• Ellie

Some Favorite Books!

Updated: Nov 24, 2020

These are some of my favorite books of all time. Goodreads links can be found at the bottom of the page. If you want to purchase any of these books I have a list on my Bookshop page with all these books, plus a few other favorites. By ordering through my link you will help to support local bookstores and this blog. Click here to view my page!


Middle Grade

Bob by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead

This is an adorable friendship story between Livy and her alien creature named Bob. Bob is so funny and sweet. He dresses in a chicken suit and loves Livy so much. Their relationship is just wonderful as they rebuild their friendship after years of being apart. There are some light magical elements and Bob is a creature that can't really be categorized as anything specific. The book also has some pictures of the two characters which are also very cute. Overall really great story for children and adults.


The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson

This is an epic fantasy story about bringing Ana, a person whose past is unknown except that she is protected by the Dragonfly Territory, home after she is literally rained down from the sky. With the hopes of getting a reward for bringing her home, Piper and Ana embark on a dangerous journey to the Dragonfly Territories. This book has great characters, many conflicts, lots of high action, magical and steampunk vibes and just general awesomeness. I have read this book twice and I have loved it both times. If you really enjoy this book, there is a companion novel that has similar magic elements and takes place in the same world.


Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson

This book is absolutely beautiful and talks about many big concepts such as race and deportation. The kids in the book spend the majority of the book talking to one another about events happening around them. This takes place in a room called ARTT or A Room To Talk every Friday at the end of the day. Through their discussions they learn more about each other and by the end are a closely knit group. This book brings up many relevant subjects in a very approachable but real way that just makes this book really pleasant to read. The kids all have different backgrounds and personalities. A very powerful must read book that can be enjoyed by all ages.


Young Adult

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

This book is about Audrey Rose who is studying under her uncle to learn all she can about forensics in the 1800s. While she is apprenticing, a Jack the Ripper copy cat serial killer is gruesomely murdering women. Determined to crack the case, Audrey and Thomas, who is also apprenticing under her uncle, follow clues to figure out whodunnit. I love the writing of this book. It is so creative and descriptive. Audrey really just goes after what she wants and is unafraid to break stereotypes. The mystery is solid, but the ending is super surprising and fantastic. Overall love it both times I have read it!


Rayne and Delilah's Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zenter

A contemporary novel about Rayne and Delilah, who have a late night TV show where they review scary movies together. However, college is coming and the future of the show is unknown. This story is very relatable for the young adult audience. I loved the characters and the premise of their show. I loved this book so much when I first read it that I read all of Zenter's other books right after.


Renegades series by Marissa Meyer

A sci-fi trilogy with superheroes, superpowers, and just general awesomeness. I started the series when it came out and had to wait an agonizing year between each book. These books are just wonderful. They have great characters, setting, and superpowers. Even though the plot is pretty good, I love these books most for the characters and the setting. Also the entire political system in these books is really interesting to me, plus the many subplots flesh out the story. Being able to spend 500 plus pages in Meyer's world is a treat. To describe the plot of these books in four words, I would say: revenge, politics, villains, and secret identities.


The Lumberjanes series by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Faith Hicks, Brooke A. Allen, Shannon Watters, Kat Leyh, Carolyn Nowak, Carey Pietsch

Set at a summer camp, this series is about the Lumberjanes who are just like Girl Scouts. In their world, however, there are fantastical monsters. All the books follow Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley, who work together to get themselves into mischief and dangerous situations/adventures. The first book in the series is Beware the Holy Kitten. I love this book so much because it is very funny, plus it has a lively story, interesting and diverse characters, and cool illustrations. I will say there are some really cheesy bits but overall I really love it. I have read this book so many times the pages have detached from the spine. This is the first book in the series, but I have not found any of the other books to be the same perfect blend of story, characters, illustrations, and dialogue as the first one. I would recommend just reading the first two because the first one is the best one, but it ends on a cliffhanger so you will need to read the second book (Friendship to the Max) too! If you enjoy the characters, story, and world of the first books, the series is still a fun read, but it's not the same or as memorable as the first.


Caraval series by Stephanie Garber

This series is filled with mystery, wonder, fantasy, love, magic, and games. Caraval is a five day game event hosted each year by Legend. The game is different every year but is always a magical one-of-a-kind experience. Scarlett Dragna has dreamed of going to Caraval for many years and finally gets her ticket, as well as one for her sister Tella, for the upcoming game. However, right from the start Tella goes missing and Scarlett must win the game in order to get her back. A wonderfully creative series with a very magical atmosphere, all the books in the series are equally magnificent. Though these books would be classified as fantasy, the fantasy comes from all the magical elements in the game and setting rather than any mystical creatures.


