10 Books To Read During Quarantine:

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Anshrutha Shrinivas

 

If you’re like me, then you’re probably one of the people that’s exhausted all of the books at your house, or you haven’t even read something new in 6 months. If you’re not a reader (which is perfectly fine!), I can’t guarantee that you’ll instantly be turned into a bookworm with some of these reads, but maybe you’ll understand all the fandom lingo that your friend who is a reader talks about. (This list is in no particular order of okay to best all of them are great, and none rank above each other.)

10. Keeper of the Lost Cities (Book 1) by Shannon Messenger 

Synopsis: 

Twelve-year-old Sophie has been telepathic since she was five, and it’s brought her nothing but trouble, from perennial migraines to the social difficulties of being a prodigy in school. She’s kept her talent to herself, as her lovably ordinary family would not understand it. Then one day on a field trip to the museum, she meets a strikingly good-looking boy who’s also a telepath — and informs her that she’s actually not human; she’s an elf who’s been hidden in the human world. Soon she’s whisked away forever from her family and transported to the elf world, where she must cope with hazards from would-be abductors to the pitfalls of middle school, all while trying to fit in and understand who she is. 

Promising Review: 

“The first in a new series by Shannon Messenger, this book is imaginative, well-conceived and well-written, with believable, complex characters and a fully realized fantasy world parallel to our own.” – Mary Eisenhart (Common Sense Media)

What I think: 

I read this book because of a friend’s recommendation, and I was not disappointed. If you’re a fantasy fan, or like adventure and mystery, this may be the book for you. The world building in this book is excellent, and the characters are amazingly written. The best part is, it’s part of a series, so if you’re looking for some books to occupy your time, read this. 

9. American Royals by Katherine McGee 

Synopsis: 

When America won the Revolutionary War, its people offered General George Washington a crown. Two and a half centuries later, the House of Washington still sits on the throne.

As Princess Beatrice gets closer to becoming America’s first queen regnant, the duty she has embraced her entire life suddenly feels stifling.

Nobody cares about the spare except when she’s breaking the rules, so Princess Samantha doesn’t care much about anything, either . . . except the one boy who is distinctly off-limits to her.

And then there’s Samantha’s twin, Prince Jefferson. If he’d been born a generation earlier, he would have stood first in line for the throne, but the new laws of succession make him third. Most of America adores their devastatingly handsome prince . . . but two very different girls are vying to capture his heart.

 

Promising Review: 

“Glittering parties, fabulous clothes, unimaginable wealth, and swoon-worthy love interests are all here to captivate fans of romance and royalty.” – Andrea Beach (Common Sense Media) 

 

What I think: 

This story is full of romance and drama, so if that isn’t your forte, skip this one! If it is, read on. The book changes in POV’s and gives insight into many different character’s thoughts, and speaking of the characters – they’re amazing! Each character has their own motivation, and drives, and it’s amazing to watch them go through it. The royal scene is also something of its own, this alternate reality that Katherine McGee has created really speaks to me, and may speak to you as well, if this excites you. 

8. One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus 

Synopsis:  

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.

Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.

Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.

Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.

And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them. 

Promising Review:  

“You’ll tear through this juicy, super-fun (if murder can ever be fun?) thriller.”—Bustle.com 

 

What I think: 

This is an amazing mystery novel that is very well written, and a very clear narrative style. Not to mention, the ships in here are amazing, and if you aren’t a romance person, not to worry, because the mystery and action are very prominent as well. It’s a very fun and interesting read. 

7. The Selection Series by Kierra Kass 

Synopsis: 

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

 

Promising Review: 

“Loved this book. Great pace, great storyline, new idea/concept I had not read before. The characters were great, had personalities, liveliness, and were not dull at all. This was my favorite of the series. It kept me on the edge of my seat and had so much suspense I read it in one sitting and could not put it down. Excellent read.” – Anonymous (Amazon Review) 

What I think:  

The Selection is the first book in the trilogy, and in my opinion, the best one in the series. It introduces us to some pretty good world-building, and has a new twist on a dystopian world. If you’re tired of reading dystopian novels with the world being the most desolate place on Earth, but aren’t really in the mood for a utopian novel, this book may be for you! It’s set in the future with a less-than-perfect society, but still has a feeling of hope. All in all, it’s an easy and interesting read to keep you occupied. 

6. The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani 

Synopsis: 

With her glass slippers and devotion to good deeds, Sophie knows she’ll earn top marks at the School for Good and join the ranks of past students like Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Snow White. Meanwhile, Agatha, with her shapeless black frocks and wicked black cat, seems a natural fit for the villains in the School for Evil.

The two girls soon find their fortunes reversed—Sophie’s dumped in the School for Evil to take Uglification, Death Curses, and Henchmen Training, while Agatha finds herself in the School for Good, thrust among handsome princes and fair maidens for classes in Princess Etiquette and Animal Communication.

But what if the mistake is actually the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are?

Promising Review: 

“The School for Good and Evil is no run-of-the-mill fairy tale spin-off.” – Michael Barry (Common Sense Media) 

What I think: 

This story goes deep into the fairy tale world, but with a twist this time. It follows two characters, one supposedly good and the other “evil,” and I won’t spoil the end for you, but it goes deep into morality – what we think good is, what we think is evil, and how we perceive people to be good or evil immediately. The world-building is exceptional, and the characters aren’t run-of-the mill versions of characters that you’ve already read.

