Happy Saturday, and welcome to the sixth (and last) day of the Five Fall Favorites blog party! It’s been such a fun week, packed with great book recommendations, and I’m a bit sad to see it end. However, I have so many additions to my TBR list now! What about you?
You can find all of the information about the Five Fall Favorites blog party by seeing my first post from Monday, or by going to the lovely host (Kate Willis Hoppman)’s site, but for a quick recap, each day this week, a group of bloggers is each sharing their five favorite books in a particular genre – the goal being for us all to find some great new reads!
There is also a grand giveaway at the end of all this, with some of the prizes featured below in the images below. Soon we’ll find out the winner! ‘
And you probably know this by now, if you’ve been following along this week, but every day there’s also a Kindle deal going on, where you can snag the featured ebook free on Amazon. These are great stories written by many of the authors participating in this blog party, and I encourage you to check them out!
Today’s featured deal is Red Rain by Rachel Newhouse (click this link or the image below to find it)!
So what’s our final topic?
My Top 5 Books of 2022
I actually published a post very similar to this last month, in which I shared eight of my favorite reads from 2022 so far. I’ve chosen five different, also amazing books to share today, but for the full list of great reads that I’ve discovered this year, go check out this post, too!
Author: Nadine Brandes
Target Audience: Young Adult (YA)
What Stuck Out To Me: I believe this is my favorite book of Nadine’s so far! The whole premise of a tear/crying being able to grant wishes, and also be deadly is one of those story ideas that I wish I’d thought of, haha. The fantasy and magic system was interesting and well thought out, and the worldbuilding was both descriptive and mysterious.
As usual, the characters were my favorite part. Both protagonists were relatable and flawed and I cared for them a lot. The romance was sweet. Again, Nadine tends to implement some of my favorite character tropes, so that was fun for me. The plot kept me on my toes, and there were several times when details came together and actually made me gasp as I was reading (something that doesn’t happen often). Overall, I was very engaged, finished the book in a day, and really appreciated this story and its deep, meaningful themes.
Tricky Content: A complex, allegorical magic system, violence, intense action, loss, several kisses, and mentions of several pregnancies out-of-wedlock, including to a teenager.
I Recommend It To: Teens and up that enjoy intriguing and engaging fantasies with a bit of romance woven through.
Beyond the Bright Sea
Author: Lauren Wolk
Target Audience: Middle Grade (MG)
What Stuck Out To Me: I was first drawn in by this book’s cover (because really, how could I not be?), and was pleased to find the story inside just as charming! The narrator/protagonist of the story relayed the events in a poetic, relatable way and kept me engaged and interested from the start. The entire mystery woven throughout was fascinating.
I also enjoyed the characters, including and especially the parental figures. Their care for the protagonist (and later, each other) was very sweet, and I appreciated how they were good, kind people, but still flawed and struggling with their own fears and questions. Everyone seemed to have growth of some sort by the end of the story. The ending was bittersweet but hopeful, and the themes and life lessons explored are important ones.
Tricky Content: Mention of a stillborn baby, some violence and scary scenes, mild injuries, and prejudice toward a certain group of people (that gets challenged throughout the plot).
I Recommend It To: Middle grade readers and up that enjoy quaint, thought-provoking mysteries with deep themes.
The Maze Runner (the series)
Author: James Dashner
Target Audience: Young Adult (YA)
What Stuck Out To Me: I’ve read this series several times now (a trilogy with two prequels), and though it’s darker than most books I read, I can’t help but be drawn in by the plot.
The entire premise of the maze and limited memories is fascinating, and as the books continue, the characters are thrown into an all-out fight not just for their lives but for the fate of the world (a post-apocalyptic Earth). Something I always do while reading dystopians is wonder what I’d do in their place, and I really don’t know in this case (other than die within the first book). The themes and questions explored are deep and layered, and you’re often left contemplating the morality of their actions. I always go through the books pretty fast, as they’re just too hard to put down!
Tricky Content: Pretty frequent, severe violence and gore (more so than The Hunger Games, so if you’re sensitive to that, I’d give this series a pass), made-up slang/curse words that are pretty easy to tell what they are supposed to be, occasional mild language, intense action, deaths, trauma, child abuse, and questionable, disturbing government activity.
I Recommend It To: Teens and up that are okay with some intense content and enjoy fast-paced, intriguing dystopian stories.
Shards of Sky
Author: E. C. Colton
Target Audience: Young Adult (YA)
What Stuck Out To Me: I was blessed to win a copy of this book in a giveaway, and thoroughly enjoyed it. First, the poetic and flowing writing style is absolutely beautiful (so is the cover!). Even while I had trouble getting into the story at first, the narrative voice kept me interested because of how well-crafted it was. And by the halfway mark, I was fully sucked into the story.
The main characters and their family situation was both sad and inspiring. I appreciated getting to see the siblings’ love and care for one another, even through truly difficult and discouraging situations, and liked their growth by the end. Even though some serious topics were addressed, it was done with tact and grace, and I’d feel plenty comfortable giving this to middle grade readers. It’s a very poignant story with powerful themes.
Tricky Content: Allusions to a car accident and alcohol abuse, child neglect/abuse, dysfunctional family, loss and grief, trauma-related muteness, anxiety, and family separation.
I Recommend It To: Middle grade readers and up that enjoy deep and touching reads about family, strength, and love.
A Little Book on the Christian Life
Author: John Calvin
Genre: Christian Non-fiction
Target Audience: Young Adults to Adults
What Stuck Out To Me: This powerful book may be little, but it certainly packs a spiritual punch. It was a gift from my cousin early this summer, and was one of the only things I read in June. I highly recommend it as an opportunity to grow in our faith.
Unfortunately, I was dealing with the start of my first migraine when I read this, so I didn’t focus or retain nearly as much as I wanted, and I’ll definitely be rereading this soon! That said, there were many sections that I found thought-provoking and helpful; topics like holiness, humility, sacrifice, self-denial, thankfulness, and trusting God through every circumstance in our lives. I appreciated Calvin’s wise words, backed by plenty of Scripture.
Tricky Content: As always, read these kinds of books with discernment and prayer. I didn’t notice anything concerning.
I Recommend It To: God-seeking teens and up that are looking for a short but powerful overview of what being a Christian tends to look like in our everyday lives.
Well, it’s official – we’ve reached the end of the Five Fall Favorites blog party! What are some of your favorite reads from 2022 so far? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? If so, what did you think? I’d love to hear from you!
Again, check out Kate’s host post here, for a full list of other bloggers participating and so that you can find even more book recommendations from the week! If you haven’t already, don’t forget to pick up the final daily Kindle deal (Red Rain by Rachel Newhouse), here!
Thank you again for joining us this week in our bookish fun! I hope you were able to find some great book recommendations, and I’d love to hear from you about some of your favorites. Have a lovely, reading-filled fall!