So I decided it would be a great idea to put every book I got for Christmas in one big list with information from goodreads, so that you can read through and see if there are any books you may be interested in getting yourself! I received 28 books in total… (a ridiculous amount I know), so I’ve got a lot to talk about. Let’s get started!
Here is an overview of every book I have talked about in this post. Click on any one to find out more, or just scroll through to view all of them!
- King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
- Caraval Series by Stephanie Garber
- Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson
- Mexican Gothic by Silivia Moreno-Garcia
- A Life on Our Planet by David Attenborough
- Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
- Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
- The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
- It by Stephen King
- We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
- The Cruel Prince Trilogy by Holly Black
- The Nevernight Chronicle by Jay Kristoff
- We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
- Carry On and Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell
- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
- Legend by Marie Lu
- Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
- Daughter of the Pirate King by Tracy Levenseller
- My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Henrix
- Persuasion by Jane Austen
1. King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
Category: YA Fantasy
Series: Duology. The second book (Rule of Wolves) will be released on 30th March 2021! This duology is a spin off from the Grishaverse (also by Leigh Bardugo), in particular the Shadow and Bone trilogy. If you haven’t read that trilogy, I would recommend reading it prior to the King of Scars Duology.
Release Date: 01/29/2019
“The dashing young king, Nikolai Lantsov, has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war–and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, Nikolai must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.
Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha general, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried–and some wounds aren’t meant to heal”.
2. Caraval series by Stephanie Garber
Category: YA Fantasy
Pages: Caraval (432), Legendary (451), Finale (478)
Series: The Caraval Trilogy. Caraval (#1), Legendary (#2), Finale (#3)
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Release Dates: Carval (31/01/2017), Legendary (29/05/2018), Finale (07/05/2019)
Synopsis: I will only post the synopsis for the first book as I don’t want to spoil anything from the first two books!
“Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.
But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic”.
3. Dance of Thieves duology by Mary E. Pearson
Category: YA Fantasy
Pages: Dance of Thieves (512), Vow of Thieves (480)
Series: Duology. Dance of Thieves (#1), Vow of Thieves (#2)
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
Release Dates: Dance of Thieves (07/08/2018), Vow of Thieves (06/08/2019)
Synopsis: Again, I will only be posting the synopsis of the first book in the duology!
When the patriarch of the Ballenger empire dies, his son, Jase, becomes its new leader. Even nearby kingdoms bow to the strength of this outlaw family, who have always governed by their own rules. But a new era looms on the horizon, set in motion by a young queen, which makes her the target of the dynasty’s resentment and anger.
At the same time, Kazi, a legendary former street thief, is sent by the queen to investigate transgressions against the new settlements. When Kazi arrives in the forbidding land of the Ballengers, she learns that there is more to Jase than she thought. As unexpected events spiral out of their control, bringing them intimately together, they continue to play a cat and mouse game of false moves and motives in order to fulfil their own secret missions.
Mary E. Pearson’s Dance of Thieves is a new YA novel in the New York Times bestselling Remnant Chronicles universe, in which a reformed thief and the young leader of an outlaw dynasty lock wits in a battle that may cost them their lives—and their hearts“.
4. Mexican Gothic by Silivia Moreno-Garcia
Category: Horror, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: 30/06/2020
Goodreads Choice Award for Horror (2020)
“After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.
Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.
Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.
And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind”.
See my full review here.
5. A Life on Our Planet by David Attenborough
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: 06/10/2020
Goodreads Choice Award for Science & Technology (2020)
“I am 93. I’ve had an extraordinary life. It’s only now that I appreciate how extraordinary. As a young man, I felt I was out there in the wild, experiencing the untouched natural world – but it was an illusion. The tragedy of our time has been happening all around us, barely noticeable from day to day — the loss of our planet’s wild places, its biodiversity.
I have been witness to this decline. A Life on Our Planet is my witness statement, and my vision for the future. It is the story of how we came to make this, our greatest mistake — and how, if we act now, we can yet put it right. We have one final chance to create the perfect home for ourselves and restore the wonderful world we inherited.
All we need is the will to do so”.
6. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Category: YA, Contemporary, Romance, Fiction
Setting: El Paso, Texas (United States)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: 21/02/2012
“A lyrical novel about family and friendship from critically acclaimed author Benjamin Alire Sáenz.
Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship–the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be”.
7. Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
Category: YA Fantasy, Science Fiction
Series: Legendborn #1
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: 15/09/2020
“After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC–Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape—until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus.
