Top Ten Tuesday #168


Hi guys! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these, I’ve just been working, I’m at my summer job for the next five weeks, so that will basically be all of my life updates until it’s over! It’s going well, I’m completely shattered, but I did get to do some book shopping when the kids had free time in London last weekend and ended up with 4 new books, 2 more than I had intended-what can I say, I’d had a stressful week and book shopping soothes me!

Anyway, once again, I’m taking the short window of time I have before I have to get to work to give you guys another Top Ten Tuesday, thanks to Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. Today we’re meant to be talking about our favourite novellas/short stories, but since I’m not a massive novella/short story fan, I’m taking an old topic from The Broke and The Bookish (previous runners) archive and talking about my Top Ten Favourite Standalone Novels, since I flail about series’ near constantly and don’t talk about my favourite standalones nearly enough, so today, I’m going to share my favourite books that are not part of a series:

  1. The Book Thief-Markus Zusak

The Book Thief is one of my absolute favourite books, honestly I’m not sure I’ll ever read another historical fiction that I love quite as much as this one, though I’ve read a few that have come pretty darn close. Liesel’s story is beautiful and heartbreaking and just so touching, it’s definitely one of those books that has wedged itself in my heart and is unlikely to ever leave.

2. Daughter of The Burning City-Amanda Foody

This is one that I read this year, YA fantasy standalones are so very rare and whilst I almost wish that this did have a series because there are definitely more stories that could come out of this world, having only a single book made this YA fantasy/murder mystery hybrid even more unique.

3. By A Charm and A Curse-Jaime Questell

Another fun little YA fantasy standalone I read this year, this book is like a cross between Snow White and Pinocchio in this dark circus setting and it was so cool, I wish more people were talking about this book!

4. My Sister’s Keeper-Jodi Picoult

My first ever Jodi Picoult book and the one that made me fall in love with her books, the sister relationship at the heart of this book is just amazing and it really makes you think about how much you would be willing to give up if your sister’s health depended on you. Plus that ending really smacked me in the gut and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it for years!

5. Between Shades of Gray-Ruta Sepetys

THIS BOOK GUYS. I swear I never physically cry at books, but as soon as I read “That morning my brother’s life was worth a pocket watch”, the tears started. This book is so harsh and harrowing and yet beautifully hopeful. Honestly if you guys want a historical fiction about a different part of WWII, then definitely give this one a try. I cannot wait for the movie!

6. Dangerous Girls-Abigail Haas

There is a book called Dangerous Boys by the same author, but they are unrelated standalones not companions or sequels. Genuinely this book is the book that I hold all YA thrillers up to now, and nothing has blown my mind yet quite as much as this one did, that ending was just…..ugh I can’t even talk about it, but it’s the best, most twisted YA thriller I’ve ever read.

7. Cross My Heart-Carmen Reid

Another historical (apparently a lot of the standalones I love are historicals) that I absolutely loved, it was so fast paced and exciting and I’ve never read any books about the Belgian Resistance before, so it was great to learn about something new!

8. Matilda-Roald Dahl

One of my favourite books as a child (in fact Roald Dahl was one of my favourite childhood authors), I feel like reading Matilda is a bookworm right of passage!

9. Ballet Shoes-Noel Streatfeild

Another one of my childhood favourites, the sisters relationship in this is just amazing and I loved the idea of found families-heck I still do.

10. Blind Beauty-KM Peyton

KM Peyton was one of my favourite horse authors when I was a kid, I loved the Flambards books, but this one was my personal favourite, all about a troubled kid and her horse on their path to winning the Grand National, it’s such a beautiful and heartwarming, if at times sad, story.

So there we have it, my favourite standalone novels. Have you read any of these? Did you like them? What are your favourite standalone novels? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s topic is Books With Sensory Reading Memories, so I’m going with one of the suggested ideas for interpreting this topic, and talking about Books I Read Whilst On Holiday. In the meantime, I’m not entirely sure when I will have new content for you next, as I am super busy with work, but I’m hoping to get a discussion post, probably an updated YALC tips post up very soon!


