Hello everyone! I have been so terrible about posting things since school started (sorry!), but I’m here with this month’s recommendations! For November, I figured I’d recommend some great stand-alone books that I’ve read over the years! Let’s get started!
First off we have something that I literally just read and absolutely loved: Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter. This book, based on the Russian fairy tale Vassalissa the Beautiful but set in modern day brooklyn, follows a girl named Vassa who, after being sent to a local convince store, must survive three nights working for the witch who owns the store and frequently beheads her customers. It is honestly impossible to do this book justice in a brief description, because it is super unique, and really weird but in the most amazing way. The writing is incredibly immersive, the story is suspenseful and magical, and the mix of fairytale magic and a modern setting is just beautiful. This book is probably one of my favorites of 2016, and definitely one I’d recommend.
Next up is another book I read this year: The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson. This contemporary follows the daughter of a congressman who, after her father is involved in a political scandal, has to spend the summer in her small town with a job walking dogs rather than completing an internship. This is one of those books that’s really hard to summarize well, so just take my word that it is absolutely amazing! The relationships between the characters (romantic and platonic) are so well written, the main character is really relatable, and the story is actually really fun! This is definitely a great book to pick up if you’re looking for a good contemporary!
Next up we have Ever by Gail Carson Levine. I’m not sure if this counts as middle grade or YA since I read it back in middle school, but it’s definitely one of my favorite books. Set in a fantasy world similar to an ancient Mesopotamian culture, the story follows two perspectives: A girl who is to be sacrificed to her people’s god, and a young god from a different pantheon who has fallen in love with the mortal girl. Working together, they must find a way for her to join him as a god before she is sacrificed. Let me just say, the world building and mythology in this book is incredibly written, and it literally reads like a modern fairy tale. If you’re looking for a good fantasy, this is a great one to check out.
This next book is something I just read this month: Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon. This book follows a girl with an extremely rare disease where she is allergic to practically everything in the world, and so hasn’t left her house in years. However, when a new family and their teenage son move into the house next door, her whole life immediately changes. This book honestly has to be one of the best I’ve read all year. The main character is amazingly written, it’s really easy to get invested in the romance, there’s even some really cool illustrations! This is another great book to read if you’re in the mood for a contemporary!
Finally, we have another of my all time favorite middle grades: The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke. Set in Modern day Venice, this book follows two orphaned brothers who, to avoid being separated, run away and join a group of children living in an abandoned theatre led by a boy known as the Thief Lord. Everything about this book is absolutely amazing. The writing and setting is beautiful, the characters are really memorable, and I don’t want to spoil anything, but there’s even a bit of a fantasy element. This is definitely something to read if you’re looking for a light, endearing book!
Well that’s about it for this month’s reccomendations! Thanks for reading and see you next time!