Are you still looking for the perfect book to get for someone on your holiday gift list? Well, look no further because Rachel from Beauty and the Bookshelf has done ALL of the legwork for us and come up with an amazing list of books that would make the perfect holiday gift for that special someone in your life. So, get comfy, grab a pen and paper and start taking notes, because this list is exactly what you have been searching for!
Tis the season for red and green on every corner, decorated cookies and eggnog, the scent of peppermint and pine, and for Santa Claus to shimmy down our chimney’s and leave us goodies. People, IT IS THE CHRISTMAS SEASON. That also means it’s time to shop until you drop, and maybe you’re looking for a great gift for the bookish person in your life? Lucky for you, little elves, I have an abundance of book ideas to share with you, 12-Days-of-Christmas style!
On the 12th day of Christmas, my bookish Santa gave to me…
Twelve Christmas Love Stories
My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de la Peña, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Stephanie Perkins, Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor, and Kiersten White: The title in and of itself makes MTLGTM absolutely perfect for the holidays. Add to that twelve stories that are all about the season and voila! The ultimate Christmas present.
Eleven Modern Day Realish Worlds
The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson: Hayley lives alone with her PTSD father, and they’ve finally settled down in one place. With the help of some friends—including Finn—she attempts to have a normal teenage life. This book is fantastic, and with its writing and voice, it’s super duper fantastic (and probably my number one book of the year).
The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes: Welcome to the YA version of Criminal Minds, only better and ridiculously good. (And bonus! It has a sequel!)
Don’t Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala: Joy’s parents love her boyfriend, but they probably wouldn’t if they knew what he did to her. To escape, Joy runs away to the streets of Seattle, looking for help from a homeless boy named Creed. But it’s on the streets that she may find a home.
Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen: A Sarah Dessen novel always make a great gift, and Along for the Ride is my favorite. Plus, it has an excellent romance. And it’s just so good!
The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston: A family in the Witness Protection Program with bad people after them! A swoony romance! It’s so good and thrilling, and don’t worry, it won’t disappear from under your tree until it’s opened.
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick: When people talk about swoony romance books in the world of YA, this is usually on the list.
Hostage Three by Nick Lake: It’s a YA Captain Phillips (minus Tom Hanks)! Getting taken hostage by Somalian pirates is not what Amy expected from the boating trip she didn’t want to do in the first place. And it doesn’t hurt that this has a writing quality that’s almost odd and dream-like (in a good way).
Open Road Summer by Emery Lord: This is probably one of the best debuts of 2014. It has an excellent friendship (with one of them basically being Taylor Swift, only better and less annoying), wonderful romance, and a road trip. And it is, of course, good.
Made for You by Melissa Marr: Ava, the princess in her small town, is hit by a car when someone wants her dead. As the story progresses, a romance emerges, scary notes are left, and we get the POV of a very creepy person. And it is VERY GOOD.
Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder: Brooklyn’s seeing the ghost of her friend Gabe, but not that of her dead boyfriend Lucca. But Lucca’s ghost is visiting his brother Nico, and sending him Brooklyn’s way. A lovely, not exactly ghostly story, written in verse.
The Distance Between Us by Kasie West: IT’S SO FLUFFY that fans of Despicable Me are sure to adore it.
Ten Series Starters
Glass Houses by Rachel Caine: I’m not just shoving one of my favorite series, The Morganville Vampires, on you. I’m giving you the idea of an excellent gift: a fifteen-book series! Plus it has vampires, and vampires are always in style.
The Selection by Kiera Cass: Thirty-five girls go to a palace to compete for the prince’s heart—and the crown. It’s like The Bachelor, but not so obnoxiously annoying. It’s a trilogy, though there’s a spoilery continuation starting in 2015!
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting: Oh, no big deal, Violet can just sense the echo of a dead person or animal and, in turn, find the killer who caused that echo. Plus her best friend Jay may be more than just her best friend. I present to you a four-book series filled with dead bodies, bad things happening, and kissing (though not all at once).