54 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday #168

  1. Holly 17/07/2018 / 10:24 am

    Awww Matilda is such a great one! I was late to that train and didn’t read it for the first time until last summer…. worth the wait, though ❤

    • iloveheartlandx 21/07/2018 / 7:32 pm

      It is! Ah that’s okay, Matilda can be enjoyed at any age-that’s what I love about Roald Dahl’s books, they’re just as good for adults as they are for kids 🙂

  2. Astilbe Reviews 17/07/2018 / 2:47 pm

    Yes, My Sister’s Keeper was quite the story.

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday.

  3. taylortalksbooks 17/07/2018 / 5:12 pm

    This was such a great list! I’ve been dying to read Daughter of the Burning City since it sounds so unique & overall amaazing.
    Here’s my TTT!

    • iloveheartlandx 21/07/2018 / 7:31 pm

      It definitely was! Ha ha I think as bookworms we have a tendency to go for the long rather than the short. Ooh that’s interesting, I’ll check it out.

    • iloveheartlandx 21/07/2018 / 7:30 pm

      Me too! I do like series, but sometimes I just need a break and it would be nice if there were more standalones because I don’t necessarily always want to commit to a series!

  4. Greg Hill 18/07/2018 / 3:23 am

    Dangerous Girls was so good! I totally agree. And Daughter of the burning City sounds amazing- I sooo need to read that one!

    • iloveheartlandx 21/07/2018 / 7:28 pm

      Me too! I figure it still counts because those books aren’t direct sequels, they only make cameo appearances and Ballet Shoes is the only book featuring them as main characters.

  5. Aj @ Read All The Things! 19/07/2018 / 12:54 am

    Great list! The Book Thief is one of my favorite books ever. I loved Matilda as a kid and saw the movie about a thousand times. I should reread it someday.

  6. Mara 19/07/2018 / 12:50 pm

    Definitely agree with Dangerous Girls! I don’t normally read YA thrillers but this one was too good! I really think it deserves more recognition and hype 😀

    • iloveheartlandx 21/07/2018 / 7:27 pm

      It definitely does! Before I started blogging, I knew no one who had read it and that’s just sad!

    • iloveheartlandx 21/07/2018 / 7:22 pm

      Thank you! I am a big lover of series, but I do enjoy a good standalone now and then 🙂

  7. bookishconnoisseur 19/07/2018 / 6:23 pm

    I have The Book Thief on my shelf and I really need to get around to reading it. Great list!

  8. Brooke Lorren (@Brookelorren) 19/07/2018 / 6:30 pm

    I read a lot of horse books when I was a kid, LOL. I liked Ace of Shades, so I might want to read Daughter of a Burning city by Amanda Foody. Between Shades of Gray sounds interesting too.

    • iloveheartlandx 21/07/2018 / 7:17 pm

      Same here! Oh you definitely should give them both a try 🙂

  9. Beth (Reading Every Night) 19/07/2018 / 7:36 pm

    As far as standalones go The Book Thief is one of my all-time favourites. Normally I’m not really a fan of historical fiction but that one is an exception of mine. I’m actually hoping to re-read it at some point this year as well. Also i really loved Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody, it was the setting that convinced me to pick it up, I loved the idea of the travelling festival/city the story was set in.
    Great picks, and great post. 🙂

    • iloveheartlandx 21/07/2018 / 7:12 pm

      Mine too! I do like historical fiction but I definitely get why that book could appeal to those who aren’t fans of the genre. Yes, DOTBC was great, and the setting was a big part of that. Thank you 🙂

  10. ChrissiReads 19/07/2018 / 7:44 pm

    So many wonderful books ❤

  11. Silver Raine 19/07/2018 / 8:39 pm

    I don’t think i’ve read many stand alones – they inevitably turn into series! Among my recent reads I liked Daughter of a Burning City, and Bryony & Roses by T. Kingfisher (a beauty and the beast retelling)!

    • iloveheartlandx 21/07/2018 / 7:09 pm

      Ha ha this is very true! Yes DOTBC was great. Ooh, I haven’t heard of Bryony and Roses, I’ll have to check it out.

