I AM OFFICIALLY AN ADULT!
Last Tuesday I turned 21, and I honestly don't know where the time has gone. I swear I was only just in primary school! But anyway, I thought that to celebrate my birthday, I'd share with you 21 books/series that I definitely think you should add to your TBR!
If you want to know all my thoughts on each book, click the cover to read my review.
Firstly we have Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard! It's one of my favourite 2015 reads, and the sequel, Glass Sword, is also amazing.
This is a world divided by blood – red or silver. The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.
That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power. Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.
But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.
I cannot recommend this series enough. Get into the series before the third book, King's Cage, comes out in February. With all the twists and turns, action and romance, you'll be reading into the wee hours of the morning trying to find out what happens next!
Another series of romance and rebellion is The Selection by Kiera Cass, which also includes The Elite, The One, The Heir and novella collection Happily Ever After. This is another fantastic series that is a must-read for all YA fans.
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.
But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.
Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.
This book is The Bachelor meets the royal family, set in a dystopian American future. Throw in some rebels and a love triangle and you've got a fun YA read!
Moving away from the newer YA dystopian releases, and here you have The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephan Chbosky. Yes, it's a book we all know, but it's a must-read coming of age story.
Charlie is a freshman. And while he's not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it.
Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But he can't stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.
If all you've seen is the movie, then you haven't really experienced the whole story. This book is so moving and thought-provoking and it will definitely leave a lasting impact on you and your life.
Onto a book that I haven't seen talked about much, and that is Yours, E.R. by Terence Blacker. It gives an interesting insight into what the Queen, could, really be thinking behind closed doors.
For many years, Her Majesty the Queen has received a weekly report on the news and issues of the day, known at the Palace as 'The Current Affairs Briefing Document', from one of her senior private secretaries. She has replied to them in letters which have expressed her private thoughts, and occasionally questions, about what is happening in the world outside. Now she has decided to allow some of these letters from the last twelve months to appear in the public domain. They reveal for the first time what she really thinks about attitudes to the Royal Family, about the Prime Ministers she has met, about Helen Mirren, about the great, the good and the mysteriously famous people she meets as she goes about her duties. She shares what it is really like to jump out of a helicopter to open the Olympics, how to deal with a media obsessed with taking pictures of one's grandchildren without their clothes on, or the happy prospect of being a great-grandmother. Affectionately imagined, Letters from the Queen will provide a view of the way we live now, as seen from the top by someone who is both at the centre of national life and yet removed from it.
Completely fictional, the letters are written in such a way that you forget that they are not actually written by the Queen herself! A great read for anyone who enjoys the Royal Family.
If you're looking for something a little bit more contemporary, maybe this next book is for you - Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines, which is the first book in a companion novel series. This book is edging on the New Adult side of YA, but is great for anyone looking for a bit of romance.
To everyone who knows him, West Ashby has always been that guy: the cocky, popular, way-too-handsome-for-his-own-good football god who led Lawton High to the state championships. But while West may be Big Man on Campus on the outside, on the inside he’s battling the grief that comes with watching his father slowly die of cancer.
Two years ago, Maggie Carleton’s life fell apart when her father murdered her mother. And after she told the police what happened, she stopped speaking and hasn’t spoken since. Even the move to Lawton, Alabama, couldn’t draw Maggie back out. So she stayed quiet, keeping her sorrow and her fractured heart hidden away.
As West’s pain becomes too much to handle, he knows he needs to talk to someone about his father—so in the dark shadows of a post-game party, he opens up to the one girl who he knows won’t tell anyone else.
West expected that talking about his dad would bring some relief, or at least a flood of emotions he couldn’t control. But he never expected the quiet new girl to reply, to reveal a pain even deeper than his own—or for them to form a connection so strong that he couldn’t ever let her go…
This book had be in tears and is very moving. The second book Under The Lights has recently come out, and follows some of West's friends, so if you like contemporaries and companion series, this would be a great book and series for you.
