Ahh, I can already see this project eating up my time – and during the exam period because of course – but I’m excited so we are doing this.
That’s right, I’m about to reread ten of my favorite books from the decade, and I’m scared, excited, and, well, overwhelmed, so if you have a word of encouragement? I’d appreciate it.
Why am I doing this?
I love rereading. I know not everyone feels the same way, but for me, it’s fun to revisit the worlds, stories and characters I adore, and – if we’re talking about favorite books – it’s interesting to see how my opinion may have changed since I had first read a book.
After failing to come up with a decent “end of the decade” post – although Sabrina and I are working on something fun! – I had an idea. I thought – well, my indecisive ass cannot make a “best of the decade” list, but I can choose ten books I adore – each published in a different year of the last decade – and revisit them, i.e. see if they live up to my memories.
1) I chose ten books I loved and rated 5 stars, each published in a different year of the decade (one from 2010, 2011 etc.)
2) When possible, I aimed for books I read either in their publication year, or the year after. As you’ll see, there are three exceptions from this, and while I’m not happy about them, I couldn’t find better alternatives.
Let me tell you, it was hard to select favorites from the early 2010s – I read tons and tons of books I’m 99% sure I wouldn’t like today, and I didn’t want to take that route with this post. Obviously, I may end up disliking some of these in the end, but I didn’t set out to knowingly choose books I wouldn’t enjoy.
I was in high school when I read Before I Fall, and friends, I adored every moment of this Contemporary YA. It felt fresh and well-written, and it was one of the most thoughtful, emotional novels I’d read up to that point. It was special – and so was the movie when I watched it a couple of years ago – so I have hope I’ll still like it.
A lot of things have led me to choose The Scorpio Races as one of the best books of the decade, including the fact that Meeghan‘s love and constant talk of it last year has made me super-intrigued to revisit it. The thing is, I remember adoring the novel, but other than that, I’ve forgotten so darn much about it!
Despite my problems with Stiefvater, and the valid criticism others have brought up against her, I do think she and her novels were a massive part of the 2010s, so it seemed fair to include one of her novels on my list. Especially because, for the longest time, I’ve wondered about them – would they disappoint, or would they live up to my memories?
Similarly to Stiefvater, I believe Libba Bray has been a huge part of the YA landscape of the 2010s. Her Diviners series was launched towards the beginning of the decade and it’s coming to an end in February, 2020.
I may be wrong and/or biased, but I think the first book was one of the most hyped novels of the first half of the century. I kept seeing it everywhere, I simply couldn’t escape it until I finally caved in, read it, and adored every moment of it.
The world building, the characters, and the story are pure perfection – every single aspect of the series is well thought out; and don’t even get me started on how inclusive and diverse it is. We have multiple characters of color, lgbtq+ characters, and a diasbaled character, and I could go on. Libba Bray has really outdone herself in this series, and I can’t wait to revisit The Diviners.
Scwab is a hit-or-miss author for me, if I’ve ever seen one. Most of her novels made me feel indifferent or mildly pleased, while others were so utterly disappointing I ended up DNF-ing them. And then there is Vicious, one of my all time favorite novels.
I think what sold me on this novel so badly were the characters, the utterly captivating, morally gray lot of them. They are fun to read about and kept me intrigued from start to finish.
I have to admit, given how unsuccessful I’ve been with Schwab’s other novels, I’m scared of revisiting this, but I have hope! Lots of it. And who knows? Maybe after tackling this I can turn to the sequel, Vengeful, which I’ve always felt mildly curious, but mostly meh about.
I remember being a baby blogger in 2014 and being swarmed with praises of We Were Liars. Some of you may know that I adore mystery, but back in 2014 that really wasn’t the case – the sole reason I picked this up was because many of my favorite bloggers were screaming about it.
I went into We Were Liars with big expectations – albeit a bit cautiously – and well, my expectations weren’t simply met, WWL far exceeded them. I adored the characters, even if/especially because they were somewhat unlikable, and this is one of the few “sad” books I’d wholeheartedly recommend to everyone. It’s a special little book that really charmed me – and one that shocked me at the end – and it’s a title I’ve wanted to revisit for ages.
Even though I read Uprooted four years ago, I still think of it as one of my all time favorite books. Nothing proves my love for it better than the fact that I own two editions of it; generally, I don’t make a habit of collecting various editions of the same book – not that there’s anything wrong with it, I just can’t afford it, haha.
Besides being a well-written fantasy and a clever retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Uprooted also has wonderful characters, complex portrayal of (female) friendship, and ship-worthy romance. All in all, it 100% deserves a place on my favorite books shelf, and I hope like hell it’ll stay there even after this reread. I think when you love a book so much there’s always a chance that you’ve built it up too much in your head, and it just won’t live up to that standard when you reread it.
The Diabolic is one of those weird cases when I had absolutely no desire to read it – sci-fi has never been my favorite genre – but because everyone seemed to be raving about it, I caved in. And I’m not at all mad about that!
I wouldn’t say it was the first time I read about a morally gray character, but it’s up there with the books that made me fall in love with this type of protagonist. (Gone Girl is another good example of a morally gray protagonist I loved, so The Diabolic is in real exalted circles.)
I think particularly after reading – and hating – the sequel, it will be fun to go back and see this novel, now in a new light. Out of all the books on this list, I’m probably the most curious about this one.
Those who know me well, know that I adore The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – it’s one of those books I keep recommending to everyone; and with success. I even made my mom read it, and friends, she loved it!
I think what makes people say “yes, I’m interested” – besides my incredible skills at convincing them – is the fact that it has a little bit of everything. A bit of drama, old Hollywood feels, some romance, friendship, emotions, diverse characters, an f/f romance.. and I could go on. (On that note, if you haven’t read it yet – what are you waiting for!?)
Since reading The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo I’ve been planning on going back to reread it, and this post is the perfect excuse to do just that.
Romance reader or not, I’m pretty sure you’d have heard about The Kiss Quotient (and The Bride Test) if you keep up to date with releases at all. Helen Hoang’s debut made waves and for good reasons – I love romance so darn much and yet, it immediately jumped to the top of my “favorite romance novels list.”
All through it, my emotions were a mess – I felt for these characters to an unbelievable extent and Hoang’s sophomore novel was, perhaps, even better.
I feel like choosing this as my reread is a bit like cheating because to this day I go back to reread my favorite parts if I’m feeling sad for whatever reason. Either way, there really wasn’t any 2018 publication that could truly complete with The Kiss Quotient in my heart.
I’m not exaggerating if I tell you that choosing my read from 2019 was a nightmare. I read so many excellent books last year, and I have quite a few I’m ready to start rereading right here, right now. One of them is Get a Life, Chloe Brown, my ultimate choice.
Some of you may know that I grew to love romance during the last decade, and Talia Hibbert’s contemporary romances were a huge reason behind that. She creates the warmest, most thoughtful stories, and I’ve loved each and every novel I’ve read by her so far, so I felt bad not including her work on this list.
I believe that’s it for today? I don’t really have a concrete date for the follow up post, which will contain my mini reviews about all these books, with special attention to how my opinion of them may have changed since I read them for the first time. With that being said, do expect a follow up post in about 2, maybe 3 months time.
Would you care to revisit (some of) your favorite books from the decade? Do you reckon your taste has changed drastically in the last ten years? How so? Have you read any of my favorites?