• Booktastically Amazing

Top 10 books to cozy up with this Christmas

AKA books, I'LL be re-reading for the 456th time.

And by Top 10, I mean 10 out of 678 books. Because I'm a very healthy person.

Also, the girl below looks annoyed, but let me explain: She got interrupted whilst reading. That's a serious issue.

Are YOU looking for new books to break your heart, reconstruct it, and leave you feeling like you lost a vital part of yourself? If so, you have come to the right place, my friend. This post will be divided into sections of genres because everyone needs to be included right? I don't want fantasy readers to attack me, they are VICIOUS. And, I must admit that I don't read many Christmas themed YA novels so this list is a literal mismatch of things you should TOTALLY read. If you want.


~SMOOSHIE ROMANCE~


1. Adorkable by Cookie O' Gorman


I cannot tell you how much I absolutely adore this book's existence. Actually, I can, but that would take time and like, work. So I'll summarize what this story did for me, for the ones in the back:

🎄 It was absolutely swoonworthy. Seriously, tingles and all.

🎄 As far as I remember, it made me laugh. A LOT. But that's a pretty easy thing to do, so perhaps don't take my word for it.

🎄 I remember falling in love so deeply that the act of sleeping was purely inconsequential. And I LOVE my sleep, so that's saying something.


I would totally recommend this to people who want a light YA romance and who aren't afraid to dive into the Fake-Dating tropes, which authors so blessedly gift us.


P.S: I was currently in that EXACT phase of my reading life, therefore, I apologize if it's cheesy or cringy.


Spoiler- Free Synopsis:


Adorkable (ah-dor-kuh-bul): Descriptive term meaning to be equal parts dorky and adorable. For reference, see Sally Spitz.


Seventeen-year-old Sally Spitz is done with dating. Or at least, she's done with the horrible blind dates/hookups/sneak attacks her matchmaking bestie, Hooker, sets her up on. There's only so much one geek girl and Gryffindor supporter can take.


Her solution: she needs a fake boyfriend. And fast.


Enter Becks, soccer phenom, all-around-hottie, and Sally's best friend practically since birth. When Sally asks Becks to be her F.B.F. (fake boyfriend), Becks is only too happy to be used. He'd do anything for Sal--even if that means giving her PDA lessons in his bedroom, saying she's "more than pretty," and expertly kissing her at parties.


The problem: Sally's been in love with Becks all her life--and he's completely clueless.


This book features two best friends, one special edition Yoda snuggie, countless beneath-the-ear kisses and begs the question:


Who wants a real boyfriend when faking it is so much more fun?


Goodreads


2. 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston


It has to be said, this was really sweet. Like, cavity-inducing sweet. The good cavities. Do good cavities even exist? Hmmmm. Oh yeah, humans *smacks head*. The story was also hilarious. And perfect for Christmas! (she says while remembering she read it in August, real smart).

🎄 The dates were incredibly AWESOME. Especially the ones that didn't work. *snort*

🎄 I would be absolutely mortified if any of my family members even TRIED to do this. Like, I need it, but mayb--okay, moving on.

🎄 At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this was such a saccharine read (no I did not know that word. Yes, I did search it up. Does it match with the rest of my descriptions? Well, yes, um...maybe)


I would recommend this to people who want a fun sweet romance mixed with a crazy family, and in between cloyingly fun and perfectly short. So yes, it would totally be the book you would read before the end of the year (if you haven't already, I mean). End sounds too boring though... Finale. The Year Finale. Look at me, fancy words human.


Spoiler- Free Synopsis:


Sophie wants one thing for Christmas-a little freedom from her overprotective parents. So when they decide to spend Christmas in South Louisiana with her very pregnant older sister, Sophie is looking forward to some much-needed private (read: make-out) time with her long-term boyfriend, Griffin. Except it turns out that Griffin wants a little freedom from their relationship. Cue devastation.


