Good morning, book friends! A recurring question I get asked is what are some of my favorite books? In today’s blog post, I thought it would be neat to explore my Top 5 favorite books (as of right now, ha!), and later do a post about some of my favorite authors and how they inspire me. I hope you enjoy!
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
A heroic story of friendship and belonging. Ponyboy can count on his brothers. And on his friends. But not on much else besides trouble with the Socs, a vicious gang of rich kinds, whose idea of a good time is beating up on “greasers” like Ponyboy. At least he knows what to expect – until the night someone takes things too far.
Eventually I will write an actual review post on this book. But that can only happen after I stop flailing over its magnificence and write down coherent thoughts. I started this book at my cousin’s house. She was having to read it for school and it was just laying on the window seat in their house. I picked it up, thought I would read the first two pages to see what I thought about it, and ended up ignoring my cousin and siblings for hours because I was completely immersed in this story. I didn’t get to finish it before we left (mainly because I realized ignoring family members even if a book is phenomenal doesn’t go over well, ha!) and forgot about it for a couple years after. Then one day in Barnes and Noble, I happened to see a copy, picked it up, realized what book it was, and begged for it for my next birthday. My sister, Rylee, got the book for me and since then, it’s been one of my favorite books ever. The story is raw, the characters are realistic and believable. The author is an expert at giving you bittersweet endings that really make you think. If you haven’t read this book yet, please consider picking it up!
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the wild and remote areas, and rumor has it that somewhere Djinn still perform their magic. For humans, it’s an unforgiving place, especially if you’re poor, orphaned, or female. Amani Al-Hiza is all three. She’s a gifted gunslinger with perfect aim, but she can’t shoot her way out of Dustwalk, the back-country town where she’s destined to wind up wed or dead. Then Amani meets Jin and with him finally has a chance to escape. But though she’s spent years dreaming of leaving Dustwalk, she never imagined she’d gallop away on a mythical horse – or that it would take a foreign fugitive to show her the heart of the desert she thought she knew…
I love love love love LOVE this book! It’s book one in a trilogy, and while I still have yet to read the third and final book, it’s solely because I’m not ready for the series to end. Alwyn Hamilton gives us a fresh heroine who is harcore and sensitive, without her sensitivity being seen as a weakness. Her story setting is unique, and all of her characters are realistic. This book isn’t as renowned in the USA as it should be, so if you haven’t read this series, STOP READING THIS POST AND GO GET THE BOOKS. Seriously. I need someone to fangirl with.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price – and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone… A convict with a thirst for revenge. A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager. A runaway with a privileged past. A spy known as the Wraith. A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes. Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction – if they don’t kill each other first.
So I won’t go into too much detail here, just because I recently wrote a book review on Six of Crows, which you can find here for more information. But this is book 1 in Bardugo’s Six of Crows duology, and it is one of the best books I have ever read. Dark, mysterious, and lots of political intrigue…
Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon
My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the outside world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla. But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean, and wearing all black – black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly. Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I, Maddy, am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.
THIS BOOK!!! When I started this book soon after it came out, I didn’t think I was going to love it as much as I did. But I absolutely fell in love with Maddy, the main character, and I also fell in love with Yoon’s writing style. It’s simple and raw and authentic. The chapters are “bite-size”, so it’s easy to read a lot without feeling like you are. And the ending of this book just rips your heart in half. It’s amazing. There’s also a movie out, although it isn’t quite as good as the book, in my opinion. 😉 (Also, writing about it totally makes me want to have a reread? Guess what I’ll be reading next week…)
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King. To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences. As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.
I just read this book last year, after a dear friend of mine begged (and eventually, threatened) me to. 😉 I was a little bit nervous going in because all I’d read from Black before was her Spiderwick Chronicles back in middle school, and I didn’t like them all that much. That being said, this book drew me in from the very first chapter, and I could hardly put it down after that. Black creates an enticing fantasy world with political intrigue, a hate-to-love romance trope, and family ties that waver and strengthen all at once. If you love fantasy with some darker elements, you’ll probably enjoy this book.
Honorable Mentions: Vicious by V.E. Scwab, Asunder by Liz Steinworth, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, and The Secret Lives of Introverts by Jenn Granneman.
Please share some of your favorite books below! I’d love to discuss your favorites with you, as well as get more reading recommendations!