Top 5 Books I’ve Read But Don’t Own

Hey guys! It’s the third straight day that I’ve put up a blog post, and honestly, I’m pretty proud of myself for actually being able to do that. After today’s post, though, I should be going back to only two posts a week for the foreseeable future.

But you don’t care about that, do you? Today’s post is another of the 5-book lists that I am so fond of recently. This time, I’ll be talking about my favorite books that I do not own. This list is in no particular order because that would just be way too hard. Let’s get into it.

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Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Funny story with this book—I actually own the second book in this series, and I have recently bought the third, but I don’t yet own the first. This sort of thing actually happens to me a lot, where I own some of the books in a series, but not the whole series. Usually, it’s because I originally read some or all of the books in a series through the library, and once I found out I liked them, I decided I wanted to own them and started slowly collecting them.

If you haven’t heard of this series, you must be new to the book world. For one, I believe that the third book in this series came out only last month, and even without that, it seems like everyone has been talking nonstop about this series pretty much since it came out. And for good reason, because this series is amazing.

It is set on a magical island called Fennbirn that is ruled by a lineage of queens. Every generation, a set of triplet queens are born, each with a different magical ability—a poisoner, who can ingest the most lethal of poisons and survive—an elemental, who can control fire, wind, water, and the like—and a naturalist, who can control nature and befriend animals. The queens are raised separately, learning how to control and master their powers, but once they come of age, the battle begins. You see, only one queen can rule, and so the three sisters must kill each other until only one remains alive, and that queen is the one who rules until the next set of triplets arrive and the cycle repeats itself.

This story is super dark, and all three of the queens are so complex and relatable in different ways. Plus, the writing is beautiful. I can’t wait to read the newest book.

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 The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

This is the first book in a trilogy that I, once again, read through the library, but I don’t own any of the books in this series. I also read these books a very long time ago—they were some of my absolute favorites when I was a kid, but I don’t remember much about them anymore, other than that I loved them, of course.

The premise of the first book is that an ad goes out asking for “gifted children looking for special opportunities,” and only four children out of the dozens that enter end up passing all the tests. From there, there’s adventure and mayhem. It’s a very charming book (and series) with quirky characters, as middle grade books tend to be. I remember loving it, and honestly, I should probably reread it, if only so I can give you guys a clearer understanding of what it’s about.

I haven’t heard anyone talking about this series, probably because it, or at least the first book, came out over 10 years ago now, but I would absolutely recommend that you give it a try, even if you’re not in the “middle grade” age range.

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

I’ve already talked about this series on my blog, but it fits into this category (it’s another series I read through the library—go figure, right?), so I figured I should talk about it again.

This book series is set in an alternate history, steampunk version of World War I, where the Allies have giant whales that can float and the Axis powers have huge war machines called walkers, kind of like tanks with legs instead of tracks. The Allies in this world are called Darwinists (because their fabricated creatures, as they’re called, are based on the work of Charles Darwin, and they splice the DNA of different creatures together to create these new, strange animals) and the Axis powers are called Clankers.

The two main characters in this book are Deryn Sharp, a girl who disguises herself as a boy named Dylan in order to join the air force and become a midshipman on one of Britain’s giant airbeasts, and Alek, the son of the assassinated Archduke Ferdinand who is being hunted by people who are supposed to be on his side, and who may hold the key to ending the war in his blood. Both of these characters are great, and the friendship they form is amazing. I believe that this series is technically YA, but to me, it tended to read more like middle grade (and I’m not just saying that because there are illustrations throughout—which are beautiful, by the way), but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. This one was a pretty popular series a few years ago, so you may have already heard of/read it, but if you haven’t, I would definitely recommend it.

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Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

It just wouldn’t be a recommendations post if I didn’t find a way to include a Brandon Sanderson book, now, would it?

Brandon Sanderson is an auto-buy author for me—in fact, he might be my only true auto-buy author—so it’s a little weird that there’s a book by him that I have read and do not own, but this one is kind of a special case. I didn’t read it through the library, but through Brandon’s own website. Back when Warbreaker came out, he released it, in its entirety, on his website. I didn’t read it when it first came out because it came out before I discovered Brandon Sanderson, but when I read it, it was on his website. (And I believe it’s still there—if you’re interested in checking it out, here’s a link to the first chapter. ) The best thing about the online version is that it’s not just the story. Brandon also included notes on each chapter, telling you what he was thinking when he wrote it, which I thought was really cool.

I do plan on buying this book someday because, well, it’s Brandon Sanderson. I don’t think I really need to say any more than that. I will warn those who may want to read this book, though—most of Brandon’s books tend to lean YA in theme and content, even though I don’t think the majority of them are explicitly YA, but this one, at least to me, was definitely more adult than his other books. It’s a story about a girl who is forced to marry a foreign king and her sister who tries to save her, so take from that what you will.

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Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Wow, a second Scott Westerfeld book on this list. I didn’t realize I had done that until I looked up the author for Uglies just now. Apparently Scott Westerfeld is a “like but not enough to buy the book immediately” kind of author for me. Interesting.

I actually think I like this series less than Leviathan. It’s a dystopian series set in a world where normal human imperfections are seen as ugly, and so people basically undergo really intense plastic surgery to become “pretty” (with some spoilery addons included). Apparently, a new book set in this world came out recently/is coming out soon.

I read all the books in this series, including the companion book called Extras, and from what I remember, I liked the first book a lot more than any of the other ones, so that’s the one I’m recommending here.

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That’s all I have for this post today, guys! Let me know what books you loved that you don’t own! Also, do you have a library card/do you like libraries? As you can tell, I really love mine.

Thanks for reading! I’ll see you on Friday!

-Ariel

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