A book is like…nachos. A plate of nachos with different toppings and flavors and personal touches. If you ask 20 people for the best nacho recipe, you get 22 different answers. We all like certain culinary variations and certain ingredients. If someone asked me for the best cheese for nachos, I would have to say shredded cheese baked right on top with the beans. Others would demand the melty plastic cheese you find at a ball park. Others insist it is the Ro-tel/Velveeta cheese dip that is king of the culinary dish. No matter what people recommend, I can say it is ALL GOOD. NACHOS ARE WONDERFUL.
I really want nachos right now.
This philosophy can also apply regarding book recommendations. I have completely forgotten where this is going. Something about book elements and nacho fixings. Anyways, for Top Ten Tuesday this week, Bekka and I are recommending the best ingredient for those seeking character-driven
Nachos nachos nachos.
1. Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier – This seemingly overlooked book packs quite a bit of character development and dynamics regarding personal relationships in a sweet, enticing little fantasy story. The advancements of the characters and the main protagonist’s views on per own merit and the true intentions of others makes this ideal for readers who fall hard for characters.
2. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson – This one was a sucker punch right in the feels! I’ll Give You the Sun ties together two very tragic yet humorous POVs about internal and external relationships that make us – or break us. I love the different voices of each twin, and the people that come in and our of this book will quickly warm up your heart.
3. Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley – Not for the faint of heart! There are about a million books regarding the civil rights movement, but this writer decided to go deeper and jump right into the heads and hearts of the two main female roles. While the reader witnesses history in the making, we are also privy the moral dilemmas on a very personal level for two unique voices of the story.
4. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta – This book made me drink the Marchetta-flavored Kool-aid. I can’t even begin to put into words the raw, emotional build of this book. If you are in the market for a seriously character-centered novel, then this should be your first pick.
5. The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer – Love cartoons? Adore animation that features the hero of the day storylines? Did you love Jem or Sailor Moon? Then you NEED these books. Each story in the series places each title character in the spotlight, giving you the chance to see the developing story arc through different eyes.
1. Black Helicopters by Blythe Woolston. This novel, about a girl who is a suicide bomber, is tense. It all happens over the course of a single day with intermittent flashbacks to the main character’s past. It’s short, it’s uncomfortable, and I loved it. Does that make sense?
2. Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by AS King. AS King’s books are usually character based, with the exception of a single title, and Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future fits that mold. It’s got that magical realism feel, with the visions and everything, but it’s really about one girl’s journey to learning who she really is outside of her mother’s shadow.
3. The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma. While this plot makes for a wild ride, it’s all about the character arc for me. This is being marketed as Orange is the New Black Swan, and I think that’s a perfect description. Pre-order it, read it, fall in love with its characters.
4. Falling into Place by Amy Zhang. I think people are either going to love or hate this one, based on the narrative style and the reveal of the mystery narrator. But I love stories that take a look back at all the small moments that lead to one huge tragic moment, and this one was wonderful.
5. Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas. Each of the books in this series is different from the next – Throne of Glass sets up the premise, Crown of Midnight introduces the characters, and Heir of Fire opens up the fantasy world. But as much world-building is in Heir of Fire, I think there’s an equal amount of character development. There isn’t too much in the way of plot in this one, but you get to learn about the characters’ pasts, and I really feel like you get to know Celaena in this one.