Asking a reader "what's your favorite book" is a cruel question. So I answer in categories and top 5 lists.
  1. The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling.
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    Okay, yeah, this is cheating, counting 7 books as one on a top 5 list. But it's impossible to separate them from each other and they deserve a spot on the list, okay? I grew up with Harry; I was in 5th grade when the first book came out, so I was part of the generation of kids who was devastated when my Hogwarts letter never came. This series created a world while simultaneously changing ours.
  2. I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson.
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    From my Goodreads Review: The story contains a multitude of well-developed plots. [...] At the root of the story, though, is Noah and Jude's fight to reclaim NoahandJude, to restore the closeness they once had despite the betrayal, lies, and deception they had been through. At its core, it's a story of the love between siblings.
  3. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell.
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    From my Goodreads review: The story is one of honest teenage love, sacrifice, and friendship. It takes the star-crossed Romeo and Juliet and makes them realistic and modern, all while Eleanor scoffs at their story. This book made me laugh, cry, and want to hug it. I spent a wonderful afternoon getting to know these characters, and I didn't want to let them go when it was over.
  4. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
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    This book appeals to anyone who enjoys reading about the Holocaust – which most of us have to admit is a fascinating period of time to read about. But more than that, it appeals to anyone who values the worth of the written word, who understands the inexhaustible and irresistible draw of books, who understands how reading has the power to forge meaningful connections between people from all walks of life.
  5. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng.
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    The book explores the tension between wanting to be blend in and wanting to be different. While Lydia's father James yearns to be the same, to go unnoticed, to assimilate and be one of the crowd, her mother Marilyn - a formerly gifted young woman on the path to med school - is disgusted with herself for doing just that. Their children - Nath, Lydia, and Hannah - are constantly pulled in both directions as their parents try to mold them into their ideal selves, to fix the mistakes of their pasts.