For those of you who aren’t going on a date on Valentine’s Day, (like me) why not have a date with a book instead?
Two books for when you are craving romance:
The Gravity Of Us by Phil Stamper
“As a successful social media journalist with half a million followers, seventeen-year-old Cal is used to sharing his life online. But when his pilot father is selected for a highly publicized NASA mission to Mars, Cal and his family relocate from Brooklyn to Houston and are thrust into a media circus.
Amidst the chaos, Cal meets sensitive and mysterious Leon, another “Astrokid,” and finds himself falling head over heels—fast. As the frenzy around the mission grows, so does their connection. But when secrets about the program are uncovered, Cal must find a way to reveal the truth without hurting the people who have become most important to him.”
5/5😄 Ages 14+
Genres: LGBTQ+, Young adult, Romance, Fiction, Contemporary
Differently Normal by Tammy Robinson
“For Maddy, life is all about routine. It has to be, to keep her autistic sister happy and healthy. With just Maddy and her mother as Bee’s full time carers, there’s no time in Maddy’s life for complications like friends, let alone a boyfriend.
So when Bee joins a new Riding for the Disabled stable and they meet Albert, the last thing on Maddy’s mind is falling in love.
Some things, she’s about to learn, are outside of our control.
Albert has resigned himself to always being a disappointment to his strict father. When he meets Maddy, he gets a glimpse of what being part of a family can be like, and of the tremendous sacrifices that people will make for the ones that they love.”
5/5😄 Ages 13+
Genres: Romance, Young adult, Fiction, Contemporary
If you want a more heartbreaking romance, try this book:
The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
“Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.”
5/5😄 Ages 14+
Genres: Young adult, Romance, Fiction, Contemporary
Two books for if you’re feeling Anti-Valentines Day
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
“The day after they moved in, Coraline went exploring….
In Coraline’s family’s new flat are twenty-one windows and fourteen doors. Thirteen of the doors open and close.
The fourteenth is locked, and on the other side is only a brick wall, until the day Coraline unlocks the door to find a passage to another flat in another house just like her own.
Only it’s different.
At first, things seem marvelous in the other flat. The food is better. The toy box is filled with wind-up angels that flutter around the bedroom, books whose pictures writhe and crawl and shimmer, little dinosaur skulls that chatter their teeth. But there’s another mother, and another father, and they want Coraline to stay with them and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.
Other children are trapped there as well, lost souls behind the mirrors. Coraline is their only hope of rescue. She will have to fight with all her wits and all the tools she can find if she is to save the lost children, her ordinary life, and herself.”
Genres: Fantasy, Horror, Fiction, Middle grade
Carrie by Stephen King
“A modern classic, Carrie introduced a distinctive new voice in American fiction. The story of misunderstood high school girl Carrie White, her extraordinary telekinetic powers, and her violent rampage of revenge, remains one of the most barrier-breaking and shocking novels of all time.
Make a date with terror and live the nightmare that is…Carrie.”
Genres: Horror, Fiction, Thriller
If you want something really messed up, try this book:
Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk
“Haunted is a novel made up of stories: twenty-three of the most horrifying, hilarious, mind-blowing, stomach-churning tales you’ll ever encounter.
The stories are told by people who have all answered an ad headlined ‘Artists Retreat: Abandon your life for three months‘. They are led to believe that here they will leave behind all the distractions of ‘real life’ that are keeping them from creating the masterpiece that is in them.
But ‘here’ turns out to be a cavernous and ornate old theater where they are utterly isolated from the outside world – and where heat and power and, most importantly, food are in increasingly short supply. And the more desperate the circumstances become, the more desperate the stories they tell – and the more devious their machinations to make themselves the hero of the inevitable play/movie/non-fiction blockbuster that will certainly be made from their plight.”
*This was my mom’s recommendation!
Feel like solving a mystery? Read these!
The Midnight Tunnel by Angie Frazier
“A girl’s gone missing. Can Suzanna solve the crime? It is 1905 and young Suzanna works at her family’s inn in Loch Harbor, New Brunswick, where she is trained to be a well-mannered hostess and a charming lady. Suzanna has other ideas for her future–she wants to be a detective. When a young guest goes missing on a stormy summer night, Suzanna’s famous uncle, Detective Bruce Snow, comes to solve the case. But Suzanna learns that not everything is as it seems. With a little help from her friends, can she solve the mystery of the missing girl before her uncle closes the case?”
4/5😄 Ages 10+
Genres: Mystery, Historical fiction, Middle grade
The Unexplainable Disappearance Of Mars Patel by Sheela Chari
“Mars Patel’s friend Aurora has disappeared! His teachers are clueless. His mom is stressed out about her jobs. But Mars refuses to give up–after all, his own dad disappeared when Mars was a toddler, before he and Ma moved to Puget Sound from India. Luckily, Mars has a group of loyal friends eager to help–smart Toothpick, strong and stylish JP, and maybe-telepathic Caddie. The clues seem to point toward eccentric tech genius (and Mars’s hero) Oliver Pruitt, whose popular podcast now seems to be commenting on their quest! But when the friends investigate Pruitt’s mysterious, elite school, nothing is as it seems–and anyone could be deceiving them. Slick science, corporate conspiracies, and an endearingly nerdy protagonist make this a fresh, exciting sci-fi adventure.”
