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Top 5 Favourite Book Covers of 2017

We all know the saying, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’. We’ve probably all muttered it once or twice – particularly when recommending a book that we loved to someone and they don’t think they’ll like it. However, I admit, I judge books by their covers all the time. There is actually a lot that can be deduced from a good cover, or at the very least, a good cover will draw you in.

Here are my favourite book covers of 2017, some of which I’ve read, some of which I haven’t, but all of which drew me in with their cover art.

1. Naondel – Maria Turtschinanoff 

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The wavy blue  lines, the ship mast that looks like a face. This book cover is as dreamy and mysterious as the story inside. This book is one of my favourite reads of 2017, and you can read my full review here.

2. Unconventional – Maggie Harcourt 

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This cover is so bright and colourful that there’s no way it can’t catch your eye. I also love the way that the cover plays off of the conventions setting of the book, with the queue winding its way around the cover, and people dressed in costumes. The little references like the two main characters standing on either side, and the pineapple, make the cover even more enjoyable once you’ve read the book. You can read my full review for Unconventional here.

3. Wing Jones – Katherine Webber 

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The Wing Jones cover is beautiful. I love the way that the pink and purple laces spell out the title in such a beautiful font, but even better, the book’s sprayed edges in the same colour make this book one of the most beautiful books of this year. You can read my full review for Wing Jones here.

 

4. We Are Okay – Nina Labour 

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I had never seen a cover like this before, and it amazed it the moment that I laid eyes on it. I love the eeriness of the image, which means that you can’t quite tell what kind of book this will be. The girl in her bedroom suggests contemporary, but the landscape is dark and mysterious. I still haven’t read this book, but the cover meant that its earned its space on my TBR list straight away.

5. The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night – Jen Campbell

 

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I love the illustration on this image, with the heart looking like a planet with houses and plants growing on it. The font wrapping around it, and the simple colour scheme tells you suggests that the story will probably be mystical, with dark undertones and perhaps a little bit of haunting eeriness. The magical vibes from the art and the title meant that this book interested me from the moment I heard about it, and I really hope that I get a chance to read this book soon.

This was such a difficult list to create, and a lot of beautiful covers missed the cut, but tell me what your favourite book covers of 2017 are, and if you’ve read these books, what you thought of them in the comments below.

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The End of the Year Book Tag!

Today I’m going to take part in this great book tag created by Ariel Bisset over on her Youtube channel – you can watch the full video beginning the tag here. Ariel is one of my favourite book tubers, I just love watching her videos because she’s so enthusiastic and insightful when discussing books. Although it is only September, we are far nearer to the end of the year than the start (!) and so it’s around this time of year I start thinking about how I’ve (most likely) failed to achieve most of my goals. The questions Ariel has created for this tag are about reading goals for the rest of the year and for 2018!

I’d like to tag a few of my other favourite book bloggers to complete this tag next! They are toomuchofabooknerdWords Beneath the Wings, and Ally Writes Things! I’d love to see what you guys answer to these questions!

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

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There aren’t any books that I’ve started this year and haven’t finished, but I did start the Lord of the Rings books last Christmas, and read the first 2 volumes over the holidays. I’ve been putting off the final one because, frankly I found them really slow, but I do want to get it over and done with!

Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?

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One of the books that I am eager to read this autumn is There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins. I’ve been really enjoying YA thrillers this year, such as One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus and S.T.A.G.S by M.A. Bennett, and this book sounds like it will satisfy my urge for some teen suspense. It’s about a series of gruesome murders targeting students at a particular high school, and the hunt for the killer. I generally associate thrillers and the like with autumn and winter (Halloween, darkness, cold, etc.) so I think this book will be the perfect way to mark the beginning of autumn.

Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

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The Hanging Girl – Eileen Cook (October 3, 2017): This book is about a girl who gives tarot readings, but her psychic abilities are fake. She begins to help the police on the case of a local missing girl, with insider information to help her form her visions. Then, what was originally a harmless prank begins to unravel and she realises that there is much more riding on her lies than she originally thought.

What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

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The Dark Days Pact – Alison Goodman: I read the first book in this series earlier this year and loved it. I want to get the sequel read as soon as possible before I start to forget details, and I also think its supernatural spookiness would be really fitting for winter.

Norse Mythology – Neil Gaiman: I picked up this book at it’s release way back in February and haven’t read it yet. The main reason for this is I picked up the humungous signed hardback edition, and lugging it around is not really something I want to do. I’ll probably try and read this during my Christmas break, but I really don’t want it to be unread come New Years!

Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo: I’ve heard so many good things about this book, and so I bought it. Months ago. It remains unread on my bookshelf, even though I’m 99% sure I’ll love it. I definitely want to read this before the end of the year.

Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favourite book of the year?

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Show Stopper – Hayley Barker: I only recently heard about this book, and I haven’t heard many details because what I have heard makes me want to go into this book blind. What I know is that it is set in a society where children are sold to a travelling circus with a demonic ringmaster, to provide entertainment to the richer echelons of society. I’m excited to read this, and hope that it lives up to expectations!

Have you already started making reading plans for 2018?

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Taken from: @inkdropsbooks

I don’t usually plan very far in advance with reading because I change my mind a lot. I think that I’m going to read one book, and then when I go to my bookshelf, something else takes my fancy. However, I would like to read more classics next year. I have been building up my Penguin Clothbound Classics collection, and I’d like to say I’ve actually read more of them than I have. I also have a complete Jane Austen book section, and I want to work my way through all the ones I haven’t yet read.

I would also like to revisit some books that I’ve loved. I’d love to reread some favourite series, like ASOIAF, and Red Rising.

 

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T5W: Favourite Bromances

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme that was created by Lainey of gingerreadslainey and is currently hosted by Sam of ThoughtsOnTomes. Every week, I will post my top 5 of that week’s theme. If you’d like to learn more about it or join in the fun, head over to the Goodreads group where all the discussions take place here.

This week’s topic is favourite bromances in literature. I love, love, love platonic relationships in fiction, and think that they are seriously underdeveloped way too often. However, here is a list of my favourite friendships between male characters in literature.

1. Harry Potter and Ron Weasley (Harry Potter)

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Ron and Harry became friends by chance, arguably. They simply sat in the same train carriage, how could they have known how strong their friendship would become? They go on adventures, fight battles, win the war. This is the ultimate YA bromance. Fight me.

2. Frodo and Sam (Lord of the Rings)

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“Come, Mr. Frodo!’ he cried. ‘I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you.”

I can’t speak much about this pair because I’ll just cry.

3. Tyrion and Bronn (A Song of Ice and Fire)

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This friendship is so much fun to read, mainly because both Tyrion and Bronn are  so reluctant to admit that they are friends. Of course, they both have ulterior motives (Brown wants money, Tyrion wants protection) but the chemistry and humour between them is undeniable.

4. Darrow and Sevro (Red Rising Trilogy)

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The friendship between these two was my favourite part of this series, and Sevro’s wellbeing was a major concern for me throughout the books. Seriously, whenever Sevro was in danger, I feared for him and the effect it would have on Darrow, because these two have to be together. Also, who can resist the humour between this pair?

5. Darcy and Bingley (Pride and Prejudice)

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This is the best kind of friendship to read. These two could not be more different, Darcy is grumpy and cold, Bingley is open and friendly to everyone. They put up with their differences and probably even appreciate those opposite qualities in the other.

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Giving Up On Books?

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Taken from: @inkdropsbooks

Today, I’m going talk about something that I find very difficult: knowing when to give up on books. Why? Well, for one, it is something that I genuinely do struggle with often. Usually, I consider it a matter of principle to not give up on books, no matter how bored I am, or how much I’m not enjoying it. If I was less generous with books, I know for a fact that many books I have recently read and not enjoyed would have been abandoned by me within the first few pages. I can usually tell within the first few pages of a book whether or not I will enjoy a book, and more often than not, I am right. Second, I’m currently reading A Court of Wings and Ruin, which in case you don’t know, is the third book in a trilogy that I have, until now, read despite finding seriously boring and disappointing. Sensing that this would probably take me a while to finish, I thought I should probably write something to post before this blog went weeks without an update, and so here I am!

So far this year, I have only abandoned one book. That book was All Passion Spent by Vita Sackville-West. In my defence, I picked up this book without even reading the blurb, simply because I was intrigued by the author due to my own fascination with Virginia Woolf. I was excited to pick it up, and then I started reading it only to discover that it was about an elderly widow. What else was it about? Honestly, I couldn’t tell you. I read about fifty pages during which the protagonist decided that she was going to move out on her own, a decision which her children vehemently opposed. She spent pages and pages becoming friends with her new landlord, and discussing her various disappointing children. I was bored out of my mind, and the lack of a clear plot made it literally impossible for me to continue.

