It’s snowing here – albeit kind of pathetically, but snow is snow. And December starts on Tuesday, so I’m struggling not to throw all of my Christmas recommendations at you all at once. So I’ll settle with a kind of “Christmas special” and add in another Christmas recommendation every week until the day itself. And I’m not going to lie, I am listening to Christmas music right now, even if it is Ariana Grande’s last holiday single.
1. My True Love Gave To Me – a collection by Stephanie Perkins
Ok, so this is a collection of short Christmas-themed stories from some of the leading names in YA with the alluring blurb of “Long, cold nights are for falling in love…” Now, yes, it sounds cheesy. But it’s not. With beautiful winter romances from Stephanie Perkins, Rainbow Rowell, Kiersten White and Jenny Han (just a few of my favourites) this book is perfect for the run up to the holiday season.
2. The 5th Wave – Rick Yancey
We’re back to normal. I promise, this book leaves no time for the characters to celebrate Christmas – when aliens are wiping out most of the population, there’s not much time to decorate a Christmas tree. I love the blurb of this book, so I’ll quote it:
“The 1st wave took out half a million people.
The 2nd wave put that number to shame.
The 3rd wave lasted a little longer… four billion dead.
In the 4th wave, you can’t trust that people are still people.
And the 5th wave? No one knows. But it’s coming.”
Basically, this book is terrifying. Because the way that the Others (the aliens) destroy society, is described in detail and in theory, is actually possible. The story follows, mainly, our protagonist Cassie, who thinks she might be the last person alive. Wildly exciting and full of wit, this book is the perfect post-apocalyptic read.
3. Did I Mention I Love You? – Estelle Maskame
Lovingly dubbed DIMILY, with this series, the pages turn themselves as the story of Eden and Tyler unfolds, the characters three dimensional and complicated. I sped through the first book in one sitting. I started chapter one at noon and when I looked up, the world had gone dark and I was clutching at my heart because OH MY GOD, THIS BOOK. Extra pride because the author is from Scotland, something that makes me kind of excited. Also – she follows me on twitter, a fact that still makes me freak out every now and then.
4. The Secret Countess – Eva Ibbotson
A historical fiction novel about what happened to the aristocrats of Russia after the revolution. The story follows Anna, working in a rich English home and growing closer and closer to the young earl who lives there. I really love this book. I love the romance and the plot, but what I loved most of all was the glimpse into Russian culture and the aftermath of the Russian revolution. I loved learning small phrases and seeing how the aristocracy fell apart and went into hiding. Russian history is just fascinating.
5. How Much Land Does A Man Need? – Leo Tolstoy
This is a short story by Tolstoy that was featured on Penguin Little Black Classics which cost 99p each, I think. It is an amusing tale of what greed does to a man and how you’ll never be satisfied with what you have ; always thinking the grass is greener on the other side. It also serves another purpose, as saying to people, “Oh yeah, I’m just reading some Tolstoy” makes you seem both incredibly intelligent and cultured for a teenager who’s barely passing their subjects.
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