TTT: Single-Word Titles

I definitely did not realize how difficult this week’s That Artsy Read Girl topic was going to be for Top Ten, but damn, okay. I made it even harder on myself by only choosing books I definitely wanted to shout about, too, which meant I was skipping past quite a few. And uh, yeah, let’s not talk about the fact that 7/10 aren’t even real words.

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Mirage by Somaiya Daud is one of my most anticipated books for whenever the heck the sequel is going to be released. Reasons to love it:

  • GIRL FRIENDSHIPS
  • women supporting women
  • friendship breakups, which never get talked about, and which are so important
  • intriguing politics
  • a classic “person B looks like person A, who happens to be royalty, so person B pretends to be person A in public, and person A is pissed off about all of it, but then whoops, they’re friends”
  • SPACE
  • written by & starring all POC
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You knew this was coming, don’t even lie to me. If there’s not a time in my life where I’m screaming about Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly, it’s because I’m deceased. Reasons to love it:

  • POC drag queen
  • an absolutely soul-crushing gay romance between a spy and a drag queen
  • YEAH YOU READ THAT RIGHT
  • the politics alone would keep me here, they’re so convoluted and wild
  • also reflects what’s going on in the current climate, which is a win for me
  • realistically flawed characters
  • incredible writing
  • gracefully discusses PTSD, the after effects of a war (later in series), and childhood trauma
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Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw was one of the first titles I thought of for this week’s topic because it was one of my hyped 2019 releases, and it 100% blew my expectations out of the park. Reasons to love it:

  • soft, snowy witchcraft
  • seriously, read this during the winter because the cold creeps into your bones
  • speaking of creeping: CREEPY AF forest
  • ghost boys
  • soft, slow romance
  • every day magic
  • it’s like reading a lullaby and a grimoire all at once
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Oh, I love that both of my winter books ended up near each other. Winterfolk by Janel Kolby is also one you should read during the winter, but it doesn’t have any magic in it. Reasons to love it:

  • characters that’ll break your heart
  • discusses homelessness in both how powerful that kind of community can be among each other & how terrible it is that we have so much of it in the world
  • not purple prose, but sometimes vague writing like swimming through a memory, and it’s really nice
  • very slow unveiling of plot twist that you totally don’t see coming
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This is going to sound weird, the fact that Furyborn by Claire Legrand is on here, after I introduced this list with only books I want to shout about. My review was four paragraphs long because there were a lot of things that bothered me, but I enjoyed it enough that I bought the sequel, and it still has some great moments. Reasons to love it:

  • kickass woman leads
  • TIME TRAVEL!
  • seriously, the plot in this is absolutely amazing
  • different perspectives of war from the oppressor & the oppressed
  • hella cool magic
  • trials to prove you’re worthy trope, and it’s well done
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Another sequel I can’t wait for is the one for Nocturna by Maya Motayne. Give me more magic, more Spanish vibes, more kickass women. Reasons to love it:

  • similar to Shades of Magic, but steeped in Spanish culture
  • very interesting magic system
  • traveling through time/space via door magic
  • written by & starring all POC
  • the best enemies to friends to lovers slow burn because the romance feels so deserved and doesn’t overshadow the friendship
  • seriously, though, THE FRIENDSHIP and respect they have for each other
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Becoming by Michelle Obama is a book I feel like everyone is still talking about and falling in love with, and, honestly, they should be. Reasons to love it:

  • uplifting tale of empowerment
  • discusses racial oppression in the US
  • discusses the racial disparity of higher education
  • inside look at the beginning of the Obama family & presidential years while still focusing on Michelle
  • inside look at all the good she accomplished while in office
  • I mean, Michelle Obama is a superstar, and that’s just that
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I remember the experience of reading Frankie by Shivaun Plozza so vividly, and it makes me furious that I still haven’t read any of her backlist or new books. Reasons to love it:

  • set in Australia!
  • there’s a tiny bit of romance, but it’s not the focus because INSTEAD SIBLING RELATIONSHIPS!
  • discusses the complexities and weirdness of having a sibling in such a realistic way
  • MC is a complete mess, but you root for her constantly
  • plot twists in ways you’re not expecting, but totally love
  • in the end, this is about a young girl trying to find her place in the world and realizing the only way she’s going to succeed at that is to actually give a damn
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Again, if I’m ever not shouting about Pacifica by Kristen Simmons, it’s because I’ve gone to a better place (hell) OR we’re finally doing something about climate change. Reasons to love it:

  • REALISTIC PORTRAYAL OF WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DON’T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT YOUR PLANET
  • pirates
  • begrudging friends to lovers, and it’s so sweet
  • discusses economic racial disparity
  • the rich still suck, and the poor are DONE with that nonsense
  • discusses overpopulation, the ocean becoming a literal trash bin, and the decline of the icecaps
  • seriously just come here for the climate change discussion, it’s perfect
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I’m usually shouting about Stephen Wallenfels books, and Deadfall was an excellent sophomore novel that’s going to keep me yelling about him. Reasons to love it:

  • complicated sibling dynamics
  • also brothers
  • discussion about “the system,” meaning removing a child from an abusive home and helping them through foster care
  • crazy thriller vibes
  • you’re not really sure how it’s going to end, and then it totally flips on you

And that’s a wrap! A lot of these are novels that I really, really love and am always happy to shout about. I hadn’t realized how few single-word titles there were, but how much I loved those that were.

What are some of your favorite single-word titles?

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Mary RYT 200 Tibetan Buddhism Gryffindor Part-time witch, full-time novelist. Lover of words, planets, dragons, and mountains.

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