Lifestyle · Other

My Top 10 Favorite Books

I read too much. It is a well-known fact to my friends and family. You walk into my room and the first thing you see is… the window and bed. Then you see my bookcase. And my other smaller bookcase.

I currently have over 120 books sitting around in my room, waiting to be re-read. And when you have over that many books, you may collect a few favorites along the ride.

And with summer right around the corner, all the book lovers need something for our little hands to hold during those long car trips, the pool at the ‘cheap’ motel, or stranded in a rubber dingy in the middle of a lake. (Yes, I did get stranded once in a rubber dingy fit for 1, yet we squashed 3)

Starting from 1-10, I will tell you all about my favorite books. 1 being the best, and 10 being the ‘worst.’

10:  Spy School Series

By Stuart Gibbs

I don’t know if it counts as one book, but I’m going to count it, because I don’t listen to rules like that.

spyschool

Can an undercover nerd become a superstar agent? Ben Ripley sure hopes so—and his life may depend on it!

When Ben Ripley is recruited to the CIA’s Academy of Espionage, it’s a dream come true. But as soon as he gets on campus, Ben finds out that Spy School is way more deadly than debonair. And given his total lack of coordination and failure to grasp even the most basic spying skills, Ben begins to wonder what he’s doing here in the first place.

Luckily, through a series of hilarious misadventures, Ben realizes he could actually become a halfway decent spy…if he can survive all the attempts being made on his life!

It is an awesome series and I love it! I would totally recommend it to anyone who loves spy novels.

9: Chivalrous

By: Dina L. Sleiman

hivlrous

Strong and adventurous Gwendolyn Barnes longs to be a knight like her chivalrous brothers. However, that is not an option for her, not even in the Arthurian-inspired Eden where she dwells. Her parents view her only as a marriage pawn, and her domineering father is determined to see her wed to a brutish man who will break her spirit. 

When handsome, good-hearted Allen of Ellsworth arrives in Edendale searching for his place in the world, Gwendolyn spies in him the sort of fellow she could imagine marrying. Yet fate seems determined to keep them apart. Tournaments, intrigue, and battles–along with twists and turns aplenty–await these two as they struggle to find love, identity, and their true destinies.

It is a romance novel, which I normally aren’t a big fan of. But this isn’t the mushy gushy hearts torn apart, yearning for each other kinda thing.

I love it mainly because it shows Gwen defying all the other people around here by training to be a knight, even though she is a girl.

It is a Christian novel written by a Christian author, (Why wouldn’t it be?) so that’s really nice compared to some of the weirdo and creepy books out there.

8: Running out of time

By: Margaret Peterson Haddix

She is one of my favorite writers, and she comes up with tons of creative plots that I love reading. (If you can’t tell, I’m a book nerd)

Runningoutoftime

Run For Your Life 
Jessie lives with her family in the frontier village of Clifton, Indiana, in 1840 — or so she believes. When diphtheria strikes the village and the children of Clifton start dying, Jessie’s mother reveals a shocking secret — it’s actually 1996, and they are living in a reconstructed village that serves as a tourist site. In the world outside, medicine exists that can cure the dread disease, and Jessie’s mother is sending her on a dangerous mission to bring back help. 
But beyond the walls of Clifton, Jessie discovers a world even more alien and threatening than she could have imagined, and soon she finds her own life in jeopardy. Can she get help before the children of Clifton, and Jessie herself, run out of time?

This has such a creative storyline, and the writing style is awesome. I love the book so much, I actually kinda want to make a AGSM based off the book.

I would rate this book 4.3 out of 5. It can get a little boring at times, but I love the way she escapes *SPOILER* by hiding under the carriage, right by the wheels *SPOILER*

7: Thunder

By: Bonnie S. Calhoun

thunder

This book is #1 in a series of 3. Book 3 is kinda boring and underwhelming. I don’t think Bonnie did a good job resolving the conflict at the end. But book 1 is so well written and I just love it so so so much! It too, is a Christian novel, so that is nice.

In post-apocalyptic America, Selah Chavez is crouched in long grass on a shore littered with the rusted metal remnants of a once-great city. It is the day before her eighteenth Born Remembrance, and she is hunting, though many people refuse to eat animal flesh, tainted by radiation during the Time of Sorrows. What Selah’s really after are Landers, mysterious people from a land across the big water who survive the delirium-inducing passage in small boats that occasionally crash against the shoreline. She knows she should leave the capture to the men, but Landers bring a good price from the Company and are especially prized if they keep the markings they arrive with.

