Top Ten Tuesday #146


Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all been having a good week so far, mine has been pretty quite, I went to see The Post at the cinema on Saturday, and that was really good, if you haven’t seen in you definitely should!

Today is kind of a special day for me, because it’s my fourth blogaversary! That’s right, four years ago today (how the hell has it been that long?), I started BookLoversBlog. Honestly I’m kind of amazed I’m still here, I sort of thought it would just be a side hobby I’d do during sixth form and never thought I’d manage to maintain my blog through the first year of Uni, let alone throughout second and third year. I also never thought so many people would be interested in reading what I had to say about books, I mean there’s 800 odd of you who follow me, not to mention the people who follow me on Twitter and that’s just incredible! So thank you to everyone who has supported me over the last four years, and here’s to hopefully many more! I’m going to be doing a Q&A post to celebrate, so submit your questions to me here:

Well that’s enough of my spouting on, the point is, it’s Tuesday and that means another Top Ten Tuesday from Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week, since it’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow (ugh), we’ve got a romance based freebie. Now since I’m a total romance cynic and hate everything to do with Valentine’s Day (seriously I can go through the rest of the year not caring that I’m single, and then this one day comes around and just shoves love down your throat), I’ve decided to turn this week’s prompt on it’s head and instead of going for a typical mushy topic, I’m going for Top Ten Books For The Romantic Cynic This Valentine’s Day (aka books you can read if you want to escape all the love!). So here we go:

  1. Gone Girl-Gillian Flynn

If any book is going to remind you how lucky you are to be single, it’s this one. I mean you won’t find a book less in the romantic spirit than this crime thriller about Amy and Nick Dunne who may be the most twisted couple in the world. Once you’re done reading about Amy and Nick, you’ll probably be incredibly happy that you don’t have a partner who can frame you for their disappearance.

2. Dangerous Girls-Abigail Haas

Yet another book about twisted relationships that will make you feel glad to be single, as you follow Anna, Elise and Tate who are in a twisted kind of love triangle, Tate is Anna’s boyfriend, but it’s pretty clear that Elise is obsessed with her and I felt like Anna might be kind of love with her too. Anna is accused of Elise’s murder, and the whole book follows the trial and the events that led up to the murder, ending with a shocking reveal that will absolutely blow your mind.

3. Asking For It-Louise O’Neill

This book is about sexual assault, so yeah, not at all romantic. It will make you angry, it will make you want to throw your book (or in my case laptop) across the room because of how the justice system is weighed against the victim, and it will definitely not give you the warm and fuzzies, so perfect for the grumpy singleton to avoid the love on Valentine’s Day! Plus it’s generally just a really important book, especially given everything that has gone on this year, both in Hollywood and now in the book community.

4. A Series Of Unfortunate Events-Lemony Snicket

The Baudelaire Orphans don’t have time for romance, they’re too busy dodging the misery that keeps flying at them from every turn. So if you’re a romance cynic wanting to avoid the love this Valentine’s Day, why not dive into the Baudelaire’s story to remind yourself that no matter how lonely and bitter you feel, the Baudelaires have it a lot worse.

5. Before I Go To Sleep-SJ Watson

Another crime book to remind you that love isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The kind of amnesia the MC has is pretty terrifying, I mean imagine waking up every day and not knowing who or where you are? Pretty scary right? Add to that that her husband is not who he appears and you have the makings of a pretty scary situation and a very twisted romance.

6. Dark Places-Gillian Flynn

Honestly if I’d read Gillian Flynn’s other book it probably would have been on here too, her books are so twisted! This book follows the survivor of a massacre, Libby Day who pinned the crime on her brother Ben and twenty five years later attempts to discover what really happened. It’s all pretty gruesome really, there’s a scene with a satanic cow ritual that has been stuck firmly in my head ever since I read it. So if you’re not in the mood for romance this Valentine’s and would rather read about gruesome murders, this is the book for you.