5/5😄 Ages 11+
Genres: Middle grade, Mystery, Science fiction, Adventure
A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder by Holly Jackson
“The case is closed. Five years ago, schoolgirl Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. The police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it.
But having grown up in the same small town that was consumed by the murder, Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn’t so sure. When she chooses the case as the topic for her final year project, she starts to uncover secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden. And if the real killer is still out there, how far will they go to keep Pip from the truth?”
5/5😄 Ages 13+
Genres: Mystery, Young adult, Thriller, Contemporary, Fiction
*If you’re looking for a classic, Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie books are always a great option!
Feeling done with the real world? Read these!
Oathbound by Victoria McCombs
“Emme has spent her life avoiding anything to do with pirates. But the fates are cruel, and now a hidden sickness leads her to partner with pirates for the one thing that can save her—a cure on an island none are certain exists.
The pirate captain’s secrets are darker than the deep and threaten to kill them all. His obligations are tinged with betrayal, for his oathbind must be fulfilled. To ignore it is to invite peril of unimaginable destruction.
As the adventure unfolds, the sea takes more than she expects and the sea gives more than he wants.“
Genres: Fantasy, Pirates, Young adult, Adventure
Storybound by Emily McKay
“I’ve lived in nine towns in the past six years. I know my mom feels bad about it, but I don’t mind. Who wants friends anyway?
All I’ve ever needed are my books. I’ve lived a thousand lives, had adventures I couldn’t even begin to imagine. To me, the places I discovered between the pages of a book are as real as the world I live in.
When I walk into my favorite bookstore, the last thing I expect is to walk out onto the pages of the kingdom of Mithres…or that the book boyfriend I’ve loved more than life, Kane the Traveler, really exists. And he has no clue the fate that awaits him in book five…
Now that I know the truth, I have a chance to save Kane. But if I change the story, will I ever find my way home?”
5/5😄 Ages 13+
Genres: Fantasy, Young adult, Romance, Magic
Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
“Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It’s the highest honor they could hope for…and the most demeaning. This year, there’s a ninth. And instead of paper, she’s made of fire.
In this richly developed fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most persecuted class of people in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards for an unknown fate still haunts her. Now, the guards are back and this time it’s Lei they’re after — the girl with the golden eyes whose rumored beauty has piqued the king’s interest.
Over weeks of training in the opulent but oppressive palace, Lei and eight other girls learns the skills and charm that befit a king’s consort. There, she does the unthinkable — she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens her world’s entire way of life. Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge.”
5/5 😄 Ages 16+
Genres: Fantasy, Young adult, LGBTQ+, Romance
Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly
“Isabelle should be blissfully happy – she’s about to win the handsome prince. Except Isabelle isn’t the beautiful girl who lost the glass slipper and captured the prince’s heart. She’s the ugly stepsister who’s cut off her toes to fit into Cinderella’s shoe … which is now filling with blood.
When the prince discovers Isabelle’s deception, she is turned away in shame. It’s no more than she deserves: she is a plain girl in a world that values beauty; a feisty girl in a world that wants her to be pliant.
Isabelle has tried to fit in. To live up to her mother’s expectations. To be like her stepsister. To be sweet. To be pretty. One by one, she has cut away pieces of herself in order to survive a world that doesn’t appreciate a girl like her. And that has made her mean, jealous, and hollow.
Until she gets a chance to alter her destiny and prove what ugly stepsisters have always known: it takes more than heartache to break a girl.”
4/5 😄 Ages 13+
Genres: Fantasy, Young adult, Retellings, Fairy tales, Romance
How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather
“It’s the Salem Witch Trials meets Mean Girls in a debut novel from one of the descendants of Cotton Mather, where the trials of high school start to feel like a modern day witch hunt for a teen with all the wrong connections to Salem’s past.
Salem, Massachusetts is the site of the infamous witch trials and the new home of Samantha Mather. Recently transplanted from New York City, Sam and her stepmother are not exactly welcomed with open arms. Sam is the descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for those trials and almost immediately, she becomes the enemy of a group of girls who call themselves The Descendants. And guess who their ancestors were?
If dealing with that weren’t enough, Sam also comes face to face with a real live (well technically dead) ghost. A handsome, angry ghost who wants Sam to stop touching his stuff. But soon Sam discovers she is at the center of a centuries old curse affecting anyone with ties to the trials. Sam must come to terms with the ghost and find a way to work with The Descendants to stop a deadly cycle that has been going on since the first accused witch was hanged. If any town should have learned its lesson, it’s Salem. But history may be about to repeat itself.”
5/5😄 Ages 13+
Genres: Young adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Witches, Historical fiction
Have a great day and happy reading!
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