Hi, all! This is the second installation on this blog of Top 5 Wednesday, which is created by a group on GoodReads. You can check out December’s topics here.
This week, the topic was “Books to Give _____ as Gifts“. I thought about this Top 5 for a while, trying to decide what group of people I wanted to use for this one. And I just kept coming back to the same thought: No two people have the same exact bookish tastes, whether you’re giving a guide for parents, partners, friends, children, etc. Or at least I don’t personally know two people with the same bookish tastes. Even our group of friends who we have other things in common with might like different kinds of books, characters, tropes, etc. than we do. So I decided, why not do a Top 5 for gifting each unique type of bookish friend?
For the purpose of this post, I’m going to use YA novels for the following categories (even though there are definitely adult options in all of these; I just personally have more YA books under my belt to reference):
- Contemporary Lovers
- Psychological Thriller / Mystery Lovers
- Fantasy Lovers
- Historical Fiction Lovers
- Romance Lovers
These won’t be Christmas books… mostly just because I don’t really do holiday themed books often and I wouldn’t even have five books to recommend. You’ll just have to forgive me for that. Let’s get started.
The Upside of Unrequited– Becky Albertalli
This is a very fluffy contemporary that actually has some awesome stuff in it. There are a lot of LGBTQ+ characters and we have some diversity in body types, which is a huge part of this story. This has a 4.01 star rating on GoodReads, and even I, a reviewer who rarely gives out 5 stars, loved this book enough for the highest possible rating. May this melt the heart of even the most cynical (hopefully).
Psych. Thriller / Mystery Lovers
Little Monsters– Kara Thomas
This is definitely one of the better YA thrillers I’ve personally come across. I love a good mystery in a YA story, and even though Kara Thomas’s other books are pretty good, too, this one is my favorite. It’s got a solid 4.0 star rating on GoodReads and is a fast-paced read that your friend will probably devour.
The Gilded King– Josie Jaffrey
In the spirit of full transparency, I’ll go ahead and let you know that I don’t read a lot of fantasy. I don’t dislike fantasy novels, but I seldom find myself drawn to them. This book, however, is a part of a series that immediately grabbed my attention and didn’t let go until I was finished… with the first two installments This 4.22 star rated novel has vampires and zombies but in a really unique context that I think fantasy lovers will eat right up.
Historical Fiction Lovers
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas– John Boyne
Chances are pretty high that if your friend loves historical fiction, they’ve already read this. But this is literally the only book that I’ve read on the Teen Historical Fiction list on GoodReads (which I had to go in search of to even complete this category because I’m not really a fan of historical fiction), so it’s the only one I can recommend. This is rated 4.12 stars and will rip their heart out and make them angry over what kind of world we live in, but it’s damn good.
Just Listen– Sarah Dessen
Romance is in a lot of teen fiction books, but when I think of books that are centered around romance, my mind immediately goes to Sarah Dessen. Her books manage to dabble in serious topics a bit while still being written completely around a teen romance that will make your friend’s heart smile. This is one of my favorite Dessen books, and from its 4.06 star rating, I’d say it’s a few others’, too.
This was actually a much easier list to make than I thought it would be. I generally think of myself as primarily a psych thriller/mystery fan, but it turns out that I’m an everything (besides historical fiction) fan.
I hope this helps anyone looking to find a good gift for their book loving friend!