Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ ThatArtsy Reader Girl
Well hello everyone! Haley here and I cannot believe that Tuesday is here again. Last week we took a bit of a break from TTT but this week I’m back and incredibly excited about this week’s prompt: Books you predict will be five star reads. I decided to pick kind of a theme since I’m on my own this week and chose upcoming dark fantasy, psychological thrillers, and straight up horror novels I’m excited about. This is in no way an exhaustive list but I made an effort to include some titles I haven’t talked about yet. So, without further ado, here’s my list.
1- The Deep by Alma KatsuThe Deep by Alma Katsu
on March 10, 2020
From the acclaimed and award-winning author of The Hunger comes an eerie, psychological twist on one of the world's most renowned tragedies, the sinking of the Titanic and the ill-fated sail of its sister ship, the Britannic.
Someone, or something, is haunting the ship. That is the only way to explain the series of misfortunes that have plagued the passengers of the Titanic from the moment they set sail. The Titanic's passengers expected to enjoy an experience befitting the much-heralded ship's maiden voyage, but instead, amid mysterious disappearances and sudden deaths, find themselves in an eerie, unsettling twilight zone. While some of the guests and crew shrug off strange occurrences, several--including maid Annie Hebbley, guest Mark Fletcher, and millionaires Madeleine Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim--are convinced there's something more sinister going on. And then disaster strikes.
Years later, Annie, having survived that fateful night, has attempted to put her life back together by going to work as a nurse on the sixth sailing of the Britannic, newly refitted as a hospital ship to support British forces fighting World War I. When she happens across an unconscious Mark, now a soldier, she is at first thrilled and relieved to learn that he too survived the tragic night four years earlier. But soon his presence awakens deep-buried feelings and secrets, forcing her to reckon with the demons of her past--as they both discover that the terror may not yet be over.
Featuring an ensemble cast of characters and effortlessly combining the supernatural with the height of historical disaster, The Deep is an exploration of love and destiny, desire and innocence, and, above all, a quest to understand how our choices can lead us inexorably toward our doom.
I adored Katsu’s first novel, The Hunger, and have high hopes that I will enjoy Katsu’s next historical horror novel just as much. I’m so confident that we’ve invited the author to join us for a Saturday Spotlight towards the end of March so stay tuned for that and make sure to preorder your copy!
2- Be Not Far From Me by Mindy McGinnisBe Not Far From Me by Mindy McGinnis
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on March 3, 2020
Hatchet meets Wild in this harrowing survival story from Edgar Award-winning author Mindy McGinnis.
The world is not tame.
Ashley knows this truth deep in her bones, more at home with trees overhead than a roof. So when she goes hiking in the Smokies with her friends for a night of partying, the falling dark and creaking trees are second nature to her. But people are not tame either. And when Ashley catches her boyfriend with another girl, drunken rage sends her running into the night, stopped only by a nasty fall into a ravine. Morning brings the realization that she's alone - and far off trail. Lost in undisturbed forest and with nothing but the clothes on her back, Ashley must figure out how to survive despite the red streak of infection creeping up her leg.
This is another one I’m incredibly excited about. I’m fairly certain if Mindy wrote the phone book I could read it and happily rate it five stars. Hatchet was one of my favorite books growing up– its a book high I’ve been chasing for years– and I think this one might finally scratch that itch.
3- The Last One by Alexandra OlivaThe Last One by Alexandra Oliva
Published by Ballantine Books on July 12, 2016
Survival is the name of the game as the line blurs between reality TV and reality itself in Alexandra Oliva’s fast-paced novel of suspense.
She wanted an adventure. She never imagined it would go this far.
It begins with a reality TV show. Twelve contestants are sent into the woods to face challenges that will test the limits of their endurance. While they are out there, something terrible happens—but how widespread is the destruction, and has it occurred naturally or is it human-made? Cut off from society, the contestants know nothing of it. When one of them—a young woman the show’s producers call Zoo—stumbles across the devastation, she can imagine only that it is part of the game.
Alone and disoriented, Zoo is heavy with doubt regarding the life—and husband—she left behind, but she refuses to quit. Staggering countless miles across unfamiliar territory, Zoo must summon all her survival skills—and learn new ones as she goes.
But as her emotional and physical reserves dwindle, she grasps that the real world might have been altered in terrifying ways—and her ability to parse the charade will be either her triumph or her undoing.
Sophisticated and provocative, The Last One is a novel that forces us to confront the role that media plays in our perception of what is real: how readily we cast our judgments, how easily we are manipulated.
Okay, I know I just recommended this one yesterday in our Monday Matinee post. In our recommendation posts we try to recommend an eclectic list consisting of books that we’ve read and books that are high on our TBR. Well, yesterday’s post pushed me to check otu the audio from my library and I think this will be next on my list. Stay tuned for my thoughts, I can’t wait to dig in!
