[Top Ten Tuesday] Top Ten Books I Recommend the Most

top ten tuesday “Top Ten Tuesday” is a meme started by The Broke and the Bookish. Each Tuesday a new list is posted, highlighting a variety of topics.

This week’s topic is:

Top Ten Books I Recommend The Most

I love few things more than recommending books to my friends. Or to random strangers I encounter in bookstores or in class or on the street. Some of the best conversations I’ve had started off with a book recommendation (from me or for me), and I always love sharing when I’ve read an amazing book, just so I can talk about it with someone (even if that ‘discussion’ will just end up being an incoherent flail session). The books I recommend, however, vary. When I’m at a function I’d rather not attend, I always carry a book with me, sometimes one I just want to revisit because I adored it the first time I read it. Almost always, someone will notice “that girl in the corner with the book”, and ask me what I’m reading. I love recommending books in bookstores, especially when I see someone reading an author I love. I’ll always feel compelled to ask, “Oh! I love [him or her]. Have you read [other novel by the same author] because it is the best?” Some of these books have been in my ‘recommendation reservoir’ for years. Some I only just read and still cannot stop talking about. Either way, I adore them to pieces, mostly because they make me feel all the feelings I can’t help but want to share with the world.

10. The Book of Blood and Shadow, Robin Wasserman

the book of blood and shadow - robin wasserman

It was like a nightmare, but there was no waking up. When the night began, Nora had two best friends and an embarrassingly storybook one true love. When it ended, she had nothing but blood on her hands and an echoing scream that stopped only when the tranquilizers pierced her veins and left her in the merciful dark. But the next morning, it was all still true: Chris was dead. His girlfriend Adriane, Nora’s best friend, was catatonic. And Max, Nora’s sweet, smart, soft-spoken Prince Charming, was gone. He was also — according to the police, according to her parents, according to everyone — a murderer.
Desperate to prove his innocence, Nora follows the trail of blood, no matter where it leads. It ultimately brings her to the ancient streets of Prague, where she is drawn into a dark web of secret societies and shadowy conspirators, all driven by a mad desire to possess something that might not even exist. For buried in a centuries-old manuscript is the secret to ultimate knowledge and communion with the divine; it is said that he who controls the Lumen Dei controls the world. Unbeknownst to her, Nora now holds the crucial key to unlocking its secrets. Her night of blood is just one piece in a puzzle that spans continents and centuries. Solving it may be the only way she can save her own life.

I read this book over the summer and fell in love. It’s suspenseful, there’s an actual mystery, it has European cities (PRAGUE!), ancient Latin, some murder, a little bit of romance — basically, everything you could want in a standalone novel. And it’s written brilliantly. I’ve never read a Robin Wasserman book before, but I will definitely be keeping an eye out for her new works in the future.

9. The Fault in Our Stars, John Green

the fault in our stars - john green

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs… for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

Aside from the fact that I made the mistake of recommending this to a friend who spent most of the last two years in and out of hospitals for an un-treatable disorder (in my defense, she would love it… when the subject matter stops hitting too close to home), this is one of the books I recommended most last year. But the book is beautiful, I fall in love with Augustus Waters again with every reread, and it’s definitely my favorite of John Green’s novels. (Though I still really love Paper Towns, the John Green book I called my favorite before TFIOS.)

8. Cinder, Marissa Meyer

cinder - marissa meyer

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl…

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

I actually loved this novel so much, I not only recommended it to my friends, but also bought it for them. The Lunar Chronicles has such a rich cast and world that it’s difficult not to become completely engrossed in the storytelling. It’s actually the series I’m following most right now, so I can’t help but talk about Cinder (and Scarlet incessantly). (And it was inspired partially by Sailor Moon, so how can I not fangirl over it?) (Read my Cinder review here.)

7. Thirteen Reasons Why, Jay Asher

thirteen reasons why - jay asher

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list.