7. Frozen Charlotte-Alex Bell

Another creepy horror for your cynical romantic heart to dive into. Set in a creepy old house on the Isle of Skye, it follows Sophie on a visit to her cousins as she attempts to solve the mystery of the Frozen Charlotte dolls and the gruesome accidents that seem to follow them. There’s a slight hint of romance between Sophie and Cameron but for the most part the book is focused on the creepy goings on at the old Dunvegan School For Girls.

8. This Savage Song-Victoria Schwab

Kate Harker and August Flynn don’t have time for all that mushy stuff, Kate is trying to prove that she can be as vicious and devious as her cold hearted father and August is just a monster attempting to be human. If you’re wanting something devoid of romance but with less horror and more action, this might be the book for you.

9. Code Name Verity-Elizabeth Wein

Friendships are just as, if not more important than romantic relationships and I think Valentine’s Day is a timely reminder of that. If you’re feeling bitter about the fact that you’re alone this Valentine’s, then read this book and it will remind you that you might not have a partner but the friends in your life will always be there for you. You’ll also be crying for a reason other than your lack of date.

10. The Book Thief-Markus Zusak

There’s a few little hints of young love, but other than that, this book is far more about friendship and family and war and death (oh and books), than it is about love. If you want something to touch your cynical heart this Valentine’s Day, I dare you to read this book and not cry. I dare you.

So there we go, ten books for your cynical romance heart this Valentine’s Day, that you can dive into to avoid all of the mushy stuff going on around you, whether you’re single and cynical like me, or if you’re in a relationship but you don’t really do Valentine’s Day. Have you read any of these? What other books would you recommend for the romance cynic in your life this Valentine’s? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s topic is Books I’ve Decided I’m No Longer Interested In Reading, which is kind of topical given what happened over the weekend and the fact that I just unhauled a load yesterday, so it should be a good one!

In the meantime however, I’m hoping to do my big Blogaversary celebration post over the weekend, so make sure you submit your questions in the form that I linked at the top of the post!

106 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday #146

  1. judithcmoore February 13, 2018 / 11:37 am

    Happy blogaversary! (I love the Book Theif!)

    • iloveheartlandx February 13, 2018 / 3:29 pm

      Thanks! Me too, it’s one of my favourite books πŸ™‚

  2. lilisblissfulpages February 13, 2018 / 12:20 pm

    Wow, Happy blogaversary. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ And wow… Out of all the topic this week, yours is so unique… πŸ™‚

  3. @lynnsbooks February 13, 2018 / 1:50 pm

    I’ve read a few off here. Lovely to see A series of Unfortunate Events.
    Happy blogaversary.
    Lynn πŸ˜€

  4. Astilbe Reviews February 13, 2018 / 2:49 pm

    Happy Blogiversary! You had a great twist on this week’s topic. I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day either.

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday.

    • iloveheartlandx February 13, 2018 / 3:07 pm

      Thank you! Yeah I don’t know who thought it was a great idea to have a day to remind single people that they’re alone, but whoever it was, I want to punch them!

  5. ChrissiReads February 13, 2018 / 5:50 pm

    Love your take on the list this week! πŸ™‚ Gone Girl definitely makes me glad I’m single!

    • iloveheartlandx February 14, 2018 / 1:01 am

      Thank you! I’m never really feeling in the romantic mood around Valentine’s, so I figured why not embrace that? Me too πŸ™‚

  6. lindseyhabets February 13, 2018 / 6:51 pm

    Congrats on your blogiversary! ❀ And I love your take on the topic πŸ™‚

  7. arubunwritten February 13, 2018 / 7:00 pm

    Love. This. List! Definitely adding Dangerous Girls, Asking For It and Dark Places on my TBR. And The Book Thief is my favourite book ever, so you’re absolutely right about what melts a cynical heart ;D

    • iloveheartlandx February 14, 2018 / 12:59 am

      Thank you! I hope you enjoy all of them. Ha ha well it takes one to know one (it’s one of my favourite books too!).

