Tuesday 29 April 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: My picks for 'If You Liked This, Read That'.

Well this week's topic has been interesting to say the least! I was really excited about it when I first heard what it would be. The general concept was to pick a TV Show, Movie, Game, Music, any sort of entertainment that ISN'T a book, and recommend some books based on those choices. It wasn't until last night/this morning that I realised just how stuck I was...Oops! But here is my attempt anyway, I can't wait to read some picks by other people!

If you liked 'Mulan', then read...

1) Alanna: The First Adventure; Tamora Pierce. Now a lot of people have probably watched Mulan or at least have some vague idea of what it is all about. A heroic girl, disguising herself as a boy in order to get into the Emperor's Army and fight for China in a war against the Huns. Tamora Pierce's 'Alanna: The First Adventure' also sees her dress up and disguise herself as a boy so that she may train to become a warrior rather than learn to be a lady. There are differences in motive (Mulan wants to save her Father, Alanna is just desperate to fight) but the concept itself is really similar and I think if you enjoy one, you'll like the other.

If you liked 'Django: Unchained' then read...

2) To Kill A Mockingbird; Harper Lee. Now most people will probably think of Django and instantly think 'Gun Toting Hero'. None of my choices involve a lot of action, not like you find in the film. But at the heart of the film is actually a deep and thought provoking message about racism and it's cruelties. So if you enjoyed that aspect of the film, then you need to read these choices. Start with this classic, 'To Kill A Mockingbird'! Both it and 'Django: Unchained' have justice, or rather the lack of it, at the centre of their stories. And it is immensely satisfying when the villains get what's coming to them.

3) The Invention Of Wings; Sue Monk-Kidd. Another story about racism. This one goes a lot deeper than 'Django' does on the subject, and will probably be very enjoyable for people who have seen 'Twelve Years A Slave' too. In essence it is about rebellion, from both black people forced to suffer cruelty, and white people forced by society to administer it. I found it a heart-warming tale about forbidden friendship and this in itself makes it an excellent read. Certainly one of the best I've read this year so far.

4) Noughts and Crosses; Malorie Blackman. This particular read does have a lot more action in it than my other two choices. It's set in a modern day setting, with a bit of role reversal thrown in for good measure, but if you enjoyed the action side of 'Django: Unchained', or even the romance, then you will like this one. It's a powerful novel too, so aimed not just at the people who like a fast-paced thrill, but the deep thinkers who want to think about how destructive racism can be (on both sides, despite the suggestion of a good vs. evil novel, there is plenty of blurred lines and complexity to the situation). It comes as a series of four books, this being the first. Read them all!

If you liked 'How To Train Your Dragon' then read...

5) Eragon; Christopher Paolini. Now this might not be the most complex one I've thought of, there's not a huge amount in common between the two apart from 'A boy who is nothing special meets Dragon, they become friends, everyone else is upset by this, then said boy becomes a hero'. Nevertheless, I thoroughly recommend Eragon to any Dragon lovers. It's a great tale about friendship, heroism, bravery, loyalty with great world-building and fantastical settings and creatures. Eragon's plot-line is certainly more complex and political, but I think the two films still have the same essence to them.

If you liked 'Pan's Labyrinth' then read...

6) Tithe; Holly Black. Now one of the main similarities here is that the two films involve a lot of fantastical creatures and a young girl hero who is not all that she seems. They both have to be wary of rules as they enter a new world in order to discover themselves and complete their various tasks. Perhaps their story-lines are a little dissimilar, but in both interpretations, all is not as it seems in the other world and not everything is to be trusted. I don't know, I just got a similar vibe from both stories, despite their differences.

7) Daughter Of Smoke & Bone; Laini Taylor. Now when I first read 'Daughter Of Smoke & Bone' and read about Brimstone, I instantly thought of Pan from Pan's Labyrinth. His very attitude. Do we trust him? Is what he does in aid of good, or is Karou nothing but a pawn in some sort of dark plot. Karou and Ofelia are similar in that they have mysterious pasts of which they know little about. They do the tasks they are set in the hope of discovering more, while attempting to live in the real world and deal with problems outside of the fantasy world that they also live in. You are never quite sure what is real or who is the enemy and I really love both of these stories for it.

If you liked 'Warm Bodies' then read...

8) Generation Dead; Daniel Waters. Essentially the two stories are almost too similar. 'Warm Bodies' is about a zombie boy who falls in love with a girl (their is a definite Romeo and Juliet theme in this one), and Generation Dead tells the story of a human girl and a zombie boy falling in love. I'm not a big fan of Zombie Books/Films that involve that kind of romance but I actually did enjoy both of these and when watching 'Warm Bodies' I instantly thought of this book that I read quite a long time ago. So if Zombies are your thing and you've enjoyed one of these, give the other a try!

If you liked 'Twilight', then read...

9) Finding Sky; Joss Stirling. I didn't enjoy Twilight very much when I read it, and if you know that, you're probably wondering why I've mentioned it on this list. Especially as I'm comparing it to books that I did enjoy. Crazy? No. When I read 'Finding Sky' I couldn't help but think of 'Twilight'. There were so many similarities, a family full of people that were a little different from the rest, a girl that steals the heart of one instantly (he acts like a total meanie at first, then suddenly he's head over heels) and enemies that put that girl in danger (I would say that these particular enemies put me more in mind of the Volturi than the Nomads. Still, Twilight related.) But I will recommend this read because Stirling does it so much better! Sky is independent, feisty, and likeable. Not clumsy, or dreary or totally clingy as I found Bella to be. I found the romance was written well, I liked most of the characters, the villains read well, it was how Twilight should have been done in my opinion. So if you enjoyed the 'Twilight' Movie, then you should definitely give this one a try!

10) The Host; Stephanie Meyer. Yes, another crazy move. Except it's not really. So what if I didn't enjoy Twilight, I did like 'The Host' which a lot of people will probably know was also written by Stephanie Meyer. I found it a much better read than her more popular series. They are similar, but I think that the romance and the characterisation was handled really well here! I went into it really thinking I was going to hate it, and came out raving and recommending it to many, many people. So if you enjoyed 'Twilight', then I really recommend you give this one a go because in my opinion it was a lot better than that series. Thank goodness!

Goodness me! That was tough! Perhaps if I'd planned a bit better I could have come up with some other ones, but this is the best I've got at short notice! Next week's topic is 'Top Ten Book Covers I'd Frame As Pieces Of Art'. Ooooh, I do like book covers! This will be a good one!

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