Top Ten: Favorite Books

Hey everyone! So I just realized that yesterday's post was actually posted at like 12:40 AM today. Sorry about that, guys. I kind of lost track of time. :P I didn't get to edit a lot of FH today, since I was out most of the day, so that was kind of disappointing. But I think tomorrow I won't have much to do so I can catch up! In terms of word count, we're at around 48,500. Plus we're at 196 followers - just four more and FH's blurb will be released! Eep! :D

For this week's Top Ten Tuesday, I've decided to share some of my favorite books with you guys. As you might know, I love to read - I really try to emulate the styles of my favorite authors in FH and my other writing stuff. Since Goodreads' annual Goodreads Choice Awards is under way, I decided to celebrate the occasion by sharing some of my absolute favourite books with you! Feel free to add in some of your favourites, and I'll definitely check them out and let you know what I think. Remember to follow me on Goodreads as well so we can share our bookish goodness with each other! ;) (For the sake of brevity, I was forced to limit these books to only ones I've read in the past few months; otherwise I'd be here all night listing amazing books. Check out my "All-time Favorites" shelf on Goodreads for the full list.)

love, Topaz

Top Ten: Favorite Books

1. To Kill a Mockingbird I only read this book a few weeks ago, and I have to say it's by far one of the best ones I've ever read. It's told from the point of view of Scout Finch, a little girl growing up in 1935 Alabama; it chronicles her thoughts and beliefs on her town's racism as she grows from somewhat naive to all too aware. Atticus Finch is one of the most amazing heroes to grace the pages of literature.

2. Skinny When I first picked up this book I assumed the main character would have an eating disorder; in fact, it's quite the opposite. Ever Davies is 15 years old and weighs over 300 pounds. "Skinny" is her name for the voice inside her head that tells her everything people are thinking about her: Freak, Elephant, and Pitiful are some choice selections. I thought this book really brought self-esteem issues out into the open; it's definitely worth a read purely for the characters, although the plot is a bit predictable towards the end.

3. The da Vinci Code Took me forever to read this one, mainly because I had to go back and reread parts just to understand the plot. I swear, Dan Brown is a master at his craft - there are just so many ingeniously executed twists and turns and back stories at the heart of The da Vinci Code. I got the illustrated version from the library, which made it all the better - I could look over codes and diagrams and paintings and other things quintessential to the book. I'd definitely recommend that you guys pick up an illustrated copy as well.

4. Half Brother This book touches on quite a few controversial topics, the main one being animal rights and what makes a person a person. It tells the tale of Zan, a chimpanzee who comes to live with an esteemed and respected scientist's family as part of an experiment where Zan is treated like a human child. As Ben, the "real" child of the family, learns to love the chimp, tragedy threatens to tear them apart. It was interesting to see how the author resolved this book; I wasn't left completely satisfied, but I think on this subject, it wouldn't have been right for the book to fill in all the holes.

5. The False Prince Now there's a well-written book for you. I just re-read this last night and I honestly could not put it down. The idea of the story is intriguing - four orphans are recruited in a deadly contest to pose for a deceased prince and become the fraudulent king of a troubled nation. But the way the author breathes life into each of the characters, and the shocking twists and turns throughout the book, are what really make this a must-read.

6. Looking for Alaska I'm not ashamed to say that I was bawling outright pretty much all the way through this book. One day I will find John Green - that would be the author - and I will wring his neck for putting his amazing characters through this torture. (And, indirectly, his readers.) Unfortunately, I'm in too deep now - can't even begin to fathom the thought of not reading his other books. :P I've heard similar things about The Fault in our Stars - going to that one next, armed with a tissue box.

7. Flowers for Algernon Another bawl-fest disguised as a book. I don't think I can trust myself to describe this without bursting into tears, but just go read it and you'll see what I mean.

8. Thirteen Reasons Why Explores the issue of teen suicide from the point of view of a boy who is the recipient of one of 13 notes passed on from a classmate who committed suicide. One thing I really liked was the varied reactions of the 13 recipients - made it a whole lot more believable than others I've read. The book is somewhat eerie and chilling, but the ending is lovely; I borrowed it from a friend and read it straight in one afternoon.
9. Lionboy The first book in the Lionboy trilogy. It's a pretty unique book - about a boy called Charlie Ashanti who can speak the language of cats. His parents, genetic scientists, are kidnapped and he travels across the world to find them. The subtle humour is adorable and the characterization is, quite frankly, freaking flawless. Rafi Sadler is one of my favorite book villains ever - appropriately creepy, but still with that element of human insecurity that adds depth to the character.
*shoves book in your face* READ. THIS. BOOK. NOW. It's an awesome one, even amongst all the awesome ones on this list - Gary Schmidt is, and will always be, one of my favorite authors of all time. Chronicles the emotional journey of Holling Hoodhood in his battles with a fierce, Shakespeare-obsessed teacher. Sound cliche? Read it and you'll find out how unique it is. (And this is coming from someone who usually hates anything to do with realistic fiction - now that's saying something.)