Top Ten Tuesday #377

Hi all! I hope you’ve had a good week since I last did one of these, it is boiling right now here in the U.K. so that is of course all we can talk about because we are a nothing if not a nation obsessed with the weather! It’s been getting up to 36-38 degrees Celsius here though, which is very warm even for summer in the UK so I have been hibernating in my house in a dark room with a fan on for the last day and bit waiting for the heatwave to pass. I genuinely do not understand people who love summer, it’s my least favourite time of the year weather wise, I say bring on the autumn!

Anyway, it’s Tuesday, so that means another Top Ten Tuesday, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is a freebie, so as I’m still feeling a bit of a comedown from YALC a couple of weeks ago, I thought I’d keep the YALC love going and share some of my favourite books I’ve bought at the convention over the past six years I’ve been to the event. I have to admit, I’ve definitely made some mistakes with books I’ve bought at YALC and ended up donating a lot of the books I bought “on a whim” there, but I have also found some really great ones, and those are what I’m sharing with you today:

  1. The Song Rising-Samantha Shannon

When I went to YALC in 2017, I had recently read The Bone Season and was towards the end of The Mime Order, so naturally, I bought The Song Rising as it was the next book in the series, and meant I could get all three signed by Samantha Shannon. It can be a little dangerous to get a book signed that you haven’t read yet, I have been burned before and ended up not liking some books I’ve had signed before reading them (Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard, Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor). But thankfully that wasn’t the case here as The Song Rising ended up being my favourite so far of The Bone Season books (I’ve yet to finish The Mask Falling, but I don’t think it’s going to knock TSR off the top spot). I completely devoured it in around 5 days which is very fast for me, as it was such an exciting, pacy read.

2. To Kill A Kingdom-Alexandra Christo

Hannah, Hannah and I all bought a copy of this book at YALC in 2018, I think the only time ever that we’ve all got a copy of the same book! Anyway, both Hannahs had already read the book and loved it by the time I got to it at the beginning of 2019, so I felt like there was quite a lot of pressure to enjoy it too, so I wasn’t the odd one out. Thankfully I really, really loved it, it was one of those dark, funny, full of anti-hero characters books that are always right up my street.

3. The Exact Opposite of Okay-Laura Steven

Hannah and I both managed to get an ARC of this at YALC in 2017, she ended up not being so sure about it, but I was completely obsessed. I flew through this during the February reading week of my third year of Uni and it was great company on the train to and from my work experience at DC Thomson in Dundee during that week. It’s so funny and fierce and feminist and Izzy O’Neill is probably up there with characters I’ve most related to in fiction, so yeah, suffice to say, I really loved this one (sadly the sequel, not so much).

4. Into The Crooked Place-Alexandra Christo

Naturally after both loving To Kill A Kingdom, when Hannah and I saw that Hot Key Books were running a competition at YALC 2019 to win an ARC of Alexandra Christo’s upcoming release, we had to have it! We never usually have much luck with these things, but Hannah managed to win the bat she needed in order to get the ARC. I didn’t manage to find one, but Hannah lent me the ARC when she was done and I read it in September of 2019. To Kill A Kingdom is still definitely my favourite Alexandra Christo book, but I really enjoyed Into The Crooked Place, it had a great gang of morally grey characters at the centre with a really interesting group dynamic and some really cool twists throughout. I haven’t read the sequel City Of Spells yet, but I’m definitely looking forward to it.

5. Daughter of The Burning City-Amanda Foody

I already had a digital ARC of this from Netgalley, but I think it expired before I got around to downloading it, so when I saw the HQ stand was selling early copies of this book at YALC in 2017, I naturally leaped on it. Of course, because I’m me, I didn’t actually get around to reading it until 2018 but when I did read it, I really enjoyed it. It’s such a creative little story, it’s a murder mystery set in a circus but the victims are illusions created by the main character’s magic, they’re not real, so they shouldn’t be able to be murdered and yet they are. I did enjoy Amanda Foody’s Shadow Game series a bit more than this one, she’s obviously improved a lot since her debut, but it was a solid and enjoyable introduction to her work that made me want to go on and read more!

6. Under Rose-Tainted Skies-Louise Gornall

This is one of the few books I bought on the Sunday at YALC in 2016 that I actually ended up keeping, be very wary of the discounts on the last day of YALC, you will end up buying stuff that you later wonder why you did! Anyway, I have quite a good story when it comes to reading this book as I read quite a lot of it on a horrendous overnight ferry trip from Athens to Crete whilst I was on holiday in Greece with my friends in 2017. It’s probably the most realistic and raw depiction of mental health I’ve ever read and though Norah’s anxiety and intense intrusive thoughts made the book hard to read at times, it was definitely a very powerful read.