A flying demon feeding on human energies.
A secret society of so called “Legendborn” students that hunt the creatures down.
And a mysterious teenage mage who calls himself a “Merlin” and who attempts—and fails—to wipe Bree’s memory of everything she saw.
The mage’s failure unlocks Bree’s own unique magic and a buried memory with a hidden connection: the night her mother died, another Merlin was at the hospital. Now that Bree knows there’s more to her mother’s death than what’s on the police report, she’ll do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if that means infiltrating the Legendborn as one of their initiates.
She recruits Nick, a self-exiled Legendborn with his own grudge against the group, and their reluctant partnership pulls them deeper into the society’s secrets—and closer to each other. But when the Legendborn reveal themselves as the descendants of King Arthur’s knights and explain that a magical war is coming, Bree has to decide how far she’ll go for the truth and whether she should use her magic to take the society down—or join the fight”.
8. The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Category: YA Fantasy, Paranormal, Horror
Publisher: Orion Children’s Books
Release Date: 19/09/2019
“They say the thirst of blood is like a madness – they must sate it. Even with their own kin.
On the eve of her divining, the day she’ll discover her fate, seventeen-year-old Lil and her twin sister Kizzy are captured and enslaved by the cruel Boyar Valcar, taken far away from their beloved traveller community.
Forced to work in the harsh and unwelcoming castle kitchens, Lil is comforted when she meets Mira, a fellow slave who she feels drawn to in a way she doesn’t understand. But she also learns about the Dragon, a mysterious and terrifying figure of myth and legend who takes girls as gifts.
They may not have had their divining day, but the girls will still discover their fate…”.
9. It by Stephen King
Publisher: New English Library
Release Date: 01/10/1987
Characters: Dick Halloran, Pennywise the Dancing Clown, Bill Denbrough, Richie Tozier, Eddie Kaspbrak, Stan Uris, Ben Hanscom, Beverly Marsh, Mike Hanlon, Frank Dodd, Henry Bowers, Audra Phillips, George Denbrough, Adrian Mellon, Patrick Hockstetter, American Law Enforcement
Literary Awards: Locus Award Nominee for Best Fantasy Novel (1987), World Fantasy Award Nominee for Best Novel (1987), Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award (1994), British Fantasy Award for Best Novel (1987)
“It’s a small city, a place as hauntingly familiar as your own hometown. Only in Derry the haunting is real …
They were seven teenagers when they first stumbled upon the horror. Now they are grown-up men and women who have gone out into the big world to gain success and happiness. But none of them can withstand the force that has drawn them back to Derry to face the nightmare without an end, and the evil without a name”.
10. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Category: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: 13/05/2014
Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts (United States)
Georgia Peach Book Award (2015), Pennsylvania Young Readers’ Choice Award Nominee for Young Adults (2016), Rhode Island Teen Book Award Nominee (2016), Milwaukee County Teen Book Award Nominee (2015), The Inky Awards Nominee for Silver Inky (2015)Lincoln Award (2016), Bookworm Best Award for Best Fiction (2014), Goodreads Choice Award for Young Adult Fiction (2014), The Magnolia Award for 9-12 (2016)
“A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE”.
See my full review here.
11. The Cruel Prince Trilogy by Holly Black
Category: Ya Fantasy
Pages: The Cruel Prince (370), the Wicked King (336), The Queen of Nothing (300)
Series: The Folk of the Air Trilogy. The Cruel Prince (#1), The Wicked King (#2), The Queen of Nothing (#3)
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: The Cruel Prince (02/01/2018), The Wicked King (08/01/2019), The Queen of Nothing (19/11/2019)
The Queen of Nothing: Goodreads Choice Award for Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction (2020)
Synopsis: I will again only post the synopsis of the first book to prevent spoilers!
“Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.
And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.
Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.
To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.
As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself”.
12. The Nevernight Chronicle by Jay Kristoff
Category: YA High Fantasy
Pages: Nevernight (429), Godsgrave (419), Darkdawn (488)
Series: The Nevernight Chronicle Trilogy. Nevernight (#1), Godsgrave (#2), Darkdawn (#3)
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: Nevernight (09/08/2016), Godsgrave (05/09/2017), Darkdawn (03/09/2019)
Tric, Mia Corvere, Lord Cassius, Mister Kindly, Ashlin, Mercurio, Jessamine, Mother Drusilla, Shahiid Mouser, Shahiid Solis, Shahiid Aalea, Naev, Carlotta Valdi, Diamo, Weaver Marielle, Justicus Remus, Osrik, Speaker Adonai, Julius Scaeva, Francesco Duomo
Synopsis: The synopsis of the first book in the trilogy.