Through Hannah and Clay’s dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

This book is one of the most poignant and thought-provoking novels I’ve ever read. I actually made my sister read it, and now it’s the first book she makes every person she knows read. (I am so proud. (‘: )

6. The Gemma Doyle Trilogy (A Great and Terrible Beauty), Libba Bray

a great and terrible beauty - libba bray

Sixteen-year-old Gemma has had an unconventional upbringing in India, until the day she foresees her mother’s death in a black, swirling vision that turns out to be true. Sent back to England, she is enrolled at Spence, a girls’ academy with a mysterious burned-out East Wing. There Gemma is snubbed by powerful Felicity, beautiful Pippa, and even her own dumpy roommate Ann, until she blackmails herself and Ann into the treacherous clique. Gemma is distressed to find that she has been followed from India by Kartik, a beautiful young man who warns her to fight off the visions. Nevertheless, they continue, and one night she is led by a child-spirit to find a diary that reveals the secrets of a mystical Order. The clique soon finds a way to accompany Gemma to the other-world realms of her visions “for a bit of fun” and to taste the power they will never have as Victorian wives, but they discover that the delights of the realms are overwhelmed by a menace they cannot control. Gemma is left with the knowledge that her role as the link between worlds leaves her with a mission to seek out the “others” and rebuild the Order.

Libba Bray is one of those authors whose novels I will forever follow, but the Gemma Doyle trilogy are the books that started the obsession, and I’ve been recommending them since that first novel (AGATB) was published. Though some of my friends may have reacted badly once they finished The Sweet Far Thing (because of a certain scene no one needs to ever bring up), for the most part, they were glad to read these books.

5. The Heist Society or Gallagher Girls books, Ally Carter

heist society - ally carter

For as long as she can remember, Katarina has been a part of the family business — thieving. When Kat tries to leave “the life” for a normal life, her old friend Hale conspires to bring her back into the fold.


A mobster’s art collection has been stolen, and Kat’s father is the only suspect. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.

The only solution is to find the paintings and steal them back. Kat’s got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family’s history — and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.

i'd tell you i love you but then i'd have to kill you - ally carter

Cammie Morgan is a student at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, a fairly typical all-girls school-that is, if every school taught advanced martial arts in PE and the latest in chemical warfare in science, and students received extra credit for breaking CIA codes in computer class. The Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses but it’s really a school for spies. Even though Cammie is fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways, she has no idea what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she’s an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, or track him through town with the skill of a real “pavement artist”-but can she maneuver a relationship with someone who can never know the truth about her?
Cammie Morgan may be an elite spy-in-training, but in her sophomore year, she’s on her most dangerous mission-falling in love.

I love how fun and different Ally Carter’s books are. Her spies and thieves novels quench my thirst for all the action, excitement, humor, and romance, and all of the characters, despite being in scenarios far from my reality, are super-relatable.

4. The Delirium Trilogy, Lauren Oliver

delirium - lauren oliver

They say that the cure for Love will make me happy and safe forever.

And I’ve always believed them.

Until now.

Now everything has changed.

Now, I’d rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years smothered by a lie.

Lena looks forward to receiving the government-mandated cure that prevents the delirium of love and leads to a safe, predictable, and happy life, until ninety-five days before her eighteenth birthday and her treatment, when she falls in love

Now that the trilogy is complete, I’ll probably be recommending this series more. No dystopian trilogy has engaged me more or made me feel more, and I treasure Lena and Alex with some of my most favorite ships. Their tears, hardships, and hard-won love is what makes these books special to me, and Lauren Oliver’s beautiful prose makes reading them all the more worthwhile. (Read my Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem reviews here.)

3. The Truth About Forever or This Lullaby, Sarah Dessen

the truth about forever - sarah dessen

A long, hot summer…

That’s what Macy has to look forward to while her boyfriend, Jason, is away at Brain Camp. Days will be spent at a boring job in the library, evenings will be filled with vocabulary drills for the SATs, and spare time will be passed with her mother, the two of them sharing a silent grief at the traumatic loss of Macy’s father.

