Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Best of 2010- My top books read this year!

2010 has been a wonderful year for reading for me as I've learnt about so many wonderful authors and books through blogging and been introduced to genres that I might never have tried before. I have chosen a top 5 and then another 5 of my favourites to make it up to 10. Within the two sections the books are in no particular order- it would be far too hard to choose! Almost all of my favourites are books I have read in the second half of the year after starting my blog, which is probably because I have been reading a lot more since then and because of the good recommendations I've had.

Note: Titles link to my reviews.

Top 5

The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson

A sweet love story that is loosely based on the fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty set in Medieval Germany . Rose Hathaway is a woodcutter's daughter who has been appointed by the town's healer and when Lord Hamlin, the heir to the kingdom is injured, she must tend to him.  When she falls in love with him, she knows that they can never be together for he is already engaged to a young lady who has been kept in hiding all her life.

This year I've discovered that I love fairy tale retellings and The Healer's Apprentice was such a sweet romance and I really warmed to the characters I also like the fact that it has Christian elements in it too. An amazing debut- all mothers and their daughters should read it!

The Other Countess by Eve Edwards

A YA historical romance that is set in Elizabethan times- right up my street! Ellie lives with her father who is an impoverished alchemist and Will is a young earl who must marry well to save his family's estate and wealth after his father frittered away his money. Will William choose duty over his heart?

This is exactly the kind of book I would describe as being what I love to read- a YA Tudor story of love against all odds. I couldn't put it down and I'm so excited about the sequel, The Queen's Lady which is due to be released in January.

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly 
Andi is a young girl living in New York and struggling to overcome her depression after the death of her younger. When she finds the diary of a young girl living through the French Revolution in an old guitar case on a trip to Paris, their two stories collide.

At first, I wasn't sure I was going to like Revolution but as I read on, I couldn't help but enjoy the intertwined story of Andi and Alex and it has made me want to read more books about the French Revolution.

In The Shadow Of The Lamp by Susanne Dunlap (review coming soon)

In 1864, sixteen year old Molly is a lowly servant in an upper class London house but she would do anything to change this. When she hears that the famous nurse, Florence Nightingale is looking for nurses to travel with her to the battlefield hospitals of the Crimean war, she takes the opportunity without looking back. Before she knows it, she is falling in love with a handsome doctor and a soldier.

I can't tell you how much I love Molly and her story. I very quickly warmed to her character and she is now on my list of fictional characters I would love to have as best friends. In The Shadow Of The Lamp is released in April next year and would be a wonderful choice for those of you who are participating in the YA Historical Fiction Challenge.

Matched by Ally Condie (review coming soon)

Seventeen year old Cassia lives in The Society; a place where officials decide who people love, where they work and where they die. She has always dreamed of finding out her perfect match but soon after she starts falling in love with another boy and she starts to question the world she lives in.

Matched took me to a new world which I am dying to find out more about and left me wanting to read more books in the dystopian genre.

A fictionalised story of Joan, the daughter of Elanor of Aquatine and Henry II, the King of England. She loves them both dearly but as she grows up and her parent's feuding continues, Jone begins to feel like a political pawn as she is forced into a loveless marriage to the King of Spain. Can she learn who she can trust before it is too late?

What I love about the Queen's Daughter is that it is very rich in description and detail but it doesn't saturate the story and Jon's emotions really come off the page.

Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper

Grace Parkes has just give birth to an illegitimate child and taking the advice of a midwife, she travels to Brockwood Cemetry to slip her baby into the coffin of a rich lady to save the shame of a pauper's burial. However, she must try and forget all that and do all that she can to help her and her older sister , who is unable to care for herself, scrape enough money together to pay their rent and food. Little does she know that the Unwins, a group of funeral directors she met at Brockwood will have a huge effect on their life. Fallen Grace paints a vivid picture of the harsh realities of Victorian London.

Mary Hooper has been one of my very favourite authors for a few years now but I thought Fallen Grace topped her other books.

