Tuesday 29 September 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: My picks for 'Books To Read If You Liked These Popular Books'.

I'm actually a huge fan of comparison Top Ten Tuesday lists! I wrote one before that compared films to books and had a great time! This week's topic is more about picking a super popular, hyped up book and finding a less well known book that will be equally enjoyable (or maybe more so) for a fan to read. I read quite a diverse selection of genres so I may struggle at times (Jack of all trades, master of none?) but hopefully I'll make it to ten!

1) If you liked 'The Three' by Sarah Lotz...


...then read 'The Silent History' by Eli Horowitz.

I read these books not too long after one another and remember being struck by how similar they were in style. At that time, I was seeing a fair few blog posts about 'The Three' commenting on how unique and interesting it was. As these are the only two books that are made up of accounts/articles/interviews etc. to tell a story, rather than a straight, linear plot-line, I would agree that both felt very original. I would wager that if you liked one, you will like the other.

2) If you liked the 'Twilight' series by Stephanie Meyer...


...then read 'Finding Sky' by Joss Stirling.

My intense dislike of 'Twilight' is no secret. And yet it remains a hugely popular book that even to this day receives a fair amount of hype. When I read 'Finding Sky' by Joss Stirling, I found the concept pretty similar. They both include a huge family with special powers who are seen as 'different'. They both include a heroine moving to a new place and starting a new school. They even both have a set of villains that somehow remind me of the Mafia. Yet I felt like 'Finding Sky' did it all a whole lot better. The romance was a little fast but wasn't creepy. Sky was a much feistier, more independent heroine than Bella was. So much better!

3) If you like 'The Fault In Our Stars' by John Green...


...then read 'Before I Die' by Jenny Downham.

I think the connection between the two is pretty clear, in their subject: Terminal Illness. Both books certainly had me in tears and yet only one of them received the huge amount of hype that they both deserve. 'Before I Die' was a heartbreaking look into the world of a young girl dying of Leukaemia and trying to live her life in the few precious weeks that she has left. If you shed tears when reading 'The Fault In Our Stars' then the last few chapters of 'Before I Die' will have you bawling.

4) If you like 'A Court Of Thorns & Roses' by Sarah J. Maas...


...then read 'Valiant' by Holly Black.

I haven't actually read 'A Court Of Thorns & Roses' but I've read the synopsis and I know that the Fae is heavily involved and there's a Beauty & The Beast-esque romance. 'Valiant' is actually the second in the 'Modern Faerie Tales' series but it could be read as a stand-alone book. It's my favourite from the series so far too as it's a gorgeous retelling of Beauty & The Beast and there is an abundance of Faeries to boot!

5) If you like 'The Name Of The Wind' by Patrick Rothfuss...


...then read the 'Black Magician' series by Trudi Canavan.

Okay first, just look at the covers. Mysterious, black-cloaked figures? There's your first similarity right there! But if that's not enough then the Guild in 'The Magician's Guild' and Kvothe's University in 'The Name Of The Wind' hopefully will be. They both reminded me of a much more grown up Hogwarts, with the idea of specialising in a particular type of magic prevalent as the series goes on. I loved both epic Fantasy reads!

6) If you like 'The Help' by Kathryn Stockett...


...then read 'The Invention Of Wings' by Sue Monk Kidd.

Hmm...I haven't read 'The Help' either, but I know quite a lot about the story-line to be able to highlight the similarities to one of my favourite reads from last year. Racism is a very key, prevalent theme and forbidden friendship between a privileged member of society and the slaves that society shuns also run through it. There are themes of sexism too: both white ladies are keen to learn and study but are expected to marry. I know 'The Help' is very popular and I would love to see a novel based on very real events achieve the same level of popularity.

7) If you like 'The Lunar Chronicles' series by Marissa Meyer...


...then read 'Spinning Starlight' by R.C. Lewis.

Okay so I don't think that 'Spinning Starlight' is necessarily a completely unknown book but it's definitely not nearly as popular as Marissa Meyer's 'The Lunar Chronicles' which is a fantastic set of Sci-Fi Fairy Tale retellings. I've chosen 'Spinning Starlight' because it's actually even more Sci-Fi and a gorgeous retelling of a tale that isn't hugely well known. The original tale that it is based upon is beautiful and I think that Lewis got a lot of things right in it's retelling. It certainly impressed me! 

8) If you like 'The Lord Of The Rings' series by J.R.R. Tolkien...


...then read 'The Inheritance Cycle' by Christopher Paolini.

A lot of people who have encountered either of these series will have probably heard this already, and those that have read both will know exactly what I mean! The premise of these two books is actually quite different, but in the end the questing element, the length of the series, the intricately detailed world-building, the incorporation of other fantastical languages & races and a whole bunch of other things mean that if you like one, you'll most likely love the other just as much!

9) If you like 'The Grisha' series by Leigh Bardugo...


...then read 'Sunbolt' by Intisar Khanani.

Until I was writing this post I didn't really think about it but there are so many similarities between these two books. Firstly, the female MC is fantastic (and an orphan or dealing with parent issues), they hint romantically at someone who doesn't seem to feel the same way, and have powers that are linked to sunlight and need to be controlled. I love both series but was particularly impressed by 'Sunbolt' as it managed to blow me away in such a short amount of book space.

10) If you liked 'Between The Devil & The Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke...


...then read 'The Girl Who Chased The Moon' by Sarah Addison Allen.

The real link between these two is of course their Southern Gothic charm. I love the tone set in both books: everything is sugary sweet but with a hint of the sinister that leaves chills down your spine. I love both of these stories, despite Southern Gothic not necessarily being my favourite genre. The romance in both of these was pretty good too, with likeable heroines and mysterious love interests with a secret past and strange family. Great books!

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