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Book Recommendations For Ringing In the New Year

So, you’ve decided your new year’s resolution this year is going to be to read more books. Personally, I absolutely love reading. So I think that’s a great idea! But it can be hard to stick to your resolutions if you don’t know where to start. Allow me to recommend you some of my all-time favorite books in a variety of genres to help you start strong.

Classics

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

If you’re looking for a gothic classic, The Picture of Dorian Gray is definitely the way to go. I personally love how thought-provoking this book is as our protagonist struggles with his own morality as well as mortality. Pair that with Oscar Wilde’s beautiful writing (which isn’t overly flowery so have no fear if you’re usually intimidated by the language in classic novels) and you’ve got the picture of perfection.

Fantasy

Girls of Paper and fire by Natasha Ngan

If a dark high fantasy is what you want to keep you on the edge of your seat, Girls of Paper and Fire is perfect for you. Girls of Paper and Fire is probably my number one, all-time favorite book. It’s full of mystery, terror, and romance in a brilliantly crafted fantasy world that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page. Please note that this book should be read with care as it does deal with topics of sexual assault.

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Now, Cemetery Boys is probably the only other book that gives Girls of Paper and Fire a run for its money. But where Girls of Paper and Fire is dark and richly crafted, Cemetery Boys is the opposite side of the coin. It is light, funny, and it doesn’t require you to learn about a whole new fantasy world, being classified as an urban fantasy. But Cemetery Boys isn’t at a loss for deep, heartfelt storylines. This story perfectly balances heavier topics like grief and prejudice with a fun adventure that will keep you engaged.

Romance

Get A life, Chloe Brown By Talia Hibbert

If you want romance for days, start with Get a Life, Chloe Brown. As this book is the first in a trilogy following three different sisters, it’s like a gift that keeps on giving. The series is amazing at pairing a swoon-worthy romance with characters who feel real because of their real-life experiences and struggles. But like any perfect romance novel, they’ll leave you hopeful and reinstate your belief in the power of love.

Red, White & Royal Blue by casey McQuiston

Now, if you’re all over BookTok, this one might not be new to you. If you somehow haven’t heard of it, Red, White & Royal Blue is the perfect swoon-worthy enemies-to-lovers story, without the toxicity that sometimes comes with that trope. I personally adored this book. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me feel all the feels.

Historical Fiction

The seven husbands of evelyn hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo may be another BookTok favorite but, I can’t not recommend it. Not only is the story a beautiful, complex tale that will keep you on the edge of your seat but, the writing is also impeccable. Personally, Taylor Jenkins Reid is probably my favorite author, writing-wise. She just strings along her words and stories in such a captivating and cinematic way, making it impossible to put her books down.

Science Fiction

Crier’s war by Nina Varela

If you want something futuristic and yet fantastical, Crier’s War is perfect. Though the story isn’t a space adventure, it captures the sci-fi feeling with very nearly human technology and the struggles people face after this technology becomes in control. But that’s not nearly the surface level it covers. The novel expertly explores class struggles and social divides plus, a gorgeous star-crossed romance.

Contemporary/Litererary Fiction

Honey Girl By Morgan Rogers

This one’s for all the college students who are in a panic about what they’re going to do with their lives. Not only is Honey Girl a beautiful story of self-discovery and finding your own path but, it’s also heartfelt and funny with a dash of dysfunctional romance. This slice of life story is also a great choice if you’re looking for something shorter to start your resolution out with.

The last true poets of the sea by Julia Drake

If you’re more in the mood for a YA contemporary novel, allow me to recommend The Last True Poets of the Sea. The Last True Poets of the Sea is a beautiful story of family, friendship, personal growth, and mental health, sprinkled with romance and, of course, treasure hunting. And true to the title, the writing is so beautiful that it feels like reading poetry.

Mystery

She’s Too Pretty To Burn by Wendy Heard

If you want to take a few recommendations from this list, She’s Too Pretty To Burn will pair perfectly with The Picture of Dorian Gray, as it’s a loose retelling of Oscar Wilde’s classic novel. And while I could talk forever about how She’s Too Pretty To Burn draws inspiration from The Picture of Dorian Gray perfectly, it can also stand alone fantastically. This summery murder mystery is sure to keep you guessing as you watch the twists and turns unfold.

Horror

Wilder girls by Rory Power

Wilder Girls has to be my recommendation for fans of horror and gore (which for the record I am not so, this book has to be good). But on top of the disturbing horror aspect, Wilder Girls perfectly incorporates the vibes of dystopian survival fiction. This will make you feel nostalgic for our middle school years when YA dystopian was all the rage.

Watch over me by Nina LaCour

For anyone who wants to read horror but hates to be scared, I’d like to recommend a more introspective and mellow book with just a dash of a ghost story. Technically, Watch Over Me isn’t really horror but it’s hard to characterize. This book isn’t really about the genre or even the plot, it’s more about the vibes but the vibes are oddly perfect. It’s like being home alone and you’re wrapped in a blanket but, you’re leaning against a window so you can still feel the cold of the glass, it’s cloudy and everything is quiet. I know that doesn’t make any sense, but if that sounds like something you’d like, maybe trust me on this one.

Emma Bergman

Bowling Green '25

Emma is a freshman, double majoring in psychology and Spanish. She's a bonified Swiftie, a former theatre kid, and an avid reader. Her favorite topics to write about include media, mental health, and LGBTQ+ life.
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