I wouldn't be a good Aussie reader/blogger without recommending some Australia reads, and the first is A Rose For The ANZAC Boys by Jackie French, who is a must-read Aussie author.
The 'War to end all Wars', as seen through the eyes of three young women. It is 1915. War is being fought on a horrific scale in the trenches of France, but it might as well be a world away from sixteen–year–old New Zealander Midge Macpherson, at school in England learning to be a young lady. But the war is coming closer: Midge's brothers are in the army, and her twin, Tim, is listed as 'missing' in the devastating defeat of the ANZAC forces at Gallipoli.
Desperate to do their bit – and avoid the boredom of school and the restrictions of Society – Midge and her friends Ethel and Anne start a canteen in France, caring for the endless flow of wounded soldiers returning from the front. Midge, recruited by the over–stretched ambulance service, is thrust into carnage and scenes of courage she could never have imagined. And when the war is over, all three girls – and their ANZAC boys as well – discover that even going 'home' can be both strange and wonderful.
This book is so beautifully written and so moving - I cried on several occasions through the book, and even just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes. A great historical fiction novel looking at such a horrific time in world history.
Paranormal fans should definitely check out this seventh recommendation, which is Switched by Amanda Hocking, as well as its sequels Torn and Ascend.
Wendy Everly knew she was different the day her mother tried to kill her and accused her of having been switched at birth. Although certain she’s not the monster her mother claims she is – she does feel that she doesn’t quite fit in... She’s bored and frustrated by her small town life – and then there’s the secret that she can’t tell anyone. Her mysterious ability – she can influence people’s decisions, without knowing how, or why...
When the intense and darkly handsome newcomer Finn suddenly turns up at her bedroom window one night – her world is turned upside down. He holds the key to her past, the answers to her strange powers and is the doorway to a place she never imagined could exist. Förening, the home of the Trylle.
Finally everything makes sense. Among the Trylle, Wendy is not just different, but special. But what marks her out as chosen for greatness in this world also places her in grave danger. With everything around her changing, Finn is the only person she can trust. But dark forces are conspiring – not only to separate them, but to see the downfall everything that Wendy cares about.
The fate of Förening rests in Wendy’s hands, and the decisions she and Finn make could change all their lives forever...
I absolutely love this trilogy, and it also has a spin-off - the Kanin Chronicles - if you can't get enough just like me!
This next recommendation is probably one you've heard a lot about, but it's just such a fantastically interesting and different read, that you definitely must pick it up if you haven't already, and that is Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff!
This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.
The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.
But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.
This book is like no other I've read and is told entirely through documents, chat logs, emails, medical reports, etc. The second book, Gemina, is coming out very very soon, so it's the perfect time to get into the series!
So this next one is one that I haven't technically finished yet, but I've loved what I've read so far, which is why it makes it onto my recommendation list. If you're looking to get into more adult high fantasy, Nevernight by Jay Kristoff, might just be the book for you!
Destined to destroy empires Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.
Six years later, the child raised in the shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day that she lost everything.
But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, so if she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons at the heart of a murder cult.
The Red Church is no Hogwarts, but Mia is no ordinary student. The shadows loves her. And they drink her fear.
Fantasy and assassin lovers, this book is for you! I'm like halfway through and the world in which this book is set is so fascinating.
As we approach October and Halloween, this tenth recommendation is a perfect read, and that is The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich!
Twenty-five years ago, Elmbridge High School burned down. Three students were killed in the blaze, twenty were injured, and one, Carly Johnson, disappeared.
For two decades, little was uncovered about what became known as the 'Johnson Incident'.
Part psychological thriller and part urban legend, this book will definitely have you reading into the early hours of the morning, and is perfect for anyone looking for a creepy read this October!
An Aussie series that I can't but sing praise for is Tomorrow, When The War Began by John Marsden!