Heartbroken, Sophie flees to her grandparents' house, where the rest of her boisterous extended family is gathered for the holiday. That's when her nonna devises a (not so) brilliant plan: Over the next ten days, Sophie will be set up on ten different blind dates by different family members. Like her sweet cousin Sara, who sets her up with a hot guy at an exclusive underground party. Or her crazy aunt Patrice, who signs Sophie up for a lead role in a living nativity. With a boy who barely reaches her shoulder. And a screaming baby.


When Griffin turns up unexpectedly and begs for a second chance, Sophie feels more confused than ever. Because maybe, just maybe, she's started to have feelings for someone else . . . Someone who is definitely not available.


This is going to be the worst Christmas break ever... or is it?


Goodreads


(by the way, this is probably the only Christmas related book on this list. Confused? That's what I am. Every day. Confusion incarnate. And Randomness extraordinaire)


~HISTORICAL FICTION~


3. The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee


Let me tell you something, something VERY important. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS BOOK. Seriously, I did! The writing was absolutely exquisite. The setting, characters, main girl, whole story, EVERYTHING, was magnificent. Absolutely, *chef's kiss*, glorious.

🎄 Astounding writing (as mentioned above). And by astounding, I mean, unforgettable, beautiful, idyllic, precious, glorious--I'll stop now.

🎄 I have gotten (copy-pasted, to be honest) about 6789 quotes out of this masterpiece and basically used them in EVERY situation, which when used, do not make me sound more of a lunatic than I am. *snicker*

🎄 Did I say that it is slightly, high-key MAJESTIC? No? Well, I'm just going to leave a quote here, for future reference:


“The tricky thing about giving opinions is that sometimes they cost you more than you wanted to spend.”


( currently broke human speaking here)


I would recommend this to people who love reading about strong women and men alike. Humans who suffered and got stronger through that suffering. And of course, if you like knowing about a "saucebox" with a sarcastic personality to rival mine, then I would suggest getting your pen on paper and popcorn so you can enjoy the WHOLE thing.


Spoiler- Free Synopsis:


From the founding member of We Need Diverse Books comes a powerful novel about identity, betrayal, and the meaning of family.


By day, seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady's maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, "Dear Miss Sweetie." When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of the pen to address some of society's ills, but she's not prepared for the backlash that follows when her column challenges fixed ideas about race and gender. While her opponents clamor to uncover the secret identity of Miss Sweetie, a mysterious letter sets Jo off on a search for her own past and the parents who abandoned her as a baby. But when her efforts put her in the crosshairs of Atlanta's most notorious criminal, Jo must decide whether she, a girl used to living in the shadows, is ready to step into the light. With prose that is witty, insightful, and at times heartbreaking, Stacey Lee masterfully crafts an extraordinary social drama set in the New South.


Goodreads



4. Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson


Is this TECHNICALLY fantasy? *silence* Um...maybe. But it IS historical (somewhat)? You got it, cowboy.

So let's get to the amazing bullet points. Tree points. Christmas points.

🎄 This is definitely one of the first book series I harassed in my life, and I, not for a moment, regret doing such a thing.

🎄 It has a sprinkle of thriller, a dash of action, a whole load of historic wham- bam- no, thanks, ma'am, and of course, an amazing warrior of a main character.

🎄 Did it make me cry? Yes, yes it did. Did it make me angry at how the world was/ is? YES. And um...have I re-read it approximately 12 times? Yes.


I would recommend this for readers on the lookout for something with the essence of our past ancestors, the writing of an empress, and an insurmountable amount of realness. Also, gold. Lots of gold. Which I do not have. It was nice having that fantasy for a while.


Spoiler- Free Synopsis:


Gold is in my blood, in my breath, even in the flecks in my eyes.


Lee Westfall has a strong, loving family. She has a home she loves and a loyal steed. She has a best friend—who might want to be something more.


She also has a secret.


Lee can sense gold in the world around her. Veins deep in the earth. Small nuggets in a stream. Even gold dust caught underneath a fingernail. She has kept her family safe and able to buy provisions, even through the harshest winters. But what would someone do to control a girl with that kind of power? A person might murder for it.


When everything Lee holds dear is ripped away, she flees west to California—where gold has just been discovered. Perhaps this will be the one place a magical girl can be herself. If she survives the journey.


