I had to participate this week because it’s like an experiment. Will these 10 books still be on my list in 6 months? Will they be bumped by something else amazing? It’s hard to say and I love the mystery. (Even if I am an impatient person.) I know I am so pumped to see what everyone else is listing today too so, as always, thanks so much to The Broke and Bookish for hosting. 🙂
the five stars
I have a post coming up about this subject (the PERFECT books) but for now, I’m sharing with you the three I read this year so far. I can’t imagine any books really topping them. SO I CHALLENGE YOU BOOKS. Can you possibly be better than these?
(1) Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour
LA setting, a main character with the coolest job ever, a unique love story, a great friendship — I could go on. From the minute I started this book, I was totally sucked in and once I finished, I was ready to give Nina’s other book, The Disenchantments, a second chance. I think that says it’s all right there. The writing of this book is SO seamless. It deserves all the readers.
(2) Pointe by Brandy Colbert
I haven’t had an emotional reaction to a book like I had to this one in a long time. Theo is dealing with her best friend returning from a kidnapping, auditioning for dance schools, and surviving the rest of high school. What struck me so much about this book was Theo’s journey to find herself worthy of anything really and also how brilliantly paced her growth was unveiled through the writing. Small details, small epiphanies piecing the story together. It’s truly a masterpiece.
(3) There Will Come a Time by Carrie Arcos
A book about grief from the POV of a male narrator who has lost his twin sister in a car accident. (Interested in the Diversity in YA campaign? The main character and his family are Filipino.) There’s a bucket list, a girl best friend, a supportive family feeling out this tragedy together and apart, and a school project that really kept the book moving. I cried on the subway, I laughed, and I even swooned. Such heartfelt honesty = blew me away.
the ones that didn’t come out this year
(4) Sorta Like a Rock Star by Matthew Quick
I bought this one last year, and it was originally released in 2010. The main character was a bit hard to connect to in the beginning so much that I got a little nervous I wouldn’t finish but I’m glad I hung on. A story of kindness, tragedy, and moving forward with some of the most vivid personalities I’ve ever met in my books.
(5) Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos
I don’t like to compare books to one another much but if you enjoyed WINGER, I think you should try this one out. The character has a unique voice, dealing with depressing, first love, and family. Underneath the sadness there is a layer of comedy and I enjoyed that balance. (I actually lent this one to my mom when I finished.)
(6) Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
I was petrified to read this because I heard about how much of a tearjerker it is. Don’t get me wrong; it’s definitely a sad story but the main character is more spunky and quirky than I ever could have imagined. There are amazing little details, wonderful friendship blooming, and even that complicated relationship between sisters (and also the one parents have with each of their kids). Everyone was right about this book but I want to make sure I say more than YES IT’S SAD. It’s so much more than that.
the final four: why haven’t you read these yet?
(7) Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
Everyone is going to have this one on their list, and I’m guessing it will have a lot to do with Reagan and Matt. I loved them together, I did but what really sold me was the honest relationship between Reagan and Lilah. Friendships like these don’t happen every day, especially after wading through all of this crap. But Emery has all the layers down and had me feeling so much. Hands down, one of the best gal friendship stories I’ve ever read.
(8) The One and Only by Emily Giffin
I’m just as surprised as you are. Really. This love story is so unconventional but if love football and complicated romances… Emily has a slam dunk with this one (after a few misses). She writes a lot of exposition in her books (just a reminder) and once I settled in, I read this (very large) book in less than 24 hours. The main character goes through quite a journey (friendship, family, career, love) and tries to deny her heart so many times in hopes of not hurting other people. This one is definitely worth your time. (I do suggest buying the eBook though because the hardcover is super heavy.)
(9) The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner
It’s important to remember the characters in this book are 15 years old. Because they act like 15-year-olds do. They don’t over-complicate what you might think but Frankie is still reeling from the drowning of her little brother and thinks she has found his soul in the new boy she is baby-sitting for the summer. His name is Frankie too, but you can call him Frankie Skye. This book is about the surprising people who come into our life and help us move forward.
(10) Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu
Online communities, body image, broken friendships, parents/kids, secrets, loneliness — there’s a little bit of all of this in LBC. Imagine you think you’ve found your safe place and you realize it’s not quite that safe after all. That’s exactly what happens to Tab when she “gives” a secret and is given a task from the online community she has joined. It doesn’t feel like bravery anymore when you are affecting the lives of the people you love.
bonus (can’t help myself)
** When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds: loyalty, family, friendship, Brooklyn. Packed a punch for a short book (and had me crying).
** The Things You Kiss Goodbye by Leslie Connor: first love, culture clash, finding yourself. Great characters, gorgeous writing.
♥ ♥ ♥
Oh gosh. That was so hard. I’m already thinking of 2 titles I’m missing.
Hope you’re convinced to add a few of these to your “must-read” list! Can’t wait to read everyone else’s picks!