fanarts! I’m so thankful for all the talented artists who bring my favorite characters/book scenes to life: you all are so amazing, seriously. 

I was really excited to get into my old Deviantart account to find all my favorite pieces, but when I finally figured out how to login, almost all of them were missing my favorites folders 😩 Since I could only find the artwork from recent months, I tried really hard not to turn this post into Jude/Carden Fanart Appreciation post 😂 These artists are all so talented and I highly suggest checking out their work! (p.s. if you haven’t read Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo yet, spoilers ahead!)


wolvesofspring  →  “The Taste of Dreams”

This is one of the most beautiful pieces of fanart I’ve ever seen, and I’m really thankful it’s of one of my favorite characters, Sansa Stark. Look at this masterpiece. Look at it. 

tumblr_pf7lk6paDD1ws1dteo1_1280


nymre  →  “Painted Blue”

Okay, honestly most of the fanart I had saved on Deviantart were Zutara pieces because it’s 2018 and I’m still not over them and I never will be.

patreon_illust_february2_by_nymre-d8ksn1b


Gabriella Bujdosó  →  “Maya and Amar”

I’m obsessed with this art and if anyone will be getting the December Faecrate, please keep me in mind! (there’s also an amazing Grishaverse fanart by this artist as well and I had trouble choosing between the two!)

Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 6.16.16 PM


Melanie Bourgeois  →  “Jude and Cardan”

This is one of my favorite fanarts of The Cruel Prince, and every time I see it I get a little giddy. 

DZ3sxarW4AAYxHa


MORGANA0ANAGROM  →  “Darkling and Alina”

Leigh Bardugo called this “one of my favorite pieces of Grishaverse art ever” and I wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment.

Untitled


Newsha-Ghasemi  →  “With Fire and Blood”

Here we are again with another GLORIOUS piece of Zutara fanart. The details of this are stunning. I want a poster of this hanging on the wall in my room. Untitled


Monica Borg  →  “Jude Duarte”

This amazing fanart captures the essence of Jude and The Cruel Prince quite nicely and I’m loving it. 

Untitled

 


taratjah  →  “Chaol Westfall”

Oh, Chaol Westfall, Captain of the Gaurd and of my heart. This artist does so many amazing pieces of Chaol it was hard to pick my favorite one. Also, she does a m a z i n g  work for FairyLoot. I hoard all her fanart pieces that come in the boxes. I could spend all day looking at her instagram. 

tumblr_oz3xewftj31r80kcoo2_r1_1280


Anne-Marie  →  “Death and Night”

Another beautiful fanart from Roshani Chokshi’s The Star-Touched Queen series. I would absolutely love a print of this to frame on my wall. 

DdxWOfXVAAAmWF-


Nicole Deal  →  “Through the Dark”

Another artist with such incredible work it’s hard to choose my favorite, but this Malina piece is just *Italian chef kiss*

Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 6.31.31 PM


 

Honorable Mention: Loweana  →  “Cardan”

Bet you thought you saw the last of The Cruel Prince fanart. I had to include an honorable mention spot because how could I not include this?

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I hope you enjoyed the list! There were soo many more I wanted to add but I had to restrain myself. I love looking at fanart so if you have any favorite pieces or artists, let me know in the comments!