This, I believe, is my limit. I can make it through the most boring or badly written novels if I have an idea of what is going to happen, or at least, what the point of the story is. I have struggled through many books but still finished them. I didn’t enjoy the writing Things A Bright Girl Can Do at all, but I was intrigued in the stories of the three girls, and the subject matter made me interested in the portrayal of historical events. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell was difficult for me to enjoy because the story felt like it was stuck in the same position for the majority of the novel, and I was sick of it to progress (it eventually did, but entirely within the last few chapters). Cloud Atlas was an interesting concept, and had beautifully written passages, but the story was so convoluted and confusing that I actually slipped an entire section. Even once I had finished, I felt a little confused about the whole thing, despite being pleased that I had made it through.

On the other hand, there are stories which I have found to be slow, and yet continued reading. I still haven’t read The Return of the King, but I trudged my way through the first two instalments of Lord of the Rings because I wanted to know how the characters won. I loved American Gods despite its huge size and sometimes slow parts because I adore Neil Gaiman’s writing style and feel confident that sticking with his novels will be worth it. The ACOTAR series by Sarah J. Maas is, in my opinion, slow and convoluted, with too many YA fantasy cliches for my liking, but I have constantly forced myself through the books because I want to know where the story is headed. Slow parts in these books were made slightly more bearable by the writing style, which I enjoyed. There were passages which gripped my attention, phrases and sentences that felt refreshing despite the slow plot.

So what is more important? Quality of writing or plot? I’m not sure that I can confidently say when the right time is for me to officially decide to put down a book for good. My experiences tell me that I cannot bear reading a book when I don’t see any progression in  plot or any point to the story, but I have also trudged through many books like this. I would love to get to the bottom of this question – perhaps there is a formula to explain when I have reached my limit? Unfortunately, however, I am not a mathematician, so I guess this will remain unknown for now.

In the meantime, why don’t you tell me when you decide there’s no hope for a book? Have you given up on any books recently and why? Or are there any books that you wanted to give up and finished? Did you enjoy it eventually or not?

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T5W: Books From Before I Joined the Online Book Community

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme that was created by Lainey of gingerreadslainey and is currently hosted by Sam of ThoughtsOnTomes. Every week, I will post my top 5 of that week’s theme. If you’d like to learn more about it or join in the fun, head over to the Goodreads group where all the discussions take place here.

This week’s topic is about the best books from before joining the online book community. I have been posting reviews here for a while, but I first properly joined the online book community on Instagram. It has introduced me to many excellent books, many of which have become firm favourites. So, here we go!

1. I’ll Give You The Sun – Jandy Nelson

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This was recommended to me by an Instagram follower, and it honestly changed my life. That may be a slight exaggeration, but this book is amazing. It is always in my top 5 favourite books, and I still remember how long it lingered in my memory after I had finished it. Jandy Nelson has a way with words, and I don’t think I would have picked up her books if it wasn’t for other book bloggers. So thank you, Bookstagram!

Full review here.

2. Throne of Glass – Sarah J Maas

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This was my first foray into YA fantasy for a long time, and it opened up a whole new world for me. I loved Sarah J Maas’s world and characters, and YA fantasy, with its multitude of female protagonists and interesting magical worlds, has always been a favourite genre since.

3. The Sin Eater’s Daughter – Melinda Salisbury

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Another YA fantasy series that had already begun before I joined bookstagram, this book was recommended to me by a friend, and it is another world that dragged me in. I loved its quiet protagonist, and the way she slowly woke up to the injustice and lies of the world around her.

Full review here.

4. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before – Jenny Han

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YA book bloggers love Jenny Han, and although at first I thought that I wouldn’t like this book – I don’t typically go for ‘fun’ contemporaries, this book was too much fun to deny. You just have to give into it. Jenny’s writing was lighthearted but still strong, and Lara Jean feels like a real character, as do her family. This is another book I would not have given a chance if it weren’t for book bloggers, and yet again, I’ve been proven wrong about my prejudices!

5. All the Bright Places – Jennifer Niven

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I really enjoyed this book, despite (again) having some concerns about going into YA contemporary – basically, the online book community has broken down all my YA fears. I loved the characters and the writing, and the book made me cry. That’s always a score in my books (pun intended.)

Full review here.

