If you're looking to purchase some solid reads this holiday season, these are some of my favorites that I read in 2013 and that I highly recommend.
1// The Fault in Our Stars
Two teens who fall in love is your pretty typical teen fiction novel, except these two have life-threatening illnesses. What I loved about this novel is how it dove into true human character and was brutally honest but did so with love. You've seen it on bestseller lists because it is that good. It is definitely one of my favorite books.
2// The Storyteller
Loved this book because it dealt with idea of who has the right to forgive. The character Sage, is a young Jewish woman who struggles with her identity and how she fits in society. As she struggles with her own issues, she meets an elderly German man who seems like the perfect samaritan until she learns more about his past. The book is so compelling and will have you guessing until the very end.
Kelle Hampton started her blog showcasing her life as a stay-at-home mom and it was the birth of her second child that rocked her world. Kelle had no idea that her second daughter would have down syndrome and it completely restructured how she perceived life and how she treated others. She calls herself out on so many of her weaker characteristics throughout the book and it made me really enjoy reading it because she was so honest with herself.
I had this on my bookshelf since last December because I knew it was a bestseller but didn't read it until the third book in the series came out. It's incredibly good and is about a dystopian society that takes place in what was Chicago. Society is broken up into factions based on strong characteristics. The main character, Tris, is torn between choosing between her selfless faction, Abnegation, or breaking away from it and becoming a rebel. On a side note, having lived close to Chicago, I enjoyed being able to identify the areas of Chicago that certain factions took up.
5// Redeeming Love
Ruthie Hart recommended this book to me and it's so good. It's a Christian fiction novel that takes place in the early development of the west. Angel is a young woman who was forced into prostitution as a child. She's considered this rare and expensive purchase and has very little concept of self-worth. Michael Hosea, a young farmer, has been praying to God to give him a wife and all of a sudden God wants him to marry this prostitute. He is so beyond confused but follows in God's word and the outcome is pretty amazing. You can read my review here.
6// The Art of Racing in the Rain
This book had been recommended to me time and time again, but I hadn't picked it up. If you're a dog lover or have puppy babies like I do, this is definitely a good read for you. The entire story is told through the perspective of Enzo, a mixed breed dog who is taken in by a young man who loves to race cars. Hearing the love and respect that Enzo has for his owner brought tears to my eyes as Enzo tells an entire life story of a family and their struggles.
7// Kisses for Katie
This is another true story that is very Christian-faith based and it's incredible. Katie is a young woman who went to Africa to serve, yet her parents had every intention of her coming back to the U.S. to go to college. After her work as a teacher in Africa, she decided to stay and not only that but adopted children and created her own family. The work did her in community was so wonderful and she truly lives out the word of God. It's a beautiful story and one that reminds you of what truly is important in life.
8// OutlanderMy friend Lindsey Herber, whose family is originally from Scotland, recommended this series to me and I love it! Starz is also making a series about it and the actor who plays Jamie is pretty smokin' hot. The story follows a nurse, Claire, right after WWII as she is reunited with her husband. While helping with his work out in the field, she time travels hundreds of years back and meets Jamie, a gorgeous Scotsman who is a rebel, outlaw, and incredibly loyal person. Following their story is so much fun and you never know what will happen with Claire and her time travels.
Are there any books that you would love to receive for the holidays?