  8. Joey @ thoughts and afterthoughts February 13, 2018 / 7:08 pm

    Happy blogaversary! Cheers to another 4 years and more! Although I’ve only seen the film for Gone Girls, is it odd that part of me wants to root for them to reconcile after all that batshit craziness. I mean…would you want to wrong Amazing Amy…twice?

    Joey @ Thoughts and Afterthoughts

    • iloveheartlandx February 14, 2018 / 12:58 am

      Thank you! Can’t believe it’s been so long already πŸ™‚ Ha ha no I kind of get that. No you definitely would not!

  9. Jess Gofton (@JGofton) February 13, 2018 / 7:19 pm

    Happy Bloggiversary and great spin on this week’s topic! I really enjoyed Dark Places and Asking For It and Code Name Verity are both on my TBR – February 13th is Galentine’s Day, so it’s the perfect day to remind me that Code Name Verity is one I need to pick up.

    • iloveheartlandx February 14, 2018 / 12:57 am

      Thank you! I’m not gonna lie, I was slightly sickened by parts of Dark Places, but it was still enjoyable. Oh both of those are so good, I hope you, well enjoy them is kind of the wrong word, I’ll just go with I hope you like them. Yes it is, perfect read for Galentines Day πŸ™‚

  10. alicerosesimmons February 13, 2018 / 7:47 pm

    Happy Blogiversary! I really like the way you did this weeks topic, and love both This Savage Song and The Book Thief πŸ™‚
    My TTT

  11. jennielyse February 13, 2018 / 8:23 pm

    I love your list. It’s perfect for Valentine’s Day and those of us who really don’t care about it, lol. I also love your choices. I need to read Gone Girl. It’s on my TBR. I love The Book Thief. It makes me feel all the feels just thinking about it.

    My TTT Post

    • iloveheartlandx February 14, 2018 / 12:55 am

      Thank you! I figured it might make a change from all the OTP, favourite romances sort of posts that most people would do this week. I hope you enjoy Gone Girl. Oh my gosh, me too! That book crushed my soul, but in the best possible way πŸ™‚

  12. Anne Bennett February 13, 2018 / 8:27 pm

    You did make some pretty cynical selections this week. In fact several of your books I wouldn’t think of as romantic at all. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  13. everythingalyce February 13, 2018 / 9:33 pm

    This is a really clever twist on the topic! I always struggle to find books that don’t focus on love, so it’s always great to get recommendations. If you haven’t read Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard I highly recommend it – it’s all about the importance of friendship, and there’s no love interests at all!

    • iloveheartlandx February 14, 2018 / 12:53 am

      Thanks! Oh my gosh, same here, it’s so frustrating. I’ve heard great things about both that book and Sara Barnard, and no I haven’t read it, so I’ll have to check it out sometime soon.

  14. Michelle (@PinkPlkaDotBlog) February 13, 2018 / 10:32 pm

    I totally agree w/ Gillian Flynn’s books. They are definitely books that will make you happy to be single because the relationships are MESSED UP. Also, Dangerous Girls and Asking For It were 2 of my faves. I’m not much of a romance person OR a fantasy person, so those types of books are my jam!!

    • iloveheartlandx February 14, 2018 / 12:52 am

      Ha ha yeah, totally! I haven’t read the third one of hers, but if it’s as twisted as Gone Girl and Dark Places then it totally qualifies too. Mine too, they were both so great! Fair enough. I tried to get a little something for everyone on this list, so you can have something to read on Valentine’s Day no matter your preferences!

  15. Kay Wisteria February 13, 2018 / 10:37 pm

    Happy blogiversery πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ I love this list because as someone #foreveralone I can’t believe I haven’t read any of these and I really NEED TO! Especially The Book Thief omg

    • iloveheartlandx February 14, 2018 / 12:51 am

      Ah thank you! Oh you definitely do-The Book Thief is amazing!

