Juliet Marillier’s Sevenwaters series holds a special place in my heart. I first read this one when it came out and completely fell in love. It helped that it’s a retelling of The Wild Swans, one of my favourite fairy tales. It was also I believe my first real introduction to the Fae beyond the realm of fairy tales. Their presence would be felt through the entire series and anyone who likes Celtic folklore and historical fiction/fantasy would do well to check this series out!
I picked up this book initially because I loved the title, which comes from the best stage directions ever from Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale. But what stuck with me is just how important a story it was, tackling rape culture in a way that said so much while also still being an engaging and entertaining story.
The biggest takeaway from this book that sticks with me know is how it showed how sexual assault should be handled – which is often not what actually happens. In the book, Hermione has support from her family, friends, and even the police. I wish it reflected reality more.
Along with YA, this list is apparently going to be a bit on the dark side, and not just when prompted! I read this book when it was the Oprah Book Club pick and fell in love with it then. I’ve seen re-read it several times and enjoy it very much.
Very little gives me as much light and cheer as a good romance novel and Pretty Face is one of my favourites. I’ve really enjoyed all of Lucy Parker’s London Celebrities series, particularly after having been to London myself, but this one is easily my favourite because it just hits all my favourite tropes and is such a fun read. When I was in a bad mood this year, I just started reading it to cheer myself up and, even though I had read it before, I found that I couldn’t put it down again until I finished it.