Unfortunately, I’m not one of those bloggers that ever got in the habit of reviewing every single book I read, so I’ve left a ton of books unreviewed. For this Top Ten Tuesday post, I’ve only picked books that I read before 2020 because I still have myself convinced that I’ll catch up and review some of the books I read earlier this year. So here are the 10 books I loved reading the most but never wrote a full review for!
With the Fire on High
It’s funny that I never reviewed this one because it seems like I talk about it a lot. In fact, I thought I had! But when I searched the title on my blog’s site, it came up with two pages of posts and none of the results was a review of it. I loved Emoni’s story and how many layers there are to it. She’s not just the senior girl who had a toddler. It’s a story about family and food and culture and figuring out what the heck to do with your life and a touch of magical realism. Acevedo certainly knows how to craft a compelling story in both poetry and prose, and I’ll read anything she writes. Highly recommend.
This one was such a different book from anything I’d ever read. I’m pretty sure Brooklyn, Burning is the only book I’ve ever read that’s written in a mix of first- and second-person perspective. If I remember correctly, the main character is telling their side of the story to their love interest to kind of explain the how and the why of their two-summer romance. What was really interesting was how well it worked. It’s a story of two teens that are never labeled or given gender pronouns, so the first- and second-person perspective helps because it eliminates the need to give gender to them. Of course, there’s so much more to love about Brooklyn, Burning than the perspective, so maybe one day I’ll reread it and give it a better review than what I have here.
The Hate U Give
So I definitely meant to write a full review of The Hate U Give for a while after I read it. The problem was that every time I sat down to put my thoughts in a post, I felt like everything I could say about the book had already been said by someone else, said better by someone else. There’s so much to love about The Hate U Give from the depth of the characters to the nuance and sensitivity of Angie Thomas’ writing to the emotional punch it packs. How much more can I really add to the conversation?
The Prince and the Dressmaker
In a way, this is another case of “So many people I know have reviewed this, so what can I really add?” Of course, The Prince and the Dressmaker is popular in a much different way than The Hate U Give. I think another thing that stopped me from reviewing it is that I’m not sure if the main character is supposed to be read as trans or not so I’d rather not review a story I don’t quite understand and accidentally add to incorrect speculation. Or maybe that’s exactly what the author intended? Hard to tell. But I really enjoyed it nonetheless! Jen Wang’s art style and storytelling are both beautiful and I’m looking forward to what other stories come from her.
A Darker Shade of Magic
For some reason that I haven’t figured out, I am terrible at writing reviews for books in a series! I’ve never written a review for every book in a series and usually if I write one for the first book, I don’t follow up on the second, third, etc. So that’s where I really went wrong here, I think. That and A Darker Shade of Magic was one of the very first adult fantasy books I’d ever read, so I didn’t (don’t) really know how to talk about it. But I really love the concept of four parallel Londons with varying degrees of magic present in them. Plus V.E. Schwab really knows how to write some interesting and loveable characters.
Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World
Ashley Herring Blake
It was unfortunate that I read this during a blogging slump. I probably would have reviewed Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World if I’d been more on top of things last winter. There’s so much to love about this book, and I wish I had shouted about it more when it was fresh in my mind.
Queer, There and Everywhere
I thought about reviewing this briefly after finishing it but… I still haven’t quite figured out how to I want to talk about non-fiction. Overall, I really enjoyed the short histories on these 23 people from very different times and backgrounds. It was a great introduction into queer history, and I especially loved that it included people that are well-known for other reasons such as Abraham Lincoln and Frida Kahlo as well as people from history as early as the Roman Empire to reinforce the truth that queer people have been around forever will continue to exist forever. Another really important part of this book is that it was definitely written with a teenage audience in mind. It doesn’t hold anything back and handles sensitive topics with grace and keeps the narration entertaining.
Get a Life, Chloe Brown
Ah okay so, Get a Life, Chloe Brown is yet another case of “I rarely read this genre, and I enjoyed it! I just don’t know how to talk about why I enjoyed it,” because I’ve only read a handful of adult romances before! Maybe one of these days I’ll get over that fear of not doing a book justice in my review of it.
We Set the Dark on Fire
Tehlor Kay Mejia
The reason I didn’t review We Set the Dark on Fire or We Unleash the Merciless Storm is pretty much the same reason I never got to reviewing the Shades of Magic Series. I’m terrible at reviewing series. I don’t know what kind of weird mental block is going on, but I’m hoping one day I figure it out. But anyway, WSTDOF and WUTMS suck you in with their world-building, suspense, and character development, and I highly recommend you pick up this duology.
When Dimple Met Rishi
I think I was in a blogging slump while reading When Dimple Met Rishi, too. But it’s been almost two years so it’s hard to tell now. This was such a cute enemies-to-lover YA romance that’s frustrating at times because you just want to shake the characters and yell, “If you’d just get on the same page and stop being stubborn, you’d realize you have so much in common and would actually like each other!” And of course it’s a romance, so you know how it ends, but the journey is the best part. Definitely one I wish I’d reviewed because it deserves all the hype it’s already gotten and more!