Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Have Loved But Did Not Review

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted at Jana's blog That Artsy Reader Girl

This week we are discussing books we loved that did not review. Since I was ib a blogging hiatus while I was serving on my award committees, I have come across so many fantastic books. Here are the ones that immediately jump into my mind when I think about ones I have appreciated and adored, but did not write up here (or GoodReads). I also made notes on whether I read them as a physical book, an audiobook, or both in some cases. 


A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy) by Deborah Harkness
I have expressed a few times since I have come back from my blogging hiatus that I love this title--and really the whole series. It is one of my all time favorites. I enjoy reading as well as listening to the audiobooks of this series. I am not a huge re-reader, but these are ones that I turn to because I always find some other hidden Easter egg to explore. 

Lovely War by Julie Berry
I read this book during my time I served on Best Fiction for Young Adult committee through YALSA. (See our 2020 BFYA list here) I loved how Berry was able to incorporate so many layers to this story. It is set during World War I and I just love the incorporation of music and also the way she addresses the system and blatant racism our Black troops experienced even as they served our country--it has a lot of meat for discussion. I enjoyed this one as an audiobook, which I think really does a great job of bringing it to life and also read the physical book with my staff book discussion group at work this past February. 

Heroine by Mindy McGinnis
As a former athlete, I have a soft spot for sports fiction and I have always loved a great problem novel--I wrote a thesis on the subgenre during my master's degree program. I also know how much the opiate crisis has destroyed families in the area that I live (New England) as well as the country as a whole. This book does an amazing job of drawing you into Mickey's story and watching her get hooked on drugs. This one I devoured as a physical book. Trigger warning for blatant descriptions of drug use. 

The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand
This is a holdover from when I served on the Odyssey Committee and I also reviewed this for a review journal prior to its publication. I was drawn into this story of Lex overcoming her brother's suicide. The one disappointing aspect of the audiobok is it does not have the Author's Note, which I feel is vital to the book (and it is a pet peeve of mine when audiobooks leave this off the production). Trigger warning for frank discussion of suicide.

March Book 3 by John Lewis
Obviously with the recent passing of John Lewis, the interest in these books have been sparked again. I was blessed to serve on the Printz Award committee that selected this book as our winner. I cannot get into the specifics but I will say it is a favorite of mine still. The experience of meeting Congressman Lewis multiple times, including having lunch with him is not one I am going to forget anytime soon. 

Scythe by Neal Shusterman
Another one that was first read during my tenor on the Printz Committee, this is one I consistently recommend to my students. I love the interplay of the characters within the world and the layers that Shusterman built in the society--again, so much that can be broken down in the classroom and book discussion groups.  I have since listened to this book as an audiobook with my family and everyone loved it--so much so we finished up the series together as audiobooks. My husband is not a reader and he loved this series. 

The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson
This is a dual timeline mystery weaves together present day as Candice, with the help of her neighbor Brandon try to solve the mystery that intrigued her grandmother so many years ago. I was first introduced to this one through my second time on the Odyssey Committee, when I chaired the Committee. This is a fantastic book to discuss racism and its effects on people in both historical and modern time periods. This is one that has continued to grow on me since finishing it up so that is always the hallmark of a great book to me. 


Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This book begs to be listened to as it brings to the life the brilliance of the interview format this story is relayed through. I was swept away and it really drew me into the story. While the twist at the end was not all that surprising, it did not disappoint me.  Trigger warnings for drugs, alcohol, and cheating. 

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
This delightful read I read while I was on award committee as a way to cleanse my palate so to speak. I found myself chuckling out loud and grinning while reading this and while it is not earth shattering, it is definitely one that is able to cheer you up.  If you have not read this one, I highly recommend it though please note the bedroom scenes are not closed door if that makes a difference to your preferences. 

The War That Saved My Life by Jennifer Brubaker Bradley
This is another one that I first experienced as an audiobook while I was on my first round of the Odyssey Committee. I love how Ada's story is brought to life through this production--it is perfection! I just love this story so much and I take every opportunity to sell it to my middle school students to get it into more readers' hands. 

These are all my books that I loved but did not review. Have you read any of them? Are there any on here that are surprises to you? Please let me know your comments below and if you participated, please do leave me your link below.


  1. I really need to read Scythe sometime.

    My TTT .

    1. It is interesting to me (obviously). Seriously though, most every student I give it to loves it too.

  2. The only one of these I've read is Scythe, which I did review. Still need to get around to the sequels!
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2020/08/11/top-ten-tuesday-276/

  3. I loved this post so much! Here is my post-https://paigesofbook.blogspot.com/2020/08/top-ten-tuesday-books-i-loved-but-never.html.

  4. THE UNHONEYMOONERS is on my list today, too. It's such a fun book! I'm also a big Julie Berry fan, although I haven't read THE LOVELY WAR yet. I need to soon.

    Happy TTT!

    1. I recommend it in either format--Lovely War audiobook has music and is paced well. Reading it is a pleasure too. :)

  5. I forgot about that Cynthia Hand book! I wanted to read it, but never did. I love her writing. I'm glad you loved it! (I also was a huge Daisy Jones and the Six fan.)

    My TTT.

    1. It is a great book, but I would recommend it is as a physical book so you can read the author's note

  6. This was a great TTT topic! I could have listed my top 100, probably, but I stuck with 10. Daisy Jones and the Six was great on audio. (I did want to write a review on it, but never did.) I also liked The Unhoneymooners and Scythe is on my radar. My TTT post is at:

    1. It is hard sometimes to get reviews written. I am trying to do a better job of it. Happy Reading!


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