Adult

Home before Dark by Riley Sager

I absolutely love this book. I really can't say enough good things about it. It is very scary, which is great since I am always on the hunt for an actually scary book. This one did not disappoint! I will not lie, I did have a nightmare from one of the scenes. I think it was a sign I was reading it too close to bedtime! But it was so worth it. This book follows Maggie, who is returning to a supposedly haunted mansion. The plot switches between Maggie's present day timeline and excerpts from Maggie's father's book, House of Horrors. He wrote about his haunted experiences living in the mansion from the time they moved in to the day when he and his entire family fled suddenly under mysterious circumstances. Maggie does not believe her father's story, but becomes more suspicious as some of the events from the book start to line up with her reality. If you like scary house vibes or to just be scared in general, this is a must read. This is definitely Sager's scariest book and has been categorized in both the horror and thriller genres.


The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

It is pretty impressive that Riley Sager has written two of my favorite books ever. This one takes place at a camp twenty or so years after three girls go missing there. The main character, Emma, who was there when the three girls went missing, is asked to work at the camp when it reopens. In her time there, Emma finds hints to what may have happened to those girls and it is much darker than just three missing girls. This book is super entertaining and perfect for summer because of all the camping and summer vibes. I especially love the reveal at the end. The ending is especially memorable and definitely stuck with me for awhile.


Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

This book is a blend of dystopian and literary fiction. It is a very dense read but is a really good story. I loved the different timelines since they reveal information that comes into play later in the book. After I finished it, I wanted to find as many books like it as I could with the same type of writing, but I have never found anything quite like it. This is a book about a traveling symphony that performs Shakespeare plays around the country after a large pandemic has wiped out the world. The two timelines follow the pandemic right when it hits and after it has run its course, tying together many characters that each have a history. This is definitely worth a read.


The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

One of the first real thrillers I read, this book put me at the edge of my seat the entire book. It follows Theo Faber, a psychotherapist, as he tries to get the truth out of one of his patients, Alicia Bernenson, who stopped talking after she supposedly shot her husband five times in the face. It is super well written and paced. I devoured this book very quickly. Another thing to note is that this book alternates between diary entries from Alicia and real time events. What really stood out to me was that I cared about both timelines equally. Sometimes when books have flashbacks, I care more for one timeline, but this book made both equally interesting. The twist at the end is sure to shock you!


The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

This book is so good. While I was reading it, I was even considering rereading it after I finished it because I loved it so much. This book follows Rowan Caine as she babysits for these kids who live in a smart home where everything is controlled through your voice or a small panel on the wall. At the start of the book, we find out that Rowan has been accused of murdering one of the children and the book is a letter to her lawyer trying to convince him she didn't do it. I love this aspect because it comes up a few times in the book at just the perfect spot. It is somewhat hard to explain briefly, so I will leave it at that. The atmosphere of the house is very eerie and the neighbors are very suspicious characters. The house is so cool to read about, especially the backyard which is a huge plot of land that has a gated garden full of poisonous plants. Everything about this book was amazing and so creative.


The Boy, The Mole, The Fox, The Horse by Charlie Mackesy

This is a recent read, but instantly made it to my favorites list. This is a very simple story of a boy, a mole, a fox, and a horse as they go on a journey. The goal of the journey is never really mentioned but it doesn't really matter because it is about their journey rather than their destination. The book is filled with beautiful illustrations and very inspiring words. What makes this book so magical to me is how simple the entire story is, including the words on the page, but how deeply meaningful and thought provoking the book is. The book is not complicated, the lessons are very simple, but each detail, character and each stroke all piece together into something so incredibly wonderful. The author really put time and effort into every page to make sure each page adds to the story. I also love how this book is just perfect for every person and every scenario. This book would be a wonderful gift for a 9-year-old but also for a 69-year-old. This book could be read during a time of happiness or a time of grief. It is just a wonderfully magnificent story that I think should have a place in every home.




Goodreads Links

Bob by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead

The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson

Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Rayne and Delilah's Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zenter

Renegades series by Marissa Meyer

The Lumberjanes by a variety of authors

Caraval series by Stephanie Garber

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

The Last Time I lied by Riley Sager

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

The Boy, The Mole, The Fox, The Horse by Charlie Mackesy



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