There are hundreds of books in the world, and only so much time to read through the ones recommended by others. To save time on deciding what you should read next, I’ve composed a list of my top 5 books that are a must read:
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The Storyteller – Jodi Picoult
This is one of my favorite books, and not just the book, I’m obsessed with the author, too. Jodi Picoult has written over 20 books since she started publishing in 1992 (6 of which I’ve read so far). She is the author of one of the most popular tear-jerkers, My Sister’s Keeper featuring Abigail Breslin and Sofia Vassilieva. Jodi Picoult writes about sensitive subjects like gay rights, cancer, murder, race, autism and family relationships. All of her books are told from a different character’s perspective each chapter.
The Storyteller is about a woman, Sage, who befriends an old man, Josef, who is a part of her support group. One day, Josef says he has an important favor to ask of Sage. He confesses a shameful secret, altering Sage’s perspective on her newfound friend as well as on her own family. Honing in on the horrors of WWII, Sage must determine what is right and what is justified.
If you’re intrigued by WWII as much as I am, this is a fascinating read and a real page-turner.
Topics: WWII, Nazi Germany, Family, Romance, Mystery, Relationships
Sharp Objects – Gillian Flynn
If you read or saw Gone Girl, Dark Places should definitely be on your list. If you’ve never read Gillian Flynn, let me warn you now: you will not be able to put this book down. Flynn’s novels are all suspenseful mysteries with female protagonists.
Camille Preaker is a journalist in Chicago who spent years in a psychiatric hospital for self harm after the unexpected death of her sister, Marian, at a young age. But after a murder to a young girl and disappearance of another in her hometown, she is assigned to cover the story. She finds herself back in her childhood home with her remarried mother and half-sister, Amma, born after Marian’s death. Amma is now a spoiled pre-teen, who behaves immaturely in front of her mother to hide her not-so-innocent personality. Camille must dig into her past to discover the mystery behind the missing and dead girls to get the story- and if she want’s to survive this homecoming.
This is really dark and a bit messed up, but that’s what makes it so compelling.
Topics: Murder, Mystery, Romance, Family, Illness
Lock and Key – Sarah Dessen
Sarah Dessen is one of my favorite adolescent authors. I’ve read 10 of her books (she has 14 published). Her books focus on girls transforming into women by facing their fears, trying something new or finally accepting who they are.
Lock and Key is about an adolescent girl named Ruby, who has been abandoned by her mother and is forced to live under the care of her older sister, Cora. Ruby wears her old house key around her neck in hopes that her mother will return. With help from the cute boy next door, Ruby discovers secrets revealing the truth behind her unraveling family. Ruby must discover how to open herself up to others and determine what is right and what is easy.
Remember young love as a teen? This book is better than that.
Topics: Adolescence, Family, Romance
Related Reading: What Should I Read Next?
A Great and Terrible Beauty – Libba Bray
I recently started to reread this trilogy I hadn’t touched in years and I wasn’t disappointed. I plowed through the first two in a couple of months and am now on the third. A Great and Terrible Beauty was Libba Bray’s first book. It’s filled with mystery, magic, adolescent teenage girls and plenty of family issues.
Gemma Doyle is 16 and living in India with her parents until her mother is unexpectedly killed. Gemma is shipped to London to attend a private school under the watchful eye of her older brother, Tom. Spence Academy for Young Ladies is a proper school, teaching more than just academics, and holding more answers to Gemma’s mother’s past than she expected. With three best friends by her side, Gemma discovers a part of her she never knew. Step into the Realms of Spence with Gemma to unlock the truth behind her mother’s death and the true power within herself.
Topics: Family, Adolescence, Magic, Romance, Murder
The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
If you haven’t read this American classic, I highly suggest you do. This story is about an adolescent boy who decides to figure out his life by exploring New York City. He branches away from school and his parents, encountering the everyday life of a New Yorker.
Holden Caulfield is a 16 year old who leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes AWOL in New York City. To put lightly, this book is about a teenager who wonders New York City pretending to be an adult. He goes back to remembering who he was and what he wants through his younger sister. She is the only person he truly cherishes and can find himself. Join Holden during his three days of getting intoxicated, ordering hookers and contemplating life as no other teenager has before.
If you speak sarcasm, please read this.
Topics: Adolescence, Family, Self-discovery
Related Reading: Belle’s 5 Favorite Books