Angelfall by Susan Ee: The Penryn and the End of Days series is, unfortunately, ending in 2015. But so far there are two books full of pure excellence. This is not your average book about angels; it’s an angel apocalypse and these angels are a little naughty.
Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen: Welcome to a Robin Hood retelling about Will Scarlet, who’s actually Scarlet, and who you so totally ship with Robin Hood. Thievery is afoot in this novel. (And yes, the Grinch might steal it from under your tree.)
Gone by Michael Grant: Here is a six-book series that is one-million percent messed up. It’s like X-Men on drugs. Or a more modern version of Lord of the Flies, except more crazy.
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin: This series is like a giant surprise party. Except with more blood. And PURE INSANITY.
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi: Juliette can’t touch anyone, or else she’ll kill them. Sounds pretty sucky. But add in two more books with some serious steaminess and beautiful prose, and you have a great trilogy.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer: Cinder is a retelling of Cinderella, except it’s set in New Beijing and there’s an evil queen living on the moon and Cinder is a cyborg. And it’s part of the Lunar Chronicles! This is really just a great big ball of fun.
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey: It’s an alien invasion! A very, very bad alien invasion. And there’s a motto for the few humans still alive: Trust no one.
Nine Debut Novels
Loop by Karen Akins: Word on the street is that this is one those time travel books where the concept is done well. And fun! So like Back to the Future, just without McFly, Doc, Biff, and a DeLorean.
How to Love by Katie Cotugno: Now, this is not a self-help or how-to book. This is a novel, told in Befores and Afters. Before, Sawyer up and left, not knowing Reena was pregnant. Fast forward three years later to the After, and Sawyer is back—and Reena doesn’t know what to do with the boy she loved. I love this book. Therefore, you should read it.
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner: Or as you may have heard it on Twitter, These Broken Feels. This is very good and romancey and of course feelsy. And it’s in space!
How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes Are Untied by Jess Keating: An adorkable Middle Grade novel that is so totally hilarious. Poor Anna goes through all the embarrassment ever. But here parents are ZOOKEEPERS and she gets to live at a zoo, which is the coolest.
Hook’s Revenge by Heidi Schulz: Yet another Middle Grade, and this time we’re off to Neverland so Jocelyn Hook can avenge her father’s (yes, dear old Captain Hook) death. It is such swashbuckling fun! And a perfect gift for anyone you know with a hook or an eye patch.
Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith: This book has some serious grit to it and I love it. Plus, there’s a guy named Skunk. When gifting this book, please include sticky notes or some sort of recording device, because this book is so quotable.
The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes: A retellingish of The Art of War, I believe. Plus, rumor has it this is awfully swoony. And there’s soccer!
A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller: This is a lovely piece of historical fiction that is a must read. Victoria Darling (no relation to Wendy, I’m afraid) gets in a wee bit of trouble when she poses nude for an art class (she is, after all, a lady in 1909 London), but from then on she fights hard to be an artist, despite the times. And it doesn’t hurt that she has some help from a certain police constable, either.
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton: Here is a strange and beautiful and possibly sorrowful yet certainly magical book about a girl with wings. Yes, wings. Like a bird.
Eight Books You Read for School
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte: Introduce the reader in your life to Catherine and Heathcliff.
Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier: Why stare at a painting when you can read the book (even if the painting came first)?
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: “Gatsby? What Gatsby?” “Why, the one under your tree, of course!”
Lord of the Flies by William Golding: Before there were any Hunger Games or Lost, there were a bunch of boys stuck on an island with a pig’s head on a stick. And a character named Piggy, who blamed everything on account of his “ass-mar.” It’s crazy, yes, but good.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon: What happens when a fifteen-year-old boy with Asperger’s who adores Sherlock Holmes wants to solve the neighbor’s dog’s murder? This. This is what happens.
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee: I really should not have to explain this.
1984 by George Orwell: Big Brother is watching (Julie Chen is not) and will know if this dystopian isn’t in a stocking.
Hamlet by William Shakespeare: Don’t fear Shakespeare! This book is not a case of to read or not to read, nor is it to gift or not to gift. It’s fantastic.