    • iloveheartlandx February 14, 2018 / 12:50 am

      Thanks! Yeah, I thought it was something slightly different, not a twisted relationship or view of love, just embracing a different kind of love. Me too πŸ™‚

  16. Flavia February 14, 2018 / 12:03 am

    I like the twist you put on the tag! Hehehe. Great post!

  17. littlefoxandreads February 14, 2018 / 12:03 am

    OMG I love this post. “No matter how lonely and bitter you feel, the Baudelaires have it a lot worse” πŸ˜‚ I think I’ll post this quote on my wall. Happy Blogaversary!!

    • iloveheartlandx February 14, 2018 / 12:41 am

      Ha ha thanks. Go right ahead! Aww thank you πŸ™‚

  18. whimsywriter3 February 14, 2018 / 12:08 am

    Happy Blogaversary! This was such a fun post. πŸ˜€

  19. Elizabeth (@oboechica88) February 14, 2018 / 12:11 am

    AHAHAHAH this is freaking hilarious! I love the theme you picked lololol

    But for real, these are some solid picks. Have you read Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill? Woman knows how to write things that make you ANGRY and heart breaking.

    • iloveheartlandx February 14, 2018 / 12:40 am

      Ha ha thank you! The last two years I did slow burn romances and romantic quotes, but this year I thought screw it, let out the inner cynic! I haven’t yet, I really want to, it sounds amazing. Hopefully I’ll have time to squeeze it in this year.

  20. Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense February 14, 2018 / 12:36 am

    Happy blogiversary! Gone Girl is perfect for your topic this week. I never once thought about romance while reading that one. Thursday is actually a much more enjoyable day that Valentine’s Day because all the candy is half off. Love when delicious chocolate is cheap.

    • iloveheartlandx February 14, 2018 / 12:46 am

      Thanks! It was the first one I thought of when I decided on the topic, you can’t have a list of books for romance cynics without Gone Girl. Ha ha I totally agree, we should all celebrate that day instead, Cheap Chocolate Day!

  21. Alyssa Marie February 14, 2018 / 12:43 am

    Happy Blogversary!! I like that you went in a different direction with your list! There are plenty of Valentine’s Day cynics out there, including myself. So it’s nice to know we can stick together! Great list!

    • iloveheartlandx February 14, 2018 / 12:45 am

      Thank you! Ha ha I did a couple of mushy posts the last couple of years and I just thought, why not let the inner cynic have free rein this year? Ah we definitely can, ice cream all round!

  22. thebookishlibra February 14, 2018 / 12:55 am

    Happy Blogaversary! Totally agree with Gillian Flynn’s books being on your list too. No love in those for sure, lol.

  23. Sumedha February 14, 2018 / 1:20 am

    I love that you chose to recommend cynic romance books! It’s a perfect choice when we have the freebie 😊 and I totally agree with your choices.

    • iloveheartlandx February 14, 2018 / 10:00 am

      Ha ha thanks! I thought I would embrace the cynic this year. Thanks πŸ™‚

  24. Ceri February 14, 2018 / 2:06 am

    Yes, queen! I am here for that V-Day hate. πŸ˜€ I have yet to read most of these but will now definitely be trying to pick them up to keep away from the mush πŸ˜‰

    Also, happy blogoversary!

    • iloveheartlandx February 14, 2018 / 9:59 am

      Ha ha thank you! Ugh tell me about it, V Day sucks. Glad to have helped you find some non mushy reading material. Thanks πŸ™‚

  25. Lisa February 14, 2018 / 2:57 am

    Ha, I love the topic! Great choice of books — Gone Girl will definitely make a reader run far, far away from marriage!

  26. Kristen February 14, 2018 / 4:43 am

    I love what you did with the freebie! I’ve never really been a fan of Valentine’s Day whether I was in a relationship or not (I’m married, and we don’t do gifts or dinner or anything), but I do know what you mean about it being shoved down your throat when you’re single.

