As I was making my summer reading list ( coming soon! ), I was reflecting on the books I've read so far this school year, and I realized that I have read a lot of great ones. So, below, I'm recapping the top 5 books I've read this year.
Number 5: Boy 21
I picked up Boy 21 after a website recommendation and in hopes of inspiring some of my reluctant male readers to try something. I was a bit skeptical about liking it because I really don't care about basketball. I was hooked by the struggles the characters went through and how they grew and changed because of it. If you don't like basketball, don't worry: there's plenty of drama, romance, complications, struggle, and survival to keep you invested -- but not enough that a basketball loving boy would stop reading it either. I loved how the main character, Findley, grew up over the course of the book and learned what's really important. This book was a delightful surprise for me and one I highly recommend!
Number 4: All the Bright Places
I also found this book through a website recommendation and was hooked by Amazon's comparison to The Fault in Our Stars and Eleanor and Park, two other book loves of mine. Violet and Finch are both quirky characters with unique and vibrant personalities and these kinds of characters are what make me fall for a book. Add to that the themes of growing up, first loves, and mental health and this is a winner. If mental health isn't close to your heart like it is mine, you will still love the way Niven develops the characters and how the story unfolds. A must read if you like Young Adult Fiction.
Number 3: Stolen
I was really skeptical about this book as well. It was recommended in Penny Kittle's Book Love (which is also a totally fantastic read!) and wasn't sure how I felt about reading a book about a kidnapping. I wasn't keen on the idea of reading a really creepy book (never watched a horror movie in my life!) and didn't want anything heinous to happen to one of the characters. I was totally surprised by this book. I loved the way the author handled the situation in what felt like a realistic and yet engaging way. She didn't victimize the kidnapped girl or demonize the male kidnapper and that made me need to keep reading. Was he such a bad guy after all? Will she ever escape? Does she still want to? If you like mysteries then this is for you!
Number 2: Red Queen / Glass Sword
Technically two books, but I am pretty obsessed with this series. I discovered Red Queen before it was really popular, at least in my area, and, since I've read it, it has spread like wildfire across my classes. It is a lot like many of the other dystopian novels that are so popular, especially my all time favorite, Divergent. I read this series at the same time as The Young Elites ( if I had a top 10 this would have made it! ) and they have many similarities -- magic powers, dystopian themes, and strong female leads. If you love dystopian novels, strong women, conflicted characters, struggle and growth, twists and turns, and romance and love triangles, well, you must read this. This is pretty much a tie with number 1!
How long do you think Aveyard will make up wait for book number 3? I'm dying here!
Number 1: Delirium Series
This year I discovered Lauren Oliver through this series and I haven't looked back. She is now one of my all time favorite authors and that is in large part due to this series. First, I think it is SO COOL that these novels are based in Portland, Maine. Second, it is another dystopian novel and I'm a sucker for that. Third, the premise of the story ( love is a disease and you are given an operation to remove your ability to love so that society stays safe ) is fascinating to me. I love that throughout the book Lena, another strong female lead, must learn to question everything she's ever known and, of course, she experiences love for herself, while also challenging society and discovering long buried family secrets. If you love action, dystopian novels, romance, or just want a great read, you need this book in your life!
I'm dying to know: What were your top reads of this year?
"'Have you really read all those books in your room?' Alaska laughing- 'Oh God no. I’ve maybe read a third of ‘em. But I’m going to read them all. I call it my Life’s Library. Every summer since I was little, I’ve gone to garage sales and bought all the books that looked interesting. So I always have something to read.'" -John Green