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T5W: Characters’ Fitness Routines You Want

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme that was created by Lainey of gingerreadslainey and is currently hosted by Sam of ThoughtsOnTomes. Every week, I will post my top 5 of that week’s theme. If you’d like to learn more about it or join in the fun, head over to the Goodreads group where all the discussions take place here.

This week’s topic is about characters’ fitness routines that I want. The description says this can be anything, whether the character is super fast and agile, an athlete, or a foodie. It is “inspired by those routines you see in magazines for actors, but with more of an open mind and less body shaming”. Now, I am already pretty lazy, so I decided to think about physically strong characters that I wish I had the energy to be like. Maybe, one day, I will manage to get out of my bed and follow their fitness routines.

1. Wing Jones by Katherine Webber

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Often in my short 21 years of life have I thought, ‘Oh, I should start running.’ I have even tried it – usually once a year in summer – but I just can’t. I don’t know if it’s lack of mental motivation, physical laziness, or the fact that I don’t have an imaginary dragon and lioness to keep me going, but I wish I could run like Wing.

2. Arya Stark – A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin

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Water dancing. Wouldn’t you love to be able to do it, too? I loved Arya from the very first book. She just jumped off the page and spoke to me, and ever since, I’ve not only wanted her to live (please, GRRM, please) but I’ve literally wanted to be her.

3. Celaena Sardothien – Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

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Much like Arya, it’s not that I want to be an assassin, but I wouldn’t mind having the skills. I always get a rush when I read the passages where these characters are spinning around, swishing their swords about, hitting every target, and getting out of their opponents’ reach just in time. I think I can probably track this back to the first time I watched Lara Croft as a child. I just want to be badass.

4. Piglettes by Clementine Beauvais

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Just how I’ve always wanted to be someone who runs like Wing Jones, I have also often imagined cycling. Not only am I too lazy (as I’ve already mentioned) to do this, but I’m also a complete coward, and someone as clumsy and unfocused as me would have to have a death wish to cycle in London where I live. Nevertheless, I was inspired reading Piglettes to follow these three girls on their journey to Paris, cycling the whole way, and lugging an entire food cart behind them.

5. Ginny Weasley – Harry Potter

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Ginny is such a babe in the Harry Potter books. Not only is she a great quidditch player, but she can also conjure a mean Bat-Bogey Hex. Good at sport and hexes? What a girl.

 

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T5W: Books Without Romance

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme that was created by Lainey of gingerreadslainey and is currently hosted by Sam of ThoughtsOnTomes. Every week, I will post my top 5 of that week’s theme. If you’d like to learn more about it or join in the fun, head over to the Goodreads group where all the discussions take place here.

This week’s topic is books without romance. Sometimes, romance plots can follow certain cliches, and are, by their nature, usually quite predictable in their endings. For that reason, I don’t typically love romance novels, and prefer the romance to be a secondary storyline, or play a minor role, if any at all. Sometimes I love the cliches, and sometimes I want something new. This can be difficult to find, but it can be refreshing and if done right, can bring to light different themes that aren’t always explored as much, as well as exploring other relationship dynamics that characters have, whether they are friendships or family bonds.

Here we go!

1. The Red Abbey Chronicles – Maria Turtschaninoff

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When does this series not feature in one of my T5W posts? I don’t know if it ever won’t be here. I will find every opportunity I possibly can to talk about this. Romance is completely absent in the first novel, Maresi, and features slightly in the second, but never in the way that you expect it. Turtschaninoff’s writing is completely new and different, and so her exploration of love and romance is as well.

Read my reviews for the first two books in the series here and here.

2. American Gods – Neil Gaiman

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Romance features briefly at the start of this novel, but not for long. Before the story has even got going, Shadow Moon discovers that the love of his life Laura has died. From then on, he embarks on an adventure with the mysterious Thursday, discovering that gods are real, and that they are going to war. Although this isn’t a book devoid of romance, much like the Red Abbey Chronicles, this is not a story that is driven by romance.

Read my full review here.

3. The Way Back Home – Allan Stratton 

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The most important relationship in this novel is that of Zoe and her grandmother, who she runs away from home with to protect. I thought at one point that romance would feature, but it turned out to simply be a red herring. It was so satisfying to see a YA novel adventure that focused solely on the family relationships of the main character.

Read my full review here.

4. Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng

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Another YA novel that focused on family bonds, Everything I Never Told You is one of the most interesting books I have read in this genre. In the very first page, we are told that Lydia, the favourite child of the Lee family, has died. Over the course of the novel, Ng explores not only the relationships between the characters, but the dynamics of interracial relationships, racial identity, the American dream, the pressures that children face, and guilt.