Everything falls to pieces when the Lander Selah catches is stolen by her brothers–and Selah wakes up the next morning to find the Lander’s distinctive mark has suddenly appeared on her own flesh. Once the hunter, Selah is now one of the hunted, and she knows only one person who can help her–Bohdi Locke, the Lander her brothers hope to sell.

I don’t know how to prononce Bohdi, so I read it like this: Bow-dee 

6: MindWar

By: Andrew Klavan

mindwar

When Rick lost the ability to run, he came one step closer to becoming a hero.

New High Score! New Record Time!

Rick nodded with grim satisfaction. He laid the game controller aside on the sofa and reached for his crutches.

Rick Dial was the best quarterback Putnam Hills High School had ever seen. Unflappable. Unstoppable. Number 12. But when a car accident left him crippled, Rick’s life as he knew it ended. He disavowed his triumphant past. He ignored his girlfriend. He disappeared into his bedroom—and into the glowing video screen.

But Rick’s uncanny gaming skills have attracted attention. Dangerous attention. Government agents have uncovered a potentially devastating cyber-threat: a Russian genius has created a digital reality called the Realm, from which he can enter, control, and disrupt American computer systems . . . from transportation to defense. The agents want Rick, quick-thinking quarterback and gaming master, to enter the Realm and stop the madman—before he sends America into chaos.

Entering the Realm will give Rick what he thought he’d never have again: a body as strong and fast as it was before the accident. But this is no game, there are no extra lives, and what happens to Rick in the Realm happens to Rick’s body in reality.

Even after Rick agrees to help, he can’t shake the sense that he’s being kept in the dark. Why would a government agency act so aggressively? Can anyone inside the Realm be trusted? How many others have entered before him . . . and failed to return?

5: The Last Thing I Remember

By: Once again, Andrew Klavan

I love this series so much! It’s super creative and imaginative. 

telastthingiremember

Charlie West just woke up in someone elses nightmare.

He’s strapped to a chair. Hes covered in blood and bruises. He hurts all over. And a strange voice outside the door just ordered his death.

The last thing he can remember, he was a normal high-school kid doing normal things–working on his homework, practicing karate, daydreaming of becoming an air force pilot, writing a pretty girls number on his hand. How long ago was that? Where is he now? Who is he really?

And more to the point . . . how is he going to get out of this room alive?

One the scale from 1-5, I’m rating this 5. (Okay, so maybe the list is a little out-of-order)

I love how it flows, and there aren’t any plot holes. If you are looking for a good summer read, pick the Homelanders. It is 4 books in 1, and the Last Thing I Remember is just book 1 in the series of awesomeness.

4: Doon

By: Carey Corp

This is book 1 is a series of 4 books. It is a young adult book, but I don’t listen to those things. I’ve always read above the 13-year-old reading level.

doon

Veronica doesn’t think she’s going crazy. But why can’t anyone else see the mysterious blond boy who keeps popping up wherever she goes?

When her best friend, Mackenna, invites her to spend the summer in Scotland, Veronica jumps at the opportunity to leave her complicated life behind for a few months. But the Scottish countryside holds other plans. Not only has the imaginary kilted boy followed her to Alloway, she and Mackenna uncover a strange set of rings and a very unnerving letter from Mackenna’s great aunt—and when the girls test the instructions Aunt Gracie left behind, they find themselves transported to a land that defies explanation.

Doon seems like a real-life fairy tale, complete with one prince who has eyes for Mackenna and another who looks suspiciously like the boy from Veronica’s daydreams. But Doon has a dark underbelly as well. The two girls could have everything they’ve longed for… or they could end up breaking an enchantment and find themselves trapped in a world that has become a nightmare.

It is a great book that I would completely and totally recommend to any fantasy readers out there who are looking for a book to spend the summer reading. Or snow days in the middle of January.

Once again, I’d rate this book a 5. It just is super creative, and there hasn’t been parts that were utterly bland and worthless.

3: The Evaporation of Sofi Snow

By: Mary Weber

theevaporationofsofisnow

The line between virtual & reality is about to EVAPORATE.

In a world where skycams follow your every move and the details of your life are uploaded each hour, Sofi knows that her eyes are the only caring ones watching her brother, Shilo. As an online gamer, she works behind the scenes to protect Shilo as he competes in a mix of real and virtual blood sport. But when a bomb destroys the gaming arena, she is helpless to rescue him—and certain that his disappearance was no accident. Despite all the evidence of Shilo’s death, Sofi ’s nightmares tell her he is still alive. Could the dreams be truer than what everyone else claims?

