Here are my top books of the year!
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee
I’m so glad I chose this brilliant audiobook. I loved Monty and Percy – they’ll sit comfortably amongst my favourite characters ever. The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue genuinely gave me the giggles. It’s also a much-needed read, featuring LGBT romance, racial diversity, and politically active women during a period of history that ignored them.
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Dimple and Rishi are geeky. They’re smart, funny, talented and interesting – and lovely. I really enjoyed seeing a girl passionate about STEM subjects and a boy passionate about art. When Dimple Met Rishi was a perfect YA contemporary read, for me.
Freshers by Lucy Ivison & Tom Ellen
Narrated by Luke and Phoebe, Freshers captures the first year of university perfectly. They’re two of the most realistic teenage characters I’ve come across (as we’ve all come to expect from Lucy and Tom!). It also covers topics that are vital to talk about, from sexual harassment on campus and one-night stands to ‘laddish’ behaviour and homesickness. I wish I had it when I was a student.
This is Going to Hurt: Section Lives of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay
Now a writer for film and TV comedy, Adam turned his compulsory doctors’ notes into a book. It opened my eyes to what it’s like to be a junior doctor. This is Going to Hurt is hilarious, honest and heart-breaking. As a woman, Adam’s field of expertise (obstetrics and gynaecology) is particularly relevant to me. Even so, This is Going to Hurt is a must read for everyone.
History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
Griffin and Theo are best friends > boyfriends > ex-boyfriends > best friends. And then Theo dies. A heartbreaking story, The History is All You Left Me is a wonderful exploration of relationships. I adored seeing Theo and Griffin take part in a pub quiz, complete with Harry Potter and Star Wars questions. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
After more than 10 years since I first read it, I picked up this popular trilogy and quickly became entranced by Lyra’s world, the characters, and the clever, twisty, exciting story. I’d lie in bed – the perfect place to listen to audiobooks, in my opinion – not wanting to fall asleep. I found myself eager to get back to Lyra’s Oxford, thinking about the stories even when I wasn’t reading them.
La Belle Sauvage (The Book of Dust) by Philip Pullman
I was super lucky to attend the midnight launch for La Belle Sauvage. At the event, we sat on a boat and ate stew, listened to Gyptian music and partook in a quiz, before heading upstairs at the stroke of midnight to pick up my copy. I finished the story within a few days and now I’m eagerly awaiting the next one, The Secret Commonwealth.
Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour
Everything Leads to You is one of the few novels I’ve read that features LGBT+ characters but isn’t about being LGBT+. It’s an important part of the storyline, of course – and there’s a super sweet romance – but it’s not the main part of the story. Beautiful, cinematic and a joy to read.
We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
Very little happens in We Are Okay in contrast to the drama and mystery of Everything Leads to You, but Nina does feelings really well, especially those that are difficult to describe: grief, loneliness, immense sadness. I adored the relationship between Marin and Mabel. I can’t wait to read more from Nina!
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
Alice gets teenagers. She gets what it’s like to be a teenager (or a millennial, let’s say) on the interwebz. She understands how online communities work and how they can go from making you feel part of something to suffocated. I loved Frances and Aled – they have an incredible friendship and I adored their funny and relatable Facebook messages.
Are any of these in your top ten?