I’ve written two previous posts in this little series of mine (Liked This? Read That! one and two) but it’s been a while since I visited it. I’ve written this one up by trying to include some of the books I’ve read and loved recently as well as some beloved And On She Reads classics. So far this year I’ve read 49 books and you’ll see several of those reflected here, because I’ve largely been lucky this year with the quality of what I’ve read.
I look at this post similar to any other recommendations we make when someone might have enjoyed something else. I’m not a wine expert but I can make book recommendations based on previously enjoyed – or planned TBR – books. I also am always happy to do this on a more individual basis if you want to contact me for help. I read a wide variety of books, and that comes in helpful writing things like this.
So let’s get started.
I know I mentioned this as an adult fantasy alternative, but now I’m recommending it as the starting point. The book has been out for a fair while and has grown in popularity, even if SJM does keep making us wait for book two! I actually read this book before I even knew much about Sarah J. Maas or her writing; I was attracted to the themes that were shared in the synopsis, and it was my first adventure into an adult fantasy world. It was wonderful to see themes like magic feeling a bit more grown up; I’m a big fan of YA, don’t get me wrong, but for someone who hadn’t read fantasy in years, it was exciting as hell. Review here.
From Blood and Ash
This has swiftly become another series I’m really passionate about. I reviewed the third book yesterday, and I’ll share the links to all three of the books below, because yes, three out of the four books are already out, so if, like some people I know, you prefer to have access to all or most of a series before you start reading, then this might be a good place to look. Although the magical aspects of things don’t become more prominent until the later parts of book one and onwards, the way the magical system works, and everything that goes with it, is truly unique, and that is what I really loved about both these books.
From Blood and Ash
A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire
The Crown of Gilded Bones
This is another trilogy (reviews for book one, book two, book three), with a standalone book due out later this year. A teenage girl gets in to an exclusive school on the basis of wanting to solve a mystery that has haunted the place for a lifetime. But things are never as simple as they sound, are they? With a strong female protagonist and a cast of unforgettable supporting characters, these books are absolutely brilliant for mystery fans of any age, and I can’t wait for the standalone, The Box In the Woods.
All Your Twisted Secrets
I reviewed this book a while ago, but it’s one of those that has stayed firmly drilled in my brain. A locked room mystery with twist upon twist, the layout of this book is what draws me to suggesting it if you liked Truly Devious, or any mystery at all really! Jumping between two points in time – both counting down, but to different things, this debut novel from Diana Urban has been popular from the moment it hit the shelves and I don’t see that dying down any time soon. It’s a brilliant book, and perfect for those who love to try and unravel what’s going on.
Sweet and Bitter Magic
This book took me completely by surprise by how much I enjoyed it. With a unique magic system and a slow burn sapphic romance to go with it, a journey of love in multiple ways plays out within these pages, full of twists and turns, as well as self discovery for both the two main characters, who soon find themselves more connected than either intended to be. I read and reviewed this for a blog tour, and have been talking about it ever since. Review here.
Another slow burn sapphic magical story, this twisted take on Sleeping Beauty was an ARC I won in a giveaway, and I’m so glad I did, as it ended up being a five star read, and one I want to shout about from the rooftops non-stop. I absolutely devoured this book, and it was simply breathtaking in so many ways. There are a lot of similarities between the two books, but also a lot of differences, in a complementary way. This could easily have been the other way around too, as they really should be book shelve buddies! Review here.
Cassidy Blake series
So far I’ve shared my reviews for book one (City of Ghosts) and book two (Tunnel of Bones) of this series, with the third review upcoming. Marked as middle grade, I think these are great books to tread the balance between MG and YA, but are enjoyable reads whatever your age. Creepy enough to feel spooky under a cosy blanket and witty enough to not terrify children (or adults for that matter), the author does a perfect job of finding a balance of many things in these.
Mina and the Undead
One of my top books of April, and of the year so far, this YA horror takes its roots from classical horror and thriller movies, ready to really spook you out. On top of that, it’s a throwback to the 90s, which I’m sure was only ten years ago… Right? Ahem. As a 90’s baby, I had so much fun reading this book because it really reminded of so many things I’d forgotten about (double denim, flannel shirts, Saved By the Bell…) as well as being so atmospheric in New Orleans. Again, the perfect balance between scary and fun, debut author Amy McCaw has made a real splash with her first novel, and I can’t wait for more from her. Review here.
I read this book last year, and it was one of those that well and truly stayed with me long after. The steady creepy feeling that grew throughout the book, waiting for something to go horribly wrong, was so perfectly gothic that even the title couldn’t have given it away. It was a brilliant read, if not slightly bemusing, all leading to an escalation that had my jaw dropping open trying to work out how we had reached this point. It’s one I still recommend now, and will continue to. Review here.
The Prison Healer
My review for this new release is going up soon, but in the meantime let me just say: wow. On the surface these books might not seem like they are very similar at all, but with things brewing beneath that surface that we’re not aware of at first, there are a lot of similarities, especially in the build up to a “how did we get here?” finish, just like in Mexican Gothic. The story is set in a fantasy / dystopian prison, so although it’s not gothic in itself, it holds enough components to be terrifying in more than one way. I gave this book five stars, so until my review, you’ll just have to trust me!
So there we have five more Liked This? Read That! books. I hope you enjoy some of these, and remember they can be picked the other way around as well. Enjoy!