Searching For Book Recommendations!

This is a different kind of post for me, as it’s not a review, a wrap-up or a tag. Bookworms, I need your help! Even though I still have many ARCs to read, I’m already thinking about future reads. And I’ve decided I want to branch out into other genres as well. No, I don’t need any mystery/thriller/historical fiction recommendations, I have plenty of those 😉

I’m going to list a series of books I’ve absolutely loved that were “a bit” outside my comfort zone, some way more than others. And I will explain what I liked about them. I’d love it if you could recommend similar ones to me. Pleaaase, avoid erotica! Not that any of these are remotely erotic, but what I mean is that even if I say I love time travel, don’t mention Outlander because I hated that one. You know what I like, you know what I don’t. I trust you with my reading soul! ❤


White Oleander

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Everywhere hailed as a novel of rare beauty and power, White Oleander tells the unforgettable story of Ingrid, a brilliant poet imprisoned for murder, and her daughter, Astrid, whose odyssey through a series of Los Angeles foster homes–each its own universe, with its own laws, its own dangers, its own hard lessons to be learned–becomes a redeeming and surprising journey of self-discovery.

I read this many years ago because I really enjoyed the film and I still haven’t found something quite like it. I loved getting to know each family and their peculiarities, as well as “watching” the main character come of age during those years.

 The Deviants

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Growing up in the sleepy English seaside town of Brynston, the fearless five – Ella, Max, Corey, Fallon and Zane – were always inseparable. Living up to their nickname, they were the adventurous, rowdy kids who lived for ghost stories and exploring the nearby islands off the coast. But when Max’s beloved older sister Jessica is killed, the friendship seems to die with her. Now years later, only Max and Ella are in touch; still best friends and a couple since they were thirteen. But Ella is hiding things. Like why she hates going to Max’s house for Sunday dinner, and flinches whenever his family are near…
This was my only YA read last year (I grew tired of the genre). It was amazing and I even shed a few tears. A different kind of book and the ending was tragic and perfect.

The Last One

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She wanted an adventure. She never imagined it would go this far. It begins with a reality TV show. Twelve contestants are sent into the woods to face challenges that will test the limits of their endurance. While they are out there, something terrible happens—but how widespread is the destruction, and has it occurred naturally or is it man-made? Cut off from society, the contestants know nothing of it. When one of them—a young woman the show’s producers call Zoo—stumbles across the devastation, she can imagine only that it is part of the game. Alone and disoriented, Zoo is heavy with doubt regarding the life—and husband—she left behind, but she refuses to quit.

A weird one, one of my first Netgalley reads. I absolutely loved it, even though I don’t even watch any reality shows. But it featured great writing (love the characters’ nicknames) and the ending was so clever and satisfying.

 Where Rainbows End

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Where Rainbows End is the amusing story of Alex and Rosie, best friends who grow up together in Ireland and stay close throughout cross-continental moves, marriages, parenthood, family dramas. and professional triumphs. Friends for close to 50 years, the potential for romance between the pair is always under the surface, yet never seems to find the right time or place to become a reality.

Maybe it was the letters, the e-mails, the humour, or the fact that it spans across many years, but I still remember this fondly. And I almost never read romance anymore, but this was so cute and fresh and it was basically friendship, after all.

 Before I Fall

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For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—”Cupid Day”—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night. However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.

It was a mix between Mean Girls and Groundhog day. I just love the fact that the day kept starting over and over again and how the main character grew to be a better person. Also, the friends were so mean and fascinating.

11/22/63

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While grading essays by his GED students, Jake reads a gruesome, enthralling piece penned by janitor Harry Dunning: fifty years ago, Harry somehow survived his father’s sledgehammer slaughter of his entire family. Jake is blown away…but an even more bizarre secret comes to light when Jake’s friend Al, owner of the local diner, enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination. How? By stepping through a portal in the diner’s storeroom, and into the era of Ike and Elvis, of big American cars, sock hops, and cigarette smoke…

One of the most special books I’ve ever read. It had a bit of everything I’ve mentioned before and the time travel part was just an excuse for a great story. That last dance…

A Mother’s Confession

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Olivia and David were the perfect couple with their whole lives in front of them. When beautiful baby daughter Zoe came along, their world seemed complete. But now David is dead and Olivia’s world is in pieces. While she is consumed with grief, her mother-in-law Ivy is also mourning the loss of her son. Both women are hiding secrets about the man they loved. Secrets that have put the family in danger.

Although I was able to predict the twist, it was still a heartbreaking story. But what I loved the most about A Mother’s Confession is the way it made me feel. I literally couldn’t stop reading because I found Ivy’s perspective irritating and realistic at the same time.

