Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish but is currently being run by That Artsy Reader Girl. A prompt is given each week, and I hope to do it every week so I always have something going up on Tuesdays. This week I am talking about five books I've read (that I recommend) and five books I want to read that are set in another country than the one I live in, which is the United States.
Books I've Read
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi AdeyemiThis is a West African inspired fantasy novel that recently came out earlier this month. I absolutely loved it and I am always making up excuses to talk about it and recommend it to people. So this is me recommending it!
Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.
But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.
Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.
Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.
Ring by Koji SuzukiThis is a horror novel set in Japan. I loved this book. It's one of the best horror books I've read and it's really great to read around Halloween. The movie is a lot of fun too even if it's super different from the book.
A mysterious videotape warns that the viewer will die in one week unless a certain, unspecified act is performed. Exactly one week after watching the tape, four teenagers die one after another of heart failure.
Asakawa, a hardworking journalist, is intrigued by his niece's inexplicable death. His investigation leads him from a metropolitan tokyo teeming with modern society's fears to a rural Japan--a mountain resort, a volcanic island, and a countryside clinic--haunted by the past. His attempt to solve the tape's mystery before it's too late--for everyone--assumes an increasingly deadly urgency. Ring is a chillingly told horror story, a masterfully suspenseful mystery, and post-modern trip.
The success of Koji Suzuki's novel the Ring has lead to manga, television and film adaptations in Japan, Korea, and the U.S.
Asking For It by Louise O'NeillAlthough this book is set in Ireland, the content of the story is so universal that it could honestly be set in other places in the UK or even the US. I think that's one of the reasons why it's so heartbreaking.
It's the beginning of the summer in a small town in Ireland. Emma O'Donovan is eighteen years old, beautiful, happy, confident. One night, there's a party. Everyone is there. All eyes are on Emma.
The next morning, she wakes on the front porch of her house. She can't remember what happened, she doesn't know how she got there. She doesn't know why she's in pain. But everyone else does.
Photographs taken at the party show, in explicit detail, what happened to Emma that night. But sometimes people don't want to believe what is right in front of them, especially when the truth concerns the town's heroes...
Let The Right One In by John Ajvide LindqvistLike the book Ring this is a great book to read around Halloween. It's a vampire story set in Sweden. It's one of the more unique vampire stories I've read and I think both movies are great adaptations of the story!
It is autumn 1981 when inconceivable horror comes to Blackeberg, a suburb in Sweden. The body of a teenager is found, emptied of blood, the murder rumored to be part of a ritual killing. Twelve-year-old Oskar is personally hoping that revenge has come at long last---revenge for the bullying he endures at school, day after day.
But the murder is not the most important thing on his mind. A new girl has moved in next door---a girl who has never seen a Rubik's Cube before, but who can solve it at once. There is something wrong with her, though, something odd. And she only comes out at night. . . .Sweeping top honors at film festivals all over the globe, director Tomas Alfredsson's film of Let the Right One In has received the same kind of spectacular raves that have been lavished on the book. American and Swedish readers of vampire fiction will be thrilled!
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini TaylorI love this entire series. It's set in Prague, a location I don't think I've read another time other than this time. Taylor's writing is gorgeous and she the imagery she uses to describe Prague is so lush and atmospheric. I highly recommend this series.
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.
When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
Books I Want To Read
If You Could Be Mine by Sara FarizanThis is set in Iran. I have actually had this on my TBR for a long while, I believe it came out in 2014 and I think I discovered it around there. Over the years it has gotten mixed reviews and that's been the reason why I haven't picked it up yet. However, I am definitely still interested in reading it since most of the criticism seem to be about the writing and not the content itself so it hasn't been deemed problematic or inaccurate (at least not from what I could find).
Seventeen-year-old Sahar has been in love with her best friend, Nasrin, since they were six. They’ve shared stolen kisses and romantic promises. But Iran is a dangerous place for two girls in love--Sahar and Nasrin could be beaten, imprisoned, even executed. So they carry on in secret until Nasrin’s parents suddenly announce that they’ve arranged for her marriage. Then Sahar discovers what seems like the perfect solution: homosexuality may be a crime, but to be a man trapped in a woman’s body is seen as nature’s mistake, and sex reassignment is legal and accessible. Sahar will never be able to love Nasrin in the body she wants to be loved in without risking their lives, but is saving their love worth sacrificing her true self?
