I don’t know if it’s because I review books for fun or if it’s because I spend all day around literature, but I always have friends and coworkers asking me for book recommendations. It’s probably just because I read a lot and can instantly think of a few books off hand that they’d like. I’ve chosen 5 books from different genres that I frequently
force lovingly place into people’s hands…then I anxiously await their verdict.
Landline by Rainbow Rowell — Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
I’m a Rainbow Rowell fan. I’ve listed her as one of my auto-buy authors and I’ve read everything she’s come out with so far. This particular book is about Georgie McCool (which is such a great character name), whose marriage is in trouble. Through an old landline phone, Georgie is able to communicate with her husband though the past, understanding the depths of their relationship and the root of their troubles. I really loved this book. It was so fresh and different from anything else I’d read. This is a book that I typically recommend to married friends, but I’m not married and I enjoyed it. So don’t let me put you in a corner.
Graceling by Kristin Cashore — Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
I think I first read this book in high school and it’s one of the reasons that the YA fantasy genre is my go-to genre. Graceling is about a world where some people are born with abilities, known as Graces. In this story, we follow Katsa, who has a Grace that makes her a gifted killer, and the secrets she uncovers as her king/uncle’s thug. Characters abound in this book that’ll make your heart race and make you yell, “YES! You go!” This is a great book for someone who tends to steer clear of fantasy books. The magical elements are easy to understand and the world building happens pretty early on.
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins — Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
This book, as well as its two companion novels, was something I read in one sitting. In this book, we follow Anna as she starts at her new school…in Paris, France, the friends she makes, and the boy that catches her attention. It’s important to note that said boy’s name is Etienne, which is pronounced et-ee-IN, and note that the middle “ee” sound has that French swag to it. Google it. Youtube it.This is a book that I typically recommend to friends around my age (mid-twenties) who want something light and fun to read, but not something that’s vapid and pointless.
Stardust by Neil Gaiman — Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Adventure
I love this book and there are different parts of it that pop into my head all the time. Stardust is about Tristan Thorne and the fallen star he finds in order to win the heart of the prettiest girl in town. (Plot twist: the fallen star is a woman!) This story has a faerie realm, amazing character names, and pirates with flying ships. Plus, there’s a movie adaptation, which I actually think is pretty great and I watch it every once in a while. I recommend this book to friends who are looking for something a little different from their usual picks.
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys — Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Survival, WWII
Last but not least, we reach the historical fiction genre, which is one that I adore. This book is so beautifully written and I want to buy a thousand copies and send it to random people everywhere. Every word is dripping in emotion and you can almost feel how historically accurate it is, courtesy of Sepetys’s thorough research, which she writes about at the end of the book. This book emotionally wrecked me, then rescued me all in one sitting. So, so beautiful. I recommend this book to anyone who’s looking for a book that forces them to feel something, or who wants to feel like they’ve experienced something real.
What are some books that you always recommend to friends? Let me know in the comments!
Happy reading! – Caitlyn