    I’ve read all of Gillian Flynn’s novels, and I enjoyed all of them. Most of the other books on this list are currently on my “To Read” list.
    Happy blogaversary! Four years is amazing! πŸ™‚

    • iloveheartlandx February 14, 2018 / 9:55 am

      Thank you! I just don’t get why Valentine’s Day is such a big deal, like what makes that day more special than any other if you’re in a relationship? And when you’re single, it just feels like it’s everywhere, reminding you you still haven’t found someone. I still have to read Sharp Objects, but I did enjoy both Gone Girl and Dark Places. Well I hope you enjoy them when you read them. Thank you! I can hardly believe it’s been that long πŸ™‚

  27. cotswoldbookaholic February 14, 2018 / 7:01 am

    Love this! I thought Gone Girl was such a brilliant book and when the film came out out my friend said that it was enough to put him off women for life! πŸ˜‚
    And I also cried at The Book Thief, so moving.
    Happy Blogaversary!

    • iloveheartlandx February 14, 2018 / 9:52 am

      Thanks! Ha ha I can definitely see where you’re friend is coming from. Yes, it is πŸ™‚

  28. palegoldpages February 14, 2018 / 7:12 am

    BOOK THEIF ❀️❀️❀️😍

  29. Holly February 14, 2018 / 7:27 am

    Haha love your list! ❀ I'm currently in the middle of reading A Series of Unfortunate Events right now (I never read them when I was younger for some reason) and they're so dark yet strangely funny! Also, happy four years of blogging! ❀

    • iloveheartlandx February 14, 2018 / 9:51 am

      Thank you! Oh that’s great-that was exactly why I loved them, the dark humour was the perfect fit for me. Thanks πŸ™‚

  30. Annemieke February 14, 2018 / 7:38 am

    Oeh ouch The Book Thief. If you really want your heart broken on valentine’s Day that is the one to read.

  31. Kathy @ Books & Munches February 14, 2018 / 8:07 am

    I still haven’t read The Book Thief but since it’s Valentine’s day, I think I’ll end up reading sappy romance after all, haha.
    The Book Thief is definitely one I want to read this year though! People keep saying I HAVE to read it so.. I’ll have to? πŸ˜›

  32. thebookwormofnotredame February 14, 2018 / 10:45 am

    Happy blogaversary! I only read This Savage Song from your list (which I ADORED) but I love your TTT! I used to love Valentine’s Day but this year it’s very different and I can’t wait for it to be over so I’m really glad with how you changed the subject haha! I’m very intrigued in many books you talked about such as Gone Girl, Asking For It and The Book Thief so I’ll definitely try to get them soon!

    • iloveheartlandx February 15, 2018 / 11:18 am

      Thank you! I hope you enjoy those then πŸ™‚

  33. bookishgirl61 February 14, 2018 / 3:40 pm

    I love your take on the freebie! I’ve had Code Name Verity on my TBR for such a long time and have heard so many amazing things about it, including that it’s a tear-jerker and I just don’t think I’m ready. The Book Thief is absolutely amazing and of course, makes me cry every time I reread it! I’ve been wanting to read This Savage Song but have decided to start on her A Darker Shade of Magic series first. Great list! Happy reading!

    • iloveheartlandx February 15, 2018 / 11:16 am

      Thank you! Code Name Verity is amazing, but yes, it’s one you need to be mentally prepared for. Yes, The Book Thief is amazing, though I’ve only actually read it the once. I actually prefer A Darker Shade of Magic to This Savage Song, This Savage Song just fit the theme better this week.

  34. camillesbookishadventures February 14, 2018 / 6:24 pm

    Happy blogaversary!
    I like how you did your TTT, that was a good interpretation of the theme.