The acclaimed Rae Carson begins a sweeping new trilogy set in Gold Rush-era America, about a young woman with a powerful and dangerous gift.


Goodreads


~Mystery and Thriller~


5. Little Monsters by Kara Thomas


Alright, this was a book I did NOT expect to leave me perplexed like that. Was it perfect? No way. Did it make me want to punch certain people in their facial facilities for certain things? Abso-freaking-lutely. However, did it keep me up at night after I finished reading? *emphatically nodding* Yes. Did it make me question everything? Also, unsurprisingly, yes.

🎄 For one, what is it with freaky friends who are selfish, manipulative, and simply idiotic?!? If you want the question answered ( alive or not) continue on.

🎄 THE DANG PLOT TWIST?!? UM...WHAT?!?!

🎄 If you want to read this, please do not read it before going to bed. For the sole fact that you will want to finish it and basically turn into a sleep-deprived zombified human when morning arises. Though, to be honest, aren't all readers sleep deprived?


I would recommend this for people who are looking for a light thriller that may not be as creepy as say, Horrid, but I think I've mentioned that book too many times. *snort* Also, beware who you think you should trust in this book. You never know who's going to be...a little monster. I've waited SO long to say that.


Spoiler- Free Synopsis:


Kacey is the new girl in Broken Falls. When she moved in with her father, she stepped into a brand-new life. A life with a stepbrother, a stepmother, and strangest of all, an adoring younger half sister.


Kacey’s new life is eerily charming compared with the wild highs and lows of the old one she lived with her volatile mother. And everyone is so nice in Broken Falls—she’s even been welcomed into a tight new circle of friends. Bailey and Jade invite her to do everything with them.


Which is why it’s so odd when they start acting distant. And when they don’t invite her to the biggest party of the year, it doesn’t exactly feel like an accident.


But Kacey will never be able to ask, because Bailey never makes it home from that party. Suddenly, Broken Falls doesn’t seem so welcoming after all—especially once everyone starts looking to the new girl for answers.


Kacey is about to learn some very important lessons: Sometimes appearances can be deceiving. Sometimes when you’re the new girl, you shouldn’t trust anyone.


Goodreads


6. The Child Next Door by Shalini Boland


Uh...well, you see. Okay, this creeped me out beyond measure. Let's start with that. I rarely read books such as this one because they mostly never sound appealing to me (I apologize for my transgressions) but THIS story? What?!? How could I-- when would she-- HOW. The way this book was written just completed the whole package of a parent's worst nightmare. And mine. Ugh.

🎄 This is one of those books that you have to read with the light on. Another advice? Never trust anyone. EVER.

🎄 If you could have a blanket, a fort of pillows, and a plushie toy beside you (to, you know, squeeze to kill when scared) it would be greatly appreciated. By future you. You're welcome.

🎄 That phrase in the book cover? The safest places...bla, bla, bla? Be sure to remember that whilst reading. I mean, if you're like me and try to solve mystery novels before the endgame is visible.


I would recommend this to readers who might just want to get terrified, assaulted by their fear, and perhaps become paranoid. Because that's what sane humans do. I would also recommend this to people who're in a devilish book slump, are bored, or are looking for entertainment.


Spoiler- Free Synopsis:


‘Thrilling, intense. Readers of The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl will love Shalini Boland.’Red Adept


‘Don’t take my baby.’


Kirstie Rawlings is jolted awake by a child crying. Racing upstairs to check on her new-born, she is plunged into every parents’ worst nightmare. She hears an unknown voice in the baby monitor, saying: ‘Let’s take the child – and go.’


Is someone trying to steal her little girl?


In the bedroom, her daughter is safe asleep in her cot. Is the voice coming from a nearby house? But there aren’t any other babies living on her quiet country road…


The police don't believe her. And neither does her husband.


Kirstie knows something isn’t right. She thought she could trust her neighbors, now she isn’t sure. As she unravels the secrets of the people living on her street, Kirstie’s perfect life begins to fall apart.


Because someone is hiding a terrible lie. And they will do anything to stop Kirstie uncovering the truth. But is the danger closer to home than she thinks?


