Tag: bookish discussion

Popular YA Dystopia Series Over The Last 10 Years

So, I saw this post on the goodreads blog the other day which was talking about The Hunger Games and how that book was a real starting point to how popular those types of books have become. They then go to list some of the MOST popular YA dystopia series since The Hunger Games. The link to the posts is here if you want to check it out!

Now – I LOVE good YA book and have always been a fan of YA Dystopia books. Of course, like many of you, I read The Hunger Games and was just amazed by it, loved it, fan girled over it. I agree that The Hunger Games was a turning point for this genre of books!!

I looked at the list the Goodreads blog listed as most popular YA Dystopia series from the last 10 years and, well….. I don’t totally agree? I mean they went off ratings from Goodreads so I suppose I may be an unpopular opinion? I am going to go through the list and name the ones I agree with first:

  • Divergent
  • The Maze Runner
  • Shatter Me
  • The Program
  • Legend

So – here we are. I totally agree with these ones. I have either read them or seen them everywhere. Also, not that this totally matters, but Divergent and The Maze Runner were made into movies….. again, not like that proves popularity or anything but I think it shows any overall interest in the stories!

The ones I did not really agree with/ haven’t heard much about (so could be wrong about):

  • Matched
  • Delirium
  • The Darkest Minds
  • Scythe
  • Under the Never Sky
  • Enclave
  • Partials
  • Blood Red Road
  • The Testing

Please don’t hate me if I just said your most favorite book is not popular ๐Ÿ˜‚ I am simply saying that I don’t totally agree that they are the TOP MOST POPULAR YA Dystopia books for the last DECADE. I think they are probably popular and maybe even great books – I just don’t see it. Please enlighten me on these books if they are super good though because I love new books!!

Now, here I go throwing my opinion all over the internet. I am going to share some YA Dystopia books from the last 10 years that I think would be good fits on this list. Again, this is just me giving my opinion, but its what I think ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

  • The Selection -Kiera Cass
  • Gone – Michael Grant
  • The 5th Wave – Rick Yancey
  • Red Queen – Victoria Aveyard
  • Reboot – Amy Tintera
  • The Eye of Minds – James Dashner

What do you guys think? Do you think the goodreads blog was right picking those ones? Are there others I didn’t mention that would be better fit? Chat with me in the comments ๐Ÿ˜Š

Recent Netgalley Requests – Apr. 2020

Hi there friends!!

So, we are almost through April now…. what the heck is happening? Time is flying by so quickly. It is also SO PAINFUL that its beautiful outside but all the parks and whatnot are closed. Who would have thought the world would come to this? I actually miss the outside?? I never really liked being outside that much (wow that sounds so pathetic ๐Ÿ˜‚) before but now that I’m not allowed to go out…. I want it! But, on the positive side, with more time spent inside it means more books are being read and I do love to read so its not all complaints from me.

I thought it would be fun to share with you all my most recent requests on Netgalley, what they have approved me for, and sadly what I have been DECLINED. Also, can be talk about the feelings you get when a book is declined? I take it like a personal attack almost LOL I felt okay when my first one was declined as I had been approved for so many, so I felt it was fair. BUT THEN I got 3 books in a row declined and I have to say – I felt a little salty about it.

You dont decline me I decline you!! - Breaking Bad | Make a Meme

Anyways, I have gotten over it now hahaha. Hopefully I can work on my salty attitude towards declined books in the future as Im sure there will be many!

Recent Requests

The Witches of Willow Cove by Josh Roberts – Approved

The Woman Before Wallis by Bryn Turnbull – Approved

The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel – Approved

The Cabin on Souder Hill by Lonnie Busch – Approved

Fussy Flamingo by Shelly Vaughn James – Approved

After All I’ve Done by Mina Hardy – Approved

Terraformer by Colleen Houck – Approved

A Spell for Trouble by Esme Addison – This was a “read now” book

Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop by Roselle Lim – Pending

Bookish and the Beast by Ashley Poston – Pending

By the Book by Amanda Sellet – Declined

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab – Declined

Havenfall by Sara Holland – Declined


So there you have it. My 3 declined books. I have to say I am most disppointed in Havenfall as I really wanted that one but I supposed I will just have to go buy it! Struggles.

Overall, I am happy with how Netgalley is treating me. I have read some fabulous books off it and keep getting a pretty steady stream of books!!

YAY ME! - london tipton - quickmeme

What books have you most recently requested on Netgalley? Do you get declined often? What book are you looking forward to reading? Let me know in the comments ๐Ÿ˜Š

Mystery Tropes + What I Look for in a Mystery

Goodreads is currently celebrating the best mysteries and thrillers! I read through a lot of their articles and looked at the book recs. I thought one article in particular was interesting! They broke it down into the different mystery/thriller tropes that are popular like amnesia, the locked room, etc.

