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Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday: The Monster at the End of This List

October 31st is right around the corner. Are you ready for Halloween? How do you usually celebrate the holiday? We're still in the middle (well, hopefully, nearing the end) of remodeling, so I'm not putting up any decorations this year. My 13-year-old is going to go trick-or-treating with her friends, my 17-year-old will probably hide out in his room, and the husband and I will likely attend a block party with friends who live on a street in our neighborhood that's apparently a lot more happening than ours! For TTT, we're acknowledging the spooky season with a Halloween freebie. My mind often blanks on open topics like this, so I'm excited to see what everyone does with it.

If you want to join in the TTT fun (and who wouldn't?), click on over to That Artsy Reader Girl for all the details.

When I was combing through my Goodreads TBR lists last week for my TTT list of Book Title Words That Always Catch My Eye, I noticed an interesting word popping up among my TBR titles: monster. I read very little horror these days, so it was kind of odd that I could find even one monster book among them, let alone almost ten. The fact that only one of them is in that genre made me think this might be a fun topic to explore today. So, here we go with:

Top Ten "Monster" Books On My TBR
- in no particular order - 

1. Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia—Eliza is the anonymous creator of a wildly popular webcomic with an equally popular (and carefully curated) online persona. The problem is that real-life Eliza is nothing like the Internet version. When a new boy moves into town, Eliza's tempted away from the safety of her digital community. And that's when everything starts to go wrong...I've read tons of rave reviews for this YA novel. It really does sound cute.

2. Monster by Michael Grant—I enjoyed the first six books in the YA dystopian Gone series. Monster, which came out in 2017 (four years after the series "ended"), is the seventh. It starts up four years (Coincidence? I think not!) after the dome disappeared, freeing the kids trapped inside. Now, meteorites are bombing the earth and spreading a deadly virus. Can the teens rally once again to face off against a terrifying new menace?

3. The Monsters We Defy by Leslye Penelope—Historical fantasy isn't my usual cup of tea, but I love this book's cover and the story sounds compelling as well. It stars Clara Johnson, a woman living in 1925 Washington, D.C., who can talk to spirits. Indebted to a powerful entity for saving her life, Clara accepts a risky bargain to free herself from its bondage. She must steal a valuable ring from D.C.'s wealthiest lady. It doesn't take long for Clara to realize she's caught up in something—both earthly and otherworldly—that is way more than she bargained for. 

4. Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier—Maybe historical fantasy is my genre because this MG novel also sounds really intriguing to me. It's about a young chimney sweep in Victorian London who defies death every time she goes to work. When her luck runs out and she's caught in a chimney fire, she thinks it's the end—until she wakes up in an abandoned attic and meets her unlikely savior.

5. Monster by Walter Dean Myers—This acclaimed YA novel is about a 16-year-old boy who is on trial for felony murder. Is he guilty or innocent? Is he really the monster everyone thinks he is?

6. Valentina Salazar Is Not a Monster Hunter by Zoraida Córdova—The Salazars take their job as protectors of magical creatures seriously, rescuing those who accidentally wander into the real world and making sure they get home safely. When Mr. Salazar is killed during a mission, his wife decides the family has risked enough. She moves her children to a boring little town where nothing exciting ever happens. When Valentina notices something strange in a viral video game, she knows the Salazars are desperately needed. Can she convince her family to find a magic egg before it hatches havoc on the world? Or are their days as protectors really over?

7. The Unidentified: Mythical Monsters, Alien Encounters, and Our Obsession With the Unexplained by Colin Dickey—I don't believe in monsters or aliens, but this still sounds like a fun read.

8. The Monsters We Make by Kali White—Based on a real-life crime spree, this novel focuses on the disappearance of a paperboy in a small Iowa town. Both a local police officer and an enterprising young woman looking for a way out are determined to solve the case.

9. Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen—Although she doesn't look like it with her blonde hair and blue eyes, 15-year-old Sarah is Jewish. This makes her a perfect tool for the Resistance. Posing as a student, she goes undercover at a posh boarding school for the daughters of powerful Nazi leaders. She's to befriend the child of the scientist in charge of making a deadly bomb and use her to steal the blueprints and stop the planned destruction. Can Sarah fulfill her dangerous mission without being found out?

10. Monsters by Ilsa J. Bick—The only real horror book on this list, Monsters is the final volume in a YA zombie series that I never finished. I loved the first novel, Ashes, so I'll give it a re-read then continue on with the series. 

There you are, ten "monster" books that I want to read. Have you read any of these? Which "monster" books would you recommend? I'd truly love to know. Leave me a comment on this post and I will gladly return the favor on your blog.

Happy TTT!


  1. I love your idea for a Halloween list:-) I keep hearing great things about The Monsters We Defy. I hope you get to read it!

    1. It sounds like a fun and unique read. I'm excited to give it a go. Hopefully it's as good as it sounds.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Tammy!

  2. I always decorate for Halloween, but now that the girls are older we don't do as much. It's more like harvest time decorating.

    Love how you decide to take this week's freebie, Susan. I haven't read any of these, but a couple caught my eye.

    Thanks for sharing and for visiting my blog today.