4- Theme Music by T. Marie VandellyTheme Music by T. Marie Vandelly
Published by Dutton Books on July 23, 2019
An utterly propulsive and unpredictable psychological thriller from stunning new talent T. Marie Vandelly
For the lucky among us, life is what you make of it, but for Dixie Wheeler, the theme music for her story was chosen by another long ago, on the day her father butchered her mother and brothers and then slashed a knife across his own throat. Only one-year-old Dixie was left alive, infamously known as Baby Blue for the song left playing in the aftermath of the slaughter.
Twenty-five years later, Dixie is still desperate for a connection to the family she can’t remember, so when her childhood home goes up for sale, Dixie sets aside all reason and moves in, re-creating a macabre decor with her family’s salvaged furniture. But as the ghosts of her family seemingly begin to take up residence in the home that was once theirs, Dixie starts to question her own sanity and wonders if the evil force menacing her is that of her father, or a demon of her own making.
In order to make sense of her present, Dixie becomes determined to unravel the truth of her past and seeks out the detective who originally investigated the murders. But the more she learns, the more she opens up the uncomfortable possibility that the sins of her father may belong to another, and, perhaps most tragically, to Dixie herself. As bodies begin to pile up around her, Dixie must find a way to expose the lunacy behind her family’s massacre and redeem what little remains of her soul.
This book. I mean, the moment it showed up a few weeks ago I read the first chapter and I cannot stop thinking about it. It now sits on my nightstand waiting to be read once I have made enough headway in reading for the blog but the first page opens with the brutal massacre of an entire family. Shocking, disturbing and more than effective to make me want to keep reading.
5- Red Hood by Elana K. ArnoldRed Hood by Elana K. Arnold
Published by Balzer + Bray on February 25, 2020
You are alone in the woods, seen only by the unblinking yellow moon. Your hands are empty. You are nearly naked.
And the wolf is angry.
Since her grandmother became her caretaker when she was four years old, Bisou Martel has lived a quiet life in a little house in Seattle. She’s kept mostly to herself. She’s been good. But then comes the night of homecoming, when she finds herself running for her life over roots and between trees, a fury of claws and teeth behind her. A wolf attacks. Bisou fights back. A new moon rises. And with it, questions. About the blood in Bisou’s past and on her hands as she stumbles home. About broken boys and vicious wolves. About girls lost in the woods—frightened, but not alone.
Elana K. Arnold, National Book Award finalist and author of the Printz Honor book Damsel, returns with a dark, engrossing, blood-drenched tale of the familiar threats to female power—and one girl’s journey to regain it.
I saved this one for last because I know its going to be a controversial one. Arnold’s debut Damsel made quite the splash in the bookish community for a lot of reasons but let’s just say Arnold isn’t afraid to shock and disturb her readers. Honestly, I appreciated Arnold’s boldness and look forward to another dark, twisted tale in her next book coming out at the end of this month.
6- Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie WrobelDarling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel
on March 17, 2020
Sharp Objects meets My Lovely Wife in this tightly drawn debut that peels back the layers of the most complicated of mother-daughter relationships...
For the first eighteen years of her life, Rose Gold Watts believed she was seriously ill. She was allergic to everything, used a wheelchair and practically lived at the hospital. Neighbors did all they could, holding fundraisers and offering shoulders to cry on, but no matter how many doctors, tests, or surgeries, no one could figure out what was wrong with Rose Gold.
Turns out her mom, Patty Watts, was just a really good liar.
After serving five years in prison, Patty gets out with nowhere to go and begs her daughter to take her in. The entire community is shocked when Rose Gold says yes.
Patty insists all she wants is to reconcile their differences. She says she's forgiven Rose Gold for turning her in and testifying against her. But Rose Gold knows her mother. Patty Watts always settles a score.
Unfortunately for Patty, Rose Gold is no longer her weak little darling...
And she's waited such a long time for her mother to come home.
This is definitely turning out to be one of the biggest thrillers of the year with reviewers raving about both it’s uniqueness and unputdownableness (yes that’s a word now). Essentially, Rose Gold testified in a trial against her mother who convinced Rose that she was terribly ill for most of her adolescence. Now Rose’s mother is out and looking to reconnect, but Rose Gold isn’t so young and innocent anymore. It sounds so good. I can hardly wait!
7- Wonderland by Zoje StageWonderland by Zoje Stage
Published by Mulholland Books on June 16, 2020
If Shirley Jackson wrote The Shining, it might look like this novel from the acclaimed author of Baby Teeth: A mother must become a protector when unnatural forces threaten her family's new and improved life in a rural farmhouse.
