April 23rd is World Book Day, so in honor of one of my favorite activities and this wonderful day, I want to give you my personal recommendation on books that I think everyone should read at least once. I have to note that I’m a little (okay a lot) biased toward YA dystopian fiction. (Who says fulfilling our stereotypes is necessarily a bad thing?) Anyways, here’s my list of six books (or book series) that I believe everyone should read in their lifetime:
The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
If you know me, you know that I have a deep love for this series. It’s what got me into dystopian fiction in the first place, and I read it at a difficult time in my life mental-health-wise, so it holds a special place in my heart. It’s also a pretty easy read, so if you haven’t read it, I highly recommend picking it up.
Night Road by Kristin Hannah
This book is beautifully heart-wrenching in a way that I have yet to see replicated. I spent a decent portion of this book in tears, so if you’re looking for an emotional read I highly recommend this. It deals with some pretty intense topics like drunk driving and the process of grief, and it does so in an unflinching way that leads me to believe that everyone should pick this up at least once in their life.
Legend by Marie Lu
This is another dystopian trilogy that I am shamelessly in love with. It has some common themes with The Hunger Games (e.g. rebellious teens, corrupt government, etc.) but it also takes what I consider to be a bit of a deeper approach to this genre. It also features a plague as one of the main conflicts, which is a topic I find infinitely interesting (stay tuned for my short story take on the plague concept…)
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Okay, one more typical dystopian trilogy. I can’t help it! I love them! In this case I’m mostly interested in the first book, Delirium. It’s one of those books that I go back and read when I can’t decide what to read. This book follows teenager Lena Haloway in a society where love is deemed a mental disorder. At the age of 18, all citizens must be “cured” and from there on can’t quite feel emotions in the same way as before. Unsurprisingly, Lena finds herself falling in love just shortly before her 18th birthday. You can imagine the drama that follows.
The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
These books are futuristic re-tellings of classic fairy tales. I love to look at modern renditions of classic, grotesque fairy tales, and this series combines that with–you guessed it–a dystopian twist. Despite these books being incredibly lengthy (Winter is over 800 pages) I found that I could not put them down.
Go Ask Alice by Beatrice Sparks
This “anonymously” written book takes the form of a found diary, and follows a teenage girl on her downward spiral into drug use. It’s incredibly intense and real. Even though it was written in 1971, the stories remain relevant a relatable. This is one of those books that stuck with me long after I finished reading.
It’s incredibly hard for me to narrow my list of favorite books down, so I want to include these few honorable mentions. Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling, a pretty common favorite; Divergent by Veronica Roth, following my dystopian theme; The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, my absolute favorite movie, and one of the only times I’ll admit to liking the movie more than the book; and lastly The Shining by Stephen King, which helped feed my never-ending love of horror.
See any of your favorites on my list? Let me know in the comments!
Stay tuned for more updates,
xoxo, second sister suzie