But sometimes unexpected things can happen — things such as the catering job at Wish, with its fun-loving, chaotic crew. Or her sister’s project of renovating the neglected beach house, awakening long-buried memories.

Things such as meeting Wes, a boy with a past, a taste for Truth-telling, and an amazing artistic talent, the kind of boy who could turn any girl’s world upside down. As Macy ventures out of her shell, she begins to wonder, Is it really better to be safe than sorry?

this lullaby - sarah dessen

When it comes to relationships, Remy doesn’t mess around. After all, she’s learned all there is to know from her mother, who’s currently working on husband number five.

But there’s something about Dexter that seems to defy all of Remy’s rules. He certainly doesn’t seem like Mr. Right. For some reason, however, Remy just can’t seem to shake him.

Could it be that Remy’s starting to understand what those love songs are all about?

These are two of my oldest and most favorite contemporary novels to recommend, especially for anyone looking for adorable books to read over the summer. They’re my favorites of all of Sarah Dessen’s novels, and I just love the feeling of discovering love with Remy and Macy. Both these books also have beautiful moments (every Truth scene with Macy and Wes) and those moments of utter insanity (Dexter and his bandmates always cracked me up), and some of the best main and secondary characters I’ve ever met.

2. Anna and the French Kiss, Stephanie Perkins

anna and the french kiss - stephanie perkins

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris — until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible.

The only problem is that he’s taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home. As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna — and readers — have long-awaited?

A romantic contemporary novel (my favorite of all the YA contemporaries I can remember) set in arguably the most romantic city in the world, with a boy with a British accent (my absolute favorite)? Yes, please!

1. The Harry Potter Series, J.K. Rowling

harry potter and the sorcerer's stone - jk rowling

Harry Potter has no idea how famous he is. That’s because he’s being raised by his miserable aunt and uncle who are terrified Harry will learn that he’s really a wizard, just as his parents were.

But everything changes when Harry is summoned to attend an infamous school for wizards, and he begins to discover some clues about his illustrious birthright.

From the surprising way he is greeted by a lovable giant, to the unique curriculum and colorful faculty at his unusual school, Harry finds himself drawn deep inside a mystical world he never knew existed and closer to his own noble destiny.

I know only a handful of people who haven't read and fallen in love with the Harry Potter series, but I’ve encountered several people over the years who stayed far away from the series because of the hype. The question I receive when I encounter these people is always, “Well, why do you personally love the series? Why should I follow the pop culture trend?” Which usually ends up turning into a conversation that they either regret (because you can’t just ask me what I love about Harry Potter and not expect an unending soliloquy) or one they find compelling enough to pick up the book and actually attempt reading it. I was actually one of the HP skeptics when the books were first published in the United States and were just becoming famous. My brother and one of my best friends were obsessed, and they would not stop talking about Harry and his adventures at Hogwarts. If it weren’t for their unrelenting recommendation, I don’t know what I’d be doing right now. Harry’s story means the world to me, and I love spreading his journey, those feelings, to others who will hold them dear as well.

Honorable Mentions

The Jessica Darling Series, Megan McCafferty
It’s a pleasure watching Jessica grow from adolescence to adulthood, and while some of her decisions drove me insane, I am glad I got to know her and follow her story. Also, I recommend the Marcus Flutie. Always.

Books by Gayle Forman
Funny story: I actually attempted to throw If I Stay and Where She Went onto one of my friends, who tries her hardest to avoid anything that will make her sob without making her smile before the end. She asked me what these books were about, and I stupidly started with, “Well, Mia’s in a coma. Her entire family is dead and she was the sole maybe-survivor.” My friend’s response? “Are you joking?” …Yeah, I’m still trying to get her to read it. Once I find a better way to tell the story without spoiling a thing.

Books by Meg Cabot
Meg Cabot is basically one of my staple authors I’ve followed for a really long time and will continue to do so. Her Mediator series and her book, Avalon High are two of her works I mention all the time.

Which books do you recommend the most?



