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Contemporary Books: Some Recommendations, Some Musings

Hi everyone! Happy May. It’s currently in the middle of AP weeks for me, and I have an AP tomorrow, so I shouldn’t be blogging, but oh well.

As you guys may or may not know, my favorite genre is fantasy, but after fantasy I usually end up preferring the contemporary genre. I kind of have a weird relationship with the genre: I really have to be in the mood to read it and enjoy it, and unlike fantasy books, I usually don’t stay as attached to the characters and plot. For example, most of my favorite books are fantasy books, and even if I really LOVED the book while I was reading it…it just doesn’t stay with me when it’s contemporary, for some reason.

I think a lot of it has to do with my current mood. If I don’t feel like reading about a cheesy romance, well, then, I’m likely not going to like a fluffy contemporary novel. Likewise, if I don’t feel like reading a gritty novel about mental health and family issues–I’m likely not going to enjoy it as much. This does hold true for me for other genres as well, but I’ve seen it happen with contemporary the most.

Surprisingly, most of the contemporary novels that have stuck with me were books I didn’t mean to read and got hooked on. For example:

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I know I rave about this book all the time, but it was honestly one of my favorite reads last year, and I was not expecting it at all. And even more surprising! This book had insta-love. Somehow I could deal with it. Which is very unusual for me. So again: it really depends on how I’m feeling when I’m reading the book.

Similarly, I read Mosquitoland pretty randomly as well, and I thought it was super refreshing and just great in general.

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This is in contrast to some books I read by planning (that is, expecting to read them) and enjoying them…but then, those books faded. For example, I LOVE all of Morgan Matson’s books, but they definitely don’t come to mind when you ask me for some of my favorite books. I don’t know what it is about this weird preference thing–maybe it’s just that I end up remembering the books I wasn’t expecting to love as much as I did?

Anyway, this post went in a different direction than that I thought it would when I first started writing it, but oh well. Now: if you’ve read this far, I have a question for you guys! What new(er) released contemporary books do you recommend? It can be fluffy or serious or anything in between–I haven’t read a contemporary in so long (it’s been like 5 months) and I’d love to hear your recommendations. So please let me know!

Thank you so much for reading and I hope you recommend some books!

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Airplanes in the Night Sky Regular

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Historical Fiction Book Recommendations

Hi everyone! As some of you may or may not know, I love history. Naturally, I also love reading historical fiction, but something I’ve realized is that I don’t really read that many. And when I do, they all seem to be set in WW2–which is super important, of course–but there are so many other time periods that also deserve recognition. Anyway, today I decided to make a list of some historical fiction books I really enjoyed, regardless of the time period. (The books I chose exclusively have lots of historical information in them and are not just randomly set in a different time period).

I hope you enjoy!

The book I read most recently from this list is Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin. It’s set in a world where the Axis powers have won World War II, and the main character goes on a mission to kill Hitler. It’s super intriguing, with some fantasy elements, an awesome lead, and plot twists.

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Then, we have Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys. This book is set during World War II, however, the story is not a commonly told one as it is not about the Holocaust but about Lithuania and how it was also impacted by the war. It’s really emotional, well-written, and touched me greatly. I also finished it in only a couple of sittings because I was hooked.

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This next book is set in a historical setting that’s not as well-known either: Afghanistan. A Thousand Splendid Suns takes place within a few decades and shows how drastically one country–and its people–can change over the years. It is one of my favorite books as of now and extremely moving.

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And I Darken, obviously, I had to include on this list. This actually takes a twist on history so it’s not that historically accurate after one point, however, the setting and the characters are from the 15th century Ottoman Empire and I thought they were really well represented. When will I ever stop talking about this book? Nope.

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Distant Waves is actually a book I read a long, long time ago. (I think I was in fourth or fifth grade? So, like, 6 years ago.) That’s why I don’t remember much except for the fact that I enjoyed it. I know it had something to do with the Titanic, and like And I Darken, it changed some historical facts, but it was pretty good.

