I love to read. As an only child reading was the biggest form of entertainment when I was tired of imagining things up by myself. I was the kid that read everywhere; eating breakfast, in the car, while walking home and it always made me so happy. I would devour books in a couple of hours, working my way determinedly through magical series and stories. The library was one of my favourite place and bookstores like the holy grail of all shops. When I think childhood I will always think of reading.
Then I grew up and my tolerance for reading in cars went down. Also the time I spent not doing anything shrunk, I discovered music to distract me in the in-between and books kind of began to slip through the cracks.
Which isn’t to say I don’t love reading because I do. Nowhere is home until have my local library card and if I am going anywhere that involves a lot of sitting around then a book is the first thing I pack. It just means that the older I have gotten the kind of books I do like to read have narrowed. Unsurprisingly, my favourites nowadays are all pretty books. I love books with emotions and colours and beautiful imagery – not books that make you think but books that make you feel.
I thought I would share with you my three favourites (which turned out to be four because I couldn’t settle on third place).
These aren’t critically acclaimed stories but they are the best ones I know. The books that made me the happiest or the saddest or just the most of anything. The ones I have read hundreds of times without getting tired. The books that define a time or a feeling or just have entertained me the most in the very best way.
1) Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta.
I shouldn’t have loved this book because I had to read it for English in year 11 and as a rule I don’t like mandatory study books but I accidentally fell head over heels in love with it. I think it was a case of good timing where I read it exactly when I needed to the most.
Saving Francesca is a YA coming of age story about a girl called Francesca (wow). It follows her year as she navigates a new school, new friends and her mother’s acute depression. The story is funny and heartbreaking and honest. I also think that a big contributor of why this book matters so much to me is that Frankie, more so than any other book character, reminds me of me. The way she felt, the things she said and everything that unfolded either resonated or inspired. It was like all of my own thoughts that I couldn’t fathom yet were there in the story written down neatly for me to taste and digest.
In short – It put everything I was into words and I think it will be a long time before it is ever bumped down the list.
“People with lost personalities will suffer a great deal more than those with lost virginities.”
“I think I’m a bit in love with these girls. They make me feel giddy. Like I haven’t a care in the world. Like I’m fearless.”
“Sometimes you look at me and it’s like all the bullshit gets stripped off and I’m left with what’s underneath and I kind of like what I see. Someone who actually fails. Someone who has absolutely no self-control. Someone who says real dickhead things like ‘this is complicated.’ I like that part of me, you know. I like the fact that I know I can’t control you or how I feel about you and that doesn’t freak me out.”
“The truth doesn’t set you free, you know. It makes you feel awkward and embarrassed and defenseless and red in the face and horrified and petrified and vulnerable.”
“It’ll never go back to the way it was, Frankie. But you have to make sure it goes forward.”
2) The Host by Stephanie Meyer.
It’s an alien story set in a post-apocalyptic world and its absolutely incredible. The way the story deals with this whole new world and the level of detail that goes into describing how they live and the dynamics of the relationships was so satisfying. I don’t even know how to describe how much I liked it – I just feel like so many other books attempt a similar concept and build these amazing universes but they never quite show them off enough and in The Host they really, really do. You get to see enough to actually connect with what you’re reading. Also the connection between characters was unreal and it is SUCH A GOOD LOVE STORY.
It was a book that just kept growing and building and by the time it ended I was heartbroken and ecstatic because it was so good but I also never wanted it to finish.
Best Quotes (though its not a book of quotes as much)
“Perhaps there could be no joy on this planet without an equal weight of pain to balance it out on some unknown scale.”
“How did anyone survive this world, with these bodies whose memories wouldn’t stay in the past where they should? With the emotions that were so strong I couldn’t tell what I felt anymore?”
“What was it that made this human love so much more desirable to me than the love of my own kind? Was it because it was exclusive and capricious? The souls offered love and acceptance to all. Did I crave a greater challenge?…Or was it simply better somehow? Because these humans hate with so much fury, was the other end of the spectrum that they could love with more heart and zeal and fire?”
3=) Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin
This was my favourite book when I was fifteen. I owned it for a really long time before that but never really made it past the first chapter until I took it with me on holiday and fell in love with it. A big part of why I like it is because I associate it with the bright sunny beaches, tropical smoothies and warm relaxing heat. I also like it because its good and when I read it that time it suddenly just all made sense. The story and the purpose and the characters all fit together in a way that I could finally understand.
Gabrielle Zevin is a queen of beautiful writing. Admittedly the plot of her stories have never been my favourite but I have read all of them because the imagery she creates and the way she manages to pull the most complicated ugly thoughts into these beautiful phrases makes my heart SO WARM. She creates the kind of quotes that you can use to pull your life together and sum up not just how you think but who you are. Kind of like poetry but pulled very neatly into prose This story was a quiet sort of interesting and I really enjoyed it.
“It was strange, really. A couple months ago, I had thought I couldn’t live without him. Apparently I could.”
“And I was crying for gravity. It had sent me down the stairs, and I’d thought that meant something, but maybe it was just the direction that all things tend to flow.”
“You forget all of it anyway. First, you forget everything you learned-the dates of the Hay-Herran Treaty and Pythagorean Theorem. You especially forget everything you didn’t really learn, but just memorized the night before. You forget the names of all but one or two of your teachers, and eventually you’ll forget those, too. You forget your junior class schedule and where you used to sit and your best friend’s home phone number and the lyrics to that song you must have played a million times. For me, it was something by Simon & Garfunkel. Who knows what it will be for you? And eventually, but slowly, oh so slowly, you forget your humiliations-even the ones that seemed indelible just fade away. You forget who was cool and who was not, who was pretty, smart, athletic, and not. Who went to a good college. Who threw the best parties Who could get you pot. You forget all of them. Even the ones you said you loved, and even the ones you actually did. They’re the last to go. And then once you’ve forgotten enough, you love someone else.”
“I wondered if the person who really loves you is the person who knows all your stories, the person who WANTS to know all your stories.”
“Have a suitcase heart, be ready to travel.”
3=) The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
The thing with Sarah Dessen is that she is the best at what she does and you either love what she does or you don’t. She writes exceptional YA romance novels. They’re the kind of book that is ridiculously pretty, easy to read and makes you happy without frustrating the hell of you. I really think that sometimes when life is shitty or boring or hard having a book that is literal sunshine to read is so important.
This one just happens to be the one of hers I liked the best.
“That was the thing. You never got used to it, the idea of someone being gone. Just when you think it’s reconciled, accepted, someone points it out to you, and it just hits you all over again, that shocking.”
“You have to have a little bit of disorganization now and then. Otherwise, you’ll never really enjoy it when things go right.”
“Shit,” Delia said. “I mean, shoot. No, actually, I mean shit. I really do.”
“When you had to do something, you had to do it. And eventually, if you were lucky, you did it well.”
“Forever was so many different things. It was always changing, it was what everything was really about. It was twenty minutes, or a hundred years, or just this instant, or any instant I wished would last and last. But there was only one truth about forever that really mattered, and that was this: it was happening.”
So of all the books I have read those are my favourites. They’re definitely all very similar and all catered to my own taste but I do recommend them. They’re all incredibly special to me.
Tell me what books you like!! I really love reading books people recommend. Also my inner library is bigger than these, if you want to know a good book to read – no matter how varied and expansive your interests – all you have to do is ask.
Catch you tomorrow (also follow me on Goodreads) xx