Today I thought I would share a list of all the books I couldn’t put down, perhaps it was because they were full of so many twists I just couldn’t wait to find out the answers, or maybe due to their fantastic writing and complex characters. Either way these are the books I couldn’t stop reading!
The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
This one of my more recent reads and I was completely incapable of putting it down at any point and read it in one day. The story focuses on the remote Norwegian village of Vardo who suffers a terrible tragedy one Christmas Eve, the women of the village bind together to pull through the tragic events and become independent. Yet everything changes when a famous witch hunter lands in the village and the women’s lives and communities change forever. It’s a great story that explores the witch hunting frenzy of the 1600s in Europe and features a wlw romance.
Vicious by V. E. Schwab
It should be no surprise this book is here. ‘Vicious’ is a masterpiece of writing in my opinion and this book definitely solidified Schwab as ‘that author’ in my mind. The book follows Victor, an escaped convict, who is hunting down his ex-college roommate, Eli, whilst Eli hunts down those like him and Victor: EOs, those who gain extraordinary abilities after near-death experiences. It’s a dark, gritty tale that plays on the tropes of superpowers, superheroes and supervillain, and is all around just a fantastic story. I flew through this book and it’s sequel ‘Vengeful’ because it’s unlike anything I’ve ever read before.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
This is one of the books I read for ‘Asian Readathon’ this year and I’m glad I did because I read it within two days, it was just that good. The story follows Mrs Richardson and Mia and their families, the two mothers come from extremely different backgrounds and circumstances, but ultimately it’s a story about family and motherhood as well as exploring adoption and racism. It’s poignant and it’s stayed with me though I read it over two months ago now. You can read my full review here.
Circe by Madeline Miller
I’m sure many of you can relate to this addition, but for those who haven’t read it, ‘Circe’ is a story that focuses on the mythological figure of Circe. Daughter of Helios, god of the Sun, she is banished to a lone and isolated island when Zeus learns of and feels threatened by her powerful witchcraft. Miller manages to masterfully tell the story of woman figure who received little attention in ‘The Odyssey’ to give us a complex heroine we can truly love as readers. Like many readers I am a sucker for Greek mythology and complex heroines so it’s no wonder that I couldn’t bring myself to put this book down. You can read my full review here.
When You Were Everything by Ashley Woodfolk
I read this for my ‘Buzzfeed Recommends‘ series and so far it’s the only book from that series I’ve given five stars to. The story focuses on the past and ultimate demise of the friendship between Cleo and Layla, and what it means to lose someone you thought you could always count on for the rest of your life. This was a brilliant tale of friendship, forgiveness, betrayal, goodbyes and growing up, and it’s the sort of book that I wish had been around when I was a teenager, because it would have taught me so much.
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
Whilst I didn’t like ‘The Night Circus’ that much, I fell in love with this book. The book tells the story of a library, hidden far beneath the surface of the Earth and the lives of those who inhabit it. The doorways to this world are hidden, and Zachary has been searches for his door but doesn’t know it, not until a torn page from a book leads him to Maureen and Dorian, who lead him directly to it. But in the midst of this a battle is waging over head for the fate of the library, and so Zachary must venture deeper into the library to seek answers and the others. Whilst this book isn’t for everyone due to the way it’s structured I found it to be a gorgeous, imaginative story and I loved it. Read my full review here.
Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor
I read this in the summer of 2018 sat on a beach in Florida (do you remember when we used to be able to travel? Those were the days.) This became my favourite holiday read and then quickly my new obsession. For anyone who doesn’t know the story follows Lazlo, an orphan and librarian, whose obsessed with the mystical town of Weep, and he finally gets his chance to go when a band of warriors led by the Godslayer arrive. All his questions about Weep lay in the city, but so do more mysteries surrounding the blue-skinned gods in his dreams and in a tower high above the city. It’s a very “strange” book, with a beautiful writing style and a highly imaginative story that will suck you into it’s world.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
I read this in July for a readathon after it had been sat on my shelves for about two years, and I can now see what a crime that truly was. This book has everything. It follows the story of Aristotle and his friendship with Dante, the kind that lasts a lifetime, but Aristotle is also angry; he has a brother locked in prison, a dad still lost in a war even though he’s home and a family who won’t talk about it. Through their friendship Aristotle and Dante will explore the men they want to become and the truths of the universe and life. It was a stunning book with a beautiful narrative and I’m excited to read more from Sáenz, even if another book of his sucks in for a day and lets me do nothing else but read.
The Descendant of The Crane
Whilst not a story full of action, this had so many clever twists and turns in it’s narrative I found myself rushing through the pages to find the answers. Princess Hesina of Yan suddenly finds herself thrust into the role of queen after her father dies, convinced he was murdered she seeks the help of a soothsayer – a dangerous decision in a country where magic was outlawed centuries ago. But the walls are closing in on Hesina in an increasingly volatile queendom and she’s not sure she can trust her family, and seeking justice for her father may just cause it to come all crumbling down. What a book. This is full of flawed characters, twists and turns, and an intriguing political plot, it’s not like your usual YA fantasy. Read my full review here.
Lanny by Max Porter
The audiobook for this was one of the best things I’ve ever listened to, and whilst the writing is superb, it is truly the narrators who brought the story to life and ensured I couldn’t stop listening. The book features a village sixty miles outside of London, full of voices and odd bits of chatter, and Dead Papatoothwort, a mystical figure who lives in the forest, feasts on them. But he listens out for one little boy in particular: Lanny, he’s different from the rest and he fascinates Dead Papatoothwort. I’ve never read a story like this before, and perhaps I never will again, but it’s one I find increasingly unable to stop listening to the further into the audiobook I got, and if you do read this please listen to it! Read my full review here.