I found that really only one of their listed tropes was one I really enjoy – the inheritance trope. I love a good mystery or thriller about a mystery family member leaving a large inheritance to the character. The character always finds out something crazy about the family member and starts to piece together a mystery that goes back generations! Love those ones! I find I like those tropes in scary movies as well.

However, I feel like I like so many others that the goodreads article didn’t mention which got me thinking about it. What do I like? I started looking though all my books and seeing which ones I liked vs. didn’t like and WHY!

Check out the goodreads article here!

So this is what I came up with + some recommendations ๐Ÿ˜Š


Sherlock Retelling Mystery

So these may be the all time favorite types of mysteries. I love a good mystery and I just really gravitate towards Sherlock style mysteries. I think maybe this is because I like the fast paced, kind of eccentric detective. I love how Sherlock does deductions about everything and is so genius when it comes to solving mysteries!! The books below are all retellings and have so many of those amazing Sherlock aspects to them ๐Ÿ”Ž

  • A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes #1) by Brittany Cavallaro
  • Truly Devious (Truly Devious #1)by Maureen Johnson
  • A Study in Scarlet Women (Lady Sherlock #1) by Sherry Thomas

Historical Mystery

I LOVE historical fiction so it would only make sense that I really like mysteries that are set in some time in history! When it comes to these types of mysteries I find myself reading more women led stories. I really enjoy the mysteries that are in history where women take the lead (when they maybe shouldn’t be) an go against the status quo. These books I listed do exactly that! They are such fun mysteries that focus on a historical period and the women are the main characters! ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿป

  • A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwall #1) by Deanna Raybourn
  • A Spy in the House (Agency #1) by Y.S Lee

Cozy Mystery

I feel like a lot of people like cozy mysteries but wont admit it haha. I love these style of mysteries. They are light and fun but always have a really interesting, different mystery. I recently watched a booktube video about tropes and cozy mysteries were mentioned. I liked what was said about not having to have murder and gore to be a good mystery. While a lot of cozy mysteries are total murder mysteries they are not super descriptive or completely focused on murder. I always like to have a cozy mystery to read! (Also – if the mystery has some kind of paranormal or magic aspect to it, it’s even better!) ๐Ÿ‘ป

  • Mimi Lee Gets a Clue (A Sassy Cat mystery #1) by Jennifer Chow
  • Witch is When it All Began (A Witch P.I mystery #1) by Adele Abbott
  • Night of the Living Deed (A Haunted Guesthouse mystery #1) by E.J. Copperman

Inheritance Mystery

As I mentioned above, this trope was in the goodreads article. I totally agree that this is a popular theme for mystery books and movies. I do love these and always find these ones to be more spooky for some reason. I like to solve the mystery with the character and I find these types of mysteries to be so much more complicated! They always keep me on my toes which is a big reason I enjoy these ones so much!! ๐Ÿ’ฐ

  • The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware
  • The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson

What do you like in a mystery? Do you like lighter ones or do you go for the super detailed, gory murder mystery? Have you read any of the books I posted about?

Middle Grade Books – What’s With the Hype? + My Reading List

What is the deal with middle grade books? Why are there posts all over the internet about these books and WHY are adults other than teachers reading them?? These are the questions I have been asking myself for the last little while. I haven’t thought about these types of books in a very long time and for the most part just labeled them as children’s books and just went right by without a second glance (oops). If you are like me you are probably also thinking – yes, why do adults care about these books? After all, they are for children. So, I did some reading (a lot of reading). I hunted for articles and blogs written about these books and searched for why they are some popular with seemingly all ages. This is what I found out:

The most popular middle grade books are ones we have ALL heard of and probably read! These include Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Narnia… some big name books! However, I have to admit… I didn’t think these were “middle grade” or maybe my problem is I was not understanding WHAT middle grade books really were!

This grouping of books is difficult to understand I think. First off, I found myself just assuming that “middle grade” meant “children’s” like for small children… I don’t know why?? Now I am seeing that really, while they are meant for kids (not little ones by actually 8-12 year olds) they are actually very much like YA books just written in a more simple way!

SO this is where my ultimate confusion comes in… I didn’t realize Harry Potter books were targeting 8-12 year olds? As I remember the books are massive and forgive me if I’m wrong because I did not read them…. BUT the books (based on watching the movies) seem like kind of violent, focus on some really difficult and serious topics, and seem overall kind of inappropriate for an 8 year old? Maybe I’m being crazy. Or maybe the books are not quite like the movies? But I’m sure you can see where I am coming from when I say – when I found out Harry Potter was “middle grade” it changed my whole perspective!