16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. angelicreader
    Mar 26, 2013 @ 06:21:30

    I really need to get to Cinder. It has been recommended to me by, oh I don’t know, a Gazillion people.
    Thanks for being so detailed in your descriptions. I have TBR’d a few of them 😀


    • aimee
      Mar 26, 2013 @ 12:22:16

      Ahh! DEFINITELY read Cinder! Trust me, there’s a reason why everyone keeps talking about it! And no problem! I tend to ramble about the books I love, so the detailed descriptions were unavoidable! ^^;


  2. Krista (PA)
    Mar 26, 2013 @ 08:10:37

    Delirium was a fantastic book – I really need to read Requiem now! And, you’re right – the HP series is so full of win. Hype be damned! Great list!

    Here’s my TTT: Top Ten Tuesday at Krista’s Dust Jacket


    • aimee
      Mar 26, 2013 @ 12:26:40

      Definitely read Requiem! My feelings about it are complicated, but it’s an interesting way to end a series and I loved seeing Lena and Alex again. Yes to Harry Potter! Always.

      Thanks for dropping by on my TTT!


  3. Annabelle H
    Mar 26, 2013 @ 11:19:20

    Thirteen Reasons why is so good! I totally agree! Oh and I need to read Cinder! I love harry potter toooo!

    My Top Ten Tuesday!


    • aimee
      Mar 26, 2013 @ 12:30:52

      Right? I know a lot of people shy away from Thirteen Reasons Why because it’s a little too emotional/depressing, but sometimes you have to read a brilliant book that makes you feel all the things, and it’s too amazing a story not to read. Yay Harry Potter! And ahh, definitely read Cinder! It’s such an interesting, unique series, and it has some of the most amazing characters.

      Thanks for stopping by my TTT!


  4. Beth | The Reading Vixens
    Mar 26, 2013 @ 12:25:02

    Ahhh Cinder, I NEED to read this.

    Beth | The Reading Vixens [Formerly YA Vixens]
    The Reading Vixens!


    • aimee
      Mar 26, 2013 @ 12:40:04

      Yes! Read Cinder! It’s like an original story inside a fairytale retelling, and the entire series is just so exciting/fun/unique/insert awesome adjective here. XD I haven’t recommended another book more since it was published.

      Thanks for dropping by my TTT!


  5. Alicia Audrey
    Mar 26, 2013 @ 16:18:50

    Heist has been on my radar forever. I just haven’t gotten around to buying and reading it. GOSH. And I should make a list of the books I most recommend. Good idea!
    Thanks for sharing all these. I’m adding them all to my TBR pile.


    • aimee
      Mar 26, 2013 @ 23:24:09

      Thank you! They’re all really addictive, incredible books, so I definitely hope you enjoy them. And Heist Society is such a FUN series. I don’t think there’s anything as exciting out there, and Kat and Hale are two of my favorite characters and one of my favorite ships.


  6. Maggie @ Just a Couple More Pages
    Mar 26, 2013 @ 16:27:50

    Great picks! You’re another one making me feel bad for never having read The Fault In Our Stars or anything by Stephanie Perkins 😉


    • aimee
      Mar 26, 2013 @ 23:21:00

      Thank you! Aww, definitely read those books! TFIOS is one you have to prepare for because it makes you feel ALL the feelings (and by that, I don’t mean just the sad ones). But Steph Perkins’ novels are great reads to follow TFIOS because of how absolutely adorable they are.


  7. LillyLilac
    Mar 26, 2013 @ 19:34:31

    I love The Fault in Our Stars and I believe that I decided to read it because of what you wrote about it on your blog. I love this book because even though it’s a book that will make you cry your eyes out in the end, it’s also a book that can really make you laugh with it’s dark sense of humor were they seem to joke quite often about serious things such cancer. I also love Augustus because he’s just an amazing character who sees the world in his way and does things for their metaphorical meaning but I also love Hazel and Issac almost equally as well and I love reading about any combination of their relationship.

