12 Books for 2018

I know it's already the end of January (soz), but I really wanted to share a list of books for 2018. I was inspired to do this post after reading Allane Milliane's post 12 Books to Read on Your Travels in 2018.  If reading is one of your goals for the year, then I hope you'll find this list inspiring or helpful! I've curated a list of a variety of different books and hope you find one that piques your interest! All of these books I've read and re-read and have seriously enjoyed. 

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Story of A Girl by Sara Zarr, though a quick read, is a compelling story about a teenage girl struggling to overcome a bad reputation. She's been ostracized by people at school and labeled the "school slut". Her own father has given her the cold shoulder, making her yearn for her family's affection. She dreams of one day leaving her life behind and starting over. This is a realistic novel about a life defined by one moment and seeking redemption for one poor decision. 

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Amelia Anne Is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield is a story about the mysterious death of a strange young woman whose body is found outside a small town. Her death not only shocks the town, but leaves Becca reeling and full of doubt. Before Amelia Anne's body was found, Becca had big plans to leave her dead end hometown. Now, however, she feels stuck in a place she had forever longed to break free from. If you liked Pretty Little Liars, then you're going to really enjoy this book. 

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Fingerprints of You by Kristen-Paige Madonia is about a girl named Lemon, determined not to repeat her mother's mistakes. She sets out on a road trip to San Francisco to meet the father she's never known. She believes if she figures out her past, she can create a better life for herself and her unborn child. Judy Blume says, "Sure to appeal to both teens and adults who will want to read it again, just as I did". And, sidenote, the cover art is really beautiful. 

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Heading in a completely different direction, Wild by Cheryl Strayed has got to be one of my favorite books. If you haven't heard of it (have you been living under a rock?) Reese Witherspoon has turned it into a movie, which is also amazing, so you know it must be good. It's a true story about a woman finding her way on the Pacific Crest Trail one grueling step at a time. It's an original and heartbreaking read. It's also said to have made the number of people who hike the PCT spike, which I believe because it's now on my bucket list. 

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Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater is the first book of her popular trilogy. The wonderfully written characters will draw you in and keep you hooked, wondering how their stories will end. Set in Minnesota (heyo) it tells the story about Grace and Sam. Grace is an ordinary high school girl who has a fondness for the wolves that linger in her backyard. Sam is not quite so ordinary, in the winter he lives with his pack in the woods and in the summer enjoys being human. As their lives intertwine, they'll have to fight to stay together or risk losing it all. 

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The first time I read Animal Farm by George Orwell was in middle school. It's one of the first books that's really made me think, and has left a lasting impact on me. Still, it remains my favorite by the author because although it is quite an easy read, the illuminating themes and symbolism of this fable send a strong message not soon to be forgotten. 

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My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick is a heart-warming boy meets girl story. Samantha envies Jases' family for being everything hers is not. As the two fall for each other, Samantha becomes a part of her neighbor's family, but keeps her relationship a secret from her own. When what wasn't supposed to happen does, Samantha must navigate impossible decisions while stumbling through her first relationship. 

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I haven't read this book in a long time, but Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver was probably the scariest series I had ever read, next to Harry Potter. Torak, a twelve year old boy, and his wolf-cub set out on a journey to defeat a great evil that stalks the land. They risk it all on a dangerous mission to save their world. It's an excellently written book and an amazing series that I garuntee once you start, you won't be able to put down. 

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Another first book of a page turning series, The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, is probably my favorite book set in a dystopian future. Yes, I even like it more than The Hunger Games or Divergent (gasp). The characters are refreshing and I find the story line more original, I know, a bold statement. Todd and his dog Manchee uncover an alarming secret their town has been hiding and must run for their lives. There's a twist however, in Prentisstown everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts, what they call Noise. So how do you escape from people who can hear everything you're thinking and the secrets you aren't supposed to know about? Todd must not only flee from everything he knows, but also figure out how to be an honorable man in a dishonorable world. 

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Another memoir, though much different from Wild, Looking Back by Lois Lowry is a heartbreaking and heartwarming book of memories accompanied by black and white photos from the author's life. If you're unfamiliar, Lois Lowry wrote The Giver and is one of my favorite authors. This book is like having one of your relatives show you old pictures and the stories behind them. It makes you think about the moments in life that shape someone into the person they are today. What moments in our own lives stay with us, even many years later. If you've ever wondered where an author finds inspiration, then I would highly recommend this book. 

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I love stories about time travel and this book is one such story. The Here And Now by Ann Brashers, author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, follows Prenna James who moved to New York when she was twelve. The world she left behind was devastated. Millions were dead, ravaged by a mosquito-borne illness. Those who left their dying world behind follow strict rules, to protect themselves and the population they've become a part of. Prenna isn't a rule breaker, but everything comes into question when she meets Ethan. 

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And last, but not least we have my favorite book of all time. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. The way it's written draws you into the life and perspective of Charlie as he makes his way through high school, friendships, and crushes. An honest depiction or family drama and first dates, these characters and their stories are sure to stay with you. At the end it truly feels like Charlie is your friend who wants you to do well. The film is also amazing, probably because it's written and directed by the author. If you read any book from this list (though read them all, I mean, why not?) I would highly recommend this one above all others. I love it that much. 

I'm always on the hunt for my next second favorite book (because The Perks of Being a Wallflower will always be numero uno) so definitely let me know what your favorites are in the comments below!