Plowing through your school’s required reading list can be a drag, but the holidays are coming up and that means days and days of time to spend getting lost in stories you actually care about.
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Of course, you could just park yourself on the couch and get lost in Netflix for all of break, but you could also take the opportunity to read (old school, we know).
Here are nine books you won’t want to miss this holiday season (put them on your wish list NOW!).
If you love: The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns
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Read: Turtles All the Way Down
John Green is back after almost six years of not putting amazing novels into the world. His latest book, Turtles All the Way Down, has everything — a gripping plot (a mystery involving the disappearance of a billionaire) and important topics (mental health, specifically).
If you love: Instagram
Read: Literally Me
Julie Houts absolutely slays in this book that’s full of gorgeous illustrations and smart, satirical essays. It’s a must-read for any lover (or love-to-hater) of Instagram culture.
If you love: Alice in Wonderland, Wicked, retellings of classic fairytales in general
Read: War of the Cards
This is the final installment in Colleen Oakes’ gripping Queen of Hearts trilogy. If you haven’t read the first two books in the series, pause and catch up immediately. This retelling of the Alice in Wonderland story (from the perspective of the Queen of Hearts), will challenge everything you thought you knew about the story.
If you love: A Christmas Carol
This book is a totally new take on the Christmas Carol story — starring a girl who was visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future and didn’t change her ways. Her punishment? In death, she’s the new Ghost of Christmas Past.
If you love: Brown Girl Dreaming
Read: Calling My Name
This coming-of-age story follows Taja Brown, a young African American girl growing up in Houston. Author Liana Tamani has an amazing and unique voice, and the story will make you feel everything.
If you love: This Is Us
Read: Far from the Tree
Far from the Tree is a story about adoption, family, and finding your place in the world when your life is turned upside down. The novel addresses important topics and keeps you hooked from beginning to end.
If you love: The Hate U Give
Read: Dear Martin
When Justyce, a high-achieving honor student — who happens to be black — is handcuffed by police, the incident leaves him shaken and changed. He’s eventually released without charges, but to cope with everything going on in his life, he starts a journal written to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. You won’t be able to put the book down.
If you love: 13 Reasons Why
Read: The Gatekeepers
The Gatekeepers is a poignant novel that explores teen suicide in an honest way. The story centers on Simone, who transfers to a school in Chicago from London and finds classmates under immense pressure to be the best. There are cracks beneath the surface, though, and students begin throwing themselves in front of commuter trains.
If you love: Game of Thrones
Read: One Dark Throne
If you love female-driven fantasy, One Dark Throne is for you. This sequel (to Three Dark Crowns) explores what it really means to be a queen — which can be brutal.