Seven Book to Screen Adaptations
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: Preferably the super shiny foil edition, but seriously, if the reader you know hasn’t read this, they need it to get off the Naughty List, because they are on it.
The Maze Runner by James Dashner: It’s, like, a giant maze. And crazy things are outside it! (No, this isn’t Labyrinth.)
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: Just be sure to gift ten boxes of tissue, too.
The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman: Everyone’s weeping over that mid-season finale, and someone’s bound to need the comics to help tide them over until February when the show returns.
The 100 by Kass Morgan: This show is the hot new thing on television, so gift the book, obvi.
Divergent by Veronica Roth: This should really be a part of the fourth day of Christmas, but oh well. This is amazingly good and would make a fine present for an adventurous (or dauntless) person. And if you gift the entire series, you can just use the last book as coal.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: Just be sure to buy this book before you gift it, okay?
Six Ghost Mediating Adventures
The Mediator series by Meg Cabot: Suze Simon is a snarky badass with a not-exactly-bad attitude, in a good way. And she can see ghosts…including the one in her bedroom. This is better than Ghostbusters, I promise (not that I’ve seen it).
Five Medal-Adorned Books
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate: Yes, THAT Ivan. There’s a reason this book has a medal on it. Because it’s an excellent combination of fiction and nonfiction, and it will make you cry.
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta: Those Aussie authors know how to write, and that’s all you really need to know.
Endangered by Eliot Schrefer: The war-ridden Congo, bonobos, and a girl whose only companion is a bonobo named Otto. The situation is dire, but the book is wonderful. (And for chimpanzees, check out Threatened.)
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein: What happens when a British spy is captured by the Germans? A series of heart-wrenching letters do, telling the story of war, torture, and friendship. You’ll also read that quote everyone’s talking about: “Kiss me, Hardy!”
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson: Written in the style of verse and poetry, Woodson tells the true tale of growing up African-American. You’ve probably heard of this. It is, after all, what all the buzz is about.
Four Fantasmical Fantasies
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo: Welcome to the Grisha trilogy, with a setting that’s like a fantasy version of Russia. There’s darkness and light and crazy shadow creatures. And there’s a villain who goes by The Darkling.
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson: Elisa is a princess, but not that kind of princess. I have yet to read this, but from what I’ve heard it’s quite good. (And because I haven’t read it, my description is lacking, but it’s on here because, well, it’s supposed to be amazing!)
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas: Really, this should be the star on top of the tree. This series of magnificence is full of fantasy and magic and assassins and amazing characters and pain and romance. Basically, it’s BAE.
The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkowski: This book is probably one of the most hyped-up books of 2014. Kestrel’s a general’s daughter who can either get married or join the military. But when she buys a certain slave at an auction, well…
3 Swoony Romances
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins: Romance in Paris with a French/British/American boy!
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins: Romance in San Francisco when the boy next door returns home!
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins: Romance in New York (and Paris and Barcelona) with an artist!
Two Rowell Reads
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell: Set in the 1980s, and about the feelsy, steamy-hand-holding relationship between not-model-sized Eleanor and Korean Park. It is SUPERB. Oh my gosh, just buy it for someone or for yourself, okay?
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell: This was my top book of 2013 so there. It is so freaking good. College, romance, writing, fan-fiction, friendship, comedy—so many things!
And a Tear-Inducing Trip to Neverland
Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson: The story of Peter Pan like you’ve never heard it before, because Tinkerbell is telling it, and it’s mostly about Tiger Lily, and her and Peter Pan, and a little bit about that stupid Wendy. This is storytelling. But it is also a total tear-jerker and my best book of 2012, so…
Phew…that is a seriously comprehensive list! Thank you SO much Rachel for pulling this all together! If anyone has trouble picking out the perfect gift for friends or family, all they’ll need to do is check out this list and they’ll find the perfect book! We’re wrapping up week one of Home for the Holidays tomorrow with Morgan from Gone with the Words. She’ll be telling us everything we need to know about hosting a holiday book exchange, the perfect way to celebrate with all your bookworm buddies!