I read a lot of really good books this year. Some came out this year, and some had been out for a while before I got around to them. In any case, I thought I’d share some of my favorites with you, in no particular order.
I read this book twice within about three months, lent it to my cousin so he could read it, and now my brother is borrowing my copy. This book is like one giant pep talk, and it’s such a great reminder about how important community and honesty are. Also, Hannah Brencher in general is one of my favorite writers, and you should also check out her blog and generally any content she puts out into the world.
I don’t remember how exactly I found Mari Andrew’s Instagram, but I’ve been following her for a bit now and was so excited to find out she’d be coming out with a book this year. She posts illustrations and words about relationships, growing up, and life in general. I find her content to be so relatable, and she often puts into words the feelings and thoughts I hadn’t figured out how to express.
In her book, she talks about her journey into adulthood and includes illustrations throughout to show what she was feeling and thinking at the time. I really enjoyed this book because I always enjoy a good memoir/coming of age story. It also delves into the topic of reaching adulthood, what that looks like, and what it means to grow up. Being in my twenties, that’s something I’m currently going through, so I love reading about people who made it to the other side, so to speak.
I’d previously read Emmy & Oliver, another book by Robin Benway, so I was excited to pick this one up as well. It did not disappoint. Far From the Tree is a novel about three biological siblings who grew up in different settings. The two sisters were adopted at birth, and the brother – the oldest – spent his life in the foster care system. One of the girls finds out about the other two siblings and reaches out to them. They begin spending a lot of time together and figuring out what it means to be a family to each other.
I don’t want to give too much away, so I’ll just leave it at that. If you enjoy realistic YA, though, I definitely recommend this one.
I grew up watching Gilmore Girls on an almost daily basis, so of course I’ve been a fan of Lauren Graham pretty much since always. Still, it took me longer than I’d hoped to get around to reading her memoir. But when I finally did, I enjoyed it so much. Getting to read about not only her time filming Gilmore Girls (both times), but also about her childhood, early adulthood, and her time doing Parenthood was so much fun. I also enjoyed her talking about what it was like writing Someday, Someday Maybe, her first book (a novel), which I also read this year.
This was one of the first books I read this year, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. This is another memoir, and in this case it’s about a twentysomething who falls in love, gets married, and has a kid. But also, before she marries the love of her life, he’s diagnosed with cancer and dies shortly after their child is born. So it’s incredibly sad but also such a beautiful story about love and heartbreak and what happens after that heartbreak. If you enjoy memoirs even half as much as I do, you’ll enjoy this one.
This is one of those books that had been on my reading list for quite some time, and I probably would’ve put it off a bit longer if I hadn’t wanted to watch the movie. Almost the entire time I was reading this book I was holding back tears. I don’t typically get very emotional about books (or TV shows or movies), but this one got me.
The Hate U Give is a novel about Starr Carter, a sixteen-year-old black girl who is present when her best friend is shot by a police officer and follows the events that take place after that. It was one of my favorite novels I read this year. Even if you’ve watched the movie, you should read the book because as with any adaptation, there’s much more detail and story in the book.
What were some of your favorite books this year? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.