The Wicked King by Holly Black

Holly Black’s The Cruel Prince was a masterpiece of magic and intrigue that followed Jude, adopted daughter of a Faerie general, as she fought for power in the Faerie court. In the Wicked King, Jude has the power she always wanted as seneschal and handler of the newly crowned King Cardan, and is struggling to hang onto it.
Before he became king, Cardan swore to obey Jude’s every command for the next year, but with over half that time gone, Jude is scrambling for a way to extend her power over the unpredictable young king. If she doesn’t manage to, then her little brother Oak will be forced to take the throne and she will lose all the influence and control that she fought so hard for. On her side is the Shadow Court, a dangerous team of spies and assassins who work for her and the king, but even their loyalty is only as valuable as the highest bidder is willing to pay for it.
They say old friends make the worst of enemies and between the adopted father she betrayed, the boy who betrayed her and her twin sister, Taryn, Jude has a surplus of foes and is perilously short on allies. If she wants to stay alive— and stay in power— Jude will have to be more clever and more ruthless than ever before.

Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria

Beneath the Citadel, by Destiny Soria, is an impeccably crafted fantasy novel with everything planned out perfectly. There are plot twists and moments of relief, and this story makes you feel like you’re with the characters in the citadel.
Beneath the Citadel tells about four teenagers who live in a place ruled by rooks and seers; sentients and diviners. Nothing is private, and it seems as if everyone’s future is written in prophecies. But the citadel has secrets of its own: what’s beneath the citadel. Something so unimaginable. These four friends are the last of the rebels, trying to destroy the corrupt government. Will the citadel’s secret ruin or help their plan?
Destiny Soria wrote a truly amazing novel here. I recommend this to any fantasy lover, or anyone who wants to read a book impossible to put down. It is thoroughly engulfing from the first page to the last, and makes you want more. I cannot begin to describe how interesting this story is. There’s nothing else like it and it’s bound to become huge like Harry Potter or Red Queen. I hope there is a sequel!

An Enchantment of Raven by Margaret Rogerson

Have you ever read a book with such vivid imagery that when you close your eyes you can almost imagine you are inside its world? My favorite of those books is An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson. Enchantment is set in a lush world of magic and monsters that— in tandem with sweeping world building and compelling characters— makes for a brilliant book. I am not usually a fan of romance stories, but An Enchantment of Ravens drew me in and held on until the very last page.
At seventeen, Isobel is the best portrait artist in generations, and her reputation grows with every passing year. Since childhood, Isobel has painted for the Fair Folk, a powerful race that lusts after human craft.
Isobel is used to having creatures that could murder her in an instant sipping tea in her living room. But when she hears from one of her clients that the Autumn Prince— a powerful Fair One not seen in Whimsy for centuries— is coming to meet her, she’s shaken. But Rook (the Autumn Prince) is not what she expects from a Fair One, and certainly not what she’d expect from one of their princes. He’s nearly human. But just as they grows comfortable towards one another— fond, even, she makes a terrible mistake. Isobel paints human sorrow in his eyes, an unforgivable weakness among his kind. Furious, Rook spirits her off to the Autumn court to stand trial, setting off a whirlwind of adventures and a forbidden romance that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Before I Fall follows the life of a senior girl in high school, Samantha Kingston. She and her three friends are some of the most popular girls in school. Samantha has it all, perfect boyfriend, three supporting best friends, everything any teenage girl could hope for. Everything was perfect until February 12th. Samantha and her three friends attend a party and make a drunken mistake, resulting in Samantha’s death. However, instead of going to heaven or hell or whatever, Samantha relives February 12th seven times. Through these seven repeats she uncovers secrets about her death She uncovers secrets about everything and everyone close to her. How much will she risk to save her own life?

The book started off rather slow and a little too cliche for my tastes. Oliver portrayed high school in a very stereotypical way and Samantha as a character was very unlikeable to start off. Her and her friends were catty and rude and I was sick and tired of hearing the character complain about trivial things such as spilt coffee. However, I am no quitter as a reader and so I pulled through. And boy, am I glad I did. The story started picking up, hitting its climax in the most amazing way. Samantha changed as a character and the reader could see clear as day the character development. She changed from a snotty teenage brat to a sophisticated human being who slowly uncovered the secret to life. The secret to really living life and not just gliding by it. Samantha began treating people differently and making new risks that popular Samantha Kingston would’ve never made in the first chapter.
The last two or so chapters kept me totally captivated, I was unable to set the book down. Flipping page after page new secrets were uncovered and Samantha turned into someone that the reader should aspire to be. Samantha was on a mission, a mission to not only save others but to also save herself. The ending to the story left me with a full feeling. I did feel like crying, if not more than just a tear or two.
Samantha Kingston was a one layered character that, personally, I did not connect to at all. She was unlikeable, and for good reason. However, Oliver used her writing skills to change the reader’s mind, and instead we fell in love with Samantha Kingston and her selflessness and her constant need to save herself. Because, in the end, Samantha really did save herself.
This was the first book I have ever read by Lauren Oliver and I think it was a good introduction into her writing. She uses a lot of metaphors and similes, which when you first start reading feels a little weird and out of place. However, adjusting yourself to her writing really helps you connect with Oliver’s characters and in turn makes you feel many new emotions. Personally, I really enjoyed her writing and I felt myself attracted to the way she described things in new ways, even trivial things.

