Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, a book blog tag hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! Today's topic is a choice between talking about historical or future places in books. I'm not a big historical fan, as you guys know--it tends to rub me the wrong way. But I post so much about sci-fi I didn't think it was fair to do it again. So I'm going to try Top Ten Historical Fiction Novels I Actually Like, and share the rare picks that actually did grab my interest.
1) Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys. Ruta is a genuinely fantastic writer who deals in YA historical fiction, and this book, about the daughter of a prostitute living in 1950 New Orleans, proves her skill. I loved watching the MC, Josie, gain autonomy and a sense of self through the course of the murder mystery. Between Shades of Grey (WWII Lithuania) is equally good and vital in its showcase of a lesser known tragedy. I'm excited for Salt to the Sea (WWII on board the Wilhem Gustloff) this year!
2) Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little. This gorgeous forbidden romance with a spark of fantasy takes place in ancient Mesopotamia, 1759 BC. The second book in the trilogy is a "Waiting On" Wednesday this year. If you want a book even heavier on the fantasy that takes place in slightly more recent times, The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh is a comparable and incredible novel.
3) Blythewood by Carol Goodman. Okay, so this is much more fantasy than historical, but the historical aspect is a boon to the story. The 1911 New York setting for this YA paranormal adds a beautiful vibe, and it's all lovely.
4) Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson. This one is also heavy on the fantasy side, but it's dependent on the historical setting. Rae is one of my new favorite authors, and this YA fantasy about a girl with the power to sense gold during the 1849 Gold Rush showcases all her heart and character.
5) The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. So it's a WWII Holocaust story, and so that's a bit overdone at this point: this one is gorgeous and I will stand by it for-ev-er. It's from the POV of Death. Like, come on. You can't beat that. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne is another really good one.
6) The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi Durrow. This can be classified as contemporary, but I'm going to say that the 1980s is historical, especially since this book was published, you know, in the 2010s. It's a lovely and heartrending story about a biracial girl dealing with the aftermath of an awful tragedy. Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones is a comparable title.
7) Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee. Stacey broke out this past year as a wonderful new voice for diverse YA historical, and I am on board. Her debut follows two girls, one Asian American, one black, who dress up as boys to make their ways across the country during the 1849 Gold Rush. Gorgeous stuff. I look forward to Outrun the Moon (1906 San Francisco earthquake) this year.
8) Cleopatra's Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter. Vicky's stuff can be good, and I certainly enjoyed this one, about Cleopatra's daughter dealing with Rome's imperialism over Ancient Egypt.
9) Brazen by Katherine Longshore. Katherine's another high-ranking name in YA historical fiction, and this installment in her series about life in Henry VIII's court during the 1500s caught my interest. (I still need to read the others.) Very much with the intrigue and the romance.
10) Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman. 1930s Germany, here we go again: this time from the perspective of Hitler's 'niece' as she begins to question her loyalties. It's certainly a fascinating premise, and I think it was well-done, despite some sins of convenience.
There we go! Generally, I suppose this shows I prefer historical fiction when it's wrapped up in another genre or showing the POV of a marginalized group. I'm amazed I came up with this many titles! I want to be a well-rounded reader, though, and I'm glad I found these books.
See you again tomorrow, friends!
Image via ya-aholic.com.
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