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I’m sure this has happened to you before. You get done with a book and you just, you know, can’t believe it’s really finished. You became so immersed in the story. It felt real. And now it’s over. And you have to figure out a way to go on without those characters and that fictitious world where they reside. It’s hard, right? The best books are the ones that won’t let us go, even when we’ve read every last word.
That’s what all these books are to me. The list is a little eclectic (like me!) because I’m equal opportunity book devour-er.
I definitely think they’re worth a read.
11/22/63 – Prepare yourself, this book is long. But it’s worth it. The story follows Jake, an English teacher who is enlisted to go back in time to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy. It’s frustrating, suspenseful, triumphant, and heartbreaking all rolled into one fascinating novel. I neglected every part of life I could for 3 days so I could finish it.
Bag of Bones – I was totally gripped by this novel. It was scary and suspenseful, which kept me reading. But it was the characters and their twisted fate that still has me loving the book all these years after I first read it. If you ever happen to come across the movie adaptation though, steer clear. It’s awful. I’m still waiting for the day when a Stephen King book translates well into a movie.
The Fault in Our Stars – This is not normally the kind of book I gravitate toward, but I heard it was good so thought I’d take a chance on it. I found the book funny, snarky, and full of hope despite the fact the main character is, you know, kind of dying. I recommend reading with a box of tissues nearby.
Gone Girl – I found this one laying around the house one day. A book unceremoniously discarded by mom after having only read a few pages. Her reason? It was too “wordy.” I love my mom so much. In her defense, she has since read the book, and loved it too. I was captivated by the writing, and the format of going back and forth between the present where we’re searching for a missing woman, and excerpts from her diary that don’t seem to match her husband’s account of their marriage. It was a fun, mysterious read with an ending that was just twisted enough to be totally satisfying.
The Host – So listen, I liked Twilight. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I thought they were fun reads, but I wasn’t obsessed with them. I didn’t feel particularly moved by them. This one though, by the same author, it stuck with me. It was almost addictive. Alien creatures invade earth and take human “hosts.” Except one human isn’t giving in quite that easily, so human and alien are forced to share one body. It sounds weird. It is. But it works. And word is there will be two more books making it a trilogy. Sign me up.
Insomnia – If my memory is right, this is the first Stephen King novel I ever read. While it’s definitely a suspenseful, fascinating read, the characters are what will make you want to keep reading. They are written with so much heart and compassion, you can’t help but start to love them. And their eventual fate is what will keep you from being able to forget the book.
Odd Thomas – This is a series of books that really the entire world just needs to hurry up and read. Odd (yep, that’s his name) can see dead people, but they can’t talk to him. It makes the dynamic interesting, especially when they’re looking for help. He gets himself into some interesting/dangerous/scary predicaments, which will keep you enthralled, but you’ll always be wondering how things are going to end up for Odd and that’ll keep you picking up book after book.
Room – I picked this one up on a whim at a used bookstore that was going out of business. I really didn’t know much about it, aside from the fact they made a movie based on it. The description sounded interesting enough, and I gave it a shot. Oh.My.Gosh. You guys. This book. I won’t go into too much detail, so as not to give too much away, but there is one chapter that was so suspenseful I practically stroked out reading it. I’ve never read so fast in my whole life, because I just had to freaking know what was going to happen.
The Stand – Get ready, it’s another long one. It’s about deadly strain of the flu that is unintentionally released and wipes out about 2/3 of the population, leaving survivors to carry on without loved ones while trying to navigate this new, dangerous post-apocalyptic world. Groups of these survivors start coming together, and soon you discover this is about more than just a plague, it’s a fight between good and evil. Bonus points if you read it while you have a cold like I did.
The Time Traveler’s Wife – Out of all the books I’ve ever read, this one got me in the feels like none of the others. Years later, I swear to you, there are some nights when I’m trying to sleep and my brain is like “Yeah but, don’t you want to ponder the end of The Time Traveler’s Wife again?” And I’m like, might as well brain. Haven’t cried in a few days. If you can only pick one book out of the list, I’d say go with this one.
Do you have any books that left a huge impression on you? I love book recommendations!