Top Ten Tuesday- Show Me Some Love Editoon

Posted February 7, 2022 by stuckint in Uncategorized / 11 Comments

Hello everyone and welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

It’s been a hot minute since we’ve participated in a Top Ten Tuesday. But we’re getting back into the groove of blogging and that means resurrecting some of our favorite weekly memes.

Today’s topic was a freebie so we decided to show some love to some underhypes titles!

Haley’s Picks

Horror Hotel by Victoria Fulton and Faith McClaren

Horror Hotel by Victoria Fulton, Faith McClaren
Published by Underlined on February 1, 2022
Pages: 224

This addictive YA horror about a group of teen ghost hunters who spend the night in a haunted LA hotel is The Blair Witch Project for the TikTok generation.
When the YouTube-famous Ghost Gang—Chrissy, Chase, Emma, and Kiki—visit a haunted LA hotel notorious for tragedy to secretly film after dark, they expect it to be just like their previous paranormal huntings. Spooky enough to attract subscribers—and ultimately harmless.
But when they stumble upon something unexpected in the former room of a gruesome serial killer, they quickly realize that they’re in over their heads.
Sometimes, it’s the dead who need our help—and the living we should fear.
Underlined is a line of totally addictive romance, thriller, and horror paperback original titles coming to you fast and furious each month. Enjoy everything you want to read the way you want to read it.

A recent read, I am learning that I really enjoy books where unwitting podcasters and YouTubers explore allegedly haunted places and that’s exactly what Horror Hotel is. The creepy scenes in this one are positively gruesome and I cannot recommend it enough!

No Land To Light On by Yara Zgheib

No Land to Light On by Yara Zgheib
Published by Atria Books on January 4, 2022
Pages: 304

Exit West
meets An American Marriage in this breathtaking and evocative novel about a young Syrian couple in the throes of new love, on the cusp of their bright future…when a travel ban rips them apart on the eve of their son’s birth—from the author of The Girls at 17 Swann Street.
Hadi and Sama are a young Syrian couple flying high on a whirlwind love, dreaming up a life in the country that brought them together. She had come to Boston years before chasing dreams of a bigger life; he’d landed there as a sponsored refugee from a bloody civil war. Now, they are giddily awaiting the birth of their son, a boy whose native language would be freedom and belonging.
When Sama is five months pregnant, Hadi’s father dies suddenly in Jordan, the night before his visa appointment at the embassy. Hadi flies back for the funeral, promising his wife that he’ll only be gone for a few days. On the day his flight is due to arrive in Boston, Sama is waiting for him at the airport, eager to bring him back home. But as the minutes and then hours pass, she continues to wait, unaware that Hadi has been stopped at the border and detained for questioning, trapped in a timeless, nightmarish limbo.
Worlds apart, suspended between hope and disillusion as hours become days become weeks, Sama and Hadi yearn for a way back to each other, and to the life they’d dreamed up together. But does that life exist anymore, or was it only an illusion?
Achingly intimate yet poignantly universal, No Land to Light On is the story of a family caught up in forces beyond their control, fighting for the freedom and home they found in one another.

I feel like this one will get a lot more love as time goes on. I recently recommended it as a potential book club pick for our library’s patron book club.its an important read set a very charged political time but reads like a thriller in a lot of ways.

Such A Pretty Smile by Kristi Semester

Such a Pretty Smile by Kristi DeMeester
Published by St. Martin's Press on January 18, 2022
Pages: 320

A biting novel from an electrifying new voice, Such a Pretty Smile is a heart-stopping tour-de-force about powerful women, angry men, and all the ways in which girls fight against the forces that try to silence them.
There’s something out there that’s killing. Known only as The Cur, he leaves no traces, save for the torn bodies of girls, on the verge of becoming women, who are known as trouble-makers; those who refuse to conform, to know their place. Girls who don’t know when to shut up.
2019: Thirteen-year-old Lila Sawyer has secrets she can’t share with anyone. Not the school psychologist she’s seeing. Not her father, who has a new wife, and a new baby. And not her mother—the infamous Caroline Sawyer, a unique artist whose eerie sculptures, made from bent twigs and crimped leaves, have made her a local celebrity. But soon Lila feels haunted from within, terrorized by a delicious evil that shows her how to find her voice—until she is punished for using it.
2004: Caroline Sawyer hears dogs everywhere. Snarling, barking, teeth snapping that no one else seems to notice. At first, she blames the phantom sounds on her insomnia and her acute stress in caring for her ailing father. But then the delusions begin to take shape—both in her waking hours, and in the violent, visceral sculptures she creates while in a trance-like state. Her fiancé is convinced she needs help. Her new psychiatrist waves her “problem” away with pills. But Caroline’s past is a dark cellar, filled with repressed memories and a lurking horror that the men around her can’t understand.
As past demons become a present threat, both Caroline and Lila must chase the source of this unrelenting, oppressive power to its malignant core. Brilliantly paced, unsettling to the bone, and unapologetically fierce, Such a Pretty Smile is a powerful allegory for what it can mean to be a woman, and an untamed rallying cry for anyone ever told to sit down, shut up, and smile pretty.