5. Uprooted – Naomi Novik 

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The whole way through this novel I expected there to be more romance. It just goes to show how conditioned we are to expect it. Although romance did feature, it only made an appearance two times, if I remember correctly. Other than that, there was so much more to the plot that it took a back seat, and it would have been just as good without it altogether, because the relationship between Agnieszka and ‘the Dragon’ is so complex regardless.

Read my full review here.

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T5W: Hate to Love Ships

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme that was created by Lainey of gingerreadslainey and is currently hosted by Sam of ThoughtsOnTomes. Every week, I will post my top 5 of that week’s theme. If you’d like to learn more about it or join in the fun, head over to the Goodreads group where all the discussions take place here.

This week’s topic is all about ships where the characters started out hating each other but that hatred blossomed into sweet, sweet love. In my opinion, the will-they-won’t-they of a romance plot is much more interesting than the same romance plot after the characters have gotten together. I love the anticipation. That’s why this is one of those cliches that I really don’t think cheapens a work. There are some that I grow tired of, but watching a tense relationship between two strong characters change against the characters’ wishes is always so exciting and satisfying. It just goes to show that sometimes it doesn’t matter that a story is predictable, what matters is that it entertains you.

There are a lot of great relationships in this category, and I tried to choose examples from a wide cross-section of literature. So, here goes. My favourite Hate to Love Ships are:

1. Lizzie Bennett and Mr Darcy – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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It’s impossible to complete a post on hate to love relationships without paying homage to the most famous of all. Did Lizzie and Darcy begin this trope? I’m not sure, but they definitely are a prime example of it done perfectly. Each is certain that the other is absolutely detestable, and even make this thought public, and, as their feelings begin to change, they remain certain that the other hates them. They meet multiple obstacles, until finally, they see the light and come together. This pair have gone down in history as being an amazing hate to love ship because Austen’s  writing is so funny and light, and her characters are crafted so well that they come to life on the page.

2. Dimple and Rishi – When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

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This incredibly fun read was only recently released, but it is making waves. It puts a modern twist on a classic tale. This is, at heart, a simple tale of will-they-won’t-they, where the pair clash at the start, and then come together. In this tale, the hatred is more one-sided than in others, but we still see the same changes in the relationship of the characters and the happy ending.

Click here to read my full review for When Dimple Met Rishi.

3. Amani and Jin – Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

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The scenes in this series which stand out the most to me are both in this book, and both involve high tension scenes between these characters. Amani and Jin spend much of this book at loggerheads, and then are thrust together against their will and have to stick together to survive, or get what they need. Their wittiness made their petty arguments fun to read, and the development of this tension to love made me feel all squishy inside like a good romance plot should.

Click here to read my full review for Rebel of the Sands.

4.  Cat and Griffin – A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet 

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Okay, I’ll be honest. I didn’t love this book and there were even bits of this relationship that I found a bit problematic. However, this is a great example of a great hate to love plot. The emotions between these characters are always strong, always raw, and always fun to read, despite my issues with the book in general.

Click here to read my full review for A Promise of Fire.

5. Louisa and Will – Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

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Will is really mean to Louisa when he first meets her. He’s condescending, he teases her, and he frankly treats her like crap. However, the journey that the characters go on together makes for a really brilliant reading experience, and Jojo Moyes’s writing shows how both characters feel, why they act the way they do, and what makes them change.

Click here to read my full review for Me Before You.

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T5W: Favourite ‘Unlikeable’ Protagonists

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme that was created by Lainey of gingerreadslainey and is currently hosted by Sam of ThoughtsOnTomes. Every week, I will post my top 5 of that week’s theme. If you’d like to learn more about it or join in the fun, head over to the Goodreads group where all the discussions take place here.

This week’s theme is unlikeable protagonists. I personally love a brilliant villain, but it can be difficult to have a good unlikeable protagonist. You have to take someone with serious flaws and make readers see some light in them. It’s difficult to do, and sometimes a ‘good’ unlikeable protagonist just becomes someone that you can’t stand, and the balance between flaws and strengths is lost. Here’s a list of examples where I think it’s been done right.

