So you’ve finished reading (or binge watching) 13 Reasons Why, loved it, and now you’re looking for your next great read. Well, look no further. Here are 13 books that I can guarantee will give you all the feels. [Note: most of the synopses are just pulled straight from Goodreads]
- All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
An exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, both contemplating jumping, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.
I stayed up till 3 o’clock in the morning finishing this book and it left me in tears. It’s a truly beautiful, heart-breaking story.
- All We Have Is Now by Lisa Schroeder
What do you do with your last day on earth?
Just over twenty-four hours are left until an asteroid strikes North America, and for Emerson and everyone else who didn’t leave, the world will end. But Emerson’s world already ended when she ran away from home. Since then, she has lived on the streets, relying on her wits and on her friend Vince to help her find places to sleep and food to eat. Emerson and Vince make a plan to go to suicide bridge and jump just before the asteroid strikes. But then they meet Carl, who tells them he has been granting people’s wishes—and gives them his wallet full of money. Suddenly, this last day seems full of possibility. Emerson and Vince can grant a lot of wishes in one last day—maybe even their own.
This book really made me think. What would I do with 24 hours left to live?
- The F- It List by Julie Halpern
Alex’s father recently died in a car accident. And on the night of his funeral, her best friend Becca slept with Alex’s boyfriend. So things aren’t great. Alex steps away from her friendship with Becca and focuses on her family.
But when Alex finally decides to forgive Becca, she finds out something that will change her world again—Becca has cancer. So what do you do when your best friend has cancer? You help her shave her head. And then you take her bucket list and try to fulfill it on her behalf. Because if that’s all you can do to help your ailing friend—you do it.
I really enjoyed this book. I loved all the horror movie and pop-culture references. It deals with a lot of difficult subjects, but manages to still be funny, charming and a little bit crude sometimes. A surprisingly light read for a book involving cancer and death.
- Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon
Maddy has a rare disease, Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, and hasn’t been outside of her house in 17 years. If she did, she would become incredibly, life threateningly ill. And she’s mostly happy going through life like that until a new family moves in next door, and she meets Olly. Of course, she can’t actually meet him, so they have to settle for emailing and IMing. And the more she talks to him, the more she realizes that she might be alive, but she hasn’t really been living at all.
This is a beautiful and moving story about a girl who will risk her life in order to live and love. I absolutely adored it. It’s one of those books that you just can’t put down.
- It’s Kind of A Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
Ambitious New York City teenager Craig Gilner is determined to succeed at life – which means getting into the right high school to get into the right job. But once Craig aces his way into Manhattan’s Executive Pre-Professional High School, the pressure becomes unbearable. He stops eating and sleeping until, one night, he nearly kills himself.
Craig’s suicidal episode gets him checked into a mental hospital, where his new neighbors include a transsexual sex addict, a girl who has scarred her own face with scissors, and the self-elected President Armelio. There, Craig is finally able to confront the sources of his anxiety.
Ned Vizzini, who himself spent time in a psychiatric hospital, has created a remarkably moving tale about the sometimes unexpected road to happiness.
I haven’t actually read this one yet, but I did love the movie, and the book is on my bookshelf awaiting being read.
- Perfect by Natasha Friend
For 13-year-old Isabelle Lee, whose father has recently died, everything’s normal on the outside. Isabelle describes the scene at school with bemused accuracy–the self-important (but really not bad) English teacher, the boy that is constantly fixated on Ashley Barnum, the prettiest girl in class, and the dynamics of the lunchroom, where tables are turf in a all-eyes-open awareness of everybody’s relative social position.
But everything is not normal, really. Since the dealth of her father, Isabelle’s family has only functioned on the surface. Her mother, who used to take care of herself, now wears only lumpy, ill-fitting clothes, cries all night, and has taken every picture of her dead husband and put them under her bed. Isabelle tries to make light of this, but the underlying tension is expressed in overeating and then binging. As the novel opens, Isabelle’s little sister, April, has told their mother about Isabelle’s problem. Isabelle is enrolled in group therapy. Who should show up there, too, but Ashley Barnum, the prettiest, most together girl in class.
This book is great and unlike most of the books on this list, is recommended for younger teens and tweens.
- Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—”Cupid Day”—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.
However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.
This is another book on this list that I haven’t actually read yet, but once again I saw the movie and the book is on my shelf waiting to be read! It definitely belongs on this list though. Plus, Jay Asher even blurbed it.
- Looking for Alaska by John Green
Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . .
