Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
I was supposed to cover “top ten books I’ve read in one sitting” in this post, but it rapidly downgraded into a list of “some books I happened to read in one sitting” since they range from excellent, life changing reads to mind-numbingly terrible books. The common factor appears to be that I was trapped in some sort of enclosed space at the time that I happened to be reading that book with little else to do. Without further ado, I present the Top Ten Books I Read in One Sitting, or Some Books I Happened to Read in One Sitting.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Genre: Dystopian fantasy, YA
Whatever your feelings on this trilogy, the first Hunger Games book is notable for being the first I ever read in one sitting, way back in Fall 2010. I was home on Thanksgiving break from my first semester of college and the Hunger Games was just beginning its hype, so I decided to pick it up. Clearly, I couldn’t put it down, because, four hours later, I’d breezed straight through to the gut wrenching, pulse stopping end.
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Fantasy, YA
I read this through the night while my family was on a 15 hour car ride from Michigan to South Carolina. It certainly made the ride much, much more bearable. At the time, I was deep into writing my first novel (which was terrible, unsurprisingly) and I felt like Shadow and Bone was a window into my soul. It was exactly the book I was trying to write (at least contained many similarities) and I was so disappointed when I learned that the second book was not yet out. Siege and Storm turned out to be a little meh, but Ruin and Rising sealed this series as one of my favorites of all time for its heart wrenching characters and lyrical story telling.
The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy
Genre: 19th century British Novel, literary
I kid you not, I actually read this in one sitting. The things being an English major can do to you . . . The first semester of my junior year I took three novel intensive courses (19th Century British Novel, Fantasy Lit., and Civilizations of Literature) and I ended up with 37 novels to read in four brutal months, ten of them (from the British Novel segment, of course) being over 400 pages long. In a feat of sheer stubbornness, I actually read every single one of them. The Return of the Native came to me toward the end of that semester when my speed reading and comprehension skills were at all all time high. But I hardly needed the deadline to get me through this book. I couldn’t put it down. Wuthering Heights has been one of my favorite books for a long time, and to find a book that followed similar themes and tone–the ghostly, unearthly qualities of the moors/heath, a tale of romance and tragedy, etc.–was very exciting. So, for fans of tragic tales, romance, Wuthering Heights, horrible coincidences, ghost stories, and beautiful, haunting prose, this book is for you. Since that first night I read it, it has catapulted itself into position as one of my favorite books of all time.
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Genre: realistic fiction, romance, YA
I read this the summer after my junior year of college in one sitting and I cried. It is an emotional, heart-wrenching tale of abuse, first love, and overcoming. And it is painstakingly real. It is a quick read precisely because of those things, but it is also a book that lingers and brings you face to face with harsh realities in the world. I’ve definitely reread this a few times since then.
The Crown of Embers (Girl of Fire and Thorns #2) by Rae Carson
Genre: fantasy, YA
Christmas Eve 2015, I curled up in my bed in my apartment in Qingdao, China around 10pm after returning from Christmas festivities with friends, intending only to read for a half hour before getting some rest. Five hours later, a little after 4am, I finished the book feeling giddy and exhausted. In a triumph of sheer force, I did not start the third book since I only had a few hours before I was supposed to meet some friends for Christmas breakfast. Girl of Fire and Thorns was an interesting book, fast-paced, and fun to watch as Elisa grew from insecure princess to confident queen, but the romance doesn’t really pick up until The Crown of Embers, and if I’m being completely honest that is what drove me through this book in one night. There is nothing like a good, slow-burn romance to keep you reading.
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman
Genre: sci-fi, YA
This is one of those series that I have very mixed feelings about. I really liked These Broken Stars. Tarver and Lilac and their predicament was compelling enough that I actually read it twice. I loved the space-Titanic aspect and the two people of different social classes who “hate” each other and then fall in love thing could have been annoying, but I found it decently well done. It was a fun, sci-fi romp with some pretty intense consequences and emotions. All the books that followed were basically the same story with different names and I found myself completely unable to care.
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
Genre: realistic fiction, romance, YA
I don’t have much to say about this book. It wasn’t anything special, but I was on an airplane with no in-flight entertainment and it was an easy read. It was pretty fluffy, but interesting enough to keep me reading for the three hours it took to finish. The Sun is Also a Star is a romance that takes place over one day and explores the nature of connection with another person and how connections can so easily be missed. It also delved into topics such as interracial relationships and deportation.
The Girl with Borrowed Wings by Rinsai Rossetti
Genre: fantasy, YA
I don’t remember that much about this book since I read it in such a short period of time during a very slow work day back in the summer of 2014. But I do remember the setting and premise was different than almost anything I’ve read in YA before. I think the main character was an expat in a middle eastern country somewhere, and the folklore surrounding the story was middle eastern. Once again, the romance is what drove the reading of this book in such a short period of time for me. But my general memory of this book is hazy.
Stung by Bethany Wiggins
Genre: dystopian fantasy, YA
Again, I remember almost nothing about this book. Even less than The Girl with Borrowed Wings. I remember it was dystopian and the main love interest shared a name (first and last) with one of my best friends from high school which was extremely distracting. I do remember that I enjoyed reading it, that it kept me occupied on a slow day at work, but I didn’t like it enough to read it again or remember what it was about.
Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
Genre: regency romance
This one is extremely embarrassing to admit. It’s your typical regency romance where very little happens, the heroine conveniently sprains her ankle so the hunky love interest from her childhood is forced to carry her for a good 1/4 of the book, and all the mothers and meddling aunts realize the main characters are in love even if they don’t and force them into compromising positions. It reads much like fanfiction and is clearly written with a specific audience in mind. All other books by this author follow the exact same format and are not enjoyable to read after you’ve already consumed one of the books. But sometimes you just need to read something where you can completely and utterly turn your brain off. This certainly fulfilled that need.
What books made your list this week?