Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week they provide a topic and you are free to use that topic and/or variations of that topic to make your top ten list. You don’t have to do all ten. Instead you can do three, five, fifteen, whatever you want. A full list of the weekly themes can be found here.
This week’s theme is Halloween Freebie. Now, with November nearly upon us we know what that means, right? NaNoWriMo is about to suck all my thoughts away down a well of plot holes, overly physical romance, and sloppily written stabbings. That leads me to this week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme, Books That Inspire Me. These are titles that have given me a spark of imagination, inspiration, and hope for my own writing.
A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire (Blood and Ash #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout – I bring this series up so often I’m sure you all are sick of it but I just adore it. This book has such strong and vibrant characters, a setting you can practically reach out and touch, and a lovers-enemies-lovers romance that makes me want to fan myself. These concepts and how this story made me feel is highly inspirational to my own writing and is truly what pushed me over the edge from trying to write YA to turning to NA which feels much more natural to me.
A Heart so Fierce and Broken (Cursebreakers #2) by Brigid Kemmerer – The characterization in this story is something that really got my mind turning. There is a careful yet engrossing character development within this book from multiple characters that I just couldn’t look away from. I was fascinated by how Grey and Lia’s journey had them grow so much yet still stay true to what they knew was right. If I can write characters half as fascinating as these two I will feel accomplished.
The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller – This book makes my list for very different reasons than the previous two. When I picked up this novel I had such hope and was completely ready to love it. The concept of the femme fatale coming into the castle to woo and then kill the king and take over as queen of the kingdom really had me excited but this story ended up being a huge let down. Instead we had a romance, excuses, and a happily ever after. I wanted deceit, subterfuge, and a few steamy scenes to make it more interesting. This book inspires me because it gave me hope and wonderful ideas even if the story ultimately didn’t capitalize on them.
Reign of the Fallen (Reign of the Fallen #1) by Sarah Glenn Marsh – Here is the thing about this list, it isn’t a list of my favorite books, but concepts within books that inspire me. Within Reign of the Fallen we have something I really hadn’t seen much of before- grief being openly expressed and dealt with in a toxic fashion. It was so human and not something I had stumbled across in fantasy so vividly before. It is a reminder to keep your characters human. They aren’t perfect, they have issues and problems the same as the rest of us.
Roar (Stormheart #1) by Cora Carmack – Again, this is a book I liked but isn’t necessarily one of my favorites. For a long time I wasn’t a fan of a prominently displayed romance plot line within a fantasy novel. However, when I read Roar, it changed my mind. I loved the romance subplot of this book and how it was handled. The romance furthered the plot line instead of being its own separate entity like I had seen so often and I really enjoyed it. This book inspired me to seek out more romance in fantasy and I’ve come to truly enjoy it when it is done well. In my writing I hope to be able to embody this as well.
Morning Star (Red Rising Saga #3) by Pierce Brown – This book taught me something that I’ve come to love in my reading choices. It is the idea of “don’t be afraid to kill your darlings.” Brown kills his characters left, right, and center and puts the ones that are still alive through such horrible trials and hardships. He also allows them to make bad decisions and suffer the consequences of those choices. Brown taught me not to coddle my characters and that I don’t have to treat them gently. Often their hardships are what makes the reader love them and root for them and makes them sympathetic even when their actions are not entirely noble.
I loved thinking about and making this list. There are many more books than this that have inspired me but these are the ones that stick out most in my mind. It is important, I think, to remember that it isn’t only your favorite stories that can hold inspiration for you. In fact, my favorite YA SFF Invictus didn’t even make today’s list. You can find inspiration anywhere if only you are looking.
Happy reading! 🖤