When Ellie and her friends return from a camping trip in the Australian bush, they find things hideously wrong — their families are gone. Gradually they begin to comprehend that their country has been invaded and everyone in their town has been taken prisoner. As the reality of the situation hits them, they must make a decision — run and hide, give themselves up and be with their families, or fight back.
Strap yourself in for this seven-book action series, which makes you wonder what would happen if your country was invaded tomorrow. And if you enjoy this series, you can continue Ellie's story in The Ellie Chronicles!
Yes okay, you ALL know about this book - it is being released as a movie this week - but it's just a fantastic book that I had to include it on my recommendation list! And of course, it's Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs!
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.
A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.
What makes this book even better is the inclusion of vintage photographs that just take you further into the world of the Peculiars. Make sure you read it before seeing the movie!
Back to some contemporary reads, and this next recommendation is probably one you have heard of a lot too, but it's still one that is a must-read for any contemporary fan - Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell!
Cath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they're off to university and Wren's decided she doesn't want to be one half of a pair any more - she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It's not so easy for Cath. She's horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes, where she always knows exactly what to say and can write a romance far more intense than anything she's experienced in real life.
Now Cath has to decide whether she's ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she's realizing that there's more to learn about love than she ever thought possible ...
This is such a cute book that perfectly captures what life is like as a fangirl!
I never thought I'd be the kind of person to enjoy creepy, psychological and horror reads, but I love these kinds of books! One that I think you'll particularly enjoy is Asylum by Madeleine Roux!
For sixteen-year-old Dan Crawford, New Hampshire College Prep is more than a summer program—it's a lifeline. An outcast at his high school, Dan is excited to finally make some friends in his last summer before college. But when he arrives at the program, Dan learns that his dorm for the summer used to be a sanatorium, more commonly known as an asylum. And not just any asylum—a last resort for the criminally insane.
As Dan and his new friends, Abby and Jordan, explore the hidden recesses of their creepy summer home, they soon discover it's no coincidence that the three of them ended up here. Because the asylum holds the key to a terrifying past. And there are some secrets that refuse to stay buried.
This is another book that features creepy old photographs, so if you like Miss Peregrine's, then you should really enjoy this!
You will all know this next series, but how many have actually read the books, as opposed to just watching the TV series? Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard is a series you need to read if you've only watched the adaptation!
Everyone has something to hide-especially high school juniors Spencer, Aria, Emily and Hanna.
Spencer covets her sister's boyfriend. Aria's fantasizing about her English teacher. Emily's crushing on the new girl at school. Hanna uses some ugly tricks to stay beautiful. But they've all kept an even bigger secret since their friend Alison vanished.
How do I know? Because I know everything about the bad girls they were, the naughty girls they are, and the dirty secrets they've kept. And guess what? I'm telling.
After this first book, the books and TV series do take different paths, so reading the books is like getting a new story with your favourite characters! Plus, there are 16 books (18 if you include the two companions), so it's a great series to read while you wait for the premiere of 7B!
If you're looking for a more powerful contemporary, then The Pact by Jodi Picoult might just be the book for you. I must admit, it's been several years since I've read the book, but I really enjoyed it back then.
For eighteen years the Harte's and the Gold's have lived next door to each other, sharing everything from Chinese food to chicken pox to carpool duty - they've grown so close it seems they have always been a part of each other's lives. Parents and children alike have been best friends, so it's no surprise that in high school Chris and Emily's friendship blossoms into something more. After all, they've been soul mates since they were born.
So when midnight calls from the hospital come in, no one is prepared: Emily is dead at seventeen from a gunshot wound to the head, inflicted by Chris as part of an apparent suicide pact. He tells police the next bullet was meant for himself. A local detective has her doubts. And the Harte's and Gold's must face every parent's worst nightmare and question: do we ever really know our children at all?
