Top 6 Books Read + Top 4 Authors Met in the 5 Years My Blog Has Existed!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.
Every once in a while I participate in this one when I either
1) Like the theme, and/or 2) Have the time!
This week's topic:
Top Ten Books You've Read in the Last 3~5 Years

Last month, A Backwards Story celebrated its 5 Year Anniversary
(And now I'm kicking myself for not letting my giveaway overlap with today for you!).

When I saw that today's TTT topic was to list your favorite books of the last 3~5 years, I decided to twist it. I thought of books I had been introduced to since blogging. I only picked books that sprung immediately to my mind and didn't stop to think. Then, I rounded out the list with a few author I've "met" through blogging (This includes "meeting" via Twitter!). 

In Order of the Year Discovered...
(I thought this might be fun because you can also see how the blog's style has changed over time!)


1) HEART'S BLOOD by Juliet Marillier

I went into this book expecting nothing. Looking at my blog history right now, this was the fourth book I EVER reviewed. That alone makes it special. This had held a place in my heart since I was introduced to it. Most people will tell you that DAUGHTER OF THE FOREST (A great book, no doubt!) is their favorite Juliet Marillier book. I will tell you HEART'S BLOOD. It's based on my favorite fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast, and the magic has been essential stripped out of the tale. I like the fact that, rather than beastly attributes, our "Beast" is a man who suffered from a palsy as a child that left part of his body lopsided and awkward. It feels like it could happen in real life!
My Review

2) THE PRINCESS CURSE by Merrie Haskell

I ran into this book the second year I was blogging (The first REAL year, if you don't count my first year, really! I was REALLY blogging in Year 2!). This is one of my absolute favorite middle grade novels that I've come across. It made me an instant fan of Merrie Haskell, who I've also enjoyed chatting with via Twitter! I've bought and read all of her books because of this one. It's a mixture of The Twelve Dancing Princesses and Beauty and the Beast and the Greek mythological tale of Persephone and Hades, all mixed up into something original and new. I really like the way the main character was outside the tale, and then fell into a story of her own! (And if Merrie Haskell is reading this...I still want a sequel revolving around Ever After, hinthinthint!)

My Review

3) ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins

Another book read in Year 2, aka my "first" blogging year. Confession: I had no desire to read this book. ZILCH. The title and the cover didn't appeal to me AT ALL. Plus, it was teen contemporary romance. Not my genre! I was paying more attention to other bloggers and their opinions at this time in my life, however, and EVERYONE was saying that this was amazing. I had been in NYC for something or another and visiting one of my favorite used bookstores, Book-Off. They had a copy of this for super cheap and I decided to pick it up and see what the fuss was about since it wouldn't cost much to satisfy my curiosity. And then...I fell in love. I love the way this book isn't what it seems. It's not about a girl running around french kissing boys. Heck, there isn't even any kissing until towards the end! It's about falling in love with Paris, falling in love with a group of friends, discovering yourself. Um, and Étienne St. Claire should really be real human being, not just a book character!

My Review


4) THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern

Wow, yet ANOTHER book from Year 2, the first "real" blogging year! I had heard that this book was highly buzzed at BEA (At the time, I'd never been, so this was just hearsay) and it was going to be a movie...and the book was STILL an ARC, not yet published! We received a couple of copies of this at work and passed it around. Every single person who read this book loved it, even one of my co-workers who doesn't have high praise for many things! (He "98% liked the book.") This is definitely somewhere on the Top 20 of my all-time favorites, and I cannot wait for Morgenstern to publish another novel. Her writing is gorgeous and fresh, and this book is like nothing else I've read before! I'm not even going to describe it here because whenever I talk about it, I can't make it sound good...but it IS!

My Review

5) SHADOWS ON THE MOON by Zoë Marriott

I read this book Year 3. It was the first (or one of the first) books I ever imported from another country after discovering the fabulous website Book Depository. The author's books always come out almost a year early in the UK, then receive little to no attention when they're imported to the USA. It drives me crazy. Zoë Marriott is SUCH a good author and no one in the US really knows her because her books are impossible to find at a bookstore and aren't talked about. SHADOWS ON THE MOON is my favorite book by her. It mixes together fantasy, a twisted retelling of Cinderella like you've never seen before, and Japanese culture to bring about a dark, gritty new version of a very old tale. You won't see these things coming! I am so excited to one day return to other characters in this world/culture!

