Books That Defined My Decade

Books That Defined My Decade

This post was entirely inspired by Kate @ Your Tita Kate’s post, The Books That Defined My decade. I never thought to even reflect on my decade, but after reading Kate’s post, I immediately wanted to do the same.

I have a terrible memory, so I don’t remember much from my childhood, which makes me feel like I didn’t genuinely exist until 2010. At the start of this decade, I was eleven years old, turning twelve that March and, at the time of writing this post, I am twenty-one, about to turn twenty-two this March. I went from primary school, secondary school, college and university all in this decade alone. And just thinking about that blows my mind. In some sense, it shouldn’t because it’s just time passing but, at the same time, that is a lot of significant milestones in my life. I went from a child to a young adult, and reading Kate’s post made me realise that’s not a small thing. Reading is a big part of my identity, especially during this decade is where I had more choice over the books I read. While Kate’s post is more about books published in each specific year, my list is naming the books that I read in that year that made the most significant impact on me. So not all of them were great reads, but I feel like they deserve some acknowledge from impacting me in some way.

I’m going off what years I’ve put in my Goodreads profile but I feel like I might be off by a year or so hence I’ve added some books here that I actually read in 2009.

  • Thief – Despite Malorie Blackman being of the UK’s most beloved children’s author, I never read her acclaimed series Noughts & Crosses. Instead of the books, I knew her by were Thief and Hacker. I think this part is due to the face we didn’t have her books in my primary school library. (Maybe we did, and it was always being borrowed?) But anyway, I found Thief by accident when someone had randomly left it lying around after Golden Time. (lol remember Golden Time?) Anyway, someone remind me actually to read Noughts & Crosses in this decade.
  • Theodore Boone – The early 2010s was before I joined proper social media, so my ability to find books were severely limited. I don’t even remember how I managed to find Theodore Boone because it wasn’t from my school library, nor did anyone buy it for me. But I loved this series a lot as a kid. I used to watch a lot of crime shows with my family, so reading a series set in a similar environment to all the shows I was watching, but with a protagonist my age blew my mind.
  • The Lighting Thief – Funnily enough, this was the last time I actually up a Rick Riordan book before picking up the second one in 2019. I really loved The Lightning Thief, but my school library didn’t have the rest of the series so sadly, and with my fish brain that forgets everything every five seconds, I never got around to finishing this series. I tried continuing the series, but life got in the way. I really hope to get back to this series soon. 
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Auto-buy Authors

Auto-buy Authors

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature once hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, but has now moved to That Artsy Reader Girl! Each week, a new topic is put into place and bloggers share their top ten (or your own amount) accordingly.

I’m not a big on having an “auto-buy author”, since a lot of the time, I end up not liking other books by the same author. Which is why this list is only eight because I had to think for a long and hard time on which authors would I consider immediately buying a new or perhaps one that I missed book.

  • Rachel Caine
    I basically grew up with the Morganville Vampires and The Great Library series is one of my all-time favourite YA series. Of course, Rachel will forever be an auto-buy. I prefer her YA stuff but I have purchased her adult fiction, I just haven’t got round to reading them yet.
  • S.K. Ali
    Saints & Misfits and Love From A to Z are some of my favourite Muslim YA novels.
  • Madeline Miller
    When you’ve written something as iconic as The Song of Achilles, you deserve to be everyone’s auto-buy author. 😂
  • Tahereh Mafi
    I’m not a huge fan of the Shatter Me series but everything she’s written outside of it has me hooked!
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Childhood Favourites

Childhood Favourites

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature once hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, but has now moved to That Artsy Reader Girl! Each week, a new topic is put into place and bloggers share their top ten (or your own amount) accordingly.

The books I read as a kid primarily came from whatever my sister read and whatever little books my primary school had. Our city library had been remodelled and had a reopening when I was younger. I vaguely remember going to the opening and getting a new library card. But my dad was rarely able to take us to and from the library because he was so busy with work.

