5 Books We Recommend This January
All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr
“Time is a slippery thing: lose hold of it once, and its string might sail out of your hands forever.”
- Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See.
Anthony Doerr’s poignant, memorable, enthralling historical fiction stand-alone novel takes place during World War II. A blind french girl and a German boy find each other in the midst of the havoc and calamitous destruction World War II causes. While both individuals are on their own quests, Anthony Doerr interweaves their paths and flawlessly creates the emotive literary masterpiece that is, All the Light We Cannot See.
The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas.
“What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”
- Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give.
The Hate U Give was written by Angie Thomas during her college years, in response to the tragic incident involving Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old African American man who was shot and killed by the police. The Hate U Give focuses on a 16 year-old African American girl named Starr Carter that goes to a primarily white private school in a primarily white area. This book follows Starr through a journey of battling racial inequality. Thomas hopes that her debut novel can expand its readers’ understanding of the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement and the negative effects racial injustice has on individuals today.
The Invisible Life of Addie Larue, by V.E. Schwab.
“It is sad, of course, to forget. But it is a lonely thing, to be forgotten.”
- V.E. Schwab, The Invisible Life of Addie Larue.
This tale of love, loss, desperation, hope, and betrayal tends to stay with the reader forever. A young woman named Addie, who out of anguish, makes a bargain and is then cursed to be immortal and eventually forgotten by everyone she interacts with. She is forced to undergo a lonely itinerary for many decades, across many countries and timelines. Her familiar and desolate 300 year routine is suddenly interrupted when she meets a young man in a bookstore, who, astonishingly, remembers her name.
The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath.
“If you expect nothing from somebody, you are never disappointed.”
-Sylvie Plath, The Bell Jar.
The Bell Jar is a haunting classic published in 1963 that depicts the negative effects society’s expectations and standards had on women in the 19th century. Follow Esther Greenwood as she realizes her discontent in a society that expects her to behave a certain way and to rid her of her aspirations, dreams, and desires; for they do not fit societal norms. When she takes part in an internship during the summer, she meets two individuals that hold differing views on feminism and other controversial topics. The two individuals she later forms a camaraderie with also contribute to adding humor and wittiness to the story. This novel is an impactful classic that is certainly hard to forget.
Caraval, by Stephanie Garber.
“Hope if a powerful thing. Some say it’s a different breed of magic altogether. Elusive, difficult to hold on to. But not much is needed.”
- Stephanie Garber, Caraval.
Caraval is a fantasy novel that whisks the reader away into a world of magic, adventure, mazes, and a carnival that is not what it seems. Scarlett and her sister Donatella escape their abusive father and are taken to an island where Caraval takes place, a magical interactive game that requires its players to complete the game’s objective and one will walk away with the prize. But this year, Scarlett’s excitement and eagerness vanishes when her sister, Donatella, goes missing. And coincidentally, to Scarletts’ horror, the objective to win the game is to find the missing girl, and whoever does so, wins. Stephanie Garber’s beautiful descriptions, figurative language, and stunning imagery allows the reader to feel as if they are in Caraval, hurrying alongside Scarlett on her quest to find her sister.
The Beginning of Everything, by Robyn Schneider.
“Oscar Wilde once said that to live is the rarest thing in the world, because most people just exist, and that’s all.”
- Robyn Schneider, The Beginning of Everything.