Valley of the Moon

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Lux is a single mom struggling to make her way when she discovers an idyllic community in the Sonoma Valley. It seems like a place from another time until she realizes it actually is. Lux must keep one foot in her world, raising her son as well as she can with the odds stacked against her, but every day she is more strongly drawn in by the sweet simplicity of life in Greengage, and by the irresistible connection she feels with a man born decades before her.

Again, this was kind of a time travel story, but with a twist. The main character gets stuck in a village where time works differently. An hour there means 7 years on the outside. Original and emotional, I ended up crying.

Where the Heart is

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Talk about unlucky sevens. An hour ago, seventeen-year-old, seven months pregnant Novalee Nation was heading for California with her boyfriend. Now she finds herself stranded at a Wal-Mart in Sequoyah, Oklahoma, with just $7.77 in change. But Novalee is about to discover hidden treasures in this small Southwest town–a group of down-to-earth, deeply caring people willing to help a homeless, jobless girl living secretly in a Wal-Mart.

I’ve read and loved other southern novels, but this was one of my favorites. A pregnant girl living in a Walmart. How could I not enjoy it? Colorful characters, southern charm and lots of unrealistic situations.

So… any similar recs?
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Published by

Annie

In a past life, I was probably a tortured police detective with a dark and traumatic past. Right now, however, I'm just a twenty-something bookworm who loves listening to old songs and watching 90s movies. I enjoy mystery and crime, southern coming of age stories and historical fiction set in the last century.

50 thoughts on “Searching For Book Recommendations!

  1. Ah, I hate trying to recommend books but I loved The Last One too. I would recommend Stardust by Neil Gaiman as a good read for any kind of reader. The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown (kind of just a historical fiction but it’s amazing), The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North is an amazing book about time travel but it’s so poignant and beautiful. Nutshell by Ian McEwan is a strange but fun read. Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult is a book about the after shock of a school shooting – it’s seriously touching & heart breaking.

    Well, those are just a few I could think of that I really enjoyed. 5 or 4 star reads 🙂

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    1. I’ve read 19 minutes! LOVED it so much! And I’ve watched Stardust, I don’t know if I should read the book having watced the film. I’ve also read Nutshell haha I think I’l check out The first 15 lives… because I’ve heard rgeat things about it and you mentioning it makes me want to read it more!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The book and the film are so totally different. The film is super kid friendly, the book is dark and a bit creepy, which is why I loved it! and yes, The First 15 is the book that got me back into reading about 2 years ago, it’s incredible!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Not sure if you’ve read any but Jojo Moyes is well worth a read – something about her writing in The One Plus One might satisfy the fresh feel to romance that you mention about Cecilia Ahearn’s book – all the ones I’ve read by her have been great and don’t fall into my normal reading category either.
    Good luck with finding what you are looking for.

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    1. I read her most typical, but I need to confess I HATE reading about sicknesses so I didn’t like Me Before You. I’ll check out that one 😀 Thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, your post has had the opposite effect – I’m adding YOUR favs to MY list! There are a couple of books that I always recommend though, so here it goes: The Portable Veblen (quirky, lovely, dysfunctional, intelligent, funny) The Improbability of Love (I’m an artist, and this delves into the art world through a quirky, lovely, dysfunctional, intelligent and funny love story – see a pattern developing?) and Our Endless Numbered Days (a dark, innocent, compelling twist on a fairytale)

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  4. Now I have tried to go something a little different so here we go.

    Nick Pirog series 3a.m.
    Now this is investigating but so very different you see he has a condition and he is only awake one hour every day. Do go take a look. Very funny books too. First one fee at the min on amazon

    Richard C Hale Blank series
    A child born with powers sees everyone as colour. The book is called blank because he has no face features. Brilliant series follows from being born to adult free on amazon at the minute is the first book

    Amanda James A Stitch in time series
    These are quite nice time travelling again

    K. R Griffiths Adrift series. These are horror but best I have read
    Vampires but like you have never heard of them.

    Hope these give you something to think about.

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  5. A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale – simply beautiful. The Finding of Martha Lost by Caroline Wallace. The Trouble With Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon. Let Me Tell You About a Man I Knew by Susan Fletcher. Older but still beautiful is Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I absolutely loved The Trouble With Goats and Sheep so I’ll be checking the others out, especially Martha Lost, which I had already my eye on! Thanks ❤

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  6. I’ll second the recommendations for Nick Pirog and Jojo Moyes. Pirog also has a detective series (Thomas Prescott) which is quite funny and very enjoyable and from Moyes I’d recommend The Girl You Left Behind.

    I recently read A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles which was brilliant and I would definitely recommend. If you’re interested in a romance, The Hating Game is definitely one of my favorites and for time travel I’d recommend Jodi Taylor’s St Mary’s series (I’d also recommend her other series The Nothing Girl which has no time travel but an imaginary/guardian angel horse).

