“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”
There have been times this year where books felt unnecessary due to the increasingly familiar dystopian aspects of our changing societies, however, escaping into the pages of a good book is also a very good solution to this madness and I couldn’t recommend it more myself.
Although the spare time I have in my life has reduced this year due to graduating and finally entering the adult world of work (Booooooooo!!!) it does not mean that I have enjoyed reading any less. I’ve read fewer books this year but I’ve still read a lot of great books and competition for a spot on this list was tough. Every book on this list is one I would recommend you to read if you have not done so already, regardless of their position on the list each book is fantastic in their own right.
When I first read passenger this year I was convinced it would top my list, however, it’s been a long time since I’ve been blown away by a book to the degree I was by A Court of Mist and Fury. I might not have liked The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas, however, if this was The Great British Bake off ACOTAF is a stunning enough showstopper to still make her star baker and my favourite author of the year.
As always the list below shows my favourite quote from each book, links to more information and hashtags denoting key themes.
10. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Universe
“I got to thinking that poems were like people. Some people you got right off the bat. Some people you just didn’t get–and never would get.”
Hurricane Irma is expected to bring high winds and heavy rains across Florida as a Category 3 storm, and has been projected to strengthen again before hitting the state. While many people stocked up on supplies and boarded up their windows, a few businesses remained open in Miami on Saturday.
Café Croissant had its bright “open” sign lit, welcoming customers in from the rain. Pascal Vedel, who co-owns the cafe with his twin brother Didier, greets each patron with a smile and offers them coffee. The brothers are originally from Montpellier, in southern France.
Didier, who looks nearly identical to Pascal, steps out of the kitchen with a warm plate of food. After visiting Miami 20 years ago, they decided to move to the city because they loved the mix of people.
Hurricane Irma is the strongest storm the twins have experienced while living here.
“We have to pray for the best,” Pascal says. “There is going to be a [storm] all the way from Key West to Jacksonville.”
Patron after patron walks through the doors and gushes about the hardworking brothers. They’re especially happy to enjoy their delicious food on such a stormy day.
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken is a Science Fiction YA trilogy following a teenage girl. In a dystopian America, children contracted a plague and the ones who didn’t die, were left with different abilities ranging from puzzle solving to mind control. These children were sent to work camps to be “fixed”, but with no cure in sight, different groups try to take down the institution by freeing the trapped children.
This series is wonderful and because it is so well written, people want more. Here are five books that I would recommend if you like Bracken’s series.
Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson is the first book in a fantasy trilogy about people with a range of powers who are trying to take down a god and a tyrant to achieve social equality between two classes of people. There is gritty action, romance, and adventure. It is powerfully written and the main character is just as frustratingly untrusting.
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi is another first in a trilogy where the main character is imprisoned in a dystopian mental institution, trapped in a small, concrete cell, by herself. The main character’s touch kills and she has to find her place in a world that is dying, with tyrants who want to use her power to torture others. The novel pieces itself together as the protagonist becomes aware of her position in society and amongst the rebel group.
The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey has no teenaged protagonist. It does have a child with a genius level I.Q., a child psychologist, a solder, and a neuroscientist perspective. In a concrete child-care facility where the adults in charge are afraid of the children locked in cells and strapped to their chairs in class, these characters come to learn that some secrets are kept hidden for a reason.
Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson is a book about a dystopian America where there are people with superpowers, but they are all super-villains. One geeky teenage boy with a love of firepower is obsessed with destroying the super-villain Steelheart, that controls the steel city of Newcago. He meets a rebel group that uses his surprising fighting skill and in-depth knowledge about supers to defeat the ones with the power to destroy. It is ridiculously good and cute and must be read.
All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terril is a YA science fiction novel about time-travel. There is a girl trapped in a cell waiting for her chance to escape, go back in time, and stop the time machine from ever being created. The Scientist has destroyed countries, lives, and time itself and the only way to prevent what has happened is to kill The Scientist before he ever did anything wrong. There is another girl, living a normal life, pining for the love of her best friend, and forced to make an impossible choice. The book is thrillingly realistic and shocking.
All of these books are brilliant. They may all be in my top 15 books, and they quench the hunger for The Darkest Minds spinoff series. Happy Reading.