5. The Next Together by Lauren James 

Synopsis:

Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again, century after century. Each time, their presence changes history for the better, and each time, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be tragically separated.

Spanning the Crimean War, the Siege of Carlisle and the near-future of 2019 and 2039 they find themselves sacrificing their lives to save the world. But why do they keep coming back? What else must they achieve before they can be left to live and love in peace?

 

Maybe the next together will be different…

Promising Review: 

“Interspersed with love notes, emails, and blog posts, this work captures not only the love between the couple but the danger surrounding their circumstances. Fans of Alexandra Bracken’s Passenger and Heidi Heilig’s The Girl from Everywhere will enjoy this romance through time and history. . . . This science fiction take on European history will excite any historical fiction reader. Although the main characters are teens, this title also has crossover adult appeal.” —School Library Journal

What I Think: 

This book is absolutely everything in one, which may sound bad or good, depending on how you take it. There’s action, adventure, romance, time travel – the works. The main characters are amazing and easy to root for, and the change in settings may seem confusing, but really are not. The different plotlines that intertwine are extremely interesting and have you gripping the side of your seat. All in all, if you like romance and some level of time-traveling, this could be the book for you. 

4. The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories #1) by Chris Colfer 

Synopsis: 

Alex and Conner Bailey’s world is about to change, in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairy tales.

The Land of Stories tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with fairy tale characters they grew up reading about.

But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.

 

Promising Review: 

“In The Land of Stories, Colfer showcases his talent for crafting fancifully imaginative plots and multidimensional characters.”―Los Angeles Times

What I think: 

This is an exceptionally good book, it keeps you guessing, has one-of-a cliffhangers. It really makes you want to read more every step of the way. The world-building is very nicely done and easy to understand as well. The mix between comedy and action is very well done, and a book you should definitely read if you like fairy tales! 

3. One of Us is Next by Karen M. McManus 

Synopsis:

Come on, Bayview, you know you’ve missed this.

A ton of copycat gossip apps have popped up since Simon died, but in the year since the Bayview four were cleared of his shocking death, no one’s been able to fill the gossip void quite like he could. The problem is no one has the facts. 

Until now. 

This time it’s not an app, though—it’s a game. 

Truth or Dare.

Phoebe‘s the first target. If you choose not to play, it’s a truth. And hers is dark. 

Then comes Maeve and she should know better—always choose the dare. 

But by the time Knox is about to be tagged, things have gotten dangerous. The dares have become deadly, and if Maeve learned anything from Bronwyn last year, it’s that they can’t count on the police for help. Or protection.

Simon’s gone, but someone’s determined to keep his legacy at Bayview High alive. And this time, there’s a whole new set of rules. 

Promising Review: 

“A thriller from one of the best writers in the YA mystery genre, One of Us Is Next delivers more shocking surprises and twists you won’t see coming.” –PASTE

What I Think: 

Usually, the sequels of most books I’ve read don’t deliver. This one does. The new characters are extremely interesting and likable, and in stark contrast to the previous characters. The mystery in this one is incredible, and keeps you on the edge of your seat with every word uttered. Suffice it to say, if you liked One of Us is Lying, read this one next. 

2.  The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau  

Synopsis: 

It’s graduation day for sixteen-year-old Malencia Vale, and the entire Five Lakes Colony (the former Great Lakes) is celebrating. All Cia can think about—hope for—is whether she’ll be chosen for The Testing, a United Commonwealth program that selects the best and brightest new graduates to become possible leaders of the slowly revitalizing post-war civilization. When Cia is chosen, her father finally tells her about his own nightmarish half-memories of The Testing. Armed with his dire warnings (”Cia, trust no one”), she bravely heads off to Tosu City, far away from friends and family, perhaps forever. Danger, romance—and sheer terror—await. 

Promising Review: 

 “The rising tension, skillfully executed scenarios, and rich characterizations all contribute to an exciting story bound to capture readers’ imaginations. . . . Charbonneau works action, romance, intrigue, and a plausible dystopian premise into a near-flawless narrative.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

What I Think: 

 Most of the famous dystopian novels are somewhat similar in plot structure, yet The Testing offers a new, different plot that I haven’t read before. The characters are interesting to read, and easy to root for, and the romance is well-written. Fun and easy read! 

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green  

Synopsis: 

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars brilliantly explores the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

Promising Review: 

“You know, even as you begin the tale of their young romance, that the end will be 100 kinds of awful, not so much a vale as a brutal canyon of tears. . . . Green’s story of lovers who aren’t so much star-crossed as star-cursed leans on literature’s most durable assets: finely wrought language, beautifully drawn characters and a distinctive voice.”

—Frank Bruni, The New York Times 

What I Think: 

Chances are, you’ve heard of this book before, or at least the movie. For good reason at that – this book is iconic. The characters are extremely realistic, and have flaws and show that it’s alright to be imperfect sometimes. Hazel and Gus (The two main characters) and their story in general is remarkable to read, and see. The untraditional ending to the book is not only unpredictable but more realistic than what we usually read. If you’re not against reading sad books, I suggest giving this one a try.