  12. Jaime 19/07/2018 / 8:41 pm

    I love the Book Thief. I still need to read Between Shades of Gray, but Salt to the Sea was AMAZING, so I have high hopes.

    • iloveheartlandx 21/07/2018 / 7:08 pm

      It’s one of my favourite books! Oh you’ll love it, I liked Salt To The Sea, but Between Shades of Gray was just incredible 🙂

      • Jaime 23/07/2018 / 3:58 pm

        Good to know! Salt to the Sea blew me away, so I’m glad Between Shades of Gray is even better.

  13. foreverlostinlit 19/07/2018 / 10:33 pm

    I can’t believe I still haven’t read Between Shades of Gray! I’ve seen so many reactions similar to yours, yet I still haven’t picked it up? Daughter of the Burning City was such an interesting book. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped, but still found the world and premise and characters so fascinating. Great list!

    • iloveheartlandx 21/07/2018 / 7:08 pm

      Oh you definitely should, it’s so good! Yeah I felt much the same way about DOTBC. Thank you 🙂

  14. Keri 20/07/2018 / 12:34 am

    I have Daughter of the Burning City checked out from the library! I should probably get around to that soon…
    And they’re making a movie out of Between Shades of Gray? That’s so cool!

    • iloveheartlandx 21/07/2018 / 7:04 pm

      I hope you enjoy it! Yeah they are, it’s called Ashes In The Snow, so that people don’t get confused with the other ‘Shades of Grey”.

      • Keri 21/07/2018 / 8:00 pm

        Thanks! And oooh, that makes sense!

  15. Kayleigh @ My Endless Shelf 20/07/2018 / 7:09 pm

    OMG Finally someone else who’s read Blind Beauty! I love this book so much and have since I was a kid! I also love The Book Thief and I’m really interested in reading Daughter of the Burning City.

    • iloveheartlandx 21/07/2018 / 7:02 pm

      Yes, it’s so good! I loved KM Peyton’s books when I was a kid. The Book Thief is amazing, and you definitely should try DOTBC.

  16. kozbisa 20/07/2018 / 9:05 pm

    I do not read too many novellas either. Ballet Shoes sounds like it would have fit in my list this week (sisters). I am so glad I saw Dangerous Girls on SOOOO many TTT lists, because it made me read the book, and it was fantastic.

    • iloveheartlandx 21/07/2018 / 7:01 pm

      Yeah, they’re mostly on Kindle and I don’t love reading on my laptop, the only exceptions I make for that is my Netgalley copies. Ballet Shoes definitely would have, it’s all about sisters. Ah yay, it’s so good right!

  17. Lin 21/07/2018 / 3:37 pm

    Matilda and The BFG were my fave Roald Dahl books. I really need to re-read them! 😀 I also really need to get to Daughter of the Burning City….. which has been on my TBR……. for ages….. *throws blanket over mountain sized TBR in an attempt to hide all the shame*

    • iloveheartlandx 21/07/2018 / 6:56 pm

      I never actually read The BFG as a kid, but I did love Matilda! Oh you definitely should, it’s so good. Can I borrow that blanket? I also have much TBR shame *runs and hides from TBR judgement*

      • Lin 24/07/2018 / 10:38 am

        I have plenty of shame hiding-blankets to go around! *throws blanket in the air like confetti and runs back inside*

  18. thebookishlibra 21/07/2018 / 11:09 pm

    Great list! Matilda and The Book Thief are two of my favorites as well 🙂

  19. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight 21/07/2018 / 11:51 pm

    Oooh great list! The Book Thief is a great one. And I had no idea that Daughter of The Burning City was a standalone, that is good info to have! Also SO true about Dangerous Girls- like it was almost too good, it ruined all the other thrillers hahah.

    • iloveheartlandx 23/07/2018 / 10:05 am

      Thank you! The Book Thief is one of my absolute faves. Yes, it is! OMG I know right, I cannot find anything at all that lives up to it, which is great b/c it was AMAZING but also sucks because it has ruined all other thrillers for me now.

  20. Heather Cilley 22/07/2018 / 7:46 pm

    I loveeee Matilda. She was always a favorite of mine when I was younger. Great answers! ❤

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