Drawing With Light by Julia Green

The story of a teenager making sense of the world and finding out more about who she is.Emily and her sister Kat never knew their mother, she left them and her father when they were very young.
They, and Dad's new girlfriend Cassy are staying in a tiny old caravan over the winter while their new house is being renovated. But when Emily finds out Cassy is pregnant, it sets her off thinking about her own mother. Why did she abandon them? Why does she never communicate with them? Did she love them? Whilst she searches for the answers, she finds romance of her own.

I don't read many contemporaries and Drawing With Light was really refreshing and poignant. Julia Green's writing really captures the delicacy of teenage emotions. Some of the descriptions were beautiful too.


Crown Princess Ani has a special gift: she can communicate with horses and birds. However, living up to her mother's expectations and speaking comfortably to people is something she can't master. When she is sent to a nearby kingdom and her servants mutiny against her, Ani disguises herself as a goose girl on the King's estate. Can she find the courage to reclaim her rightful place?

I am so glad that I have discovered Shannon Hale and her lyrical writing!

Daughter of Fire and Ice by Marie Louise Jensen

After an attack on her family, fifteen year old Thora is snatched by a cruel Viking chieftain, Bjorn Svanson to accompany him on a journey to Iceland because she is a valuable healer and midwife. However, when he is killed by a slave who wants to avenge his sister, she and the slave who she  has seen in recurring dreams, they seize the dead man's ship to escape. Thora knows it is her destiny to be with this man and they soon begin to care for each other deeply. However, when things don't go to plan, circumstances mean it is impossible for them to be together.

I love Daughter Of Fire and Ice because of its originality because not many YA historicals are set in Iceland and also because of the impossible romance. The sequel, Sigrun's Secret is coming out in January and I will be rushing to get it!

Best new authors I have discovered  this year

  • Anna Godbersen
  • Shannon Hale
  • Celia Rees
  • Melanie Dickerson
  • Carrie Jones
  • Susan Coventry
  • Julia Green
  • Eve Edwards

What are your favourite books of 2010?

Edit: sorry for the jumbled up state of the pictures and writing earlier due to technical difficulties. I've now fixed it!


  1. Wow some fab books there! and lots that I need to look into ;) x

  2. i loved matched and I need to read the mary hooper book!

  3. This is basically a list of books I NEED to read in 2011. I'm so glad you enjoyed them! Now I'm even more excited to get to them :)

  4. I haven't heard of many of these but they look pretty good. I'm going to have to check them out when I get the time.

  5. Interesting choices. I'll have to check some of these out. My favourite book of 2010 was probably Mockingjay. I know a lot of people hated it but I thought it was the perfect conclusion to the series.

  6. I am getting so impatient to read Matched! Everyone seems to love it, ordered it from my library!

  7. Interesting choices. I haven't really kept a list of the books I've read this year, which I plan to remedy in 2011.

  8. Wow, great books! You just totally helped me rearrange my TBR. :)

  9. I must read The Daughter of Fire and Ice and Fallen Grace. I loved The Other Countess too. There have been great historical YA books published this year.

  10. Thank you for all your comments! I'm glad I've helped some of you with the list. :)

    Aylee- I haven't read any of the Hunger Games series but I really do need to!

  11. Becky- Yes, it used to be a genre with a very limited choice and I;m so glad that it has become more popular during the past year.

  12. I haven't read any of these except Revolution, but that was ace!

  13. Yay, I'm glad to see both Matched and The Goose Girl made your list! I have to get my hands on The Healer's Apprentice and Revolution at some point, and In the Shadow of the Lamp when it's released.

  14. Just thought I'd let you know, The Healer's Apprentice is available for FREE for a limited time as an e-book from Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Christianbook.com and Apple.

    So glad you liked the book, Stephanie!!! Thanks!

  15. I'm ordering REVOLUTION! It looks so good!
    Thank you so much for your supposrt about my friend - I really, really appreciate it.
    Also, I think I'm going to take part in that blog hop thing! Sounds fun!
    I really want to read the goose girl! Ahh pretty cover too!


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Stephanie x