Top Ten Tuesday (on a Wednesday)

It has been a hot minute since I’ve done a Top Ten Tuesday post. I used to do them religiously but then just sort of stopped. Yesterday, I noticed the topic, Favorite Books Released In the Last Ten Years (one book for each year), and I really liked the idea of bringing some old favorites to light. Since I had a post for yesterday I figured I would confuse you all and post a TTT on Wednesday because why not.

 

2019

Girls with Sharp Sticks || Review

2018

Brooklynaire

2017

Tower of Dawn

2016

A Court of Mist and Fury || Review

2015

I’ll Meet You There || Review

2014

Breathe, Annie, Breathe || Review

2013

Parallel || Review

2012

What Happens Next || Review

2011

Froi of the Exiles || Review

2010

Anna and the French Kiss || Review

 

That was harder than I thought for some years. I didn’t expect to feel so torn about some.

*TTT hosted by That Artsy Reader  Girl

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New to You (9): Lindsi Reviews Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta

Welcome to New to You!

This idea came along last year when I was supporting Lauren Miller’s newest book All Things New and I asked Kelsey to read and review Parallel, a book I have read more than once. I didn’t really get it going until December when I offered people the chance to sign up to read and review a book that has been a favorite of mine that they have never read. I got a great response and I’m happy to tell you (minus January) you will see a New to You post twice a month.

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Next up for New to You is Lindsi from Do You Dog-ear?. When she signed up and said she had never read book two in the Lumatere Chronicles I knew what book I was giving her. As someone that almost didn’t read this book I just couldn’t let her get away with it. Let’s see what she had to say about my all time favorite literary character!

New to You (9): Lindsi Reviews Froi of the Exiles by Melina MarchettaFroi of the Exiles (Lumatere Chronicles, #2) by Melina Marchetta
Published by Candlewick Press
Published: February 12, 2013
Buy on Amazon
Add to Goodreads
five-stars

From master storyteller Melina Marchetta comes an exhilarating new fantasy springing from her celebrated epic, Finnikin of the Rock.

Three years after the curse on Lumatere was lifted, Froi has found his home . . . or so he believes. Fiercely loyal to the Queen and Finnikin, Froi has been taken roughly and lovingly in hand by the Guard sworn to protect the royal family, and has learned to control his quick temper with a warrior's discipline. But when he is sent on a secretive mission to the kingdom of Charyn, nothing could have prepared him for what he finds in its surreal royal court. Soon he must unravel both the dark bonds of kinship and the mysteries of a half-mad princess in this barren and mysterious place. It is in Charyn that he will discover there is a song sleeping in his blood . . . and though Froi would rather not, the time has come to listen.

It has been years since I read the first book, Finnikin of the Rock, but I had no trouble falling back into the beautiful world Melina Marchetta created. It was like I had never left even though the story starts three years after the first one ended. A lot of sequels try to summarize the first book within the second, but that wasn’t the case here. Tidbits of information are dropped throughout, but they were gentle reminders that didn’t take away from the current story.

I don’t really remember how I felt about Froi from Finnikin of the Rock, but I absolutely loved him in this! He’s so devoted to Isaboe and the kingdom of Lumatere. He’s made a home for himself and would do anything to protect those he loves. However, he isn’t expecting to form new relationships when he leaves on a secret mission for his queen and king. He didn’t think anyone could matter to him as much, but he cannot help his feelings or how they develop.

There are not enough words to describe how magical and wonderful this world is. I cannot fathom how Melina Marchetta’s mind works, or how she created something so complex and completely captivating. This book is a beast… like 600 pages, but I never wanted to stop reading. The length of Froi of the Exiles is what kept me from starting this one for so long, and I want to thank Andi for giving me the push I needed to finally commit to reading it.

I like to think I’m pretty good at figuring things out in a book before they happen, but damn… I never knew what was coming, and I was often so surprised I had to re-read a few pages to make sure I really understood what was going on. There are so many things happening at once, and everyone has a secret (or five). It wasn’t until everyone started explaining themselves that a complete picture was formed.

This book also made me feel. They weren’t always good feelings either, because there are things that happen that make me want to be a very violent person. I don’t know how Froi was able to restrain himself at times, and I know his bond had to be strong to keep himself from lashing out and killing everyone. Quintana broke my heart, and what happens to her is cruel and despicable. Gah, I can’t even talk about this without getting worked up.

