If You Enjoyed The Fault in Our Stars
Hey y'all!Recently, I've been noticing a trend. Obviously, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is a very popular book, and evidence from my school shows that. So many people are reading The Fault in Our Stars and really getting into reading again, or for the first time. I love how my grade is starting to read. I love being able to give books to people that changed me and that I hope will change them just a little bit too. It's always amazing to look up from reading a certain book in a public place and look at the world, milling around like nothing's happened. You see everybody going about their day-to-day lives and wonder, haven't they just realized that your entire world is different? Those words changed you.Maybe it's just delightfully entertaining. Maybe those words are sobering. Maybe they're just fluff. Either way, I get so many requests for recommendations from people who have recently read The Fault in Our Stars, or The Perks of Being a Wallflower, or any of the other books currently out there. It makes me so so happy.So many of my friends have read (and loved!) The Fault in Our Stars. They love it because it's devastating and romantic and thoughtful and also with a bit of wittiness. Some look at the undertones of hope and fall in love with Hazel's character, with the nature of Gus and Hazel's relationship. Others fall in love with it because it describes the dark underbelly of the world, of cancer, in a brutally honest and refreshing way that doesn't completely depress them. It's beautiful, and one of those few books that can encompass the world in a way. So naturally, after finishing it (and sobbing), they came to me for recommendations and prescribed books with the qualities that they described.I've decided to start a little mini-series on the blog. Have y'all noticed the little "recommended for" blurbs at the end of my reviews? I always recommend a few books for people who like the book that I reviewed. I started doing this on my Twitter as well, where I'd name a book title and name a few books to read if you enjoyed that title. I'm going to start doing that on the blog. If I do that for those whom I know personally, why wouldn't I do it for my lovely readers?I'm happy to present to y'all the following list:
if you liked the wittiness and romance, with a sad undertone
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky*
Why read this? Like The Fault in Our Stars, it's beautifully written. It focuses on a view of the world that's very unique and that not many people think of. This book has life in it, I swear to you. It's about high school and drugs and sex and love and growing up on one level, but on another, it's about a number of emotions and experiences that all knot together to make a book that you will put down and cry over. Not necessarily in a sad way, just in a way that will remind you that there's so much more out there than the small lives we sometimes choose to live. Like Charlie describes in the classic line, "I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be", this book will both make you happy and sad.
Moonglass by Jessi Kirby
Why read this? It's so poignant, so reflective. While some other books take a look at the world through a grittier viewpoint, this type of sadness was softer. What makes this one different from some of the other books on this list was that it focuses on the happy things. It's very beachy and is the perfect beach read. Not so much the sun-and-sand but more the sound of the waves in the darkness. It's funny and sweet and sad. If you want that calm, quiet, sad-and-happy feeling, definitely pick up Moonglass.
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson*
Why read this? This book is so beautiful. It captures the feeling of grief so well - raw and powerful, but with a gorgeous feel that doesn't make it harsh. It's infused with notes and poems written by Lennie about the loss of her sister, Bailey. From the two completely different romances to the memories of her sister and her family falling apart, all the elements work together perfectly. Lennie pours her emotions into her art and it's heartbreaking in the best possible way. If you're a fan of well-written, witty books that will make you cry and laugh simultaneously, this is the one.
Saving June by Hannah Harrington*
Why read this? This is a lot grittier. It portrays more of the helplessness and anger that comes with grief. It's hilarious and fantastic and horrible in some ways. It deals with everything in this blunt way that perfectly encompasses a wide spectrum of emotions. Harper is sharp and her humor is really dry, which saturates the entire book with a sarcastic undertone that balances out everything perfectly. It's one of the most realistic portrayals of this type of plot. I love this book. When Harper's sister June commits suicide, Harper, her best friend, and a boy with a mysterious connection to June and a passion for music embark on a road trip to take June's ashes to California. The music scattered through it make it a must for any aficionado. If you like darker, wickedly funny books, and a fiery romance, this is a definite for you.
if you want a book that will make you ugly cry*
Hate List by Jennifer Brown
Why read this? This is one of those books that will make you cringe while reading it. It will slightly horrify you and it's uncomfortable and really really well written. The main character, Valerie, is sad and guilty and hurt by all the events of the previous year. When a school shooting pioneered by her own boyfriend rocks the community, Valerie finds herself drowning. When the shooting appears to have been inspired by a list created by Valerie and Nick about everything they hate, the school begins to turn on Valerie. From getting her classmates to trust her again to dealing with her personal demons and missing Nick, Valerie begins to piece her life back together.
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Why read this? So many friends of mine have read and loved Thirteen Reasons Why. It's not incredibly complex or devastating, but it's solid and sad. When Clay finds a box of tapes on his doorstep, he's puzzled. When he discovers the voice of Hannah Baker on the tapes, a classmate who committed suicide two weeks earlier, he's even more confused. But that discovery sparks many more, and soon Clay finds himself on a hunt all over town for the people and things that contributed to Hannah's death.
Looking for Alaska by John Green
Why read this? Oh, John Green. John Green is a GOD. This was actually the first John Green book that I actually read. I listened to it on audiobook and it will just kill you. It's one of those books that is just so distinct and funny and SHATTERING. When Pudge starts at a boarding school in Alabama, he expects anything but what he finds. The magnetic and screwed-up Alaska Young enters his life and everything changes. From smoking with them to pulling pranks with the Colonel to debating the Great Perhaps, Pudge's existence at Culver Creek is finally coming together. Until one night, and one event, changes everything. THIS BOOK IS CRAZY AMAZING AND EVERYBODY NEEDS TO READ IT.
if you want a book about cancer*
The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder
Why read this? I've honestly heard mixed things about this book, but it's one of my favorites, and I've read it multiple times. Cam is wry and slightly morbid and also tries so hard to appreciate the beautiful things in life even when she's been dealt sucky cards. The cancer isn't focused that much on, as opposed to her dying. Instead of focusing on technical treatment and all that, she focuses on making the most of the time she has left and trying not to give up on finding a miracle. If you like a skewed viewpoint of the world, little gorgeous details that embellish a story, and a bucket list, this is the book for you. This one will make you cry, but more in the way that makes you think about the world and how beautiful and messed up it is sometimes. Definitely will always be one of my favorites!
Before I Die by Jenny Downham
Why read this? This book is just...wow. The beginning is powerful. Tess deserves to feel sorry for herself and sometimes she does wallow in pity. Tess didn't have a normal teenage life. She's determined to experience all the first times that she never got to have. It's brutally honest and a lot sadder than other books like this. It's filled with passion and has this lyrical writing style. It's somber and moody. Tess is selfish sometimes. There are some parts of this book that are uncomfortable and will make you sob uncontrollably and the writing just kills me. The last line...just kills.
*All starred books and categories will make you ugly cry, for different reasons.
To all you The Fault in Our Stars fans, I hope y'all find some new reads!