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Friday Favorites: Leah’s Favorite Books

woman reading books with coffee

Welcome to our newest series. In “Friday Favorites,” our team will share a handful of favorite items. These can range from clothes to beauty products to recipes to books and anything in between.

I have loved reading ever since I was a young girl. I’d open up a new book and be transported out of my world and into an entirely new one. There were new friends to make, places to explore, trouble to get into, and exciting adventures to discover.  

I can remember being in middle and high school and hearing my friends complain about all of the required reading we had to do; I loved it. I devoured every book I was assigned and then some. 

As I grew into adulthood, I unfortunately fell out of reading for a while. But then, five glorious years ago when we moved down south, my new friends introduced me to an entirely new genre of books I had never explored before, Young Adult. Yep. I’m a 39 year old woman who reads books meant for teenagers, and I love every moment of it. I even created and host a podcast about them because I love them so much: you can find YA Book Chat here!

So today, I am going to share my love of reading with you. I’m giving you my favorite classics as well as more contemporary reads. I hope you’ll dive in and join me on this “curiosity voyage.” 

 

wuthering heights book cover

Wuthering Heights

I first read this book when I was in high school. I distinctly remember this being one of the first books I ever read that made me feel every emotion possible. I went from happy to sad to wanting to throw the book accross the room. It was amazing! Never before had a book pulled me so quickly and captured all of my emotions in that way. I loved every moment of it. 

Wuthering Heights is a classic novel written by Emily Bronte. It’s the story of a homeless boy named Heathcliff who is taken in by the Earnshaw family. Heathcliff grows up with his adoptive family and develops a close relationship to Catherine. Heathcliff is ridiculed and tormented by the Linton children who live nextdoor and grows to despise them. Catherine and Heathcliff develop strong feelings for each other but one day Heathcliff overhears a conversation that causes him to believe Catherine does not love him. As a result, he runs away. He returns years later to see what has become of Catherine, and is not happy with what he discovers. 

This is a wonderful book that will put your emotions through the ringer but also leave you wanting more. It is a classic for a reason.

The Hobbit (and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy)

When I was in middle school, my uncle gave me The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy as a gift. I am forever grateful to him because it was a gift that truly changed me. These books opened my eyes to an entirely new genre of books and to the magical world of J.R.R. Tolkein.

The Hobbit follows the story Bilbo Baggins, a happy and content hobbit living in Hobbiton. Bilbo’s life is turned upside down and forever changed when a wizard named Gandalf knocks on his door and invites him to go on the adventure of a life time. Bilbo, along with his dwarf companions, embark on a journey like no other to raid the treasure trove of a greedy dragon.

Along the way, they run into some interesting creatures and Bilbo inadvertently discovers the one ring. A ring that will lead his nephew Frodo on his own perilous adventure in The Lord of The Rings

This series is great for middle schoolers, high schoolers, and adults alike. 

the hobbit book cover
till we have faces book cover

Till We Have Faces

For some reason, I have always been fascinated by Greek mythology. I love to read about all the ancient myths of the gods. So, naturally, when I discovered Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis, I was drawn to it. 

Till We Have Faces is a retelling of the classic Greek myth of Cupid and Psyche. In Lewis’ version, he focuses on Orual, Psyche’s ugly older sister. Orual is very possessive of her sister and jealous of the love Cupid and Psyche share. This sets Orual on a path of self destruction and moral development. Orual must learn the hard way that the gods are not out to destroy her, but that they love her and only want what is best for her. 

This is a beautiful retelling of Cupid and Psyche and will touch your heart. 

The Princess Bride

Anyone who knows me can tell you that my favorite movie is The Princess Bride. Always has been and always will be. What many people don’t realize is that it’s based on a book – an amazing book.

The Princess Bride is the love story of Westley and Buttercup. Westley is a farm hand who works on Buttercup’s family farm. They fall in love and Westley sets off to make money so they can live happily ever after.

But happily ever after is not that easy. Westley’s ship is attacked and he is killed. Buttercup is destroyed by this but five years later is selected by Prince Humperdink to be his bride. However, she is then kidnapped by three travelers and then kidnapped again by the “man in black.” Buttercup soon discovers the man is black is really Westley and he has come to save her. 

What I love about the book is that Buttercup is actually portrayed a bit differently than in the movie. She’s not as loveable right away. In fact, she’s a vain little brat! But she soon turns into the Buttercup we all know and love from the movie. The book also highlights the history of the country of Florin and gives more background information on Vizzini, Fezzik, and Indigo. 

It’s a wonderful lighthearted story full of adventure, true love, miracles, giants, chases, escapes, torture, and so much more. 

 

the princess bride book cover
heartless book cover

Heartless

If you enjoy fairy tales and fairy tale retellings, then you will love Heartless by Marissa Meyer!

Heartless is the story of the Queen of Hearts from the beloved Lewis Carroll story Alice in Wonderland. It tells us the story of young Cath, who is one of the best bakers in the entire kingdom. All she wants is to open a bakery with her best friend MaryAnne. However, her parents have other ideas. They want her to marry the King of Hearts, who has taken a liking to Cath and wishes to court her. But Cath’s heart belongs to another, the mysterious court Jester named Jest. Cath wants nothing more than to be with Jest and not marry the king. But, many obstacles stand in the way of their love…

Heartless is Young Adult (YA) book that is brilliantly written. Marissa Meyer makes you fall in love with Cath and Jest, and you are rooting for them the entire story. Meyer weaves all the elements and characters of Alice in Wonderland that we love so much into this book, making the story that much more intriguing. You will laugh and cry and throw your book across the room when reading this one. And you will love every moment of it.  

Red Queen

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard was one of the first YA books I read (as an adult). It drew me into the world of YA, and now I will never leave. 

This book (and the three that follow) tell the story of Mare Barrow. Mare is a young girl living in the slums of the Stilts and working as a thief to help support her family. The Reds like her (with red blood) are ruled over and slaves to the Silvers, the elite who possess superhuman abilities.

But it’s soon discovered that Mare possesses abilities of her own. She is thrown into the world of the Silvers while trying to fight for the freedom and safety of her loved ones. All while trying to stop herself from falling in love with the Silver prince. 

The many ups and downs and twitsts and turns of Mare’s journey will keep you on the edge of your seat. Victoria Aveyard is a master of world building and vivid imagery. Her witty sense of humor coupled with the detail in which she writes, will pull you in to Mare’s story. 

 

red queen book cover

If you are bibliophile like Leah or many of our other contributors, check out our online book club! Click the link here to read reviews and find out how to join!

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