    1. My Halloween decorating is more like harvest time as well. I have a couple of ghost decorations, but they're cute not scary. When Halloween's over, I change them out for Thanksgiving stuff. I definitely don't do anything elaborate!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Cheryl!

  3. Love your list, haven't read any of them!! And BTW I love your blog, it looks amazing!!

    1. Thank you so much! My blog got a makeover last year and I'm really loving the new design. Glad you like it as well :)

      Thanks for popping in, Karlijn!

  4. Monsters We Defy has such an eye-catching cover!

    1. Doesn't it? I really love it!

      Thanks for stopping in, Louise!

  5. We used to decorate more for Halloween when the kids were younger, but since moving we've barely decorated. Mainly because we live in the back of our complex and get maybe 2-3 trick-or-treaters. This year my 14-year-old is torn, she wants to go trick-or-treating but she as other things to do on Monday nights.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier!

    Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!

    1. I usually put out a few cute Halloween decorations, but I'm using the remodel as an excuse not to bother this year! Ha ha. My 13yo wants to carve pumpkins, so we can put those out on the porch and call it good, I think.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Pam!

  6. It's a great topic for this week. Now I am curious if I have any books with "monster" in the title...I have two "Lost in Darkness" which is the first in the Of Monsters and Men series by Michelle Griep and "The Monster at the end of this Book" by Jon Stone. Have a good week!

    1. I love THE MONSTER AT THE END OF THIS BOOK, but I've already read it (numerous times), so I couldn't put it on my list today. I haven't heard of the Griep book. I'll check it out.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Cindy!

  7. Great pucks Susan! I hope you get to read them and love them all!🤗📚💜

    1. Same! I'm looking forward to all of them. We'll see how long it takes me to actually get to them, though. Ha ha.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Susan!

  8. What a great idea, Susan. And congrats to finding so many books with "monster" in the title. I haven't read any except for a German book called "Das Ungeheuer" that hasn't been translated but that could be called monster in English. LOL

    Thanks for visiting my TTT this week this week is a Top Thirteen of songs that can be played at Halloween.

    1. "Monster" isn't a word I generally look for in titles, so I was surprised by how many were on my TBR list.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Marianne!

  9. That's interesting how many "monster" books you found. It makes me want to look through my read list and see how many I find.

    1. Did you find any??

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Deanna!

  10. Terrific list of monster books! I like the look of Valentina Salazar Is Not a Monster Hunter

    1. It does look fun! I need to look and see if my library has it. I'm always up for entertaining MG books.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Wendy!

  11. The only one I've read from this list is Monster by Walter Dean Myers, which is fantastic.

    1. I've heard good things about it over the years. It's actually sort of weird that I haven't read it before now.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Helen!

  12. Added The Monsters We Defy to my TBR!

    1. Oh, good! I hope we both love it.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Cindy!

  13. What an interesting list, Susan! The titles and descriptions suggest that there are many quite different variations on the definition of "monster." Thanks for visiting my site, Notes in the Margin.

    1. That's what I noted as well! Some of the titles are referring to actual monsters and others to people. I'm guessing the central question they all ask is, "What is a true monster?" and that the answer is the one who acts like one, no matter what they look like.

      Thanks for popping in, Mary!

  14. This is a great list! I want to read Eliza and Her Monsters, but I'm not often in the mood for contemporary YA so it's been sitting on my TBR for quite a while now.

    Happy TTT on a Wednesday! My post:

    1. Yeah, it's not my favorite genre either, so I only read the ones that have gotten good reviews or just sound really compelling, like this one.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Nicole!

  15. What a great idea going with books with Monster in the title this week. It made me wonder if I've read any books with Monster in the title but the only one I could think of is Riordan's The Sea of Monsters, and the only book on my TBR list that would fit this category is Monster Hunter International, which then made me think I need more "monster" books in my life. ;D

    1. Ha ha. Don't we all?

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lark!

  16. Great topic! It had me going to my shelves to see if I had any "monster" titles. Sadly, no.

    1. Really? That's too bad! Like Lark, I think I need more "monster" books in my life :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Suzanne!

  17. Wonderful list, I really enjoyed Sweep! A few from my Monster's read list...The Monster's of Rookhaven by Kenny Pádraig, A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness and Monster's in the Mist by Juliana Brandt.

    1. Oh, good, I'm glad you liked SWEEP. It sounds really cute. I've read A MONSTER CALLS, but not the other two you mentioned. In fact, I've never even heard of them. I'll have to go see what they're all about.

      Thanks for popping in, Brenda!

  18. Oh I love that cover on
    Valentinia--I love the VW Bus.

    1. It's fun, isn't it?

      Thanks for stopping by!

  19. Now I'm curious to see if I have any books with "Monster" in the title on my TBR. I wouldn't think so but you never know! We decorated outside for Halloween but nothing inside though we used to do a lot. I've got some fall stuff I'm going to put out by Thanksgiving but my motivation isn't high!

    1. Neither is mine, to be honest! I feel like once we FINALLY finish getting the house remodeled, I'll want to go crazy with decorating for the holidays and for every day. We'll see. LOL.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Katherine!

  20. Eliza and her Monsters is one of my favorite books of all time!! Great post!

  21. Great idea for the Halloween freebie prompt! And I can verify that Eliza and Her Monsters is a great book :)


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