Hi friends, and happy Friday!
Just like every other reader, I can’t seem to stop myself from always gabbing about the newest release in my favorite book series or about the crazy amount of love I feel for a fictional character. And just like every other reader, I can’t seem to talk about my favorite books enough.
I’ve been seriously blogging for just over a year, and I’ve never not taken the chance to gush about my favorite books and authors. That’s why we’re all here, right?
While talking about my favorites is fun, I think I love hearing about other people’s favorites even more so. When a reader gets the chance to illustrate exactly why they love a book or series as much as they do, or even when a reader just feels safe enough to do just that, their eyes instantly light up. Readers really come alive when the floor is opened up to talk about something as simple as their most-loved stories.
But, what if you got to hear from a whole host of wonderful readers about their favorites? And what if that was all simply put into one post? And, with all of this in mind, I set out on a mission.
I contacted a few of my favorite bloggers and asked one simple question: “What’s your favorite book or series, and why do you love it so much?”
I’m a big believer that we are what we read, to an extent. What we read inspires us, moves us, transforms us. So, without further ado, here are some of my favorite bloggers talking about their favorite stories.
And the hugest of Thank Yous and the biggest of hugs goes straight to these bloggers. They were each so kind, and I’m beyond thrilled that they were a part of this!
Marta @ The Book Mermaid
I’m very lucky for having been able to read so many wonderful books in the past years, meet so many new characters and discover new favourites. It was hard making a decision, but I ended up picking The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan. It’s a book I read quite recently and I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind completely (not that I would want to). It follows Rukhsana, a Bangladeshi lesbian Muslim girl, who’s closeted and has a girlfriend. She would never think about sharing that part of her life with her parents, as they’re extremely conservative, but one day, they find out. And everything comes crumbling down. Still today, weeks after having read it, it’s not easy to remember that specific scene.
This book ended up touching a very deep and personal part of my own life, and it was honestly awful to read through some passages, because they’re so cruel. I wanted to protect Rukhsana as much as I could from the pain and the mess, and from the nightmare she was living. However, there were also characters – family, friends – that helped her getting through the situation and, quite obviously, she had a happy ending. While The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali told a story of love, family, friendship and acceptance, it also showed how cruel the world could be. The reason I loved this book so much was because I got too emotionally attached to it, even though it was sometimes impossible to keep flipping the pages. But I believe it was exactly what I needed to read and, perhaps, what others would too.
Sophie @ Me and Ink
I’m going to mention a recent favourite of mine which is Radio Silence by Alice Oseman.
There are many things I loved about this book from the writing to the diverse characters to the friendships. It was able to capture my heart very quickly. I thought the focus on friendships in this story was beautiful as it felt so refreshing and heartwarming. Finally it talked about exam pressure and not wanting to attend university. I thought this was wonderful to see as it isn’t talked about enough and I could really relate to the characters. It is amazing the power of hearing someone else is experiencing the same things you did. It makes you feel less alone. It makes you feel okay.
I loved this book for the amazing characters and the connection I felt. Books truly are extraordinary and Radio Silence reminds of this every time I think about it.
Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books
One of my favorite books of all times is a very underrated young adult contemporary reads, called Nothing Left To Burn, by Heather Ezell. It’s a stunningly written story told between past and present, leaving us to compose a puzzle, the puzzle of a complex, toxic, overwhelming love story in the past, building up and changing the main character’s life, as, in the present, fires are ravaging California. The tension, the burning, both inside the main character’s heart and in the forests of California, made this book a thrilling, incredible read I just could NOT stop reading. Addictive, gorgeous and certainly unforgettable, 200% recommend you add it to your TBR THIS very second.
Meaghan @ The Words Gremlin
Choosing a single book or series was hard, but I ended up deciding to give The Diviners series some more love! My other top favorites were the Shades of Magic trilogy and Beyond the Black Door. 💜
It seems like the blogging world oscillates between showing Libba Bray’s Diviners series all the love in the world and then forgetting it exists, but I haven’t forgotten. I won’t. Set in 1920s NYC, it combines all the best features of murder mysteries, paranormal plots, and YA at its finest, making for books that get better and better with every addition to the series. King of Crows is expected in February, and given the trajectory of the story so far, I’m almost 100% sure it’s going to destroy me (and I have no doubt I’ll thank it).
But one of the best parts about the series, surpassing even the intricate plot, is the characters. Lively and diverse and sometimes a little irritating (y’know, like real human beings?), I’m completely in love with the cast. We have a character with depression, a Jewish character at the forefront, a character whose whole family is active in bringing about social justice for the working class, a Black boy and his little brother, a Native American actress, a gay boy from the South, and a biracial ace lesbian, just among the main characters. None of them are built solely around their marginalizations, but Libba Bray also doesn’t pretend that the 1920s was an easy period for any of them. They get to be fully realized in so many ways, with arcs that are blowing me away (like Before the Devil Breaks You‘s Theta arc omg omg omg), and there’s no pretending that the 1920s was hunky dory and pleasant for everyone. In historical fiction, I think there’s some degree of responsibility of showing the barriers folks face rather than erasing those obstacles from view, and it means The Diviners series comes out swinging on every front. You can’t beat strong plot, strong characters, and the sheer depth worked into this series. You just can’t.
Also? The audiobook is, according to everyone I’ve talked to who’s listened to it (lol I have to read it, no attention span for audio), a masterpiece. Bonus cherry on top!