Overall, as a fellow reader, I would say pull through. Pull through the first two or three chapters because it gets better. It gets much much better and if you start the book and don’t finish you will surely regret it. I promise.
If you enjoyed the following books I think you will enjoy Before I Fall:
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Maybe you have seen the current buzz about Netflix’s latest movie, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. However, most people do not know that this movie was based on a book of the same name! To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is actually part of a trilogy written by the fantastic Jenny Han. This book is one of my all-time favorite because of its wonderful characters, great plot and writing, and representation.
This story’s fantastic plot had me finishing the book within the day I picked it up. The concept of the love letters is pure genius, and the originality of the idea pulled me in and kept me engaged. Han put a fun spin on the classic love triangle, and the deft writing allows the story to be fresh and interesting rather than clichéd. The story is wholesome without being boring, and endearing without being sickly sweet. Han’s writing has a general warm and homey mood to it, which in turn strengthens Lara Jean’s character.
As soon as I read the first page, I instantly fell in love with the protagonist, Lara Jean Song Covey. Lara Jean is one of the most kind, caring, and warm-hearted characters I have ever read about. I admire her sweet nature and her love for her family. She truly values those that are close to her, and will be there to support them. Peter Kavinsky was the next character that I enjoyed reading about. He has this almost childish air about him, and his charisma easily charms any reader. He is playful and easygoing when with his peers, and he enjoys living in the moment and appreciating the little things. With his confidence and big heart, it is no wonder that he is such a beloved character. Kitty Song Covey was the last character that I loved getting to know. Her humor provides an excellent source of comic relief among the drama, and she adds so much to her family and to the story. She always has something clever to say and makes the dynamic between the characters more fun and lighthearted.
Furthermore, this book is one of my absolute favorites because of its representation. The story is centered on a teenage Korean-American girl, whose sisters and mother are also Korean. Although I am not Korean myself, I am Chinese and therefore Asian. I rarely see stories (books, movies, television shows, or otherwise) that star Asian leads and Asian stories. Seeing an Asian girl on a book cover made me feel incredibly overjoyed because I was able to see myself in the book I was reading. Reading this book helped me understand why representation matters so much, and it is because representation tells people that their stories matter and do not hold less importance than others.
I highly recommend reading this book and seeing the adaptation on Netflix (this post is not sponsored; I just really enjoyed the movie). Not only would you be reading and watching a cute love story unfold, you would be supporting representation of thousands of people who are finally seeing themselves in books and movies. Please go support this amazing work of literature, as well as the equally amazing Asian representation!

Wait For Me by An Na

Wait For Me by An Na is definitely on the top ten of my reading list. It’s a compelling novel about love and carving your own path in life. The main character, Mina, has a deaf sister who she has to take care of and a mother breathing down her back about getting into Harvard. Along the way, she meets Ysrael. Yes, I know that a lot of love stories are similar and they all kind of encompass the whole “happily ever after” thing. But Mina and Ysrael’s relationship is so heartwarming and just amazing in general. An Na creates a story that you don’t want to end. You want the story to keep spinning and the character’s relationships to keep blossoming and unpacking. I have read many many books before, most of them being completely magical and amazing. But this book surpasses all of them. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is in for a real adventure.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Several months ago, a friend of mine sent me a book for my birthday: Caraval. In retrospect, I should have picked it up much sooner. Caraval has become one of my favorite YA books to date, and its sequel- Legendary is, if possible, even better. In her amazing debut Stephanie Garber redefined fantasy in this twisting tale seeped in dark magic and unexpected revelations.

Scarlet Dragna lives on the Isle of Trisda with her sister Tella and their cruel father. For years Scarlet has written letters to Legend, master of the magical circus-game of Caraval, begging him to come to Trisda. Now engaged and ready to escape Trisda with her sister, Scarlet finally recieves a reply from Legend- and three tickets. Now Scarlet must make a choice: marry the man her father chose for her, or run away to attend Caraval with Tella and the handsome young sailor who has offered his help in exchange for a ticket.

Every Day by David Levithan

Every Day by David Levithan, is probably my favorite book. It is a beautiful story about love, the obstacles of life, and how important making memories is. The main character, A, wakes up every single day in a new place, in a new body. He takes over for a day, traveling through this strange life and seeing all kinds of things. One day, he wakes up in the body of Justin, and meets his girlfriend- Rhiannon. Love at first sight is such a cliche, but David Levithan makes it fascinatingly real. He tells the story of A and Rhiannon, and the intense obstacles they have to face, even just to talk to each other! This love story is one of a kind, and it will keep you wanting more.
I love this book because it is a completely new take on a love story. They get repetitive after a while, and this brings a fresh take to the YA genre. Every Day sucks you in; you feel the character’s emotions; you live this story. I read this a few years ago, but even now I still remember the feelings washing over me as I indulged in this. It is memorable, beautiful, and heart-racing. This is the most interesting book I have ever read, and that’s saying something! David Levithan truly brings such a riveting storyline to such a unique group of characters. I’m glad it has a sequel! I cannot praise this book enough, and it will always be an all-time favorite.

A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir

In a thrilling sequel to A Torch Against the Night, Sabaa Tahir returns to the world of Laia, Helene and Elias with A Reaper at the Gates. In Reaper, the stakes have been raised for all our favorite characters as the Nightbringer draws closer to his goal.
In the Waiting Place, Elias struggles to take control of his growing powers as Shaeva and Mauth force him and Laia farther apart. At the heart of the Empire Helene has taken control of the Black Guard— and with Harper at her side begins to wrest control from the Commandant. Far away, Laia works with the Tribes and Scholar Rebels to free enslaved Scholars.
But even as the Blood Strike grows in power and Laia gains allies and experience, the Nightbringer too grows closer to freeing the other Jinn. Under his orders Keris Veturia schemes and kills as she works to undermine the new regime.

Reaper at the Gates is probably my favorite book of the series yet. The POV characters have gained a new maturity since the events of A Torch Against the Night, and many of the supporting characters also gain a backstory that helps to enrich the world of Reaper comsiderably.