“In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.
Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.
Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.
Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?”
13. We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
Category: YA Fantasy
Series: Sands of Arawiya. We Hunt the Flame (#1)
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: 14/05/2019
“People lived because she killed. People died because he lived.
Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the sultan. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways. Both Zafira and Nasir are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya–but neither wants to be.
War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the sultan on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds–and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine”.
14. Carry On and Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell
Category: YA Fantasy, LGBT, Romance
Pages: Carry on (522), Wayward Son (356)
Series: Simon Snow. Carry On (#1), Wayward Son (#2)
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: Carry On (09/05/2017), Wayward Son (24/09/2019)
Carry On: Milwaukee County Teen Book Award Nominee (2017), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction (2015), Premio El Templo de las Mil Puertas Nominee for Mejor novela extranjera independiente (2016)
Synopsis: Once again, this is only the synopsis for the first book.
“Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen.
That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.
Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here — it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.
Carry On – The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow is a ghost story, a love story and a mystery. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story – but far, far more monsters“.
15. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Category: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Atria Books
Release Date: 13/06/2017
Upper East Side, Manhattan, New York (United States)
“Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life.
When she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.
Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways”.
16. Legend by Marie Lu
Category: YA Dystopian, Science Fiction
Series: Legend. Legend (‘1)
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Release Date: 29/11/2011
Setting: Los Angeles, The Republic of America, 2130
Rhode Island Teen Book Award Nominee (2013), Milwaukee County Teen Book Award Nominee (2013), The Inky Awards Nominee for Silver Inky (2012), California Young Readers Medal Nominee for Young Adult (2015), Lincoln Award Nominee (2014)Missouri Truman Readers Award (2014), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction and for Goodreads Author (2012), Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award (2015)
“What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.
From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets”.
17. Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
Category: YA Fantasy, Romance, Historical Fiction
Series: Sky in the Deep (#1)
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: 24/04/2018
“Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.
Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.
She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating”.
18. Daughter of the Pirate King by Tracy Levenseller
Category: YA Fantasy
Series: Daughter of the Pirate King (#1)
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Release Date: 28/02/2017
Evergreen Teen Book Award Nominee for Middle School (2020)
“There will be plenty of time for me to beat him soundly once I’ve gotten what I came for.
Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.
More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King”.
19. My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Henrix
Publisher: Quirk Books
Literary Awards: Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Horror (2016)
Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fifth grade, when they bonded over a shared love of E.T., roller-skating parties, and scratch-and-sniff stickers. But when they arrive at high school, things change. Gretchen begins to act….different. And as the strange coincidences and bizarre behavior start to pile up, Abby realizes there’s only one possible explanation: Gretchen, her favorite person in the world, has a demon living inside her. And Abby is not about to let anyone or anything come between her and her best friend. With help from some unlikely allies, Abby embarks on a quest to save Gretchen. But is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil?
See my full review here.
20. Persuasion by Jane Austen
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 12/1818
Lady Russell, Charles Musgrove, Admiral Croft, Elizabeth Elliot, Frederick Wentworth, Lady Russell, Mary Musgrove, Sophia Croft, Sir Walter Elliot, Louisa Musgrove, Captain James Benwick, William Elliot, Mrs. Smith, Anne Elliot, Henrietta Musgrave, Captain Harville
“Twenty-seven-year old Anne Elliot is Austen’s most adult heroine. Eight years before the story proper begins, she is happily betrothed to a naval officer, Frederick Wentworth, but she precipitously breaks off the engagement when persuaded by her friend Lady Russell that such a match is unworthy. The breakup produces in Anne a deep and long-lasting regret. When later Wentworth returns from sea a rich and successful captain, he finds Anne’s family on the brink of financial ruin and his own sister a tenant in Kellynch Hall, the Elliot estate. All the tension of the novel revolves around one question: Will Anne and Wentworth be reunited in their love?
Jane Austen once compared her writing to painting on a little bit of ivory, 2 inches square. Readers of Persuasion will discover that neither her skill for delicate, ironic observations on social custom, love, and marriage nor her ability to apply a sharp focus lens to English manners and morals has deserted her in her final finished work”.