Goodreads


~Health Fiction~


7. Scars Like Wings by Erin Stewart


Do YOU feel like crying and feeling like crap, this holiday season? Do you feel the need to have your heart torn apart, reconstructed, torn apart again, and without being able to beat? Oh, you do? Then waltz right in, peeps.

🎄 Hmm, Never Have I Ever...felt so empty after finalizing the journey in which a book has taken me. *drinks a chocolate shot*

🎄 Never Have I Ever...cried and basically looked like a raccoon (homeless one at that) after reading a certain page on a certain chapter on a goshforsaken story? *drinks another chocolate shot*

🎄 Never Have I Ever...wanted to hug, mentally hug, and truthfully sob with a character on a book which may or may not, had destroyed my ability to complain. About anything. Ever. *swallows the whole jug of chocolate milk* Did someone say, diabetes?


I would recommend this to people who may feel alone in what they're going through, may look at themselves and think awful things, who may act as if everything is alright when it isn't and just want to hide the pain. If y'all want to feel accepted, understood, heartbroken, amongst a whole lot of other feelings. Then this is for you, I hope you enjoy it!


Spoiler- Free Synopsis:


Relatable, heartbreaking, and real, this is a story of resilience--the perfect novel for readers of powerful contemporary fiction like Girl in Pieces and Every Last Word.


Before, I was a million things. Now I'm only one. The Burned Girl.


Ava Lee has lost everything there is to lose: Her parents. Her best friend. Her home. Even her face. She doesn't need a mirror to know what she looks like--she can see her reflection in the eyes of everyone around her.


A year after the fire that destroyed her world, her aunt and uncle have decided she should go back to high school. Be "normal" again. Whatever that is. Ava knows better. There is no normal for someone like her. And forget making friends--no one wants to be seen with the Burned Girl, now or ever.


But when Ava meets a fellow survivor named Piper, she begins to feel like maybe she doesn't have to face the nightmare alone. Sarcastic and blunt, Piper isn't afraid to push Ava out of her comfort zone. Piper introduces Ava to Asad, a boy who loves theater just as much as she does, and slowly, Ava tries to create a life again. Yet Piper is fighting her own battle, and soon Ava must decide if she's going to fade back into her scars . . . or let the people by her side help her fly.


"A heartfelt and unflinching look at the reality of being a burn survivor and at the scars we all carry. This book is for everyone, burned or not, who has ever searched for a light in the darkness." --Stephanie Nielson, New York Times bestselling author of Heaven Is Here and a burn survivor.


Goodreads


8. Made You Up by Francesca Zappia


Y'all know what I DIDN'T make up? My tears. And like, heartache. Also, lots of pain. And tears. To be honest, this was one of the first books in which I was reading through a confusing narrator. Meaning, THEY didn't know what was real, and what was real to THEM basically never existed. So yes, painful, real, and utterly terrifying book. And yes, I did say terrifying. No, it is not a horror book, but the mental issues this dealt with? THAT'S what really got me. And my heart. Basically every organ in my body capable of feeling sadness.

🎄 What's that over there? Drenched in blood? Oh yes, my well being.

🎄 I REFUSE TO THINK THAT WAS THE END, NO MA'AM, NO NO NO. HOW COULD ANYONE--HOW DARE YOU--WHYYYYYY.

🎄 *taking deep breath* Will this break you? Most definitely. Will you see the plot twist coming? No. At least, I didn't. If you did, then please show me your ways, oh wise...Sensei?


I would recommend this to readers who want to have a slight panic attack on every chapter, who want to be on the edge of their seats at all times, and of course, those who want to know, who did she actually make up?


Spoiler- Free Synopsis:


Reality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be—sometimes, there really is someone out to get you. Made You Up tells the story of Alex, a high school senior unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion. This is a compelling and provoking literary debut that will appeal to fans of Wes Anderson, Silver Linings Playbook, and Liar.


Alex fights a daily battle to figure out the difference between reality and delusion. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic 8-Ball, and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. She’s pretty optimistic about her chances until classes begin, and she runs into Miles. Didn’t she imagine him? Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. She’s not prepared for normal.


