If you’ve come here looking for an intellectual list full of literary fiction and classics recommendations, you have come to the wrong place. I do not read those. lol
Instead, I will be recommending some of my favorite books. Some books that made me laugh, made me cry, some that had me raging. Basically, if a book incited a strong emotional reaction from me, it is probably on this list. I will forever remember these books as they either broke my heart or taught me something I think you all should learn about as well. Anyway, here are 12 books (in no particular order) I think you should read before you die
Pachinko | Min Jin Lee
This story focuses on a Korean family living under the Japanese occupation. If you don’t know anything about this history, I definitely think this is a good place to start. She said this book was 30 years in the making, which is no surprise to me. The amount of research that must have gone into making this book!!! It is truly amazing. Read it! Learn something!
Heartstopper | Alice Oseman
The sweetest and sugariest graphic novel series I’ve ever read. If you’re in a reading slump or a bad mood or whatever, this series will finally make you feel something!!! I have distinct memories of me reading this on the subway and giggling at their absurd cuteness. I love them so much (and have not yet watched the Netflix series bc I’m afraid it won’t live up to my expectations!!!)
Foul Is Fair | Hannah Capin
If you love a good revenge story, this is the book for you. Think Macbeth but, instead of royals, it is a group of girls set on killing the boys that assaulted them. It is completely unhinged and completely amazing. The writing style is so unique and it has a certain rhythm that makes you want to race to the finish.
The Library at Mount Char | Scott Hawkins
This is one of the weirdest books I’ve ever read. And that is saying something. I really don’t even know how to describe it without giving anything away. Let’s just say it is a twisty horror fantasy with some very interesting characters. I would love to give you more information, but I think this one is better read knowing nothing going in.
The Ravenhood | Kate Stewart
This series!!! Probably the series that has given me the most emotional damage this year. When I tell you I sobbed. Full-on ugly crying. At home. At work. Wherever. This is a dark romance series with some loveable yet annoying characters. It is a bit mysterious (which I love) and will most definitely rip your heart out. ❤
Vita Nostra | Marina Dyachenko, Sergey Dyachenko
Another very, very weird dark fantasy book. This is one of my favorite dark academia books because of how bizarre it is! The fantasy element is so unique and the characters just really feel fresh and new. If you have already read and loved this book and have been waiting (literally years!!!!) for the sequel to be released in English, I have some amazing news for you. It is come out!!! March 2023!! We have an official release date, y’all.
Night Film | Marisha Pessl
This is a weird and experimental mystery book. I love it because of how confusing the plot is and because it incorporates multimedia into the story. There is a website with images and audio clips. I feel like I’m working a case! Amazing!
Bunny | Mona Awad
My girls!!!! If you love bimbos and you love cults. This is it!! It’s set in a creative fiction master’s program (I believe?) and centers around this group of girls who are all called “Bunny”. What ensues is for me to know and for you to find out. I guarantee if you like weird cult stuff, you will be obsessed with this one.
The Starless Sea | Erin Morgenstern
This is a story about stories, and I’m obsessed. It’s set in New York and follows this boy as he discovers a new world. There are multiple stories within this one book and they all connect so beautifully. Impeccable writing. Lovely characters. YES! I’ve been hitting myself ever since I passed on buying the beautiful UK hardcover edition and now it’s gone!! Forever!! If you have a copy and you don’t want it, please give it to me lmao.
The Illuminae Files | Kay Kristoff, Amie Kaufman
This is a YA sci-fi series about… Oh, man what is this even about??? It’s told through texts, emails, and documents, and involves a group of spaceships fleeing their home planet after being invaded by a corporation. Some weird stuff happens on these spaceships lol. I wish I could just tell you the plot, but there are some truly amazing plot twists in here and I just think it’s worth finding them out along the ride.
I’ll Give You The Sun | Jandy Nelson
Oh my god. What a beautiful story. This has been my favorite book for years, and I’m definitely due another reread. It follows two siblings and their relationship while switching between two different timelines. One is told from the brother’s point of view and the other is told from the sister’s. Each sibling is drastically different from the opposite timeline and you come to find out why. Gorgeous. Made me sob. I love them ❤
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd | Agatha Christie
OH! A classic little mystery to end the list. I have read an embarrassing amount of Agatha Christie over the years, and I think this is her best work. I know she has other, more popular books, but I really think this is the one that everyone should read. I cannot tell you why without spoiling the entire plot, but read it. You’ll understand why she is the blueprint!!