Thursday, April 5, 2012

10 books you have to read.

today i had someone ask me, "what are you favorite books that i should read?"
y'all, never ask me that question if you don't want a serious answer. 
i'm like that mouse from if you give a mouse a cookie.

if you ask abbi for a recommendation, first she will want to know if you've read the hunger games.
if you haven't read the hunger games, she'll slap you across the face and then say "come back when you have"
if you come back after this slap, she'll want to know what your favorite genre is.

then she will want to know if you're open to reading YA (since it's her favorite.)
then she'll ask you if you prefer male or female characters.
then she'll ask you if you're open to reading dystopians (since they're her favorite.)
and so on
and so on
and so on.

i love recommending books to people, but when i do i want it to be something that i think they'll love. 
if my friend who loves basketball and family guy come to me looking for a recommendation, i'm not going to tell him to read anna and the french kiss, no matter how good i think it is.

but since i can't ask each and every person in my life all of the above questions, here is a list of the top 10 books that i've reread dozens of times, that have stuck with me through thick and thin, that i will force on you at any given moment. 

(side note: i didn't really provide a synopsis for any of these, because whenever i try to provide one for any book, i basically end up saying something like, "well it's about a girl, and like, man she is...she is just the best, you know? ugh, man. and then so she meets this guy who is just like, I CANNOT EVEN, and then like, you know.)

i'm sure most of you have read this by now, but if you haven't, please PLEASE do. it is without a doubt one of the funniest, poignant, most heartbreaking books i've ever read. i cannot say enough about it. after i read it i bought the audiobook so that i could "read it" while i was driving, without killing anyone. 

i was about 13 when i first read this book, and now i've read my copy of it so many times it's nearly unreadable. i absolutely love sarah dessen, she is an unbelievable writer and every single one of her books is worth your time. (and wes is my number one book boyfriend.)

when this book was first recommended to me, all that was said was "i wish i could live in this book." and after i read it, i understood why. this book, while not life changing or ground breaking, is the happiest book i've ever read, but what i love about it is that it is genuine. it's not cheap, or ridiculous, it's just purely and honestly GOOD. i carried it in my bag for 3 weeks after i first read it, just because i needed it to be near me.

for four years i have been begging everyone in my life to read this series. if you haven't already, please do. i literally can't say anything more than that.

some of the best writing i've ever read in my life. i stopped about half way through the movie because it just couldn't convey all the beautifully written detail provided in the book. some of the things in it are not easy to swallow, because the story is so traumatic, but it is wildly captivating.

i got this book as an advanced reader copy, so it had no summary on it, which usually turns me off. but i could not be happier that i read it. it is the most haunting novel i've ever read. i was a senior in high school when i read it, and it has stuck with me. i'm just gonna say it y'all: i literally cannot even.

a review on the back of this book says "a book about depression that's not the least bit depressing" and i think that hits the nail on the head. this is one of the most honest books about depression (and life after depression) that i've ever read.

phenomenal. i stayed up till 3:30 in the morning on a school night last year so that i could finish it. it's insightful, and completely chilling. 

i debated whether or not i should put this one on the list, because this isn't a book i recommend to just anyone. but this book is such an honest look at what grieving after the death of a loved one looks like, and i read it at a time when i needed it most. i have also had the unbelievable honor of having coffee with sarah ockler, and talking to her about her writing, so it holds an extra special place in my heart, as do all her books. 

i describe it as "the book that changed my life." lauren oliver is a goddess of writing, and this book is beautiful and haunting and perfect, amen.

have you read any of these?
have you liked them?
what's on your list of must-reads?


  1. When I read your "you like stuff" post yesterday, I was sure I liked you. Your taste in books has only further proven my original thought. The Fault in Our Stars has ruined me for all other books. Seriously...I haven't been able to read anything since January.

    I have read most of the other books on this list and they are indeed amazing! I'm still trying to get over you having coffee with Sarah Ockler! Did I mention that I like you?

  2. "well it's about a girl, and like, man she is...she is just the best, you know? ugh, man. and then so she meets this guy who is just like, I CANNOT EVEN, and then like, you know."

    STOP IT.

  3. I beg people to read "The Truth About Forever" because it is so deliciously good. And no one will read it because of the cover.

    I weep.


    also #humanknot

  5. JUST IN TIME FOR SPRING BREAK. About to get the 7 that I haven't read and just like, go to town. =)

  6. Thank you so much for posting this! I'll be reading "My Most Excellent Year" on the way to Florida--I am in desperate need of something happy to read. But I have to say, I'm surprised that Matched/Crossed didn't make an appearance on here!

  7. Um, SO HAPPY I was introduced to your blog today! :) Loving this list too!

  8. Hi! I'm a brand new follower and I already love your taste in books!! I will definitely be reading some of these in the near future and I already love the others :D

  9. Also, I just wanna say how happy I am that you've been blogging more . :) I love you and miss you in my life and your blog is like a breath of fresh air.

