Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is: Books I’m Thankful For. Keeping it at six because these are the books that have made a huge impact on my personal and blogging life.
1. Dear Aaron by Mariana Zapata
I read a blog post a while back saying that female leads in romance novels are often put under the microscope, and our judgment on them, as compared to male leads, is harsher. Pretty much like in real life, then, huh?
Ruby is not the conventionally “strong” heroine, and I know this character did not receive as much love as MZ’s previous heroines. Ruby doesn’t have her shit together just yet. And you know what, that’s perfectly fine. Not everyone in their early twenties knows what they’re doing. In fact, most people in their early twenties don’t know what they’re doing. Ruby fumbles, questions her choices, and cries. But she tries. She tries every day, and while it might take time, she still grows because of it. And for me, that’s what makes her a strong character.
I relate to Ruby, not just because of her Filipino roots, but because I have been in her shoes. I’m still in her shoes. And while I love reading about the heroines who kick butt for a living, it was a balm to my heart to read about a character who has the same struggles. It feels like a validation that I’m not the only one going through it.
Thank you for giving us a character that’s so real and relatable. For giving us a character who still hasn’t fully figured out what they’re doing even at the end of the book. Because that is what life is about. Ruby will continue to have fears and doubts, but she will still go on.
And thank you for making me appreciate the little things. In a world where everyone writes poetic about the grand gestures, we forget that the little things can mean so much more.
2. Grip series by Kennedy Ryan
The Grip series was unapologetic in its depiction of racism, white supremacy, and police brutality yet it did not steal the spotlight from the budding romance between Grip and Bristol. It made me feel hopeful for a better future to read a book like this at a time when those issues mentioned are at its peak.
Thank you for giving us a romance wrapped up in multiple layers of reality. For giving it to us straight, raw, and ugly but still so beautiful. Thank you for opening my eyes even more and for making my heart feel full.
3. Pretty Face by Lucy Parker
I adored Lily Lamprey from start to finish. Like pretty much all women in the past and present, Lily gets judged for her appearance. Not just men, but some women as well, determined or presumed to know her worth, credibility, and respectability by the way she looks. She experiences it daily in her life but doesn’t let it affect her as much as it wants to. I admire her so much for her strength and resilience, and for staying kind through it all.
Thank you for kicking sexism in the butt. For continuing to stand tall and looking straight ahead. Lily reminds me that I’m the only one who can determine my worth. There will always be people who won’t like what I do, but that shouldn’t hinder me from doing what makes me happy.
4. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Thank you for bringing color and imagination to my life. I grew up with Harry Potter and became a bibliophile because of this story. They were the first books I read day in and out and the books that made me fall in love with reading. My childhood is yours, and you will forever have a special place in my heart.
( Amazon )
5. Cocktail series by Alice Clayton
This is the series that sucked me into the beautiful world of New Adult Romance. Wallbanger and the books that followed captured the exact kind of humor and sexual tension I love in my rom-coms, and I had no idea it’s what I want until I read it.
Thank you for Caroline and Simon, the chemistry, the perfect build up, and the feels. Thank you for making me fall in love with the genre and discovering more books I fell in love with.
( Amazon )
6. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (and all the wonderful variations and adaptations)
I would never have become a book blogger and hardcore romance fan if not for Pride and Prejudice and all the variations some amazing authors have written. There are too many to mention, but if you’re reading this and you’ve written a P&P variation or fan-fiction, thank you! Jane Austen, thank you for giving me characters I fall in love with even more each time I read this. Thank you for inspiring authors to write more stories about this book and inspired by it. And thank you for giving us Mr. Darcy. The moment that fictional man entered my life is one of the best things that has happened in my reading life.
How about you? What books are you thankful for? I’d love to see your lists, too! Happy Thanksgiving week to all my friends in the US. Thank you for being amazing and for taking the time to read my posts!