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  • Writer's pictureLizette Najera-Perez

Lizette's Top 5 Books of the Year

Updated: Feb 16, 2023

Personally, I find books to be quite entertaining and enjoyable, which is probably why I was able to read 48 books last year, ranging everything from sci-fi and fantasy to historical fiction. I obviously couldn’t have loved every single one, but there are some truly exceptional ones that really stuck with me that I would like to talk about.

My top book of the year was R.I.P Eliza Hart by Alyssa Sheinmel. It was a beautiful story that constantly made me tear up and I think it was because I thought it was just going to be another mystery mixed with coming of age story, but there was a twist, and in my opinion that’s what made it so much. It follows a girl who struggles with claustrophobia and is placed in a new school, but one of her classmates ends up being an old friend who eventually ends up dead and she takes it upon herself to figure out how and why.

The 2nd book is Turtles All The Way Down by John Green. Initially, I read this book because I was trying to read all the novels he’s written and although I have yet to complete that task, this has wormed its way into first place in my favorite books he has written. The book has a mystery themed story line, as it follows these teens that are trying to find their dad. However, the other major focus falls on the main character as she struggles with OCD and Anxiety. It shows her ups and downs throughout the book and is a great coming of age sort of deal. I believe it does a good job representing those mental illnesses, but I can’t be so sure of the OCD representation as I personally don’t struggle with that.

My 3rd top book of the year is The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. This was the first book I read in my World War II reading era and it easily became my favorite historical fiction novel. The author did an amazing job portraying the time period and did the event much justice. It follows the story of two sisters in France during WWII, when Germans started quartering and what I found the most interesting was that the two sisters give two very different perspectives on the realities of women during the War.

The 4th book is The Last Checkmate by Gabriella Saab. Another historical fiction WWII book but this one has more of an adventurous plot, as it follows a young girl who uses her chess skills to survive staying at Auschwitz. This was another beautiful representation of the era but this one, in contrast to The Nightingale, focuses on the camps. It's a very moving story, as the young girl fights tooth and nail to get help and tries to stay with her family.

The last of the top five is The Night She Disappeared by April Henry. It’s a psychological thriller and it gave me chills, it was really well done. The book is about a teen girl who works at a pizza place, from which her co-worker gets kidnapped while making a delivery. The story is told from a multitude of perspectives, two even being from the kidnapper’s point of view and the victim’s point of view. The author adds a whole other level by including images and different forms of text. If you end up reading this book I highly recommend her other books, specifically The Girl I Used To Be.

Out of all 48 books, those were my top 5. Some honorable mentions were Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers, The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid and How We Fall Apart by Katie Zhao. I highly recommend all of these books because I found them all to be extremely well written. Though all of these can trigger someone and have trigger warnings and would recommend checking them before reading them.

Cover Photo: Courtesy of Scholastic Press

Courtesy of St. Martin's Press

Courtesy of Henry Holt and Company

Courtesy of Dutton Books

Courtesy of HarperCollins

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