Hi, I’m Lia and you might know me from my old blog (Lost in A Story) or my new Blog (Sunflowers and Wonder), or from twitter (@lostinink_). I really enjoy reading contemporary books, but my true favourites are books that have a little something special: a mystery or dark aspect that really sucks me in. Most of my favourite books all have themes around death and morality, so if that’s your thing too, I got some great recommendations for you. I don’t really like books with a lot of romance, so that’s definitely not something you’ll find on this list.
My absolute favorite and top recommendation is If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio. It’s this story about a group of Shakespeare theatre students and it’s set in their last year of university. As they perform their Shakespeare plays, their own life starts to look like one too: there’s tragedy and drama and mystery, and it affects all students differently. And as the tensions rise, their lives all seem to fall apart. The relationships between the students and their inner battle with morality and grief is just so well-written and it might be a litle tough to get into, with all the Shakespeare and many characters, but it’s so worth it.
If you like a lighter book, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green might be more your thing. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is about a 23-year-old graduate who hates her job and then finds a huge robot-like statue, which she dubs Carl, and as many people do in this day and age, she makes a youtube video about it. And it goes viral. It’s about social media and fame, and how that affects her, her life and her relationship, but also about the statues that had seemed to appear out of nowhere all over the world. It’s a really fun and enjoyable book that both has the high stakes and the quiet internal battle aspect that I love so much.
[tw rape, murder] Sadie by Courtney Summers is quite something. It’s about, well, Sadie, and Sadie’s little sister was raped and killed and the police never found who did it. So now Sadie is out for revenge. But beside her, there’s someone else also looking to find out what exactly happened to her little sister: a reporter. The story is told in alternating chapters of the reporter’s podcast and Sadie’s pov. It’s a mystery book but it gets really dark, but it’s also kind of beautiful in a way – especially the ending. I read the audiobook, which has a full cast, and it’s amazing, so I definitely recommend listening to it if you get the chance.
I’m still not sure if Vicious by V.E. Schwab should even be considered NA, but if you are looking for NA or more cross-over books between YA and Adult, this definitely fits that. It’s like all the books on this list, unlike anything I’ve read before. It’s about Victor and Eli who are friends in college but turn into enemies when they discover the secret behind super powers. It seems a very clear hero versus villain story – black and white – but it’s not at all. Both characters are very much in the middle. At its core, it’s a story about how far you’re willing to go for the things you believe in, and whether we should always trust our own beliefs. Is what we think is right, even right?
I hope you’ve found some books you might like. If you know of any books that you think I would like or someone else would like, let us know in the comments below!