Quintana was a fascinating character that cannot be easily explained. She’s so much more than people think, and my heart repeatedly broke for her. Despite everything she has lived through, she still remains a fierce force to be reckoned with.

I love all the characters in this book, and it would be impossible for me to list each one and what I liked about them. We see various perspectives throughout the book (though mostly Froi’s), and it was wonderful to watch each of them as the story progresses. I’m so happy Marchetta included everyone from the first book, and that we get to see what’s happening in their lives, too.

Have I said enough? Maybe. Can I say enough? Definitely not. I could go on and on about everything I loved about this book, but I’ll simply ask that you read it for yourself. It’s something that needs to be experienced by you and not just talked about by me. Technically, you could skip Finnikin of the Rock and just read Froi of the Exiles, because they can stand on their own. However, I would recommend reading them both so you can stay in Marchetta’s incredibly enchanting world just a little bit longer.

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Thanks Lindsi for signing up for New to You! I’m so happy I was the push you needed to read this gem!

My review of Froi of the Exiles.

Have you read anything by Melina Marchetta yet?

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Book Talk – The Near Misses

Usually after I read the first book of a series I make my decision if I will continue on and read the next book or if it will be a one and done. If I decide to not continue it’s because I’m either happy with how book 1 ended or I’m not that interested in seeing where it goes. There is really no rhyme or reason why some series I continue and some I don’t. I mean I have read some really bad book ones but they were so bad I wanted to know what would happen so I read book 2 and I have read really good book ones and decide I’m good and don’t need any more. But in my whole reading life there has been only 2 series that I said I wasn’t going to continue and I ended up being convinced to read books 2 and 3 and I’m really grateful that I was.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series

I read To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before in November of 2013 and I loved it. A friend let me borrow an early copy and I remember not being able to put it down. It was fun and quirky and reminded me of everything I loved about Jenny Han’s books. I loved the interaction between the Song sisters and Lara Jean and just a lot of the book in general. It was just an amazing book and I was so happy to have read it. I even lent it to others I loved it so much. But then I heard there was going to be a second and third book and I was like…NOPE. HARD NO. I’m gonna pass. I know what will happen and NO NO NO. So I ignored the release of P.S. I Still Love You and then ignored the release of Always and Forever, Lara Jean. I had friends tells me to read it and I said hard pass still. I’m happy leaving it where it was.

And then BookCon happened. I was spending the morning with Alexa, Rachel and Kristin and they had all just read Always and Forever and were gushing about it. They were talking about how amazing and perfect and wonderful it was and I’m not gonna lie I was intrigued. I had held off forU so long but something about the way they were talking sparked a long dead interest. I asked Kristin to spoil me before I would decide what to do and she did and I’m so happy she did because although I didn’t love P.S. I Still Love You, I think Always and Forever, Lara Jean was one of Jenny Han’s best books to date and I almost missed it. I almost missed seeing the Song girls grow up and change and become young women and that would have been unacceptable.

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The Lumatere Chronicles

In April of 2014 Gail made a deal with me. Honestly I don’t even remember the terms of the deal but I needed to read Finnikin of the Rock. I’m a huge fan of Melina Marchetta contemporary books but I was scared to read the fantasy series. In the first place fantasy wasn’t my thing and Marchetta likes to make to wait a whole lot of pages before you understand what is happening. But a deal is a deal and I agreed to read Finnikin. These are my exact words on my Goodreads page when I finished:

I wasn’t wowed but I didn’t hate it. I really enjoyed about 65% of the book and loved Finnikin and Evanjalin. Typical Marchetta the writing was just beautiful and the woman knows how to tell a story. I’m proud of myself for reading and finishing this as promised but I don’t think I’ll continue the series as of now.

As you can see I was done. I was most likely never going to read Froi of the Exiles or Quintana of Charyn. Finnikin didn’t wow me but that was fine. I did it. I held up my end of the deal.