Nowadays, I just read eBooks from my library because my physical card ran out, and I’m too awkward to go back to the library to renew it. I’m not sure when I considered childhood to end, and considering, I’m only twenty-one at the time of writing, it seems too early to have this list include books I read up to until turning eighteen.

For me, there’s a blur between childhood/teenage years. So, this list will mainly consist of books that I read before the age of thirteen because it seemed like the easiest way to categorise this list. But it also makes it the shortest and hardest list to make because I have no idea what I read as a kid. I have a pretty terrible memory, so unless something is documented, I will struggle to remember it. And I didn’t start using Goodreads until I was like fourteen. Anyway, I’m rambling, but here are some books I’ve read in my childhood.

Jacqueline Wilson

Jacqueline Wilson, for me, was the quintessential British children’s author. I didn’t read Harry Potter until I was like thirteen since I used to see it as a book for Older Kids because my older sister really liked them. And because of the international success of HP, I often forget that it is a children’s series. I’m not too familiar with Wilson’s international success, but here, in the UK, her books dominated the children’s section. Even if I could never find a book I wanted, there was always a Jacqueline Wilson. Weirdly, I’ve actually only read one Tracy Beaker book, but I did watch the show a lot. My favourite was always My Sister Jodie, The Illustrated Mum or Candyfloss. My Sister Jodie was actually the last one I remember reading, which was like eleven years ago. I don’t think I’ve read anything past that.

The Morganville Vampires

I’m sort of toeing the age line at this point because I think I was around eleven when I read this series. But these books are THAT series for me that got me into becoming an avid reader and pushed me into reading beyond what was in front of me. My sister used to buy the books each year they came out, and I just read them because I didn’t have any other option because we never really had space nor money to spend on books. But I’ve already mentioned how much this series has changed me. I later discovered The Great Library series, also by Rachel Caine, which is now and forever will be one of my all-time favourite book series. I also had the pleasure of working with Rachel for the last three books as a beta reader. And I honestly cannot tell you how thrilling it was to work on those books and to have the opportunity to make it the greatest it can possibly be. My notes were pretty shitty the first time, but it gave me a lot of experience.  

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Best books I’ve read in 2018!

Best books I’ve read in 2018!

Today’s post is a recap for some of the books I had enjoyed this year. My top 18 reads of 2018!

I managed to read 102 books this year, and I’m very impressed with myself. I was ridiculously busy with university and work, this year, I was really worried that I wouldn’t be able to complete the challenge I set for myself. I usually set my goal around 50 because it’s more attainable for me, and since last year, I had a really bad reading year, I wanted to do better.

I guess I did do better this year since I managed to read more, but I didn’t read differently this year. I want to read more than just Young Adult novels and I want to try going into Adult fiction and other areas of books that I otherwise wouldn’t have touched. But I was set back a lot by university which meant I just ended up reading what I requested on NetGalley or my backlist. But I do want to branch out for 2019 and read more differently and diversely.

So, without further ado, my top 18 reads of 2018! (In no particular order!)

  1. The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf

A music-loving teen with OCD does everything she can to find her way back to her mother during the historic race riots in 1969 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in this heart-pounding literary debut.

All I can say for now is: Emotional and stunning. I’m part of the blog tour for this in February so catch my review and playlist for this book then!

  • A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

It’s 2002, a year after 9/11. It’s an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who’s tired of being stereotyped.

I know I said I didn’t have an exactly number one favourite this year, but Expanse is the one that hit the highest. I wasn’t exactly impressed by the Shatter Me series, at least, not until the latest release, but Expanse blew me away. For years, I hadn’t touched anything Tahereh Mafi wrote because I didn’t like Shatter Me when it first came out. But this book changed everything. I adore Tahereh on social media, but now I’m a huge fan of her work. | my review

  • Sadie by Courtney Summers

A missing girl on a journey of revenge. A Serial―like podcast following the clues she’s left behind.