Margaret @ Weird Zeal
Other than Harry Potter, The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater is my favorite series of all time, and I’m never going to pass up the opportunity to ramble about it for a while.
Despite the fact that I talk and think about these books constantly, it’s hard for me to put my finger on exactly why it’s my favorite. I think when you’re reading a book that will become a favorite, there’s this moment that it stops feeling like fiction and becomes something that really matters to you. The characters become people that you know and care about deeply, and it begins to feel like however the book turns out with profoundly impact your own life.
That’s how it feels to read The Raven Cycle, start to finish. I know that Blue, Gansey, Adam, Ronan, Noah, and all the others aren’t real, but what happens to them feels important to me. Somehow, Maggie Stiefvater didn’t just create characters on a page; she created people that feel like they breathe and take up space in the world.
There’s so much I can praise about this series, from the mesmerizing style of writing to quirky sense of humor to the intricate ways that every detail helps build up to the inevitable conclusion. But for me – and for so many other fans of this series – what it really comes down to is the characters. Having spent four books (five for some, after Call Down the Hawk!) with them, they feel like people I know and love. Their triumphs make me proud; their heartbreaks make me cry; their growth throughout the series, both on an individual and interpersonal level, make me clutch the books to my chest in joy. I could probably talk for several hundred more words (at least) about each one of the main characters and every single relationship in their messy complexity. Ronan’s growth out of self-hatred, Adam’s realization of his own worth, Blue’s longing to find her place in the world, and Gansey’s desperation to find the answers to his existence. I’ve read this series three times now and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired about these fascinating, flawed, delightful characters.
So if you somehow have gone through your life so far without reading The Raven Cycle, consider this your wake-up call and go fix that.
Clara @ The Bookworm of Notre-Dame
My name is Clara, I’m a blogger over at The Bookworm of Notre-Dame and my favourite series, if I only had to choose one, is The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare. It came into my life three or four years ago now I think, when only the first book, Lady Midnight, was out. I was feeling very bad at that time, I even had the flu when I started it haha, and it made me feel the happiest. It connected with me on so many levels and I fell in love with the story. I fell in love with Julian too, one of the main characters, who still is my book boyfriend to this day. I saw myself in Emma and I found something in every single one of the characters.
I loved how it was written too, there was something poetic about the story and how it was told. Plus it kept talking about greek and roman mythologies/histories, which I was always passionate about, and it added even more drama and poetry to the whole thing. I never read a book that made me feel that way before, I really got obsessed. And the second book blew my mind, I loved it just as much as the first one. Though I was disappointed with its final installment, I will love this series forever and ever. It brought me so much and made me feel so much better when I was fighting against my depression and eating disorder. It helped me, was a light in the dark place I was living in and so on. I love this series way, way more than starlight, and I’m so glad I got to talk about it once again.
Sofii @ A Book. A Thought.
I would love to highlight the trilogy Blood of Eden by Julie Kagawa, the three books are brilliant. It’s a trilogy about a dystopian world where vampires reign over humans and keep them as slaves to quench their hunger, which is why some humans live hidden in very precarious ways to survive. The main character Allison Sekemoto, is a survivor and the story begins with her being turned into a vampire and forced to leave the city and pretend to be human to be able to mix between a group of survivors and thus be able to get the cure to the disease that has killed half of the population.
It’s an incredible story that I love deeply, not only because it has a lot of action and the plot is super captivating, but also because of the characters, who are wonderfully created and have a wonderful evolution in each book. I also really like the approach that the author decided to give to vampires, doing it as wicked and evil beings, they’re like monsters and that’s something that I enjoy a lot, I think it’s an interesting and fascinating turn to what vampires represented when they just appeared in YA books, as these cute and dark boys, there’s nothing like that here, these are ruthless beings willing to do everything, and our main character must survive not only in a world full of enemies but must fight against herself and her own vampiric impulses. The writing style is brilliant, it keeps you on the edge of your seat wanting to know what will happen and the plot twists are unexpected and breathtaking.
I highly recommend it if you like stories with strong characters, bloody vampires, dystopian worlds and survival journeys.
Charlotte @ Bewitching Books, Ravenous Reads
There are a lot of books and series that I consider to be favourites but Wicked Lovely is one that’s always going to hold a special place in my heart. Every time that I see an opportunity to gush about it I long to do so and it honestly pains me that it doesn’t appear to be as well known, or loved, as other popular books about the fae. This series just means so much to me and always will; firstly because it’s what made me first fall in love with the fae. Melissa Marr’s take on these beings was dark yet seductive, dangerous but intriguing, beautiful and deadly. How could I not be drawn in? It’s also the series that made me fall for dark romances too! The writing is beautiful and the characters vast, varied and just intoxicating to be honest. This book mentioned many common ‘rules’ of the fae and utterly bewitched me. It had such gorgeous little twists on magic – like the tattoos that come up later on in the series – and just… just please read this series! It honestly means so much to me and I will happily gush about it constantly. In fact now is even the perfect time to pick this series up; there’s a prequel novel in the works which I’m just so, so excited for!
Once again, a big BIG thank you to each and every single one of the bloggers that took the time to be a part of this little project! Each time I got a new email with an answer, my heart felt so happy to hear wonderful people talking about wonderful books. Thank you, thank you, thank you!