Like any avid reader, I’ve been through my phases. In sixth grade, I only read my dad’s books about lawyering, and in seventh I moved on to reading only dystopian novels. I have now racked my mind for what I consider the best of the best of any genre I encountered, and I am sharing them with you.
1. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
This book will always be my one and only. I NEVER reread books, but not only have I read We Were Liars in its entirety multiple times, I also constantly reread certain sections just to remind myself how fantastic the book is. It is beautifully written with poetic prose and unique styles. The story revolves around a girl, her rich family, their private island, and a secret. The story talks about love, loss, inheritance, and prejudice. It is a perfect summer read, and it is a perfect book.
2. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
We Were Liars is my first place, but The Virgin Suicides comes in as a close second. The story is told by the neighborhood boys who are nameless and faceless. Everything the reader learns about the narrators is in relation to the Lisbon girls, five sisters who all committed suicide. Set years after the tragedy occurred, the neighborhood boys conduct interviews and do research to try and solve the mystery of why the girls did it. From the characters to the prose to the plot, the story was innovative, beautiful, and haunting.
3. Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill
I think while I read this book I didn’t consider it a favorite, but after I finished it ranked pretty high. It is gripping and horrifying and eye-opening. I’ve already discussed the story a lot in my All the Books I Read in 2016 post and in my Only Ever Yours Book Review, so I won’t bother you anymore with the details. Read these posts in case you’re interested in the story.
4. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
I personally think that the title is misleading. The name is sort of cliche and boring, but the story is so fantastic. Set in an alternate time, the book follows Kathy and her friends as they attended a boarding school and as they grow older. The kids at the boarding school are constantly reminded that they are special, and Kathy grows up to understand why.
5. Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut
Next to Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees, Mother Night is the best book I have been assigned. It’s about a man who served as an American spy in World War Two. He is being prosecuted as a Nazi war criminal. There are wild twists, and the characters are so vivid. Vonnegut is one of my favorite writers, and he did not disappoint in Mother Night.
There are a lot of other books that have literally changed my life. John Green’s Looking for Alaska and Stephanie Meyer’s The Host are among those books. Also, Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane are stellar. There are so many amazing books in the world, it’s somewhat overwhelming. I’m disheartened that I’ll never be able to read them all, but all I can do is cherish the ones I have read and pass them on to all of you.