A divisive feminist horror novel that does one of my favorite thing: personifying abstract concepts in the form of horror novels. In this case, Demeedters tackles issue and the harm’s of the patriarchy into supernatural monsters that are murdering girls. It’s thought provoking and poignant and I will definitely be reading more books by the author.

Cold The Night, Fast The Wolves by Meg Long

Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves by Meg Long
Published by Wednesday Books on January 11, 2022
Pages: 368

After angering a local gangster, seventeen-year-old Sena Korhosen must flee with her prize fighting wolf, Iska, in tow. A team of scientists offer to pay her way off her frozen planet on one condition: she gets them to the finish line of the planet’s infamous sled race. Though Sena always swore she’d never race after it claimed both her mothers’ lives, it’s now her only option.
But the tundra is a treacherous place, and as the race unfolds and their lives are threatened at every turn, Sena starts to question her own abilities. She must discover whether she's strong enough to survive the wild – whether she and Iska together are strong enough to get them all out alive.
A captivating debut about survival, found family, and the bond between a girl and a wolf that delivers a fresh twist on classic survival stories and frontier myths.

With a bit of a slow start, this YA dystopian fantasy is set on another planet whose biggest draw is the annual sled race. As a lover of competitions, dogs/wolves and plucky female heroines, I adored this book and all it had to offer

Mark of the Wicked by Georgia Bowers

Mark of the Wicked by Georgia Bowers
Published by Swoon Reads on August 10, 2021
Pages: 352

A young witch tries to unravel the mystery of who is framing her for dark magic in Georgia Bowers' creepy YA debut fantasy, Mark of the Wicked.
Magic always leaves its mark.
All her life, Matilda has been told one thing about her magic: You use only when necessary. But Matilda isn't interested in being a good witch. She wants revenge and popularity, and to live her life free of consequences, free of the scars that dark magic leaves on her face as a reminder of her misdeeds.
When a spell goes awry and the new boy at school catches her in the act, Matilda thinks her secret might be out. But far from being afraid, Oliver already knows about her magic - and he wants to learn more. As Oliver and Matilda grow closer, bizarre things begin to happen: Animals show up with their throats slashed and odd markings carved into their bodies, a young girl dies mysteriously, and everyone blames Matilda. But she isn't responsible -- at least, not that she can remember. As her magic begins to spin out of control, Matilda must decide for herself what makes a good witch, and discover the truth...before anyone else turns up dead.

Surprisingly gory, this YA fantasy debut was described in my review as Practical Magic by way of Stephen King and I stand by it. The magic and it’s costs are gruesome and violent, as I think it should be. The protagonist is also strong but flawed. It’s definitely the perfect read to get you in a spooky mood.

Emily’s Picks

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

The Goblin Emperor (The Goblin Emperor #1) by Katherine Addison
Published by Tor Books on February 12, 2019
Pages: 448

Nominated for the Nebula and Hugo awards, and a World Fantasy Award Finalist, Katherine Addison's The Goblin Emperor is a vividly imagined fantasy of court intrigue and dark magics in a steampunk-inflected world.
Unbound Worlds 100 Best Fantasy Novels of All Time
Maia, the youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an "accident," he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir.
Entirely unschooled in the art of court politics, he has no friends, no advisors, and the sure knowledge that whoever assassinated his father and brothers could make an attempt on his life at any moment.
Surrounded by sycophants eager to curry favor with the na�ve new emperor, and overwhelmed by the burdens of his new life, he can trust nobody. Amid the swirl of plots to depose him, offers of arranged marriages, and the specter of the unknown conspirators who lurk in the shadows, he must quickly adjust to life as the Goblin Emperor. All the while, he is alone, and trying to find even a single friend . . . and hoping for the possibility of romance, yet also vigilant against the unseen enemies that threaten him, lest he lose his throne-or his life.

It’s not a return to the blog until I talk about The Goblin Emperor! I just love this amazing book which is a feel-good political fantasy novel. I just love the main character and the overall vibe of this book. Plus the sequel just came out last year so now you can read both!