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  7. You may like “Dear Carolina” by Kristy Woodson Harvey (southern fiction, pregnant girl, etc…). It can be a bit too perfect at times, or too neatly tied up at the end, but I still really enjoyed it!

    And I would highly recommend “Come Away With Me” by Karma Brown if you haven’t read it. And – don’t read reviews. Just read it as blindly as you can. I did that, and I was stunned (STUNNED, I tell you) at the end. Not my usual genre of books (I usually read suspense, mystery, crime books), but one of my top 5 all time favorites.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Kelly! Dear Carolina sounds cute and very similar to the one I mentioned and the other one has me intrigued based on what you said! Thanks ❤

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  8. I want to read both The Last One and Before I fall. But as for recommendations these are probably all iffy, but off the top of my head… the description of The Deviants made me think of We Were Liars. Not sure if you’ve read that, and some people love it and some hate it, but there it is. If you’re interested. 🙂

    Also Where Rainbows End made me think of Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole. Skye is probably more serious than the Ahern book, it’s set during WWII and WWI, a love story told in letters. There is some humor though. And the King book made me think of Dark Matter, although it’s not time travel but more of a what would happen if there were more than one of you in the universe? Pretty trippy and fun. 🙂

    Anyway have a great week!

    http://gregsbookhaven.blogspot.com/

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    1. Hahaha Oh Greg, I think you’re the one that was closer to what I wanted, because you mentioned books I had already read ❤ I did read We were liars and I was about to add Dark Matter to the list. I absolutely loved it. And… I have Letters from Skye, haven't read it yet but it's waiting for me 😀

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  9. I don’t have any suggestions that are close to your examples, but one series that I love that was outside of my usual genre (and yours it looks like) is the Red Rising series by Pierce Brown. It’s sci-fi and dystopian and just reading the synopsis didn’t really make me want to read it. But it’s become one of my all time favorite series. I always warn people that it did take me quite a while to get into the first book, but eventually I got hooked. I 100% recommend this series.

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    1. Oh I know that one! I like dystopian but I’m kind of tired of YA dystopian because I read too many years ago haha But I’m definitely keeping an eye on this series given that it’s one of your faves ❤ Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m rubbish at recommending books because our tastes are all so different. But your first choice made me think of Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, if you haven’t already read it. And your liking for both YA and crime made me wonder if you’ve tried Megan Abbott? The End of Everything, Dare Me, and Fever, are all about teenage girls and I find them really intense, with unique voices for the characters.

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  11. If you haven’t yet read “A man called Ove” by Fredrik Backman, I recommend you read it. It is one of my all-time favorites.

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  12. Such a great idea to gather suggestions. I also loved 11/22/63 and honestly I don’t think there is much like it. I really liked The Time Traveler’s Wife, which obviously has a time travel thing going on. Life After Life combines historical fiction with a very unusual sort of reliving/time travel. Another book I loved with a fantasy theme is The Night Circus. People seemed to either love it of quit. I loved it.

    Did you read Good Morning, Midnight? A great story involving space and an apocalyptical event.

    Loved White Oleander, but can’t think of much else like it. Maybe, Tuesday Nights in 1980?

    Hope you find lots of books to love!

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    1. Oh Susie thank you ❤ It's funny because I was about to add The Time Traveler's Wife to the list (I loved it) and I have Life After Life!! A friend bought it for me because it had been on my TBR forever!

      I've had my eye on Night Circus for a while now!

      I'm checking the other two :O THANKS!

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  13. Great post Annie. I have read a few of the books on your post and I really liked them like A Mother’s Confession, Last One, 11/22/63. I also have a copy of the Deviant.I want to read all the books that you mentioned though. So yeah, I am not being a good friend right now. Instead of recommending books, I am stealing ideas from your post lol but I will let you know in case I think of anything.

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  14. Here are my recs based off the books you gave us…

    “White Oleander” -> Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
    *Oddly enough I read both of these books last month and felt they had a similar writing style and “feel” to them even thought the stories were not the same.

    “A Mother’s Confession” -> The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

    Here are some book recs NOT based off what you gave us, but I really enjoyed this year and are different from what you typically read lol

    The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker *This is one of my favorite reads of 2017! So much more than I was anticipating.

    The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis *I think you would like this one because it has a thriller theme mashed with a post apocalyptic setting… the focus is definitely on the thriller aspects though.

    Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan *This is actually a non-fiction book, but felt like a medical thriller

    Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn

    The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

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    1. Thank you so much Amanda! 🙂 I read The light between oceans but I haven’t read any of the others so it’s perfect. And Renee recommended me The one in a million boy too, so I need to read that one for sure 😛 Going to check these now and add them to the TBR :O ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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