  10. Did you know they're making a movie out of Before I Fall!?! Maaaaaah. That book changed my life. And White Oleander. So unbelievably good. It makes me happy that I've read most of the books on this list. :) And makes me need to read the ones I haven't.

    A book that I loved a lot was Graceling.. which you gave me actually, did you ever read it? I got Steele to read it and now he's obsessed too ;) Hehe.

  11. oh God. I thought I was the only one who read Thirteen Reasons Why. I stayed up soooo late just to finish back when it came out. Right now, I'm reading John Green's book because well... I couldn't find it anywhere (sold out), but now I have it asdjfbasdfasdfasdfasdfsdfgasdsaf.

  12. stumbled across your blog tonight and absolutely love it : ) Sarah Dessen is one of my favorite writers. I love all of her books and have read each and every one until the pages were worn. Such a great post!

  13. i LOVED "the truth about forever." i read it when i was really young, too! if you haven't already read it, you should check out "the center of everything" by laura moriarty (it's one of my favorites, AND it's a young adult novel). oh, and i love janet fitch's books, too! "paint it black" is also very good.

  14. Okay. I have read most of the books on this list and I agree that they are definitely ones that people have to read! They are wonderful, wonderful books. Also. I am simply amazed by you. I just stalked my way through your whole blog and I loved every moment of it! I feel like we somewhat share a brain. Just know that I am not creepy, I just truly love the things that you have to say haha. In the words of the tenth Doctor, "You're brilliant, you are!"

  15. I always love finding more people who see the many virtues of YA lit! I used to be a middle school English teacher, so I read a lot of these back then (gotta keep up with what the kids are reading!). I've heard to many amazing things about The Fault in Our Stars - I think I'll put that on my list for next read!

  16. you are absolutely hilarious!! i love the "if you give a mouse a cookie" reference. perfect!
    and i loved the "white oleander" movie, so if the book is better i'm definitely going to have to give that book a read!!!
    xo TJ

  17. I myself am in the process of giving/borrowing Hunger Games books to all of my friends. I'm being rather successful so far.
    I love 13 Reasons Why. THAT BOOK.
    I do want to read The Most Excellent Year. Sounds like the kind of book I'd love.


    The Fault in Our Freaking Stars. Freaking amazing.

    SARAH DESSEN. One of my most favorite authors ever. Wes is my #2 book boyfriend, right behind Dexter from This Lullaby. Because DEXTER. Did you know that I met Sarah Dessen? (Definitely not trying to brag, I just get really excited when people actually know who she is!) She came to Dallas on her last book tour and I totally fangirled out and she signed my copies of the Truth About Forever and This Lullaby.


    It's Kind of a Funny Story is so so wonderful. I want everyone to read that book. What did you think of the movie?

    And as for the rest of these, they're going on my "to-read" shelf on Goodreads. Because I think we might be the same person so I'll definitely like them.

    <3 <3 <3 YOU

  19. I've read The Hunger Games (duh), The Truth About Forever (and every other Sarah Dessen book except the two newest), Its Kind of a Funny Story, and 13 Reasons Why. Which means I have six new books to read!!
    p.s. found your wonderful blog through Lauren (busybee lauren) and I am already swooning and think you're my friend soul-mate

  20. Thank you for these recommendations. I've really been needing some new books to read!

  21. new reader of your blog here! Oh my gosh I just recently read The Fault In Our Stars... in one day, and I sobbed. But it's so true, it's heartbreaking and beautiful and funny and charming and ugh. John Green is just like, my fav. Looking For Alaska takes the cake for me, I mean, TFIOS is a close, close, second, but LFA just blew me away, it haunts my waking moments. I broke down and bought my own copy today so I could re-read it and highlight it and mark it up and bend pages and read it again.

    Another of my favorites is Her Fearful Symmetry. Gorgeous and haunting book. I will be reading that one again here soon, probably after I give LFA some good loving.

    1. Her Fearful Symmetry haunted my summer! It was all I could think about after I read it. No one I knew had read it. I had to sit my boyfriend down and tell him about it so when I made unintelligible noises he would have some idea of what I was going on about. It was so different from The Time Keepers Wife, though I also loved that. Her Fearful Symmetry was a little more disturbing and stuck with me.

  22. I've read "The Fault In Our Stars", "The Truth About Forever", "The Hunger Games", "Thirteen Reasons Why", and "Before I Fall", and all five are on my favorites list! I actually just finished Green's book last night and sobbed my whole way through. It was breath-taking.

    Here's my question:

    Is "My Most Excellent Year" worth finishing? I will admit that I started reading it and got to just under 60 pages and put it down. It seemed like fluff and like it would in no way resonate with me. I actually thought that opinion had something to do with the fact that there were so many pages/snippets of correspondence, which did nothing for my attention span. I will give it another go if you think I'm missing something because it seems that you have excellent taste.

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