For Miguel—a charming young playboy from Earth—the games are of a different sort. As Ambassador to the Delonese, his career has been built on trading secrets. In the aftermath of the bombing, he fears he has lost Sofi forever, even as he wonders if she is really who she seems. Now he’s a target for blackmail. The game is simple: help the blackmailers or lose more than anyone can fathom—or than Earth can afford.

Step into a universe of diverse characters, alien invasions, and high-stakes video gaming. Because when technology reigns, nothing is as true as it seems—and fantasy can become reality after all.

This is a spin-off of the Hunger Games, but there isn’t death and killing as the main focus. It focuses on real life issues such as human trafficking. Which is very serious and never should be taken lightly.

If you aren’t a fan of aliens, then maybe just skip this summary. But if you are a sci-fi and fantasy nerd, keep reading.

I got this book in March, and I’ve already read it 3 or 4 times. That is how awesome that book is. I love Sofi’s witty comebacks, and they are perfect for Hotisi. See, I can’t even write a post without mentioning Shadows.

It touches on Christian content, but I wouldn’t go as far to call it a Christian. Once again, I would rate this a 5.

2: Olivia Twist

By: Carey Corp

olivia twist
Sorry about the blurriness

I also got this in March, but the past 2 months didn’t stop me from re-reading it a dozen times. And when my older sister came in my room book hunting, I instantly handed her the book. Later that night, she crept into my room during the wee hours of the morning (I was awake writing 🙂 to inform me that I was great at picking out books and she loved this book.

Olivia Twist is an innovative reimagining of Charles Dickens’ classic tale Oliver Twist, in which Olivia was forced to live as a boy for her own safety until she was rescued from the streets. Now eighteen, Olivia finds herself at a crossroads: revealed secrets threaten to destroy the “proper” life she has built for herself, while newfound feelings for an arrogant young man she shouldn’t like could derail her carefully laid plans for the future.

Olivia Brownlow is no damsel in distress. Born in a workhouse and raised as a boy among thieving London street gangs, she is as tough and cunning as they come. When she is taken in by her uncle after a caper gone wrong, her life goes from fighting and stealing on the streets to lavish dinners and soirees as a debutante in high society. But she can’t seem to escape her past … or forget the teeming slums where children just like her still scrabble to survive.

Jack MacCarron rose from his place in London’s East End to become the adopted “nephew” of a society matron. Little does society know that MacCarron is a false name for a boy once known among London gangs as the Artful Dodger, and that he and his “aunt” are robbing them blind every chance they get. When Jack encounters Olivia Brownlow in places he least expects, his curiosity is piqued. Why is a society girl helping a bunch of homeless orphan thieves? Even more intriguing, why does she remind him so much of someone he once knew? Jack finds himself wondering if going legit and risking it all might be worth it for love.

This is an awesome book and I’d recommend it to anyone really.

It’s by the same author as Doon, so that is a win win. One the scale of 1 to 5, I’d give it a 5.

There is an awesome plot twist that I didn’t see coming and it was so unexpected. I could spoil it for you because I always spoil things, but I won’t because I want you to be equally mind blown when you read it. 

(See, I’m predicting that you’ll read it. Hint hint.)

And the winner for the top book is:

Kiki Strike, Inside the Shadow City

By: Kristen Miller

Now I grace you with a super short summary because I don’t feel like hunting down a longer one.

kikistrike

There’s a secret part of New York City that no one knows about. It’s protected by a mysterious group of girls known as the Irregulars, led by the alluring Kiki Strike.

Inside the Shadow City introduces us to Ananka Fishbein, a regular girl whose life becomes anything but after venturing underground to join Kiki Strike and her friends, the Irregulars.

I read this book 2 years ago, and I yet have to buy it. This is just a super creative story and I can just see the hard work put into it. There are plots within the plot and so many plot twists. Kristen Miller is a plot wizard. I still struggle with the basic concepts

I will stop ranting and raving about this awesome book because I don’t think anyone will read my 2.7 k word for word

I hope you have a great summer, although my school doesn’t let out till June 21. But we go back to school in September, not August.

Have you read any of these books? What books do you want to read? What books are your favorites? Comment and answer my prying questions

– Carlye

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3 thoughts on “My Top 10 Favorite Books

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