This book was pure greatness. It was so much fun to read, especially the audiobook, since it plays out like a podcast as well. Part mystery, part drama. All round pretty good read. | my review

  • Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility

Schwab has been on my to-read list for years. Even before I started this blog, and I finally managed to find time to read at least one of her books this year and I’m glad it was Vicious. It was such a surprise to read and so much fun. I never wanted to not stop reading a book as much as this one. | my review

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Platonic Love

Platonic Love

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature once hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, but has now moved to That Artsy Reader Girl! Each week, a new topic is put into place and bloggers share their top ten (or your own amount) accordingly.

Today’s blog title is inspired by my favourite SNUPER song. Consider it the soundtrack of this post. 😂 Platonic relationships are one of my favourites, especially in YA. Even when I end up not liking a book, sometimes the friendships within are some of the aspects I did like in the book. Here’s a list of some of my favourite platonic relationships. Quite short this week because of assignments.

The Great Library series – Khalila Seif, Morgan Hault and Glain Wathen

A.K.A one of my favourite trios in the world. These three girls come together after joining the library training programme. At first, they don’t appear to be close, especially since Morgan joins the programme later than the rest of them. But I loved how you can tell how much they love each other and how much they’re willing to go to protect them and the other postulants. They’re separated for a while during the series but when they’re reunited, they’re so cool and funny. They’re all polar opposites of each other but are so understanding and work so well.

The Great Library series – Jess Brightwell, Dario Santiago and Thomas Schreiber

Again, the other half of the Postulant 6. Originally, I was just going to put down Jess and Thomas because best friend goals right there. But then I remember how much I really enjoyed the chemistry between all three. Jess and Thomas hit it off very quickly in the series with Dario just trailing along because of his personality, he’s a really difficult person in the first book. But he’s a brat by nature but he slowly learns to undo his selfish upbringing and becomes so vital to the team. (Also, Khalila and Dario = best book ship)  But these three are so funny in comparison to the girls. Like the girls are all loving and become so supportive of each other, with the boys they’re really ridiculous at some points but I love them.

[I interrupt this post to remind you all to read the great library series by Rachel Caine. YOU WON’T REGRET IT.]

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Books I’m Thankful For

Books I’m Thankful For

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature once hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, but has now moved to That Artsy Reader Girl! Each week, a new topic is put into place and bloggers share their top ten (or your own amount) accordingly.

I’ve decided to keep this concise and not the normal list of ten you’d expect. There’s a different reasoning behind each of these books which have ignited my love for books and I have helped me through some difficult time. I would genuinely recommend everything single of these.

ttt_thanks2018book_1

Glass Houses (Morganville Vampire #1) By Rachel Caine

Glass Houses was, I believe, the most pivotal book in terms of me becoming a reader. and who I am today. Before reading Glass Houses, I wasn’t a big reader who read a lot of books. I usually stuck to whatever my sister read, which was J.K. Rowling and Jacqueline Wilson. She bought the first couple of book and recommended me to read them. And I loved it! My sister later outgrew the series and became less of a reader, and gifted all her copies of this series to me and I later bought the rest of the series myself. (It was really sad I had to give away all my copies because of the lack of space in my house.)  I haven’t had time to re-read the series like I wanted too. (Maybe I’m a little afraid because of the memory haze I have of the series) But I definitely want to sit down and re-read it all again. I have really bad memory but I can pinpoint Glass Houses and the series of the Morganville Vampire as one of the most important books in my life. Because it made me a reader, made me love books, and essentially the reason why I’m typing this post now.

Thief/ Hacker/ ANTIDOTE by Malorie Blackman

Malorie Blackman is famously more known for her Noughts & Crosses series. Which I never read. (Yet!!) As a kid, those books were always checked out, or the school library just never had it because it was pretty behind on keeping up to date. So these ones were shoved to the side, and I’m pretty sure I picked it up because I accidentally found it. Rachel Caine fuelled my love for fantasy, Malorie Blackman started my love for sci-fi. I clearly remember each of these novels so well, and I looooove each and everyone single one.

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