Well in October of 2014 something changed. It could have been another deal with Gail or it could have been her being like, HERE, TAKE THESE BOOKS AND READ. I don’t know what it was but I ended up reading Froi of the Exiles and my reading world changed. Why did it change? Because Froi is still to this day the BEST LITERARY CHARACTER I have ever read. The change and growth to him was done so extraordinarily well I am still blown away by it. So much in fact I read it again. It was just a stunning part of the story that I almost didn’t know. I loved Froi so much I read Quintana of Charyn right after it.

It’s a series that almost wasn’t and I almost missed out on two all time favorite books. And to this day I will tell anyone that listens that even if they don’t love Finnikin, to just push through and go on because Froi and Quintana are worth it.

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The moral of this story? Maybe you should never say a hard pass no after reading just book one. You never know what you will find in the pages of a sequel…or two.

Do you have any series that you have said no to after reading book one? Have you read either of these series? Come share with me!

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The Art of the Reread – The Books

Back in January I mentioned my love of rereading and some of the books I planned to reread this year. It has been 2 months since that post I have already reread 4 of the 7 books on that post.

Honestly I just can’t help myself. I get a book in my head, a book that I loved, and I can’t get it out of my system until I’ve read it again. And sometimes that doesn’t even work. I’ll Meet You There is an example. There are many times someone will say the name Josh and I immediately want to reread that gorgeous book. Truthfully, I just reread it and I want to do it again already (so if you haven’t read it, do it for me please!)

Since it is only March and I have read 4 of the 7 on my original list, I figured I should add a few more to go with the original 3 that are left:

Original 3

New Editions

The Sea of Tranquility: This is one of my favorite NAish books. The characters and the story break my heart but I love it all the same.

Something Like Normal: When ever I reread I’ll Meet You There I feel the need to read about Travis and Harper all over again. This Trish Doller book is one of my favorites.

What Happens Next: I still think this book is one of the most underrated books I have ever read. It is so great and it makes me sad that fewer and fewer people talk about it. Corey Livingston is the best!

Froi of the Exiles: Ah, the book that almost wasn’t. Probably my favorite books in the Lumatere Chronicles. When I reread this beast it will be on audio because the audio is fantastic.

The Program: I recently just did a post on why you should read this series. I finished The Adjustment not that long ago and I feel like I want to read all the books now. Stay tuned in the fall for when I plan to do a readalong.

What books do you think you will reread? Have you read any of these?

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First Reads

There is nothing like reading a book for the first time and falling in love. You really can’t explain it but that first read through is magical. You get to know settings and people and feelings and emotions. But after you read that book for the first time you never get to experience that feeling like you did. I mean a reread is great (I’ve read Anna and the French Kiss 11 times) but that first read is…♥.

I was thinking about this concept when trying to figure out a blog post and it got an idea brewing. If I could go back in time and read a book for the first time again what books would I love to read?

what
What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton: This is probably one of the more quiet YA books that is on my TBR. I’m not sure how many people have read it but it isn’t talked about a lot. It was so fantastic though. I loved the story and the characters so much. How could I not want to read this for the first time all over again.

twenty
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler: TBS is one of my favorite YA books I have ever read. I read it for the first time when I was just starting to read YA back in 2011 and I fell in love with it. I have since reread it but there is nothing like the first read of this amazing story.

summer
Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson: This book broke my heart and was the first book I actually cried while reading. Like ugly cried. And you know what? I would do it again in a heartbeat. It was so fantastically done and made me fall in love with all of Morgan’s books.

winners3
The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski: Out in about a month I was lucky enough to get to read this final book in the Winner’s Trilogy and I would read it for the first time all over again if given the chance. It was one of those series enders that just works.

open
Open Road Summer by Emery Lord: My introduction to Emery Lord was perfect. Matt Finch and Dee and Reagan gave life to one summer. It was such a great friendship and love book that I would give anything to read it for the first time again.

parallel
Parallel by Lauren Miller: Another quiet YA on my favorites list. Parallel opened up my love of parallel life books. It was done so perfectly and I just loved everything about it. It was a YA-like Sliding Doors. I would love to have all those 1st read feelings again.

froi
Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta: A book I almost didn’t read. I read the first one after a reading deal with a friend and I wasn’t in love with the book nor the character of Froi. But something compelled me to continue and see how it played out. Froi is by far the best literary character I have read and I would love to read this for the first time all over again.

And of course:

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins: Like this wouldn’t have been on the list.

collection

What  book would you love to read for the first time all over again?

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