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The last book I have on this list is also one that is not well known, but when I read it I thought it was really important (and it is). The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti is actually based on a true story about a teenager in Nazi Germany who decides to tell the truth about Hitler. It is one of the saddest (and it is even sadder when you know this actually happened to someone) books I’ve ever read, but extremely worth it. I highly, highly recommend everyone pick this book up!

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That’s it for this list, since those are all of the historical fiction books I’ve read and enjoyed. I really want to read more, so if you have any recommendations, don’t hesitate to let me know!

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Airplanes in the Night Sky Regular

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Humor In Books

Hi everyone! One thing I’ve often realized while reading is that…there’s no humor. A lot of times, in books, characters are so busy trying to save their lives that there’s nothing to laugh at–which makes sense, given the circumstances. But I love humor in books, and I wanted to discuss this topic with you guys today. (Also give some short recommendations.)

I guess you can kind of categorize humor–a type of humor that I think is most common in YA fantasy is dry humor, or sarcasm. Some books I love that use this are Six of Crows and all of Cassie Clare’s books–

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I LOVE this type of humor. It’s the kind that I usually think of after because the characters are making fun of each other or something along those lines.

Another type of humor I like is dependent on the writing and makes the book easier to read because the entire style is different. I know that doesn’t make sense, but anyone who has read My Lady Jane will probably understand what I’m talking about.

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It’s just! So cute! Not every book can be like this, obviously, but it’s entertaining nonetheless. Another book that reminds me of this style is The Martian by Andy Weir.

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And of course, you can’t forget Percy Jackson–Rick’s books are a classic for humor. I don’t want to say it’s just the age group, because it’s not, but most YA books I’ve read are not nearly as funny as Percy Jackson. :’))

What are some of your favorite humorous books? Tell me about them!

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Airplanes in the Night Sky Regular

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High Fantasy Book Recs That are NOT S.J. Maas Books

Hello everyone! In today’s post I want to give you some high fantasy book recommendations. If you’re not familiar with the genre/or are confused about what it is: high fantasy means that the book is set in a completely different world (or there are multiple worlds) with complex creatures, characters, magic, etc. Lately I’ve realized that most of the fantasy I read is actually High Fantasy rather than Urban fantasy, which is set in our world.

However, whenever someone says “high fantasy!” the only recommendations I see are of Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. And don’t get me wrong: I think those are amazing too. In fact, ACOMAF is one of my favorites. But I want to give more recommendations for those of you have already read these. Also, this post is being written by August-Silanur so of course my opinions may change.

Without further ado, let us begin!

  • Truthwitch by Susan Dennard–this is the first book in a new series which I read back in August and LOVED. The world is really interesting, with a lot of political intrigue and the magic is so cool. It also happens to be one of my favorites of the year! (5 stars)

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  • Six of Crows & the Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo–this is actually a pretty popular series, but for a reason. The Grisha world that Leigh created is one of the best fantasy worlds I’ve ever read. I like SoC better just because I think the characters are more developed, but the Grisha trilogy is amazing too. I gave SoC 5 stars, Shadow and Bone 4 stars, and Siege and Storm 4.5 stars.

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  • Next I have The Wrath and the Dawn duology by Renee Ahdieh. Some may argue that this is more romance than fantasy, but I disagree. It is set in a Middle Eastern, Arabian nights fantasy setting with beautifully written characters and magic. I am actually currently reading the second book right now (but in August) so you’ll have probably read my thoughts haha!

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  • Then, The Young Elites by Marie Lu. This is a dark story, and I love it. The third book is coming out soon and I can’t wait. Everyone loves Legend, however, I hear few people discuss this series although I think its even better. I highly recommend it–I gave both books that are out 5 stars! 🙂

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  • An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir–this is also pretty popular, and it makes sense why. The brutal world is addicting to read about and the story itself is so intricately thought of. I can’t wait for the remaining books in this series to come out!

