Top 10 Books Too Good to Review Properly

Let’s be clear here – I am not one to step away from the challenge of a good review. Most of the books on this list – thanks to That Artsy Reader Girl’s Top 10 Tuesday prompt this week – have been reviewed on my blog. However, it’s hard to really capture the magic of these books. I would absolutely recommend them, if you haven’t read them already!

1. The House at the Edge of Night by Catherine Banner

I almost didn’t pick this book up based on its description – it follows a family through several generations, and isn’t heavy on plot. However, each generation gets enough attention to draw you in to their personal struggles, and the descriptions in this book are incredible.

2. My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones

This book sounds about as fun as it is – a young native girl who is obsessed with slasher movies is the first to recognize the patterns when a slasher starts wreaking havoc in her hometown. However, this doesn’t really do justice to how hard of an emotional punch this book packs.

3. When the Reckoning Comes by LaTanya McQueen

This is another one that sounded more cathartic than anything – the spirits of murdered enslaved people return to enact vengeance on the descendants of the white families who enslaved them. However, this book lingers much more on the horrors of slavery itself, and the impact it still has on black families in the modern day.

4. The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

I don’t read a whole lot of fantasy novels these days – I have read so many in my lifetime that my standards tend to be extremely high as well as specific. However, this book blew those expectations away. The characters are interesting and memorable as well as diverse, and the worldbuilding is stunning.

5. The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher

The characters in this book are great and all, but what this one really does well is the worldbuilding. The author has built an interesting, unusual magic system and it definitely left me wanting more.

6. Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

This is one of only a few books that I absolutely intend to re-read. It brought the old gods of the Mayan empire to life and dropped them into Mexico in the early 20th century. I loved everything about this book – the characters, the magic system, the setting, the description… it’s one that I keep thinking about.

7. The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

This was my second read by Stephen Graham Jones, and it is nothing short of the perfect horror novel. Based on native beliefs in Deer Woman or Elk Woman, this book is an achingly familiar look at a native community dealing with death and loss, and what justice looks like to the natural world.

8. The Kiss Quotent by Helen Hoang

This book is the first time I picked up a romance novel and felt myself truly represented by the main character. The main character is autistic, and her approach to (and discomfort with) is so familiar to me. I absolutely loved it, and I’m sure I’ll read it again.

9. Alice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink

This one is just so beautifully weird. I’m re-reading it currently with my partner, and he’s enjoying it too. The monsters are strange and interesting and terrifying, and it still manages to say something important about the world we live in.

10. The Witch Elm by Tana French

I love a good mystery novel, and the thing that made this one so fantastic is how it messes with your head. The main character is a man with brain damage from a bar fight, and when a body is found in his family home’s backyard, he feels like perhaps he knew something about it when it happened. I loved the feeling of being right on the edge of understanding, and the way that it plays out in the end is just perfect.

5 thoughts on “Top 10 Books Too Good to Review Properly

  1. I’ve only read The Kiss Quotient, but several others are waiting on my tbr. I completely agree: Quotient was too hard to review properly. 🙂

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