This year, I made it my mission to read twenty books, and no better time to start was this summer. Right now, at this very moment, I have read thirteen books, and I am so close to my goal. Every time I finish a book I decide to write a lengthy review, but instead of doing so, I want to recommend the top five books that were either perfection itself or nearly to the point I couldn’t put it down or stop listening to the audiobook. Regardless of whether you are starting to read again, like me, and you can’t keep away from Booktok or Booktube, here are the top five books you should absolutely pick up.
1. I Killed Zoe Spanos
I was in a reading dry spell until I found this gem. I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick- to me is a masterpiece for anyone who loves mystery, true crime, and trying to dive out of young adult novels and into new adult. As you can see from the title, this book is about an eighteen-year-old girl, Anna, who is babysitting in the Hamptons, and somehow everyone thinks she looks like Zoe, who has gone missing for a few months. Throughout the whole book, you are trying to piece memories and evidence together to see which character is guilty. Not only did I finish it in two days, but I couldn’t stop talking about it. I give it four out of five stars.
“But there are some secrets- my secrets- that Windermere will hold forever, trapped beneath the ash like spilled blood.”Kit Frick
2. We were Liars
This book actually had mixed reviews, and at first, I didn’t have high hopes for it. Yet, I picked up this novel on one hot afternoon in Texas during summer break, and I finished it four in the morning. Not only did I finish it, but I cried until I had a headache. Like the previous book I mentioned, I believed both of them are perfect for summer because not are the stories set around that season, but they feel like beach or pool reads; you can kick your feet up and dive into the world. In We Were Liars, you follow a teen who was in a mysterious accident along with her cousins and her love interest. She hasn’t seen them for some time, maybe even over a year, now she is trying to find out the family secret everyone is so desperate to keep. I gave this book a four out of five stars; I also would like to add that the author includes lyrical fairy-tales to push her story forward; it was different, and it made me keep reading.
“Nothing, I lie there and wait, and remind myself over and over that it doesn’t last forever. That there will be another day and after that, yet another day.”E. Lockhart
3. Six of crows
Everyone may know this one due to Netflix coming out with Shadow and Bone. They include different series into one show; however, both are centered in the Grishaverse, a world Leigh Bardugo curated herself. You have everything you need, a heist only six teens can pull off, supernatural and magical-like abilities, adventure, a crime that the protagonist commits, and of course, diversity. I remember everyone hyping up this series, and I didn’t want to dive in and be disappointed. The only disappointment I felt was because I didn’t read this sooner. Follow Kaz Brekker, “the bastard of the barrel,” as they call him, as he hands pick a few others that would pull off the perfect heist and make a lot of money. Leigh Bardugo has a way with words, especially with her beautiful writing. Although most young adult novels have a big romantic plot or subplot, Bardugo doesn’t make it her focus, yet the subtleness was still just as fulfilling. I give it five stars; I never thought I would do that, but I can’t wait to read the next book she publishes. If you don’t believe me, here are two of my favorite quotes.
No funerals.”Leigh Bardugo
“I have made to protect you. Only in death will I be kept from this oath.”Leigh Bardugo
4. The song of achilles
Before listening to the audiobook, I knew the reviews said this book would tear out my heart, and I gladly let it. One of the best mythologies I’ve read. Madeline Miller has become my new favorite author; after I read The Song of Achilles, I decided to read Circe, and she did not steer me wrong. I believe if you are a fan of Greek mythology, this is the right book for you, especially if you want a more adult perspective of Greek figures. Instead of following Achilles’ point of view, you follow Patroclus, his friend, and soon lover that shows the ups and downs and the intertwining of their lives with fate. Madeline Miller has a knack for beautiful language; if I could read this for the first time again, I would. Moreover, even the way Patroclus speaks of Achilles is adoring and heartwrenching. I give it five stars.
“…I could recognize him by touch alone, by smell. I would know him blind, by the way his breaths came and his feet struck the earth. I would know him in death, at the end of the world.”Madeline Miller
5. How to fail at flirting
What I love about this romance novel is that it has the right amount of drama that does not take away from the plot and the characters falling in love. This was Denise Williams’s debut novel, and she is a breath of fresh air. Her novel centers around two characters who are trying to navigate life away from their exes, but one night, the two strangers meet each other in a bar and have a memorable night that they both will never forget. This is very much an adult novel; it has themes such as sex, abuse, mental health, and more. I believe this novel handled intense themes perfectly without trauma dumping, and the way the character falls for each other is swoon-worthy and hilarious. I give it five stars!
“I’m saying, we don’t have to insert men into every aspect of our language.”
“Okay, ovary up. Fallopian forward. Vulva with a vengenace.”Denise Williams
I hope these quotes made you feel something or even laugh. That’s all for today folks, happy reading!