1) “The Perks of being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky. There are tons of reasons why this my all time favorite book. I’ll just tell you a few. For one, I can completely relate to Charlie in pretty much every way. I was a bit of a nobody in high school and never really fit in, but sometimes there are moments of clarity that really stand out. Now I don’t know if they’re considered infinite, but they are pretty damn close. Secondly, it is the way its written. The book is written in letters which I think is so innovative. You never learn who Charlie is writing to, but that doesn’t matter because I feel like he was writing to me. Chbosky took a character that would probably be looked over in the world and made him feel like a superhero. If I ever get the chance to meet Mr. Chbosky I would thank him. I read this book at rough time in my life and it made me realize that even though I spend my days in shadows and don’t really interact with people directly, I can still be someone and that is all that matters. If you’re a wallflower like myself, embrace it because without us wallflowers nobody notice the beauty in the world.
2) “The Raft” by S.A. Bodeen. I read this book when I was a sophomore in high school for a school project and never thought I would like it as much as I did. Later on after finishing it, I read the reviews and was shocked at how many people didn’t care for it. It’s a little touch and go I’ll admit, but I really love the story line. Robbie is a young girl whose plane crashes into the waters of Hawaii and is trying to survive on a life raft. It takes the reader through a whirlpool of emotions that really sucks you in to the book. I think the most heart breaking aspect is the fact that when the plane went down, her parents didn’t know she was on it, and nobody knows that she’s missing. It makes Robbie grow up quickly as she struggles against the forces of nature and even her own mind, as it’s playing tricks on her. This book is a “bottle book” as I like to call it. Basically it means that it primarily set in one place during one time. In this instance, the life raft. When authors do this, I can’t help but wonder if it’s meant to be read in a single sitting…I read it in about twelve hours. I recommend this book to anyone a fan of survival and coming of age novels.
3) “Thirteen Reasons Why” by Jay Asher. This is not a suicide novel! Yes, it does discuss it and that is why the book exists, but it does not exactly dwell on suicide and how it happened, but why and who the person was before she died. Hannah Baker records thirteen reasons on thirteen tapes and sends them off to people. You have to listen to the tapes until you get to yours then you send it off to the next person. Clay Jensen is the main character in this book and he is everything a book character should be. I find that Clay is just so real and it’s really refreshing. I could actually see this happening in real life and that sort of makes it harder to read, but you really should. Again this is a “bottle book” because it’s set in a single night and I again read this all at once because I didn’t want to be set of course. I read this book after I had finished reading a very fast paced fantasy series and just wanted a single story to sink my teeth into and I was not disappointed. It’s a tear jerker of course, but I think that is what makes it good. Any book that can make you cry is a masterpiece in my opinion, it just shows how good the author is at understanding the human mind.
4) “Paper Towns” by John Green. Now I had to include a John Green novel or I wouldn’t be me! This is my favorite of his because it just works. The dynamic between Margo and Q is absolutely incredible and even though I would definitely read a sequel, I don’t think it needs it. This book is about a boy chasing after a girl, but it’s different. Instead of Q searching for Margo because he thinks she hot or something like that, he is looking for her because she is a mystery. I can relate to Q because of that. There are so many mysteries in life and I always want answers even if they don’t always make sense. I’ve always admired John Green for how thinks outside the box when it comes to his novels and his use of paper towns in this one is incredible. The symbolism fits so well and makes the story that much better. In the end, I was a little disappointed with the ending, but I think the ending fit the book perfectly. He got his answer, it may not have been the one he was looking for, but an answer nonetheless. I love this book because it focuses on Q rather than Margo so not only is she a mystery to him, but a mystery to us as well.
5) “The Host” by Stephenie Meyer. I have read many Science Fiction books in my time, but nothing like this. As a big fan of the “Twilight Saga” I was so intrigued to read this book by Stephenie Meyer. I really didn’t think I would like it after the first few chapters, but I kept reading and fell in love. Like her previous books, Meyer has a new twist on romance. Alien and human. With Wanda inside Melanie’s body, romance isn’t exactly the first thing on either of their mind…minds…which is it? Well that doesn’t matter to Ian. I love the fact that even though it was Melanie’s body, it was Wanda’s soul and even though she was considered a parasite to most of the humans, he fell in love with her, not Melanie. Meanwhile, Melanie’s boyfriend Jared just wants her back. The story is really interesting to me because it shows the alien side of the invasion which we never see on books or movies. Also I like that the aliens or souls are starting to realize that what they are doing is wrong, thus Wanda helping them in the end. This book puts a lot of emphasis on the human race as a whole along with individual feelings and desires. When it comes to supernatural romances, this book is my top choice.
6) “Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes. I am not one for romance novels and I want you to remember that. Yet, when I first saw the trailer for the movie of this book, I had to read it. This book is basically about everything that makes love love. It is an absolute joy to read and even though it doesn’t have a super happy ending, it still ended the way it should have. Will Traynor and Louisa Clark go on this journey together that really makes you think not only about life and how short it is, but love and how it seriously has no boundaries. As Will is a quadriplegic thirty-five year old man he doesn’t live the way he used to, yet when Louisa Clark comes into his life he get the best months of his life with her and it is so compelling and beautiful. I read this book in about 24 hours and still every time I glance at in on my shelf it is as if I am back in England and smiling at the happy duo. This book shows a side of humanity that many tend to shy away from. Most people don’t want to know how someone got injured as they think it’s awkward, yet Louisa really ends up not minding at all and falls in love with him. Love is truly a beautiful thing.
7) “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” by J.K. Rowling. I love the entire series of course, but this book is my absolute favourite and to this day remains of my favourite books of all time. There is such a warm feel to this book after you finish it. Even though it is full of cold dementors and accused serial killers, there is the aspect of family and rebirth that you can’t help but love. Lupin is introduced in this book and he becomes one of the most loved characters as well as Sirius Black. There is this camaraderie between the trio near the end that just proves their bond will never be broken. I really enjoy Hermione’s character development in book 3. She really breaks out of her shell and starts to become more of a badass really. Ron and Hermione also start to get interested in each other and I think it is so sweet. Like you can definitely tell they are starting to get crushes on eachother. A lot comes to light in book 3 and I think it is the perfect segway for the rest of the novels. “What you fear most of all is – fear.” – (Remus Lupin) J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. That quote is something I relate to and I think it really showcases Harry’s character and how he is able to fight these forces of evil throughout the series.
9) “The Shadowhunter Chronicles” by Cassandra Clare + Various Co-Authors I could easily go on and on about why this series is my favourite series of all time, but there really isn’t really that much space here. Not only do I love The Mortal Instruments, but also The Infernal Devices, The Dark Artifices, and the many bind ups and extras. There is something so beautiful about the world that Cassie has created and I would love to live in it. The characters are so well formed and the mythology of the world is so deep and every page makes you fall in love with her books more and more. Every time a new SH novel comes out my happiness meter goes WAY UP. Cassie has created these heroes that go against everything they are taught in order to do the right thing. There are vampires, warlocks, werewolves, Shadowhunters, demons, Fallen Angels, faeries, and yet the story is reflection of the horrors and trials of humanity. I love that this theme is brought up a lot via the eyes of supernatural characters. If you haven’t read this series, then I implore you to do so as soon as possible. READ IN ORDER OF PUBLICATION.