The Bennett family - artist parents and two precocious children - leave their familiar urban surroundings for a new home in far upstate New York. They're an hour from the nearest city, a mile from the nearest house, and everyone has their own room for the very first time. Shaw, the father, even gets his own painting studio, now that he and his wife Orla, a retired dancer, have agreed that it's his turn to pursue his passion.
But none of the Bennetts expect what lies waiting in the lovely woods, where secrets run dark and deep. Orla must finally find a way to communicate with - not just resist - this unknown entity that is coming to her family, calling to them from the land, in the earth, beneath the trees ... and in their minds.
You might recognize this author from her debut, Baby Teeth, which I am ashamed to admit I still haven’t read. It’s described as The Shining if it was written by Shirley Jackson. Combined with the rural, secluded setting this book cannot get in my hands fast enough!
8- Ghost Wood Song by Erica WatersGhost Wood Song by Erica Waters
Published by HarperTeen on July 21, 2020
Sawkill Girls meets Beautiful Creatures in this lush and eerie debut, where the boundary between reality and nightmares is as thin as the veil between the living and the dead.
If I could have a fiddle made of Daddy’s bones, I’d play it. I’d learn all the secrets he kept.
Shady Grove inherited her father’s ability to call ghosts from the grave with his fiddle, but she also knows the fiddle’s tunes bring nothing but trouble and darkness.
But when her brother is accused of murder, she can’t let the dead keep their secrets.
In order to clear his name, she’s going to have to make those ghosts sing.
Family secrets, a gorgeously resonant LGBTQ love triangle, and just the right amount of creepiness make this young adult debut a haunting and hopeful story about facing everything that haunts us in the dark.
Okay, we all have those books that we read and stay with us for whatever reason. Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand is one of those books. I have been picking up readalikes left and right trying to find some thing similar. Consideriny the fact that Claire Legrand herself has blurbed this one I stalk Netgalley daily for this one to appear.
9- Survival Song by Paul TremblaySurvivor Song by Paul Tremblay
Published by William Morrow on July 7, 2020
A riveting novel of suspense and terror from the Bram Stoker award-winning author of The Cabin at the End of the World and A Head Full of Ghosts.
In a matter of weeks, Massachusetts has been overrun by an insidious rabies-like virus that is spread by saliva. But unlike rabies, the disease has a terrifyingly short incubation period of an hour or less. Those infected quickly lose their minds and are driven to bite and infect as many others as they can before they inevitably succumb. Hospitals are inundated with the sick and dying, and hysteria has taken hold. To try to limit its spread, the commonwealth is under quarantine and curfew. But society is breaking down and the government's emergency protocols are faltering.
Dr. Ramola "Rams" Sherman, a soft-spoken pediatrician in her mid-thirties, receives a frantic phone call from Natalie, a friend who is eight months pregnant. Natalie's husband has been killed—viciously attacked by an infected neighbor—and in a failed attempt to save him, Natalie, too, was bitten. Natalie's only chance of survival is to get to a hospital as quickly as possible to receive a rabies vaccine. The clock is ticking for her and for her unborn child.
Natalie’s fight for life becomes a desperate odyssey as she and Rams make their way through a hostile landscape filled with dangers beyond their worst nightmares—terrifying, strange, and sometimes deadly challenges that push them to the brink.
Paul Tremblay once again demonstrates his mastery in this chilling and all-too-plausible novel that will leave readers racing through the pages . . . and shake them to their core.
Paul Tremblay needs no introductions to those of us immersed in the world of horror fiction. This upcoming novel from Tremblay is part plauge story part survival odyssey and it sounds absolutely fantastic!
10- The Companion by Katie AlenderThe Companion by Katie Alender
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on August 25, 2020
The other orphans say Margot is lucky.
Lucky to survive the horrible accident that killed her family.
Lucky to have her own room because she wakes up screaming every night.
And finally, lucky to be chosen by a prestigious family to live at their remote country estate.
But it wasn't luck that made the Suttons rescue Margot from her bleak existence at the group home. Margot was handpicked to be a companion to their silent, mysterious daughter, Agatha. At first, helping with Agatha--and getting to know her handsome older brother--seems much better than the group home. But soon, the isolated, gothic house begins playing tricks on Margot’s mind, making her question everything she believes about the Suttons . . . and herself.
Margot’s bad dreams may have stopped when she came to live with Agatha – but the real nightmare has just begun.
Initially, my excitement was piqued thanks to the disturbing cover. I read and enjoyed Katie Alender’s book, Bad Girls Don’t Die and this standalone YA horror featuring a protagonist who may or may not be insane. Sounds like my cup of tea… or spoon, maybe.
What About You
What did you think of my list? Which books do you think will be five star reads for you? Let me know in the comments!