7. Frozen Charlotte-Alex Bell

Straight horror is not usually my genre, but I do enjoy dark books as long as they’re not too gory and this one fit the bill perfectly. It’s really more light horror with mystery vibes so if you’re not a big horror fan, I reckon this would still work for you. Basically, it’s all about these creepy dolls in this former schoolhouse on the Isle of Skye in Scotland and these dolls basically influence people to do horrible things. It’s a very creepy and mysterious story, and the author does a great job at creating an eerie atmosphere.

8. Rose Under Fire-Elizabeth Wein

I loved Code Name Verity, so when I was at YALC in 2017, I picked up Rose Under Fire for Elizabeth Wein to sign too as I wanted to read more books by her and had heard really good things about it. Rose is technically a companion to Code Name Verity, but they are very different books, Rose is more straight historical fiction, where CNV was more of a spy/thriller/mystery/historical hybrid. I found Rose Under Fire to be a very emotional read, a large part of the book takes place during the main character’s time in Ravesnbruck concentration camp and Wein definitely does not shy away from the horrors of the camp. Rose also suffers with PTSD throughout much of the book due to her experiences in the war, so it’s definitely not an easy read, but I think a very necessary one.

So there we go! Not quite a Top Ten this week, but I didn’t want to include two more books just to make up the numbers and I have read quite a few books from YALC that I didn’t enjoy. Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? Any on your TBR? Has anyone been to YALC? What’s your favourite book you’ve ever got there? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back next week with another Top Ten Tuesday, this time we’re talking Books From My Past Seasonal TBR Posts That I Still Haven’t Read. I’m feeling slightly judged by this topic as I’m notorious for not finishing all my seasonal TBR books, but it should be a fun one to do!

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50 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday #377

    • iloveheartlandx 26/07/2022 / 11:34 am

      Thankfully it was only two days! Yeah no one was made to live in 40 degree weather.
      Frozen Charlotte was a very fun read, I definitely recommend it πŸ™‚

  1. Terrie Purkey 19/07/2022 / 3:09 pm

    Frozen Charlotte sounds appropriately creepy….Good collection of books to peruse and see if I need to add to my TBR. Thanks for the visit!
    Terrie @ Bookshelf Journeys

    • iloveheartlandx 26/07/2022 / 11:33 am

      It was definitely very creepy! I hope you have found something you like here, I always love helping people find new books to read. No problem πŸ™‚

    • iloveheartlandx 26/07/2022 / 11:32 am

      Thank you! I hope you enjoy it when you read it πŸ™‚

  2. Rekha 19/07/2022 / 4:53 pm

    I have been hearing a lot about the UK heatwave. We hardly had any summer here this time. Three weeks of sweltering heat followed by heavy rains.

    Great list! All these authors are new to me. Daughter of the burning city sounds interesting.

    • iloveheartlandx 26/07/2022 / 11:32 am

      Yeah it’s been particularly bad this year, we do have a tendency to go on and on about the weather, but 40 degree temps are not normal!
      Thank you! Daughter of The Burning City is a really fun read, I highly recommend it πŸ™‚

  3. Louise 19/07/2022 / 5:39 pm

    I think I read Daughter of The Burning City as an arc too and really thought it was an excellent debut.

  4. Emily Jane 19/07/2022 / 6:00 pm

    The weather is ridiculous here isn’t it. We do always go on about it don’t we, it just comes naturally! I completely agree with you and dislike summer. I like a bright but overcast day!

    Anyway an interesting set of books.

    Have a great week!

    Emily @ Budget Tales Book Blog

    • iloveheartlandx 26/07/2022 / 11:30 am

      It really is! Ha ha it is at least something everyone in Britain can bond over I suppose! Thank you πŸ™‚

      • Emily Jane 26/07/2022 / 6:55 pm

        It is. I don’t know why we are so fascinated by it but we are…

  5. anovelglimpse 19/07/2022 / 6:26 pm

    How fun to get to read books you got a conference! And to enjoy them!

    • iloveheartlandx 26/07/2022 / 11:29 am

      Yes, YALC is super fun and I’ve definitely got lots of books I’ve loved from there over the years.

  6. Deb Nance at Readerbuzz 19/07/2022 / 7:30 pm

    I hope all the books you chose turn out to be fantastic.

    I really miss conferences. I do hope to go to one next spring.

    • iloveheartlandx 26/07/2022 / 11:28 am

      They were, these are books that I picked up at previous conferences & enjoyed! Ah that’s exciting, I hope you enjoy it πŸ™‚

  7. Cindy Davis 19/07/2022 / 8:24 pm

    I have not read any of these. I hope you enjoy them all!!!

    • iloveheartlandx 26/07/2022 / 11:27 am

      They’re all books I’ve already read, so yes, I did!

  8. Greg 19/07/2022 / 9:09 pm

    I’m ready for autumn too, and we’re not even having the heatwave you are there! Although it is 86 (30 C ) here today. 36-38 though- yikes. Anyway, I’ve heard very good things about Skies and its mental health depictions… I wanted to read it for that reason but never got to it, sadly.

