Best Books I've Read This Year

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Best Books I've Read This Year

The anniversary of my first year of being with DC Public Library was a few weeks ago, and I thought that a great way to commemorate this occasion would be with a book list! Since joining the Library I’ve been exposed to so many great books -- from board books that I use for my story time to graphic novels recommended by my coworker -- and I have a new favorite genre!

My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Korede is a nurse with a younger sister who has the inconvenient habit of killing her boyfriends. Korede being the faithful elder sister finds herself covering her sister's tracks time and time again. This is the first book I’ve read that touches on the unique pressures that are set upon the eldest girl in an African family. Many people may read this book and wonder why Korede can’t stop herself from helping her sister but to me I get it; the eldest is responsible for her sister, and if her sister does wrong she will be asked why she didn’t look out for her -- or if her sister goes to prison she will be asked why she allowed her sister to kill those men. If you want a read that will leave you with a million questions in your head this is for you!

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han
In the third and final installment of the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series we see Lara Jean at a cross point in her life. As someone who loves tradition and familiarity, she is grappling with major changes that mess with her meticulously created post high school plans. If you’ve been reading my other posts you know that I’ve become a sucker for young adult romance novels and this has been my favorite of the series. I see myself in Lara Jean; we can be a stick in the mud, risk averse, and trying to take care of everyone. If you’re a fan of cheesy young love with a thoughtful and quite emotionally mature young woman this is your book.

Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin
Have you ever read a book so good when you’re done you search endlessly to find a book that will recreate the same feelings you had for the book that started it all? Well Ayesha at Last is that book for me. Ayesha, a hard working young woman who should be traveling the world writing beautiful poems finds herself attracted to Khalid, a conservative mama’s boy. Jalaluddin creates these passionate moments that will make your heart burst with joy but does so without having the characters compromise their morals. She leaves me further amazed at her ability to create intimate moments out of seemingly boring events such as sitting outside drinking icees at night. Ayesha at Last is full of twists, turns and epic revenge plans that will have your heart on a roller coaster.

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
This was the second book in my romance binge started by Ayesha at Last and this has to be tied for my favorite. Stella is a genius when it comes to numbers but is sorely uneducated when it comes to romance and relationships -- so in comes Michael, an escort she hires to teach her all there is to know about relationships and intimacy. This sounds like any other run of the mill romance novel except for the fact that Stella has Asperger syndrome. I love Michael's character; Michael does not see Stella's diagnosis as a hindrance or an annoyance but accepts her without making Stella feel bad about herself. Hoang creates a refreshing novel about what it means to wholly accept someone for who they are. 

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel 
As the youngest child of her family, Tita is bound by tradition to be the one to take care of her mother in her dying age foregoing any chance at a family and true love. Tita's safe haven is her kitchen, and she uses food as her way of communicating her feelings when she does not have to words or confidence to articulate them. Dealing with forbidden love, the Mexican Revolution, and familial obligations, Like Water for Chocolate is a classic magical realism tale that will have you blurring the line of reality.