Here Be Dragons by Sharon Jay Penman

Here Be Dragons (Welsh Princes #1) by Sharon Kay Penman
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on May 27, 2008
Pages: 704

Thirteenth-century Wales is a divided country, ever at the mercy of England’s ruthless, power-hungry King John. Llewelyn, Prince of North Wales, secures an uneasy truce by marrying the English king’s beloved illegitimate daughter, Joanna, who slowly grows to love her charismatic and courageous husband. But as John’s attentions turn again and again to subduing Wales---and Llewelyn---Joanna must decide where her love and loyalties truly lie.
The turbulent clashes of two disparate worlds and the destinies of the individuals caught between them spring to life in this magnificent novel of power and passion, loyalty and lies. The book that began the trilogy that includes Falls the Shadow and The Reckoning, Here Be Dragons brings thirteenth-century England, France, and Wales to tangled, tempestuous life.

Really, I love the entire trilogy - I’m pretty sure I rated them all 5 stars. This is an amazing historical fiction trilogy focusing on the marriage between King John’s illegitimate daughter Joanna and Llewelyn, Prince of Wales. It’s so gorgeously written and researched and is absolutely my favorite historical fiction trilogy ever.

The Princess Curse by Mary Haskell

The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell
Published by HarperCollins on May 28, 2013
Pages: 352

Merrie Haskell’s middle-grade fantasy novel Princess Curse is an imaginative retelling of the fairy tales The Twelve Dancing Princesses and Beauty and the Beast. In the fifteenth-century kingdom of Sylvania, the prince offers a fabulous reward to anyone who cures the curse that forces the princesses to spend each night dancing to the point of exhaustion. Everyone who tries disappears or falls into an enchanted sleep. Thirteen-year-old Reveka, a smart, courageous herbalist’s apprentice, decides to attempt to break the curse despite the danger. Unravelling the mystery behind the curse leads Reveka to the Underworld, and to save the princesses, Reveka will have to risk her soul. Princess Curse combines magic, suspense, humor, and adventure into a story perfect for fans of Gail Carson Levine.

This is my absolute favorite middle grade fairy tale retelling. This is a Twelve Dancing Princesses meets Eastern European setting with the most excellent female protagonist. I just want everyone to read it.

Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire

Discount Armageddon (InCryptid, #1) by Seanan McGuire
Published by Corsair on March 6, 2014
Pages: 344

Cryptid, noun: Any creature whose existence has not yet been proven by science. See also "Monster."
Crytozoologist, noun: Any person who thinks hunting for cryptids is a good idea. See also "idiot."
Ghoulies. Ghosties. Long-legged beasties. Things that go bump in the night...
The Price family has spent generations studying the monsters of the world, working to protect them from humanity—and humanity from them.
Enter Verity Price. Despite being trained from birth as a cryptozoologist, she'd rather dance a tango than tangle with a demon, and is spending a year in Manhattan while she pursues her career in professional ballroom dance. Sounds pretty simple, right?
It would be, if it weren't for the talking mice, the telepathic mathematicians, the asbestos supermodels, and the trained monster-hunter sent by the Price family's old enemies, the Covenant of St. George. When a Price girl meets a Covenant boy, high stakes, high heels, and a lot of collateral damage are almost guaranteed.
To complicate matters further, local cryptids are disappearing, strange lizard-men are appearing in the sewers, and someone's spreading rumors about a dragon sleeping underneath the city...

If you love urban fantasy and sassy female protagonists and haven’t read this one, you must stop what you’re doing and do it now. It’s fun and nerdy and really hilarious with tons of amazing creatures throughout the series. Highly recommended for UF fans.

Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach

Fortune's Pawn (Paradox #1) by Rachel Bach
Published by Orbit on November 5, 2013
Pages: 320

Devi Morris isn't your average mercenary. She has plans. Big ones. And a ton of ambition. It's a combination that's going to get her killed one day - but not just yet. That is, until she just gets a job on a tiny trade ship with a nasty reputation for surprises. The Glorious Fool isn't misnamed: it likes to get into trouble, so much so that one year of security work under its captain is equal to five years everywhere else. With odds like that, Devi knows she's found the perfect way to get the jump on the next part of her Plan. But the Fool doesn't give up its secrets without a fight, and one year on this ship might be more than even Devi can handle.

Sci-fi. Romance. Urban fantasy. Mercenaries. Aliens. What’s not to love. It’s an amazing series with the perfect lead character, an amazing setting and plot, and just the right amount of romance. Definitely check this one out!

What About You?

What are some books that you think deserve more love? What do you think of our picks? Let us know in the comments!

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