Requested by Mary Murphy

Book Recommendations

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  1. I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson (contemporary)
    One of my favorite books ever. It tells the story of Noah and Jude, twins who were inseparable in childhood. Fast forward 4 years, they don't even speak. Alternating chapters, Noah tells before, and Jude tells after. Absolutely beautiful writing, lovable characters, and a dual POV that works perfectly.
  2. we were liars by E. Lockhart (contemporary)
    It really is best to go into this without too much information. The Sinclair family goes to their private island every summer. One year, everything changes, but no one will explain what or why. A very quick read, gripping and well written and emotional.
  3. History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera (contemporary)
    Utterly heartbreaking, genuine, and honest. After Theo's death, his ex-boyfriend and best friend attempts to grieve, finding that perhaps the only person who understands is Theo's most recent boyfriend. Alternating chapters telling what happens after Theo's death and the history of his relationship with the protagonist.
  4. More Happy Than Not (contemporary with small sci-fi elements)
    Another tragic Adam Silvera novel. Aaron Soto is reeling in the aftermath of his father's suicide. When he begins to discover feelings for a new boy in town, he considers a revolutionary memory-alteration procedure to change who he is. Devastating, raw, and so so important.
  5. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (magical realism coming of age?)
    An unnamed man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral, and rediscovers an unremembered past full of dangerous and frightening things. Beautifully written and feels like it's always been a story waiting to be told. Modern fairy tale-esque
  6. Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel (sci-fi)
    Told in interviews and news reports, this novel tells the story of a woman who discovered a giant metal hand as a child. This leads to the assembling of a team of experts to discover what it means and how the pieces of the puzzle fit in the modern scientific and political landscape. Super quick read with good characters and an interesting story. Highly recommend if you're into aliens
  7. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (high fantasy)
    If you like Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings, check out this first book in The Kingkiller Chronicle. This (very long) novel follows Kvothe, a near-mythical hero, as he tells the story of his life to a man who has discovered him. Magic schools, murdered families, a life of crime—it's got it all. Fair warning, though: the third book has still not been released and has been delayed nearly as many times as Winds of Winter.
  8. The Shadow of What was Lost by James Islington (high fantasy)
    An impressive fantasy debut. Starting 20 years after the fall of the augurs (god-like magical beings who ruled the lands), this book tells the story of Davian, a young Gifted (lesser magical being) as he embarks on a quest to discover if an ancient evil is indeed stirring once more. A very promising start to a series, if not a perfect one.
  9. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (fantasy and coming of age)
    Imagine Harry Potter, but Harry's gay and also a really terrible wizard. There's a murder mystery, a magical Big Bad, and vampires. It's a little campy, but so much fun and all the characters are so lovable.
  10. The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater (urban fantasy)
    One of the most original and refreshing urban fantasy series I've ever read. Ghosts, psychics, and ancient kings. A girl gets involved with a group of private school boys in the quest for a long-dead King in order to discover if the legend is true and he will grant a wish to his finder. Along the way, they unlock magic they never dreamed existed.
  11. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson (fantasy)
    A graphic novel about a shapeshifting girl who decides to apprentice herself to a super villain, whether he wants her there or not. Adorable, funny, and full of heart.
  12. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
    With both a TV series and a spin-off on the way, the time to read is now. This trilogy focuses on Lyra and her dæmon, a shape shifting representation of her soul. It starts with the quest for her kidnapped friend, and turns into a multiverse hopping adventure involving angels and witches and armored bears.
  13. Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (contemporary)
    I adore this book. Simon is being blackmailed by someone who knows he's gay. He's not sure he's ready to come out, but he's very sure that he's falling for a boy. The problem? He only knows this boy through emails and doesn't know which boy at his school could be him.
  14. Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner (contemporary)
    Carver sends a text message to his friends while waiting for them to pick him up, resulting in a tragic car accident claiming three lives. An exploration of guilt, mourning, and learning to live.