Small Damages by Beth KephartThis is set in Seville, Spain. I actually just recently heard about this one and the synopsis sounded really good. It seems like a book I'd probably read in the summer, but that thought could be influenced by the citrus-y and light cover. Overall though I'd definitely like to read this one sometime this year.
It's senior year, and while Kenzie should be looking forward to prom and starting college in the fall, she discovers she's pregnant. Her determination to keep her baby is something her boyfriend and mother do not understand. So she is sent to Spain, where she will live out her pregnancy, and her baby will be adopted by a Spanish couple. No one will ever know.
Alone and resentful in a foreign country, Kenzie is at first sullen and difficult. But as she gets to know Estela, the stubborn old cook, and Esteban, the mysterious young man who cares for the horses, she begins to open her eyes, and her heart, to the beauty that is all around her, and inside her. Kenzie realizes she has some serious choices to make--choices about life, love, and home.
Lyrically told in a way that makes the heat, the colors, and the smells of Spain feel alive, Small Damages is a feast for the heart and the soul, and a coming-of-age novel not easily forgotten.
Doon by Carey Corp & Lorie LangdonSet in Scotland. I have had this book on my kindle since August 2015 and I still haven't read it! I really want to finally read it maybe this summer! Every single time I read the synopsis I think it sounds so good! I need to finally just read it soon.
Veronica doesn’t think she’s going crazy. But why can’t anyone else see the mysterious blond boy who keeps popping up wherever she goes?
When her best friend, Mackenna, invites her to spend the summer in Scotland, Veronica jumps at the opportunity to leave her complicated life behind for a few months. But the Scottish countryside holds other plans. Not only has the imaginary kilted boy followed her to Alloway, she and Mackenna uncover a strange set of rings and a very unnerving letter from Mackenna’s great aunt---and when the girls test the instructions Aunt Gracie left behind, they find themselves transported to a land that defies explanation.
Doon seems like a real-life fairy tale, complete with one prince who has eyes for Mackenna and another who looks suspiciously like the boy from Veronica’s daydreams. But Doon has a dark underbelly as well. The two girls could have everything they’ve longed for… or they could end up breaking an enchantment and find themselves trapped in a world that has become a nightmare.
Fire Boy by Sami ShahThis is set in Pakistan. I don't have too much to say about this one besides saying that I am super interested in this one. I find the synopsis super interesting and it sounds action packed. I have this one on my kindle also! So hopefully I can read it soon!
From Sami Shah comes Fire Boy, an urban fantasy set in modern-day Pakistan, where djinns roam the street alongside corrupt cops, hustling beggars, and creatures from the darkest corners of Islamic mythology.
Growing up in Karachi isn't easy. Wahid has a lot on his mind: the girl he likes, mostly, but also choosing a good university and finding time to play Dungeons & Dragons. Oh, and the fact that he can see djinns, other-worldly creatures made of a smokeless and scorching fire.
After a horrific car accident kills his best friend and djinns steal his girlfriend's soul, Wahid vows to find out why. Fortunately, he has help in finding the djinns that tried to kill him. Unfortunately, that help is from the darkest of all spirits, the Devil himself …
Akata Witch by Nnedi OkoraforI hear amazing things about this author and this story. I am so excited to get my hands on this book sometime this year so I can read it! It's apparently being described as "the Nigerian Harry Potter" which sounds awesome to me.
Affectionately dubbed "the Nigerian Harry Potter," Akata Witch weaves together a heart-pounding tale of magic, mystery, and finding one's place in the world.
Twelve-year-old Sunny lives in Nigeria, but she was born American. Her features are African, but she's albino. She's a terrific athlete, but can't go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits in. And then she discovers something amazing—she is a "free agent" with latent magical power. Soon she's part of a quartet of magic students, studying the visible and invisible, learning to change reality. But will it be enough to help them when they are asked to catch a career criminal who knows magic too?