After. Nothing is ever the same.
This was one of the first John Green books I read and it is by far my favourite. Yes, I like it even more than The Fault in Our Stars. If you haven’t already read this book, what are you waiting for?
- Forget You by Jennifer Echols
There’s a lot Zoey would like to forget. Like how her father has knocked up his twenty-four-year old girlfriend. Like Zoey’s fear that the whole town will find out about her mom’s nervous breakdown. Like darkly handsome bad boy Doug taunting her at school. Feeling like her life is about to become a complete mess, Zoey fights back the only way she knows how, using her famous attention to detail to make sure she’s the perfect daughter, the perfect student, and the perfect girlfriend to ultra-popular football player Brandon. But then Zoey is in a car crash, and the next day there’s one thing she can’t remember at all–the entire night before. Did she go parking with Brandon, like she planned? And if so, why does it seem like Brandon is avoiding her? And why is Doug–of all people– suddenly acting as if something significant happened between the two of them? Zoey dimly remembers Doug pulling her from the wreck, but he keeps referring to what happened that night as if it was more, and it terrifies Zoey to admit how much is a blank to her. Controlled, meticulous Zoey is quickly losing her grip on the all-important details of her life–a life that seems strangely empty of Brandon, and strangely full of Doug.
Jennifer Echols is one of my absolute favourite romance authors EVER, and I love this book.
- Candy by Kevin Brooks
When Joe Beck, a fifteen-year-old suburban kid, gets lost in a disreputable neighborhood on his way to an appointment in London, he is struck dumb by his first sight of beautiful and seemingly innocent Candy. She talks with him, teases him, but reveals nothing about herself except her phone number. Later they have a perfect day at the London Zoo, and soon Joe is as addicted to Candy as she is to heroin, in spite of the threats of her menacing pimp Iggy. Almost nothing matters except his desire to free her from her terrible life– not his band’s chance for a recording contract, not the song he has written for her that has become a hit without him. But there is something that still matters to him, and when he rescues the young prostitute from her sordid rooming house and takes her into hiding to sweat out her addiction, Iggy finds and uses that one thing that is stronger than Joe’s passion for Candy, in a heart-thumping, breathless conclusion.
I read this book when I was in high school and just absolutely fell in love with Kevin Brooks as an author. This book is fantastic.
- Girl In Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow
Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.
Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.
This is another one I still have yet to read. It may be triggering for those who have a history with self harm, though.
- Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner
One day Carver Briggs had it all—three best friends, a supportive family, and a reputation as a talented writer at his high school, Nashville Academy for the Arts.
The next day he lost it all when he sent a simple text to his friend Mars, right before Mars, Eli, and Blake were killed in a car crash.
Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident, and he’s not the only one. Eli’s twin sister is trying to freeze him out of school with her death-ray stare. And Mars’s father, a powerful judge, is pressuring the district attorney to open a criminal investigation into Carver’s actions.
Luckily, Carver has some unexpected allies: Eli’s girlfriend, the only person to stand by him at school; Dr. Mendez, his new therapist; and Blake’s grandmother, who asks Carver to spend a Goodbye Day with her to share their memories and say a proper goodbye to his friend.
Soon the other families are asking for a Goodbye Day with Carver, but he’s unsure of their motives. Will they all be able to make peace with their losses, or will these Goodbye Days bring Carver one step closer to a complete breakdown or—even worse—prison?I haven’t read this one yet either, but I’ve heard it’s excellent and it definitely deals with a lot of the same themes that 13 Reasons Why does.
- Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick
Today is Leonard Peacock’s birthday. It is also the day he hides a gun in his backpack. Because today is the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather’s P-38 pistol.
But first he must say good-bye to the four people who matter most to him: his Humphrey Bogart-obsessed next-door neighbor, Walt; his classmate, Baback, a violin virtuoso; Lauren, the Christian homeschooler he has a crush on; and Herr Silverman, who teaches the high school’s class on the Holocaust. Speaking to each in turn, Leonard slowly reveals his secrets as the hours tick by and the moment of truth approaches.
In this riveting look at a day in the life of a disturbed teenage boy, acclaimed author Matthew Quick unflinchingly examines the impossible choices that must be made—and the light in us all that never goes out.
This book is very depressing, but very good. The style of is a little strange – Quick makes use of a lot of footnotes. But it’s great and shares a lot of similarities with 13 Reasons Why.
Okay, that’s it! Go forth and read! And cry! And then leave a comment and let me know your thoughts!