1. Naondel – Maria Turtschaninoff

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I couldn’t just pick one of Naondel’s many narrators, but something that I think Turtschaninoff did really well was craft really complex characters. All of the women that narrate this novel are out to save their own skin, and largely remain so for most of the novel. They are selfish and ambitious out of need and form few friendships and bonds between them. However, you come to love them as characters because their lives and thoughts are so well presented and you see their distinct personalities coming together when they realise they should not be enemies any longer.

2. Celaena Sardothien from Throne of Glass – Sarah J Maas

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I chose the protagonist of the early books in the Throne of Glass series over that of the later books because Celaena was everything that I enjoy in an unlikeable protagonist. I loved how she toed the line between hero and villain. She was dangerous, a threat to everyone and not afraid to show it, proud of her strength and skill, scheming, and powerful, but at the same time we saw gentler sides to her. We saw her both as an assassin and as a friend, lover, and protector. While some people simply love Celaena, I actually often toe the line between love and hate in these books, especially in the later books. There are moments where I love her sassiness, her wit, and the double sides to her character, and there are other moments where I feel tired of it, and want her to just pick the a side, good or bad. I guess that’s what makes her such an intriguing protagonist.

3. Eva from We Need to Talk About Kevin – Lionel Shriver

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Eva is far from a likeable character because of her crude honesty. She is completely open about not having wanted her first child Kevin, about her dislike for him as a child and uneasiness around him, about her resenting many of the choices that she allowed herself to be talked into by her husband. We learn that her son Kevin killed seven students and two adults in a massacre at his school, and we see Eva visiting him in prison and even preparing her house for his return, taking extra care to ensure he will be comfortable. Throughout the novel, I wasn’t ever quite sure about Eva, and I definitely felt uneasy reading this novel, but it was an unfamiliar feeling that I actually really enjoyed.

4. Cersei Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire – George R.R. Martin

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I always get weird looks for saying that Cersei is one of my favourite characters in this series, but she is just the epitome of a great villain. What I love about Cersei, and about the characterisation in this series generally, is that you always see the characters’ motives for their actions. Cersei is undeniably selfish and cruel, but you also know that she does the things she does to protect her family. I also think she’s a fascinating character in how scheming she is and how she is one of the most dangerous characters in the series without being a warrior in the typical sense.

5. Pip – Great Expectations from Charles Dickens

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Reading this novel, I actually actively disliked Pip. I thought he was selfish and couldn’t see past his own desires, he was ungrateful to his uncle, and narrow-minded. I hated how he treated those who had helped him, and how quickly he seemed to forget all about him. However, it all fits into the story well, as it is about growing up and learning valuable lessons, which Pip definitely does. He learns that the things he had thought were wrong, and comes to realise the errors of his ways.

Do you like an unlikeable protagonist? How many flaws is too many flaws?

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T5W: Side Ships

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme that was created by Lainey of gingerreadslainey and is currently hosted by Sam of ThoughtsOnTomes. Every week, I will post my top 5 of that week’s theme. If you’d like to learn more about it or join in the fun, head over to the Goodreads group where all the discussions take place here.

This week’s topic is relationships that don’t involve the protagonist. I am a major shipper, so this was a lot of fun. There is some repetition in this post, as much as I try to avoid it, but I couldn’t help it! Here we go!

1. Dorian and Manon (Throne of Glass)

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I almost gave Manon her own entry here, just “Manon with herself” because Manon really doesn’t need another party to be whole, but her and Dorian are a great couple to read. I saw it coming a mile off, but their characters really do read together really well.

2. Lorcan and Elide (Throne of Glass) 

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It’s almost impossible for me to not fall in love with a ship where two people who initially hate each other are stuck together on a long journey, both pursuing different aims and possibly secretly each other’s enemies. It’s a recipe for great sexual tension and relationship angst, and Sarah J Maas really delivered here. If there is anything that Maas does well, it’s relationships!

3. Sevro au Barca and Victra au Julii (Red Rising) 

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Sevro and Victra are a power couple if ever I’ve seen one. I loved reading their relationship because they’re so different, they’re such bold characters, and they both hold their own. I almost couldn’t believe that they would get together!

4. Lupin and Tonks (Harry Potter)

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These characters’ deaths were some of the most painful in the whole series for me. Not only did it take forever for them to get together, but even once they got together they just couldn’t get a break.

5. Bill and Fleur (Harry Potter) 

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This pairing go through a lot, and to make things even better, all of their exchanges are told with a great written rendition of Fleur’s French accent, for example: “Bill, don’t look at me — I’m ’ideous.” How can you not enjoy them?