  35. Destiny @ Howling Libraries February 14, 2018 / 7:19 pm

    Happy blogaversary! I love your take on this week’s theme. Frozen Charlotte was one I added to my TBR very recently. πŸ™‚

    • iloveheartlandx February 15, 2018 / 11:10 am

      Thank you! I hope you enjoy Frozen Charlotte πŸ™‚

  36. lalafulton February 15, 2018 / 12:26 am

    I love your twist on this Top Ten!!!
    Though funnily enough, I’ve always found Gone Girl to be SUPER romantic. Whenever I tell people that they always look at me like I’m bonkers but like…come on. Are there two people out there that deserve each other more than those two?! HA!

    Great list!!!!!

    • iloveheartlandx February 15, 2018 / 11:07 am

      Thank you! Ha ha I suppose to each their own, and you’re sort of right, they’re both so twisted that they’re kinda perfect for each other!

  37. The Girl in Boots February 15, 2018 / 11:58 am

    Happy blogaversary! I LOVE The Book Thief, I cried so much!
    This Savage Song has been on my TBR forever! πŸ’•

    • iloveheartlandx February 16, 2018 / 12:33 pm

      Thank you! Me too. I hope you enjoy This Savage Song πŸ™‚

  38. Anastasia February 15, 2018 / 5:42 pm

    Happy blogiversary ! <3Β¨

    Hmm so in Finland, we celebrate Valentines as friendship day and basically wish it to everyone from cashiers to neighbors and colleagues πŸ˜€ should be more like that in every country.

  39. Beth (Reading Every Night) February 15, 2018 / 7:55 pm

    I love your twist on this week’s theme, and you have some great picks here. The Book Thief is an all-time favourite of mine, and anything by V.E. Schwab is always a good choice in my mind. πŸ˜€ When I was younger A Series of Unfortunate Events was a favourite series of mine, so I think it’s a perfect anti-Valentine’s Day read too.
    Great picks for this week. πŸ™‚

    • iloveheartlandx February 16, 2018 / 12:31 pm

      Thank you! Yes mine too, and same here. It was a favourite series of mine when I was younger as well, and you’re right, can’t get further from love than total utter misery and misfortune.

  40. Veronika Γ‰les February 16, 2018 / 7:17 pm

    Ah, this is such an amazing topic!! I love Gone Girl, Dangerous Girls, A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Book Thief and Frozen Charlote, WHICH IS SO UNDERRATED, so seeing it here makes me happy. (Have you read Charlotte Says, the prequel? It was AMAZING, as well.)

    • iloveheartlandx March 17, 2018 / 4:54 pm

      Thank you! Yes, I have read Charlotte Says, thought it was great!

  41. Tessa G. February 17, 2018 / 6:31 pm

    Happy Blogaversary anniversary! Congratulations on not only lasting this long, but also thriving throughout the years! I have really come to love your blog (especially your amazing discussions) and I hope you have many more years to come.

    Anyway, I love A Series of Unfortunate Events and The Book Thief, but they are definitely not traditional Valentine’s Day reads. I don’t really read a ton of mystery books, but I might try Dangerous Girls this year as I try to avoid the sappy season of love. Plus, a thriller might be just what I need to make the dreary winter days more exciting.

    • iloveheartlandx February 18, 2018 / 3:49 pm

      Aww thank you, that’s so lovely to hear! Ha ha no they are definitely not. Yes you should, Dangerous Girls is so good and definitely great for forgetting about the dreary winter days.

  42. AngelErin February 18, 2018 / 3:24 am

    Love your twist on this and I need to read Dangerous Girls. That one sounds fantastic. And Happy Blogoversary!!! WOO HOOO!!!! ❀ ❀

    • iloveheartlandx February 18, 2018 / 3:46 pm

      Thanks! Oh it is, so food! Aww thank you πŸ™‚

  43. Olivia February 19, 2018 / 5:10 pm

    Happy Blogaversary or whatever it should be called…and nice twist on the theme, love the list.

  44. Helia Reads February 23, 2018 / 11:12 am

    I love your spin on this week’s topic! I really need to read A Series of Unfortunate Events because I adore the series.

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