My Review+Guest Post with the Author on Changes for a US Audience!



This one comes from my fourth year of blogging, though I read the first book in the trilogy, THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS, during my second year. I wasn't completely obsessed with Rae Carson and her novels when I first encountered them. I really enjoyed meeting her at a signing with a favorite author, Tamora Pierce, however, and I re-read the book right before the second one came out and then appreciated it more. And when I re-read the first two books before the finale THE BITTER KINGDOM came out? Oh my word!! This is a book you will FULLY appreciate once you know the world and the characters. It gets better with every read because of all the sneaky groundwork that you don't see on your initial read. Each book in the series gets better and better, too. Rae Carson is a great writer of high fantasy for teens, and THE BITTER KINGDOM is the most powerful book of the three and was my favorite book of 2013! I cannot wait for her new series to debut this fall when WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER launches!

My Review




Okay, okay, this isn't even out yet. I haven't reviewed it yet. It shouldn't count. Hence, honorable mention! I cannot WAIT to gush all over this book when it debuts in May. For readers who have followed me for a while, you know I love fantasy and fairy tales. For those tuning in today, you also know that! You ALSO know that I'm a huge fan of Beauty and the Beast. This is one of my favorite retellings....retellings is a strong word, because it's so original and new, but it has all the important bits! When I finished reading this book, I just hugged it for a bit because I wasn't ready to let go or have it far away from me. It's ALSO a book killer, so don't read this right before reading something else you really want because it will give you a huge book hangover! Sarah J. Maas gets more and more impressive with every book she writes. HEIR OF FIRE and A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES both prove this, because she is at her best...and just going to get better!


(I have met lots and lots of amazing authors since starting my blog. Here are four of my favorites, people I get excited to see and talk to on Twitter! I'm sorry I only had a few open places, because I'd include so many more!)


I adore talking to Jodi Meadows on Twitter. INCARNATE was one of the first ARCs I ever received from HarperCollins, and I've been extremely lucky to receive an ARC of all of her books since then. I've helped promote her books since there was a scavenger hunt for the first book. I've helped  co-host read-a-thons for her with Alexa Loves Books. I ALWAYS love talking to Jodi when I see her online, be it about books, ferrets, knitting, or other random things! I love love love Jodi and promote her books all the time! I can't wait to talk to you guys about THE ORPHAN QUEEN this month!!!



Alethea is always so much fun to talk to! She's obsessed with fairy tales, too! She also runs a great series of YouTube videos featuring her Fairy Tale Rants. They're fantastic! I love chatting with Alethea online!

Alethea is also awesome when it comes to guest posts! She's visited A Backwards Story SO many times over the years: I've interviewed ENCHANTED cover designer Christine Kettner and interviewed Alethea on ENCHANTED. She's done guest posts on...
Messenger, or the Missing Chapter from DEAREST
"I Dedicate This Post to You"
"Families in Fiction"
"The Real Peter Woodcutter"

 She's also shared a flash fiction piece entitled "Well Behaved Mermaids Rarely Make Fairy Tales"

AND two of her Fairy tale Rants,one about Rapunzel and one about Cinderella and how it inspired her novel ENCHANTED!

I always adore seeing what comes out of her head and love looking forward to our encounters!



Cindy Pon is another author with a lot of personality that I love chatting with! The topics can be all over the place! I was originally attracted to her books because Hello, Pretty Kimono! But I quickly realized what beautiful, lush fantasy she wrote, and the wait to SERPENTINE this fall is a long oen because I've been waiting for a new book from her for so long! Cindy is also an AMAZING painter and absolutely adorable in person! I'm really hoping to run into her at BEA...or stay for the frits day of Book Con solely to see her!



I don't get to chat with Zoë a ton on Twitter because of time zone differences, but I always enjoy seeing her when she's on! I've imported the majority of her books from Book Depository either because I couldn't wait for them to come out in the US, I liked the cover better, or both! I wanted to wait until her new trilogy came out in the US to support them here and help the series get popular, but they're so hard to find and it means waiting FOREVER for each book to come out! GAH, first world problems. ^.~ I really enjoy how personable Zoë is, however, and always love teaming up with her for Fairy Tale Fortnight! I can't wait to see more details on the new book she keeps mumbling about!!!


What are your favorite novels of the last 3~5 years? ^_^