    • iloveheartlandx 26/07/2022 / 11:27 am

      Yeah I don’t really like it when it goes above 30 so the extreme heat we had last week was definitely a yikes for me too! I’m definitely much more of a cold weather person than a warm one. Skies is very good, I recommend it if you ever get the chance πŸ™‚

  9. taylorfennerblogs 19/07/2022 / 9:32 pm

    I listened to the audiobook of To Kill A Kingdom a couple years ago and loved it! I need to read Into the Crooked Place, it’s been sitting on my shelf for so long.

  10. FangirlFlax 19/07/2022 / 10:02 pm

    God, this heatwave–if I could swap out to autumn and have another six weeks of it, I would do it in a heartbeat. Best of luck coping with it!

  11. Leslie 19/07/2022 / 11:25 pm

    It would be so hard to not buy everything at a book event!

  12. WendyW 20/07/2022 / 1:18 am

    I just can’t imagine those temperatures in the UK. I lived there for 4 years, and it never got that hot. I live in Arizona where we do see these temperatures, but we’re prepared for it with lots of air conditioning! And it’s a “dry heat” in AZ. I hope you get some relief soon!

    • iloveheartlandx 26/07/2022 / 11:23 am

      Yeah it was not fun….we generally don’t get temperatures much above 30 and it’s been about three years since our last extremely hot day, so it was a bit of a shock to the system! We don’t have air conditioning but we did have a fan in our house which provided some relief. Thankfully the temperatures are back down to normal now!

  13. 1girl2manybooks 20/07/2022 / 1:23 am

    I haven’t read any of these! I hope the weather has broken for you now – it’s even made the news here in Australia how unusually hot the weather has been for you guys over there and how much the country isn’t used to it! Fingers crossed it’s cooler and more enjoyable now.

    • iloveheartlandx 26/07/2022 / 11:20 am

      It has, thankfully it was only the two days of really awful heat we had to deal with, it’s cooled down a lot now!

  14. Terrie Purkey 20/07/2022 / 1:41 am

    Thanks so much for the visit! – I haven’t read any of these either, but Frozen Charlotte sounds pretty creepy…..
    Terrie @ Bookshelf Journeys

    • iloveheartlandx 26/07/2022 / 11:19 am

      No problem! It definitely was….though the prequel Charlotte Says was even creepier.

  15. jennielyse 20/07/2022 / 4:48 am

    I bet it is such hard thing to let go of being at something so fun like YALC. You have a some great books on your list. I own a couple myself, even though I haven’t read them yet. LOL.

    • iloveheartlandx 26/07/2022 / 11:19 am

      The YALC comedown is definitely real! I hope you enjoy them whenever you get around to them πŸ™‚

  16. Marg 20/07/2022 / 11:11 am

    I hope that the weather cools for you soon.

    I am not familiar with many of these authors other than Elizabeth Wein, although I still haven’t read Code Name Verity. It has been on my TBR list for years.

    • iloveheartlandx 26/07/2022 / 11:18 am

      It did, thankfully! Ooh Code Name Verity is awesome, I hope you enjoy it whenever you do get around to it.

  17. BonnieReadsAndWrites 20/07/2022 / 12:35 pm

    Hope you find ways to stay cool! Daughter of the Burning City sounds good.

    • iloveheartlandx 26/07/2022 / 11:18 am

      I did, thank you! It was really good, I love Amanda Foody’s books and highly recommend them πŸ™‚

  18. Jaime 20/07/2022 / 4:20 pm

    I haven’t read any of these, but this is a fun topic for a freebie post πŸ™‚

  19. lindseyhabets 20/07/2022 / 6:17 pm

    I’m glad to hear you loved the Samantha Shannon series so far, it’s been on my TBR for a while so I really need to get to it. I also remember loving To Kill A Kingdom!

    • iloveheartlandx 26/07/2022 / 11:09 am

      I hope you enjoy it when you do, there’s quite a few books still left to come out! I actually still need to finish the fourth one, I made it most of the way through but I was in an awful reading slump last year and didn’t read as much as I would have liked (and kept putting down books halfway through!). To Kill A Kingdom was SO GOOD.

  20. Ela@The Queer Bookish 22/07/2022 / 6:13 pm

    I’ve really enjoyed getting a glimpse into your memories that are tied to those books. It’s been ages since my last book fair but the excitement of an author signing your copy of their book still lives on.

    • iloveheartlandx 26/07/2022 / 11:06 am

      Thank you! Yeah, this year’s YALC was my first book con since before Covid, so the excitement was definitely real πŸ™‚

  21. dinipandareads 25/07/2022 / 2:06 pm

    Ooh, what an awesome idea! I would love to one day go to YALC or any of the book festivals that I’ve seen people going to. Bucket list for sure! I think I’d go too wild on book buying though πŸ˜‚

    • iloveheartlandx 26/07/2022 / 11:03 am

      Thank you! It is super fun, but yes, slightly dangerous on the wallet ha ha.

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