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  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor–this is actually kind of urban fantasy as well, but it is also set in a completely different fantasy world and when I read it two years ago I loved it and still do ❤

The books above are my favorites–I’ve rated most of them 5 stars–but there are also some other High Fantasies that I enjoyed reading that I will list below without detail:

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The Winner’s Curse trilogy by Marie Rutkoski (4 stars, 4.5 stars, 3.75 stars)

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Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes (Only read the first book so far) — 3.75 stars

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Uprooted by Naomi Novik–3.75 to 4 stars

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The Forbidden Wish by Jessi Khoury–4 stars

And that’s it for this post! I hope you guys enjoy my recommendations! Please let me know some of your favorite high fantasies that aren’t ToG or ACOTAR 🙂

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Airplanes in the Night Sky Regular

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Books With Creep Factors & Why I Love ‘Em

Hello book nerds! Today I wanted to talk about books with “creep factors” and the reasons I love them, as well as give examples. You all already know I love “dark” books and this definitely is a sub-category, but more specific.

First off, I wanted to separate “slight creepiness” from “horror.” I generally don’t read horror. Not because I wouldn’t, but there aren’t really a lot of YA books that are horror, and they’re at most mysteries with hallucinations. Even those are rare–and those aren’t really horror either.

So what am I talking about, then?

I’m talking about those slightly strange, beautifully written books that aren’t necessarily scary, but definitely give you goosebumps. Usually the atmosphere of these books is dark and not something you’d want to live through. That sense that the character shouldn’t trust anyone, because something’s going on.

A lot of times these books go into supernatural realms–like vampires, ghosts, etc.–but not in a way that is completely fantasy. I mean, of course fantasy books can have a creep factor too but I find that’s rarer. Usually the world is our contemporary, urban world so the book is more “urban fantasy” or bordering magical realism.

For some reason, I crave these types of stories. I love it so much. I love the sense that it gives, that chilling sense without all the blood and gore that comes with actual horror. Most of the time these books are well written, just because you can’t have that sense of creepy without a way with words. The lush, descriptive sentences make it even more realistic and just so alluring. They also, a lot of times, have the best romances with the most sexy characters.

However, sadly, I haven’t read a lot of books like this. I’m going to list ones I have read and enjoyed below, but I really want some more recommendations! So please let me know, as I would greatly appreciate it.

  • The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, by Holly Black–I am actually currently reading this right now (though I will probably have finished it by the time you see this) and it is actually the reason why I am writing this blog post. It definitely has the creep factor I love plus the beautiful writing and romance, too.

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  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik–This is the only book that is not urban fantasy from this list, and it definitely surprised me. I had some problems with this book, though in the end I really enjoyed it–4 stars–and the creepiness and descriptions of the Wood had a lot to do with it. Definitely recommend if you want a really beautifully written creepy high fantasy!

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  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater–I can’t write a blog post about creepy books and NOT include this one. This is definitely one of the books that is not exactly creepy and it really is based on your definition of the word. However, it does have a lot of chilling aspects and plus, you should read it anyways. *winks*

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  • The Mara Dyer trilogy is probably the most popular, creepy book series, and for a reason. The main character is unreliable, you don’t know what’s real, there’s a swoon-worthy love interest, and a bunch of plot twists. It may not have had the best ending for a trilogy, and the hype has died down, but its still really good especially if you love this genre. PLUS, Michelle Hodkin is coming out with a new series with Noah and Mara! (I CAN’T WAIT!)

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  • The Archived by Victoria Schwab–like TRC, this is also not exactly scary or anything, but the writing and atmosphere is generally gloomy and I think it fits the category well. 🙂

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  • The Vanishing Game by Kate Kae MyersThe Vanishing Game by Kate Kae Myers–this is the most underrated book I’ve ever read, but its amazing. And it has literally ALL the aspects I listed above. It also has an unreliable character, a swoon-worthy love interest who’s name is also Noah ahah, incredible plot twists, and is a mystery. If you loved Mara Dyer, you WILL LOVE this one. If you ever read it, please tell me as no one knows about this book!

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I hope you liked reading this post! If you have any recommendations, seriously tell me! Do you like reading books like these as much as I do?

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Airplanes in the Night Sky Regular

my social medias: // goodreads // studygram // tumblr // questions? contact me: aloofbooks@gmail.com