I have been reading so many posts about middle grade books and before I just didn’t bother with them because I thought ‘why would I, and adult, want to read a kids book?’ And now, I am so sad because I’m seeing that there are SO MANY interesting, amazing, and well written middle grade books. I feel like I have to make up for lost time to be honest. I did not really read many (if any?) middle grade books when I was younger. I think I just skipped right over that entire thing which is unfortunate!!

I am realizing something very important about middle grade books which is – they are really meant for everyone. They have some many important themes and topics. They focus on friendship, adventure, and growing up. They are very similar to YA books!!! They just take out the more inappropriate things and keep the fun, action packed, fast paced, exciting parts! They really sound like a lot of fun and based on what I’ve read and reviews I seen, they seem TOTALLY WORTH reading as an adult.

So, hear I am – listing some middle grade books that I have added to my list to read. I am hoping I can get to them sooner than later. I feel like I have just opened up a can on worms here with my forever growing TBR hahah I just entered a whole new world of possibility. Very exciting!!

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

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ARE YOU A GIFTED CHILD Looking for special opportunities?
When this peculiar ad appears in the newspaper, dozens of children enroll to take a series of mysterious, mind-bending tests. (And you, dear listener, can test your wits right alongside them.) But in the end just four very special children will succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and resourceful
children could complete. To accomplish it they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules.
As our heroes face physical and mental trials beyond their wildest imaginations, they have no choice but to turn to each other for support. But with their newfound friendship at stake, will they be able to pass the most important test of all?
Welcome to the mysterious benedict society.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

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Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a perfectly normal boy. Well, he would be perfectly normal if he didn’t live in a graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the world of the dead.

There are dangers and adventures for Bod in the graveyard: the strange and terrible menace of the Sleer; a gravestone entrance to a desert that leads to the city of ghouls; friendship with a witch, and so much more.

But it is in the land of the living that real danger lurks, for it is there that the man Jack lives and he has already killed Bod’s family.

Miss Ellicott’s School for the Magically Minded by Sage Blackwood

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Chantel would much rather focus on her magic than on curtsying, which is why she often finds herself in trouble at Miss Ellicottโ€™s School for Magical Maidens. But when Miss Ellicott mysteriously disappears along with all the other sorceresses in the city, Chantelโ€™s behavior becomes the least of her problems.

Without any magic protecting the city, it is up to Chantel and her friends to save the Kingdom. On a dangerous mission, Chantel will discover a crossbow-wielding boy, a dragon, and a new, fiery magic that burns inside herโ€”but can she find the sorceresses and transform Lightning Pass into the city it was meant to be?

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

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After suffering a tragic loss, eleven-year-old Ollie only finds solace in books. So when she happens upon a crazed woman at the river threatening to throw a book into the water, Ollie doesn’t think–she just acts, stealing the book and running away. As she begins to read the slender volume, Ollie discovers a chilling story about a girl named Beth, the two brothers who both loved her, and a peculiar deal made with “the smiling man,” a sinister specter who grants your most tightly held wish, but only for the ultimate price. 

Ollie is captivated by the tale until her school trip the next day to Smoke Hollow, a local farm with a haunting history all its own. There she stumbles upon the graves of the very people she’s been reading about. Could it be the story about the smiling man is true? Ollie doesn’t have too long to think about the answer to that. On the way home, the school bus breaks down, sending their teacher back to the farm for help. But the strange bus driver has some advice for the kids left behind in his care: “Best get moving. At nightfall they’ll come for the rest of you.” Nightfall is, indeed, fast descending when Ollie’s previously broken digital wristwatch, a keepsake reminder of better times, begins a startling countdown and delivers a terrifying message: RUN. 

Only Ollie and two of her classmates heed the bus driver’s warning. As the trio head out into the woods–bordered by a field of scarecrows that seem to be watching them–the bus driver has just one final piece of advice for Ollie and her friends: “Avoid large places. Keep to small.” 

Ghost and Bone by Andrew Prentice

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Oscar Grimstone is a normal kid–aside from his secret Curse. Whenever he touches something living, like a flower or his classroom goldfish, they always seem to die. But then Oscar discovers an even bigger secret: even though he is very much alive, he has the ability to transform into a ghost.

Just when he thinks things can’t get any stranger two ghosts show up at his home in a skeleton carriage and he winds up joining them on a journey beyond the real world to a place he never knew existed–the city of ghosts. There Oscar will discover a place where people go once they die, before they aboard a ship to the The Other Side. But will he find out who he really is?


As you can see I have a “type” for my middle grade book interests! I am leaning towards fantasy, mystery, horror type books… I think this is because they take you on a ride away from reality! These books seems really entertaining, I’m excited to read them!!

Have you read any of these? What are your thoughts on middle grade books?