    I’ve decided that I will read Cinder and If I Say due to the things you have written abot both books on your blog in the past. I also have wanted to read A Great and Terrible Beauty for years now but I’ve just never gotten around to it.

    I love Thirteen Reasons Why it’s such a different way to tell a story and it does a great job of making you feel attached to Hannah even though you already know that she died and therefore the ending made me sob due to feeling that there was something that Clay or even the reader themselves could have done to save her but she’s already dead.

    I love Heist Society and Gallagher Girls series they’re both amazing series filled with great characters, relationships, plots and writing. I actually have Gallagher Girls on my list and I wished that I had included Heist Society as well especially since I love that series slightly more but I didn’t think of combinding both series as one number.

    Anna and the French Kiss is a book that I think is good because it’s really well written and most of the characters are well thought out and the description of Paris is amazing. But the thing is I don’t St. Clair because he knows from at least sometime around Thanksgiving that he’d rather be Anna than with Ellie but instead of breaking up with Ellie shortly after this he just keeps blowing her off to hang with Anna then sometime in late spring St.Clair is caught by their friends with his tongue halfway down Anna’s throat although he still hasn’t broken up with Ellie and the only reason that St. Clair did break up with Ellie was because he didn’t want his friends to tell Ellie what happened with Anna. Because of how awfully St. Clair treats Ellie I can’t see him as a good romantic lead because he treats his girlfriend like crap for no reason. Sorry about this little rant but I mentioned to you before I have problems with this book and you thought that it was because it was predictable but that just isn’t the case since I have never minded predictable and I just want to making my feelings on the book clear to at least one person since I usually try to sugar coat my opinion.

    I love the Harry Potter series like most other people as well but I’m sad to say that my mom is one of those people who refuse to read or even watch Harry Potter because she thinks it would be boring which makes very little sense to me because these books are always so exciting. I also love Meg Cabot books although I have only read two of her stand alone novels.


    • aimee
      Mar 26, 2013 @ 23:18:31

      Those are the exact reasons why I love The Fault in Our Stars too. And YES, Augustus, Hazel, and Isaac made that book for me.

      Definitely read Where She Went after If I Stay. Both books go together, and I feel like that book offers slightly more closure to If I Stay, though I love If I Stay on its own.

      And ahh, A Great and Terrible Beauty is fantastic. Libba Bray’s written a lot of awesome books since then, but that series is one of my favorites. It’s a little on the long side though (especially The Sweet Far Thing), so I know it might take a while for you to read it when you finally get to it.

      Agreed about Thirteen Reasons Why. It’s a little why The Future of Us kind of disappointed me because while I did enjoy that book, it did not affect me like Thirteen Reasons Why did at all. I always thought this book might make a fantastic film (have you heard about the TFIOS film, by the way?), but I guess that isn’t happening anymore. :/

      Haha, I cheated a lot with this list by throwing an entire author as its own number/category. ^^;; It’s SO HARD to ONLY think of TEN!

      Ahhh, I actually really understand your feelings about Anna and the French Kiss/Etienne St. Clair, and it’s an interesting, valid perspective I’ve never heard before. (I really feel like revisiting the book now, just to settle my own thoughts about him/the story.) Thank you for clarifying, and also, don’t be afraid to share your true opinions about books! That’s what sparks discussion!

      Sadly, my mom shares your mom’s opinion about Harry Potter. (My mom actually doesn’t read many/any English books, since it’s not her first language, so I tried to get her to read an Urdu translation of it, but to no avail. The closest I came was making my father watch the films, which he’ll admit he does enjoy. My mom sleeps through them. ><;; *sigh* )

      TELL ME YOU'VE READ AVALON HIGH! It’s my favorite Meg Cabot standalone!


  8. Katie
    Mar 28, 2013 @ 11:45:22

    woah, alot of awesome picks you have ! I love love love, Delirium, Cinder and 13 Reasons Why. And i have been meaning to checkout The Fault in Our Stars! Thanks for checking out our TTT ~ Katie @ Inkk


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