Top Ten Books that Leave Your Heart Aching (In a Good Way)

Top Ten Tuesday is a Meme hosted by The Broke & the Bookish. Here’s my post for this Top Ten Tuesday:

Five Stories With Swoon-Worthy Romance (Gimme Heartache!)

Romantic HeartacheIt’s almost Valentine’s Day, and next to a romantic date, my favorite way to celebrate is with a book featuring a romance that leaves me breathless on those last pages. Here are my top five O2 snatching reads:

  • Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell- That last pages leaves us with just three words. If you’ve read the book, you know exactly what I mean. *sigh* My review.
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo- I’m pretty sure I tweeted about this. Gah. Kaz and Inej FOREVER!!! They must get together. I never pre-order a book seven months before it releases– unless it’s by Harper Lee OR the sequel to Six of Crows. My review.
  • Not if I See You First by Eric Lindstrom- This was one of those books that I could have immediately read over again when I reached the last page. The romance had so many hurdles to overcome. So much angst and drama. So great. My review.
  • Hawk’s Flight by Carol Chase – Yep. You were wondering when I’d bring that one up again, weren’t you? It has been a long time favorite, despite the fact that it’s out of print. This was a book that I’d read almost every year. Faith, love, politics, star-crossed lovers, a good guy who has to do the hard things, a philosophy debate. Man, I love this book.
  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor – I can’t help it. I feel like I was rooting for Karou and Akiva from the quote before the first chapter begins. So good. To me this story makes a great parallel to life in that there are these two groups at war over their differences — literally, the difference between them as creatures. Yet two people found the courage to see past those differences and cultivate love and respect anyway. Okay, I’m kind of talking you out of reading the story, but you should definitely check it out.

Five Stories that Love Being Single (Non-Love Heartache)

Non-Romantic HeartacheIt’s easy to get overloaded on the super sweet lovey-dovey stuff. If that’s you, here are five stories where romance is not the be all, end all:

  • Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein- A WWII story about a female pilot and a woman working behind enemy lines in France. Both strong, admirable women and one wild ride of a story. My review.
  • Sensible Shoes: A Story About the Spiritual Journey by Sharon Garlough Brown- this tale follows four women as they journey through grief, loss, and heartache. I want to attend their study sessions. Wowza. Really deep, really brave stuff.
  • The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway – a really fun sci-fi featuring mimes, scary goo, special forces, ninjas, and best friends. Wow, that doesn’t even begin to do it justice. It’s a super-fun read.
  • Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman – If you’re a big fan of YA, you’ve probably already at least heard about this book, if you haven’t read it four times. Shusterman won the National Book Award for his brilliant story about a boy facing mental illness. I loved this book, and wholeheartedly agree with its status as an award-winner. My review.
  • Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon – A boy looking for a favorite author stumbles onto a dark mystery. I’m grossly under-educated about Spanish history, but I loved this book set in 1945 Barcelona. Made me want to get out there and learn more history and also read more Zafon!
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About Kasey Giard

Kasey is a mother, reader and aspiring author. When she's not reading or writing, you might find her out on the water fly fishing, pretending she can keep houseplants alive, or talking with the family rescue cat.

12 Responses to Top Ten Books that Leave Your Heart Aching (In a Good Way)

  1. Great picks! I’ve heard a lot about Not If I See You First – definitely going to have to give it a shot! 🙂

    Check out my TTT.

  2. JJ says:

    I haven’t read any of these, though there are a few that I want to.
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/09/top-ten-tuesday-43/

  3. Jeanna says:

    Yes, I totally agree with you. Not If I See You First could easily be reread. I just finished it a few weeks ago and I can’t stop thinking about it! It was a great mix of angst and drama. So good! Happy reading!

  4. Wendy says:

    I like your take on this. I’ve only read three of them (Eleanor & Park, Challenger Deep, and Daughter of Smoke and Bone) and agree that they are all excellent examples of the two topics you covered.

  5. Joann Downie says:

    I just ordered Daughter of Ink and Bone, so it sounds like I need to get reading…LOL Nice list though, I have alot of these on my TBR pile!!

  6. jitty says:

    I love the way you went abut this weeks top ten! Very creative!

    I have always considered reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone; however, I have yet to pick it up. Perhaps it is time though 🙂

    • Kasey Giard says:

      Thanks! I feel like it’s one of those books you either love or hate. For me, it had a lot of the kinds of plot elements that made me fall in love with Final Fantasy VII and VIII. But… not sure if that translates for everyone. Hope you enjoy it, if you do check it out!

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