Top Ten Tuesday: Genre Recommendations

Posted August 5, 2014 by Kara in Lyn, Top Ten Tuesday / 20 Comments

top ten tuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and the Bookish
This week’s topic: Books I’d Recommend to X Genre Newbies

This week, Bekka and I tackled two different genres for this week’s TTT.

Kara is the monkey.

Bekka targeted bad-press contemporary novels, while Lyn angled towards the misunderstood dystopian genre.

Bekka’s Picks


1.  Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.  So Anderson is the queen of depressing YA, and I think all contemporary readers need to read at least one of her books.  My favorite is actually Wintergirls, but Speak is more grounded in reality, has sparse and haunting prose.  It’s also very short and quick to get through, but still holds that gut-punch feeling she’s so known for.

2.  Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas.  Some people think contemporary is all teen angst or romantic fluff.  While there’s nothing wrong with either of those things, Abigail Haas shows us with Dangerous Girls (and Dangerous Boys!) that YA contemporary can be dark and twisted, too.

3.  Ask the Passengers by AS King.  A wonderful addition to the LGBT+ category in YA.  It’s not without its faults (namely ignoring bisexuality at all costs), but it is heartwarming and heartbreaking all at once.  It’s also the perfect introduction to AS King’s body of work, which is very diverse and holds a ton of magical realism.

4.  The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson.  This book has it all: swoony romance and kissy times; rich, colorful characters; soul-crushing sadness; and some of the most beautiful writing I’ve been lucky enough to read.  I honestly don’t know a single person who hasn’t loved this book.

5.  Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J Bick.  This is another of those very dark YAs, this time dealing with a very taboo romantic relationship.  You’re not exactly sure how reliable the narrator is, but by the end you are rooting for her despite yourself.  It’s a wild ride of a read and anyone who’s looking for something a little different should try this on out.


1. Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis – This dystopia novel takes a chance, touches on the human aspect of disaster, and makes for an jaw-dropping read. The writing is also addictive and attention-grabbing.

2. Angelfall by Susan Ee – Dystopian novels seemed to have gained a maudlin reputation, thanks to the teen-friendly face of dystopian movies in today’s pop culture.  Angelfall rips apart this safe image and colors a post-disaster world as a dark and completely dangerous place to survive.  Even with romance, his novel is still a tough pill to swallow.

3. The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle – I also like to use this one for religious-wary people.  The Hallowed Ones adds a dangerous unknown element to the story, which makes for a VERY spooky and nerve-racking read. Don’t read this one with the lights off.

4. Ashfall by Mike Mullin – This is the love child of the science fiction and apocalyptic  genres.  Ashfall grabs a real, yet hypothetical, event to construct the base of the world building. Add in some unique male-POV story telling into a YA novel and you have a wonderful story to win over the most resistance dystopian nay-sayers.

5. Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee – This review hasn’t hit the blog yet, but this time travel/sci-fi hybrid is a trippy chocolate-flavored treat in a vanilla majority shelf.


20 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: Genre Recommendations

  1. Speak, The Sky is Everywhere and Drowning Instinct have been books I’m interested in for a while now, I just need to find them from my library Bekka, while Angelfall I’m started to actually think I want to give a go thanks you Lyn, so there’s some nice recommendations here and I like how you split the post into two different genres, just adds more variety! 🙂
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  2. Ahh love both of these lists! I still have Angelfall and The Hallowed Ones on my TBR list, and I hadn’t seen Dangerous Girls (I must have missed that one) but it’s definitely gonna be added to my TBR list as well!

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  3. Meg

    I have 5+ LHA’s sitting in my kindle library and I have yet to read them because I am the worst. CHANGING THAT SHORTLY.

    Also, yessss Dangerous Girls! Must. Read. (ditto Drowning Instinct which I also have but haven’t read yet)

    More yes to Not A Drop and Angelfall. Looove those books.

    THE HALLOWED ONES IS SO UNDERRATED AND SO GOOD HIGH FIVE LYN THANK YOU FOR BRINGING IT UP. Hello vampire book that is actually scary with scary vampires that want to eat you not sex you (or sex you and eat you, I guess)



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