Right now, we all need a little bit of escapism from all the news flying around. I've always been a huge book addict, but it's hard to always find a list of great books to read. I know for a fact that I am not the only one, and that you need help finding great book recommendations too (because you've clicked on this article!).
Finding great books to read has almost become a hobby and I document all my recent reads and TBR (To Be Read) on my IG (what.leli.reads), which is FILLED with amazing content, so if you'd like to pop over there, you'd be more than welcome! I'll also be including my favorite book of the year on this list, so stay tuned!
Okay, onto the books:
1) Almost Midnight by Rainbow Rowell (ROMANCE)
This was my most recent read and I loved it! It was so adorable, and there were 2 stories in this short stories curation book. Rainbow Rowell is one of my favorite authors of all time. The first story 'Midnights' follows Margaret and Noel every Christmas Eve in high school and beyond. It was a perfect short read, so if that's your thing, what are you waiting for? The second story 'Kindred Spirits' was a bit longer and is all about 18 year old Elena who decides to camp outside the movie theatres in anticipation for the new Star Wars movie, only to find two men in the line. Plus, if you're not convinced yet (why?) there are insanely cute illustrations inside, like seriously!
"'Midnights' is the story of Noel and Mags, who meet at the same New Year's Eve party every year and fall a little more in love each time . . .
'Kindred Spirits' is about Elena, who decides to queue to see the new Star Wars movie and meets Gabe, a fellow fan."
2) Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (CONTEMPORARY/YA)
Need I say more for this? After watching the movie before reading the book (whoops), I knew that I needed to pick up a copy. I was NOT DISAPPOINTED. This book was addictive, and most importantly fun. I posted a review for this on my IG, and one of my followers said, "I love how you said most importantly this book was fun! I think that's the best part of reading!" and I totally agree. If you're feeling a bit down right now, the characters in this book will be sure to cheer you up.
"When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and time with the man she might one day marry.
What she doesn't know is that Nick's family home happens to look like a palace, that she'll ride in more private planes than cars and that she is about to encounter the strangest, craziest group of people in existence."
3) Paper Towns by John Green (CONTEMPORARY/MYSTERY)
Yes, it's JOHN GREEN, bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars and Turtles All The Way Down. Every aspect about this book was interesting and it was such a page turner. You really wanted to know what happened to Margo, and it felt as if you were with Quentin searching for the clues! It's the kind of story that leaves you sitting in silence thinking about when you finish.
"When Margo Roth Spiegelman beckons Quentin Jacobsen in the middle of the night--dressed like a ninja and plotting an ingenious campaign of revenge--he follows her. Margo's always planned extravagantly, and, until now, she's always planned solo. After a lifetime of loving Margo from afar, things are finally looking up for Q . . . until day breaks and she has vanished. Always an enigma, Margo has now become a mystery. But there are clues. And they're for Q."
4) Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (YA)
And there we have it, Rainbow makes a splendid appearance AGAIN! I'm going to be honest, I read this book *partially* because of the cover. But honestly, just look at it! Fangirl was one of those reads that left me all warm and happy inside, and dives deep on the concepts of love, friendship and family.
"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.
Without Wren Cath is completely on her own and totally outside her comfort zone. She's got a surly room-mate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can't stop worrying about her dad, who's loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
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."
5) The Grace Year by Kim Liggett (DYSTOPIAN)
Lucky last, my favorite book of 2020 so far! After diving deep in the Hunger Games Trilogy, I fell in love with dystopian books. I was mindlessly browsing the shelves in my library and found this gem! After reading the blurb, I RAN to go borrow it. And ... I finished it really fast. It's one of those books that instantly draws you in, leaves you wanting more and more and more until you realise it's 12 and you should probably sleep. It's similar to The Handmaid's Tale, so if you like that you will adore this!
"No one speaks of the grace year. It's forbidden.
In Garner County, girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, to drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That's why they're banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.
Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life--a society that doesn't pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it's not just the brutal elements they must fear. It's not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for a chance to grab one of the girls in order to make a fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other.
With sharp prose and gritty realism, The Grace Year examines the complex and sometimes twisted relationships between girls, the women they eventually become, and the difficult decisions they make in-between."
Aaaand that's a wrap! I really hope you found a great book to take you through quarantine.