Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
I read this on a whim after a recommendation of the librarian at my school last school year. I thought it would be a nice quick read, and it definitely was, but I didn’t expect it to really blow me away like it did. I find that modern poetry can be quite hit or miss with me, but I have also discovered that I really, really love modern poetry when it’s telling me a story. This was one of those ones. I absolutely loved the story, and it was deeply moving. I likes the way that Reynolds put a pause on the story, telling the basics of a trip down the elevator but drawing it out to teach his character a lesson he needed to learn. I always recommend this book to students now.
The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
This was a book that I bought on a whim. I saw the cover on Amazon, thought it was gorgeous and pre-ordered it. I did also like the summary. I was so excited when I got it because I had been seeing lots of hype about it on bookstagram and I wanted to know what all of the fuss was about. It was a book that I savoured, drawing it out despite wanting to power through and finish it in one sitting. I was super engrossed, and loved the atmosphere of the story. I was so drawn in by the way that the details of the story were gradually released. Ernshaw was so good at casually dropping a bomb on me. It was amazing. I definitely can’t wait to read her next book.
Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappini
I picked up this one on a whim because I saw it in a second hand bookstore after hearing a recommendation from a booktuber I watched. The concept sounded really cool, and so I figured it wouldn’t hurt, especially for the reasonable price of like $8. I wasn’t expecting too much, but I absolutely loved it when I read it! The main character was a fairly relatable character, and you really genuinely felt for her as the plot unfolded. I loved the graphic novel aspect that was included in the book, as well. It was a really cool touch. I remember staying up to finish reading it and was just blown away. This book make me sob. I highly recommend it.
The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
I picked up this one, again, at the suggestion of the librarian at my school last year. I think a booktuber I watch, had also suggested it. This book consumed my day. I went to the library on my prep, picked this book up, and then I devoured it. I did almost nothing else except read this book. I read it as I was walking home. I read it as I walked to meet some friends. I read it until I was finished and then I cried. This book blew me away. The story was so unique and I absolutely fell in love with all of the characters. It’s always amazing when a book hooks me from the first second through to the last and makes me feel the need to read until I run out of pages.
Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough
This was another recommendation from the librarian at my school last year. She was always full of fantastic suggestions of books to read, and this was no different. I also saw it a bit on bookstagram as well, which is probably what pushed me over the edge to read it. It was another novel in verse, something I really loved this year. Blood Water Paint was a gripping historical tale about Artemesia Gentileschi and how she was raped and how she dealt with that. I was so impressed and inspired by the story that I had to go and actually do some research on her. This was a hard book to read but totally worth it. It’s still totally relevant to nowadays.
The Illuminae Chronicles by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
I was so late to the Illuminae Chronicles, but I am now so obsessed with it. I loved each and every one of the characters and I loved the story that was told. I was especially intrigued by the way that the story was told. Kristoff and Kaufman were geniuses when they put this book together. I have no idea how they did it, but I loved every page and I think I need to re-read it again this year because I want to. I should probably chip away at my TBR a bit first.
If We Were Villains by ML Rio
This is a thriller I picked up at the recommendation of a booktuber I love. I like thrillers and I like Shakespeare, so it seemed like a perfect match. I was obsessed with this book. It is absolutely the reason I put read more Shakespeare onto my reading goals for this year. I loved the characters and the flashbacks presented along with the current timeline. It kept me intrigued and turning pages. I had theories and there were twists and turns. It was such a good book.
So those were my best reads of the year! Did you have any of the same ones on your best of list? Let me know!