So I’ve been on WordPress since 2015 and I’ve been throwing out book reviews and recommendations for a while, but I’ve never gone ahead and made a yearly thing where I throw together a few of my favorite books I like to recommend on the fly and such.
(Not so much books I read this year, but books I just recommend in general, which can be expanded upon each year.)
So, we’re going to give this a try. Will I continue it next year? We’ll just have to see.
Without further ado, some books I think you should read:
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
- You all know how I am about my Historical Fiction, but Sepetys continually churns out some great additions to the genre. If you start anywhere, start here. It’s about the tragedy of the Wilhelm Gustloff, a much-forgotten ship that sank during World War II. You see the journey through the eyes of four very different individuals, and you’ll watch the disaster unfold through their eyes. It hurts, but damn is it a good read.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
- You may know this one from the movie (which I’ve yet to see), but this is a story about a group of black women living in a time where segregation and inequality is still rife and accepted in the world, and a white girl raised by a maid that disappeared who wants their story to be heard. It’s a hunker of a book, but Aibileen, Minny, and Skeeter make it a wild read.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doer
- Told between alternating perspectives of a blind girl in France and an orphaned German boy shipped off to Hitler Youth, it takes place during the years of World War II and how the war affected these two children in different ways. It might not seem like their stories connect beyond the war itself around them, but as you read it, you’ll find they connect more and more to one another than you might have thought.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
- Coming out in 2018 as a movie called Love, Simon, when I first read this book I ended up staying up all night just to see how it ended. Simon is just such a witty, awkward, and loving guy that makes one heck of a mistake with a jerk and you spent the book alongside him dying to know who the actual hell “Blue” is. (Don’t worry, you won’t be left hanging. Well, not exactly.)
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
- The only thing I hate about this book is how long it takes to type the title out. I love the title itself, and the book, but jeez. It takes forever! Ari is an angsty teenager, Dante hates shoes, and they somehow manage to become friends. There are bumps, highs, and wonderful development between two boys that have nothing in common at first glance.
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
- I could sing praises about this series forever. It’s about a group of rich boys — one boy’s looking for a dead king, one’s trying to make his own way, one just wants to be with his friends, and one’s living a life that should only be in his dreams — and a girl with a family of psychics who are all just trying to figure out life as it comes. For me with this series, it’s not so much the journey as it is the characters, and I’m so emotionally invested it’s not even funny.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
- It might just seem like six thugs and one great heist, but it’s so much more than that. You get clashing personalities and complimenting skill sets and a lot of ministrations for said great heist to take place, and you’re kept on your toes for a good amount of the story. Just make sure you have the second one handy, because you might not be done when you’re done.
My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison
- More on the light-hearted, funny side of fantasy. Savannah Delano gets not a fairy godmother, but a fair godmother, which isn’t quite as the name suggests … and from there things just start going wrong. I thought it was hilarious, myself.
The Martian by Andy Weir
- Read this one for the first time this year, and you probably already know it’s about a guy stranded on Mars, but the actual story is so much more than that. If you love survival stories, or just a guy with the best sense of humor I’ve ever seen in literature, then this is the book for you. Even if you’re not big on Sci-Fi, you really should give this one a chance. Mark is wonderful.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
- It’s pretty reasonable to expect the world to dissolve to the internet with how fast everything is happening, so when you have a chance to own that very internet that the world has become, why wouldn’t you at least try? Great if you really liked the 80s, too.
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