Like I said, it's been years since I've read it, but even today I can still remember many elements of the book. It alternates between the past and present, and is perfect for contemporary lovers.
On the homestretch now! This next book - Mobile Library by David Whitehouse - is another great contemporary about the magic and importance of books and the worlds that they can whisk you away to.
Twelve-year-old Bobby Nusku is an archivist of his mother. He catalogues traces of her life and waits for her to return home. Bobby thinks that he's been left to face the world alone until he meets lonely single mother Val and her daughter Rosa. They spend a magical summer together, discovering the books in the mobile library where Val works as a cleaner. But as the summer draws to a close, Bobby finds himself in trouble and Val is in danger of losing her job. There's only one thing to do -- and so they take to the road in the mobile library...Quirky, dark, magical and full of heart, Mobile Library is both a tragicomic road trip and a celebration of the adventures that books can take us on. It's a love-letter to unlikely families and the stories that shaped us.
This book will reaffirm your love of books (not that it ever need reaffirming!) and will make you appreciate the power that books have at bringing people together.
Book number eighteen is another that you have probably heard off, and although it's receive a lot of mixed reviews, I think it's a wonderful book if you're looking to read a little more diversely. Soundless by Richelle Mead combines mythology and fantasy in an interesting tale based on ancient Chinese folklore.
For as long as Fei can remember, no one in her village has been able to hear. Rocky terrain and frequent avalanches make it impossible to leave the village, so Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.
When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink. Many go hungry. Fei and all the people she loves are plunged into crisis, with nothing to look forward to but darkness and starvation.
Until one night, Fei is awoken by a searing noise. Sound becomes her weapon.
She sets out to uncover what’s happened to her and to fight the dangers threatening her village. A handsome miner with a revolutionary spirit accompanies Fei on her quest, bringing with him new risks and the possibility of romance. They embark on a majestic journey from the peak of their jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiguo, where a startling truth will change their lives forever…
If you are looking to read more about different culture, then this is a great place to start!
Onto a graphic novel, and this is one that I haven't seen talked about enough, but one that I think a lot of people enjoy. Film Noir fans will really love the gritty world of The Fade Out by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips, which looks at the seedy underworld of 1950s Hollywood.
Brubaker and Phillips' newest hit series, The Fade Out, is an epic noir set in the world of noir itself, the backlots and bars of Hollywood at the end of its Golden Era. A movie stuck in endless reshoots, a writer damaged from the war and lost in the bottle, a dead movie star and the lookalike hired to replace her. Nothing is what it seems in the place where only lies are true.
With such an interesting cast of characters, you'll be thrown back in time onto the movie sets of 50s film, and uncovering the culprits behind the dodgy dealings.
Charmed fans, this next one's for you! If you've been missing the TV series, you can now OFFICIALLY carry on the story with the Charmed graphic novels by Paul Ruditis!
Charmed Season 9 picks up where the TV show left off With the source of all evil defeated, The Charmed Ones, three witches destined to be the most powerful force for good our world has ever known, have embraced a new life. One of new family, friends, and a future without the constant battle between good and evil... or so they think.
With all our favourite characters, and some awesome new ones, this is a must-read for anyone who loved the TV show.
Finally, my 21st recommendation is Hello, Goodbye and Everything In Between by Jennifer E. Smith, another cute contemporary set during the last night before two highschool sweethearts head off in opposite directions for college.
On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan have only one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours, they retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be. The night leads them to family and friends, familiar landmarks and unexpected places, hard truths and surprising revelations. But as the clock winds down and morning approaches, so does their inevitable goodbye. The question is, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever?
Contemporary fans will love this book, and if you are looking to get into the genre, this would be a great book to start with. It's super cute and will give you all the feels!
That is 21 book recommendations that you need to add to your TBR right now! There is something for everyone on this list, so I hope you've finished the post with at least one new book that you're keen to read.
Feel free to leave some of your own recommendations in the comments!
See You Soon!