When I was younger I was a voracious reader. I used to take a book with me wherever I went and read in the car, while waiting in lines, while in restaurants… I’d even hide books under my desk under the pretense of doing homework so that my parents wouldn’t catch me. I assure you it was a serious concern—I can’t count the number of times my parents punished me by taking my books away.
But as I got older, the number of books I read declined. Not because I didn’t love reading, but because other things, like school, got in the way. I went from reading 5-10 books a month to reading 5-10 books a year, if that.
But over the last few months, I’m happy to say that I’ve really gotten back to into reading again. One of the most important parts of writing is reading, and really anytime I’m stuck with my own novel, I immediately turn to stories for inspiration. Something about being immersed in another world helps my muse recharge and ready to dive back into writing. So this week, I thought I’d make a quick list of books that I’ve really enjoyed reading over the last six months.
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman/Meagan Spooner (Space Opera)
First off, I owe a shout out to my CP, Melody, for making me read it! It’s a beautiful, touching story that is particularly stunning because most of the novel only features the two main characters making their way across an empty planet in the aftermath of a shipwreck. I will actually probably do a longer post about this novel at some point in the future since it was so influential in my life, but it’s definitely been my most recommended book this year—with a 100% success rate.
Red Rising by Pierce Brown (Dystopia/Space Opera)
So I’m kind of cheating here since I’m still in the middle of reading this, but I have to admit that it’s got this emotional intensity that makes it nearly impossible to put down. I’m not a huge fan of dystopian novels but this one is really good—and not just because it’s set on Mars (though let’s be honest, that only makes it even better.)
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (Fantasy)
Anyone who’s interacted with me in the last six months has probably been annoyed by my frequent references to Maggie Stiefvater’s Twitter feed, which has become one of my favorite things on the Internet. My favorite thing about The Raven Boys—and its sequel The Dream Thieves—is the breathtakingly beautiful prose and the old soul characters. While there are fantastical elements that have to do with dead Welsh kings and tarot/seers, the heart of the story is really in the characters and their interactions.
Last Will and Testament by Dahlia Adler (New Adult)
I’ve recently discovered the New Adult genre, and I actually went through weeks where that was literally all I read. Out of the dozens of NAs I’ve read in the last few months, this one really stands out for several reasons. First of all, the writing is wonderful. Second, it captures the essence of the character’s emotional state perfectly. And third, it features a non-white main character!
Written in Red by Anne Bishop (Urban Fantasy)
Anne Bishop is pretty well known for the Black Jewels trilogy, but for those who aren’t a huge fan of high fantasy, her world in this series is much easier to slip into and features a wonderful cast of characters that are urban fantasy staples. But unlike a lot of the typical shape shifters, vampires, and seers, these characters are a lot darker. It’s a beautifully constructed world with compelling characters and a powerful story. I’m looking forward to reading the last book in the trilogy in the coming week!
I’m always looking for good book recommendations! What are some of your recent favorites? Feel free to leave a comment—or send me a message—if you have any questions or suggestions.