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10 Books I Couldn't Put Down and Would Highly Recommend

"I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." - C.S. Lewis



Hello, fellow readers! Kaylee here with a list of books that I would highly recommend to any fellow book nerd. Most of these books I either read in a day within a week (unfortunately due to time constraints and the life of an English major). From the moment I finished the first chapter to the last line, I was immersed into different worlds, fell in love with characters who I really wish were real, and became best friends with the main characters who I really connected with. I must warn you, though. If you pick up any of these books, be prepared to be taken on an epic, shed a few tears, and ignore the desire to throw the book across the room (you'll have a few of those moments, I'm sure). In order to keep this list short, I'll be listing 10 books I couldn't put down. This will be part 1 of a to be read list.


1. Love and Luck by Jenna Evans Welch

This book shares the story of main character Addie, her brother Ian, and Ian's friend Rowan as they travel around Ireland for Ian's project. After finding a guidebook dedicated to help the heartbroken feel more or less healed, Addie finds a way to heal her broken heart after being blindsided by a boy she believed she could trust.


My rating: 4.5 stars


What I liked most about this book is the reminder that heartbreak comes in a variety of forms due to many different events. The characters were relatable. While Welch handled some more difficult topics, she also managed to add quite a bit of humor (mainly from Addie's witty personality).


2. Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

This book follows Bailey Rydell as she moves from Washington D.C. to live with her father in California, where her best online friend, Alex, lives. Alex and Bailey, a.k.a. Mink, have never met in real life. While she works at the local museum, she works with arrogant Porter Roth, a.k.a Alex (this is given in the general description, so don't worry, I'm not spoiling anything). However, Mink and Alex do not realize they are talking to each other. As Bailey recovers from a traumatic event that happened years ago (and possibly the reason for her parents' divorce), she begins to let herself be more open with those around her rather than evade everything.


My rating: 5 stars


I really loved this book so much. The character development was done very well. I have to admit, I really wish Porter existed because his character is amazing. This book does well of handling serious subjects, such as shootings and drug abuse, and make it more understandable through the use of human connection. I would without a doubt read this book again.


3. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl follows the story of Cather (Cath) and her twin sister Wren as they start their freshman year of college. Cath is a famous fanfiction writer as she writes about Simon Snow. In her freshman year, she faces trials, such as stepping out of her comfort zone, distance from her sister, and the need to change and challenge her writing.


My rating: 4.5


I loved the characters of Cath, her roommate Reagan, friend Nick, and Levi, the boy who hangs around Reagan and Cath. The book faces some difficult subjects, such as alcohol consumption and abandonment issues. However, it provides a heart-warming story as Cath starts to learn more about herself and step out of her comfort zone, which can be a difficult task to follow through on.


4. Just Friends by Tiffany Pitcock

This book is probably one of my favorites and one of the handful of books I had the pleasure of finishing in about a day. It shares the story of a unique friendship between Straight-A student Jenny and the troublemaker Chance. As their friendship continues to blossom (with its foundation being built upon a complete lie), their bond becomes stronger. They start to recognize there is more than meets the eye.


My rating: 5 stars


This novel handles some pretty heavy topics, such as abandonment, high school bullying, and manipulation. However, Tiffany Pitcock does a fantastic job of balancing the tribulations with a strong connection not only between the two characters Jenny and Chance, but from characters to reader, as well.


5. Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Starry Eyes follows the story of friends-turned-enemies. Zora and Lennox live across the street from one another. They had an amazing friendship, up until Lennox stands Zora up at homecoming. Now at odds, the two agree to a camping trip with friends, only to find themselves left behind by their so-called friends.


My rating: 4.5 stars


I could not put this book down. It had a bit of a slow start for me, however, once I got into it, I fell in love with the characters. This book does deal with serious topics, such as the discussion of cheating, broken families, and minor drug abuse. Jenn Bennett discusses these topics well, as she creates relatable characters. And, honestly, who doesn't love that friends-to-enemies trope?


6. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

This is the book series I could not put down. Once I finished book one, I had to buy books two and three almost immediately. Hush, Hush shares the story of Nora and Patch, where Nora is the rule-follower and Patch is the new-kid with a bit of an infamous reputation. Nora tries to steer clear of him, despite being assigned his lab partner in science class, but he will not leave her alone. He harbors a secret and a desire to get closer to Nora.


My rating: 5 stars


Again, this book is amazing, and so are the other books. This is the first series that required me to rant to my friends about what was going on without giving out the name of the book or the character's names. And, quite honestly, I think I harbor major feelings for Patch and really want him to be real. If that isn't enough persuasion for you to pick up this book and read it for yourself, I don't know what is.


7. With Malice by Eileen Cook

Jill Charron wakes up in the hospital with no memory of what happened during her time in Italy for a school trip. When Jill learns that her best friend Simone is dead, Jill finds herself at the top of the suspect list. Their suspicion: murder. As Jill tries to recollect her memories of Italy, she is being questioned while healing from the accident that apparently took place her last day in Italy.


My rating: 4.5 stars


I really enjoyed this book. It holds so much suspense, and who doesn't love a good mystery? The character development was great and I honestly could not put this book down. There are quite a few twists and turns that results in the reader to scratch their heads, but it is great when you find a book that you can't immediately predict. That is this book.


8. On the Fence by Kasie West

Charlie Reynolds is the only girl in her family, which is quite obvious, as she acts less like a girly-girl and more like one of the guys. She can outrace any guy, including her three older brothers and friend next door Braden. When Charlie finds herself having to pay off a speeding ticket, she is required to get a job. Unfortunately, the only job she can find is at an extremely girly boutique, requiring her to dress less like herself and more like her alter-ego. During the nights she can't sleep due to nightmares about her mother's death, Charlie finds herself talking to Braden over the fence. Their fence talks are like a different world, a different relationship.


My rating: 4.5 stars


This book is a bit cliche, but it's really cute. The character's are well-developed and Kasie West provides a unique story-line to the cliche boy-next-door trope. This book does discuss alcohol abuse and depression, however, West's characters discuss it in a proper format to the point where it is understandable and not accusatory or in-your-face explaining.


9. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why tells the story of Clay as he listen's to Hannah Baker's recorded tapes -- the tapes explaining her suicide. As Clay relives Hannah's final year, he becomes more aware of the people around him and discovers their true colors.


My rating: 5 stars


I read this book in a day and could not put it down. Jay Asher's novel discusses so many topics, such as alcohol and drug abuse, sexual assault, depression, suicide, etc. However, I believe it is such an eye-opening and well-written piece. The Netflix adaptation of this novel does not do this work justice. In fact, I was heartbroken to see how the show continued to spiral downward and create a story that was not Jay Asher's in the later seasons. This is heavy book to read and is not for everyone. However, if you are strong enough to read it, I recommend you do. I think it truly has the power to help you value relationships better and see the world in a new light.


10. Matched by Ally Condie

It is time for Cassia to learn who she will be matched with in this dystopian novel. At the match banquet, she learns she is matched with her best friend Xander, which would make any girl happy. But then there is Ky, the boy who has always been around but not truly known, as he has a mysterious background. After Cassia yearns to learn more about the live before matching, she finds herself closer and closer to breaking the laws, first with reading materials strictly taken off the literary canon. In time, she finds herself needing to choose between Xander, the guy she knows the most, and Ky, the guy she knows the least.


My rating: 5 stars


This book is definitely on the top of my favorites list. I believe this is one of the best dystopian novels I have read and I'm sad to see that it hasn't been made into a movie yet. The two books are just as good. While I read this book about six years ago, I remember the effect it had on me, in how Ky was probably the first character I truly fell hard for. This book dives into literature so well, the English major couldn't even say no to it (it's me -- I'm the English major).



That's about all I have for you, friends. If you've read any of these books, let me know how you felt about them. Are there any books not on this list you think should be on this list? Any book recommendations? Let's have a bookish conversation!


Until next time!

Kaylee

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