Hi again, for this week’s Top 5 Tuesday! And what an interesting topic it is this week… There are definitely books I shout about constantly so I’m so glad to sing about some of the books which I 100% need to talk about more often. Because they are awesome.
Love from A to Z by S.K Ali
I read this book earlier this year and it is one of the most beautiful love stories ever. It is just so incredible and utterly perfect! Love from A to Z follows Adam and Zayneb as they meet and fall in love. There is such as strong Muslim voice in this book – I adored seeing how religion guided the relationship. Zayneb is one of the fiercest, stongest characters – she refuses to back down from what’s right and is so driven. As well as a love story, this book also discusses topics such as Islamaphobia and discrimination, with the author using her own experience for several scenes in the book. Love from A to Z is such a powerful story about love and strength and the strength of faith. You can read my full review of this title here.
I Still Dream by James Smythe
So this book actually featured on last week’s Top 5 Dystopian but I’m also featuring it here because it is one of my absolute favourite sci-fi, dystopian novels but I never seem to talk about it which is so wrong. It’s a brilliant tale about artificial intelligence and what happens when humans choose to input morality and control (or not….) into AI. It’s a very character driven story, like most of my SFF favourites, and follows Laura, who creates her own AI, from her teenage years until she’s an old woman. It’s a brilliant look at how humanity will likely destroy itself for power.
Keep This to Yourself by Tom Ryan
Keep This to Yourself is a queer murder mystery, set in a small country village by the sea. The setting really shines in this book – it creates such creepy and tense scenes, with rough seas and caves and the small-town village vibe which always seems kind of creepy to me. (I grew up in a tiny village so clearly this is something I picked up from my years there…) The fourth murder by serial killer ‘The Catalog Killer’ in this small town was that of high school hero Connor, beloved by the inhabitants of Camera Cove. After this murder, the serial killer disappeared. Mac, best friend of Connor, is unsatisfied with the resolution of the case so begins his own investigation, but it reveals more than he could ever have wished for… Great mystery, awesome to see a queer relationship and such an interesting setting!
The Afterward by E.K Johnston
The Afterward has such a different feel and tone than any other fantasy I’ve read – instead of focussing on the quest, it focusses on what happens after, on how the heroes settle back into everyday life. It’s a very quiet book and really does feel a breath of fresh air in such a heavy, action central genre, hence I really want to give this book the praise it deserves because I think it might often be overshadowed by those more action heavy books. This is another superb queer story – I love both Kalanthe and Olga, our two very different MCs as they try to forget their feelings for each other that developed during the quest and move on with their lives. Fantastic characters, brilliant relationship and awesome female knights! Check out my full review of this book here!
Birthday by Meredith Russo
Oh god this book is just an emotional and heartbreaking read. What a spectacular book! The book follows Eric and Morgan each year on their shared birthday. This is a brilliant way to tell the story, which focuses on Morgan and her journey to transition. This book has such a harrowing and honest depiction of depression, and really shows how strong Morgan is to survive her journey. It is a potentially triggering story, with a graphic depiction of attempted suicide, transphobia, homophobia, and depression so please take note of warnings if you do want to read. A powerful, incredible story of survial and strength.
That’s it for this week’s Top 5 books I don’t talk about enough! Let me know if you love any of these books as much as I do!
Rach + Draco