Funny, provoking, and ultimately moving, this debut novel featuring the quintessential unreliable narrator will have readers turning the pages and trying to figure out what is real and what is made up.


Goodreads


~Amazing Fantasy and Retellings~


9. Tiger Queen by Annie Sullivan


Hmm, how shall I sell a book in which my romantic soul devoured it and in which the ending completely annihilated said, soul? Wow, I guess I just did. One thing I must warn, this is not for the faint of heart, nor is it for believers of HOW DARE YOU NOT GIVE ME A SEQUEL!! Which may or may not include me. *sigh* The beauties of reading. Sanity just JUMPS out the window after a while of being strapped into the backseat.

🎄 I will admit, I came into this expecting a BAM! book, but like, I didn't THINK it. You know what I'm saying, right? When you see a book with SUCH a good premise and you already bought it without thinking twice, and then the terror of "what if this is crap?" hits you. So you say to yourself, I hope this is 'decent'? That's what I mean.

🎄 Somehow (don't ask me how), I thought I would get out of this book with my feelings unscathed (have pity on this senseless human please). I just ADORE how my brain works.

🎄 I have hoped, to no avail (since it IS a standalone) for a second book. Make of that as you will.


I would recommend this for fantasy lovers who are part time masochists as well. And who would like to mourn a book. For a month. Make that two. Oh! and who just LOVE desert-themed novels. Also, warrior main character lovers, where y'all at?


Spoiler- Free Synopsis:


From Annie Sullivan, author of A Touch of Gold, comes Tiger Queen, a sweeping YA fantasy adventure that tells the story of a fierce desert princess battling to save her kingdom. Fans of Rebel of the Sands and Meagan Spooner will devour this retelling of Frank Stockton’s famous short story, “The Lady, or the Tiger?”


In the mythical desert kingdom of Achra, an ancient law forces sixteen-year-old Princess Kateri to fight in the arena to prove her right to rule. For Kateri, winning also means fulfilling a promise to her late mother that she would protect her people, who are struggling through windstorms and drought. The situation is worsened by the gang of Desert Boys that frequently raids the city wells, forcing the king to ration what little water is left. The punishment for stealing water is a choice between two doors: behind one lies freedom, and behind the other is a tiger.


But when Kateri’s final opponent is announced, she knows she cannot win. In desperation, she turns to the desert and the one person she never thought she’d side with. What Kateri discovers twists her world—and her heart—upside down. Her future is now behind two doors—only she’s not sure which holds the key to keeping her kingdom and which releases the tiger.


(I would advise reading the short story afterward. It will be equally heartbreaking, but at least you'll be able to rage against something else!)


Goodreads


10. Heartless by Marissa Meyer


I have not said this enough, but dudes and dudettes, y'all need to read this! The writing is phenomenal, the story is heartwrenching, characters are magnificent. And the love interest? *lovesick sigh* Perfection. Absolute perfection.

🎄 Love retellings? Read it. Adore villain stories? Read it. Simply believe the Queen of Hearts is a misunderstood being with a penchant for cutting heads for the benefits of neuron creation? Read it.

🎄 Wow, just, wow. I have read and loved The Lunar Chronicles. But wow. How am I supposed to move on? I asked when I finished this. You don't, I answered myself. You just drown in your sorrow and mourn said book for years. That's the correct and healthy response.

🎄 Holy Fairy Godmothers on holy soil, what happened. I just can't with my existence right now. I'm remembering what occurred and I just can't. Oh, the pain. DANG, IT.


I recommend this to people who share an intense feeling of deep affection for fairy tales gone wrong. Who don't mind staying up till 3 am, reading under candlelight (yes, I did that, it was...an experience), and who may or may not have intentions to start a riot after reading a story so sad in its foundation. Because everyone knows...The Queen of Hearts wasn't always bad.


Spoiler- Free Synopsis:


Long before she was the terror of Wonderland—the infamous Queen of Hearts—she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.


Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.


Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.


In her first stand-alone teen novel, the New York Times