1. Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse by Alida Nugent
This book, written by a fellow blogger, chronicles her life following graduation from college. The title makes it sound like the whole book is going to be super pessimistic (which hey, I can be in the mood for occasionally) but it actually wasn’t.
I enjoyed this book but I didn’t love it. I think I read it at the wrong time in my life. If someone had handed this to me upon graduation from college or about a year after, it would have been perfect timing. I feel like the expiration date on this one is about age 24. But if you’re in that spot in life after college graduation where you have no effing clue what you’re doing with your life, read this.
2. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
I read this book because of how much I loved Attachments by Rainbow Rowell (a real feel good, romantic comedy sort of book). Fangirl is about a young woman who is obsessed with a book series called Simon Snow (very obviously a fictional Harry Potter).
Though I had a hard time relating to the character, who struggles socially in her first year of college and kind of keeps to herself (the opposite of what I did), I still really enjoyed her as a character. I got that she was really in to Simon Snow because hey, I have my nerdy passions too (Harry Potter, Doctor Who, and a brief stint as a Twi-hard). While Attachments was an adult novel, this novel is definitely more YA. It was a quick and enjoyable read.
3. Paper Towns by John Green
After finishing The Fault in Our Stars, I knew I had to get my hands on another John Green book. If you’re looking for a John Green book that makes you feel like The Fault In Our Stars did, this isn’t it. The book is narrated by a teenage boy, Quentin, who has spent his entire adolescence pining for his neighbor, Margo Roth Speigelman. And yes, he uses her full name every time he references her.
Despite not being a teenage boy myself (obviously), I found Quentin incredibly likeable and at times I was angry at him for putting up with the way Margo treated him. When Margo disappears, leaving clues of her whereabouts that only Quentin can unscramble, I was genuinely clueless as to how the whole thing would turn out. It’s a coming of age novel wrapped in a mystery.
4. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
I’d heard that this book was good and you all sure weren’t lying about that. About 100 pages in I was still interested but I was starting to doubt you. I wasn’t hooked, just amused. And then BOOM – a bombshell and I was completely hooked. I couldn’t put it down.
If you like a mystery/thriller, read this. Everything everyone says about it being so good is 100% true.
Has anyone read any of Gillian Flynn’s other novels? I’d love to know if they’re just as good.
5. Four Perfect Pebbles by Lila Pearl and Marion Blumenthal Lazan
This book is actually a children’s book about one family’s experience during the Holocaust. I was surprised at how much I learned (blame my public schooling) about Germany post-WWI and the rise of Hitler to power. Though I’ve read lots of Holocaust historical fiction, there was so much that I didn’t know.
One of the authors, Marion Blumenthal Lazan, tells the story of her family’s survival in Westerbork (a Dutch refugee camp), the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp (where Anne Frank died), and the death trains. Because it is directed more at children (Amazon says grades 6-10), the full story of their survival is told but it is written in a less brutal way. The word choice is more mild than Night by Elie Weisel. Just as I highly recommend Night, I recommend this as well. It will never stop being shocking to me that this happened in my Grandmother’s lifetime. It just wasn’t that long ago.
Now, once again, I’m desperate for a good book recommendation. What have you read recently that you couldn’t put down?