I got tagged by Shelby From The TWP to do this fun little book challenge based off chocolates. I may or may not be eating a Toblerone as we speak. Basically each kind of chocolate has a corresponding kind of book, and people tagged tell us about a book they love that matches that category. It's a super easy way to get book recommendations from people you love!
Heads up: I'm linking to all these books on Amazon using affiliate links, so if you buy one of my recommendations after clicking on that link, I'll get a little bit of compensation.
Dark Chocolate: A book about a dark subjectSex Education by Jenny Davis - This book is a novel, not a sex education textbook. It is a really powerful novel about two teens who get assigned a task for their sex ed class: care for someone else. David and Livvie choose to care for one of their neighbors, a lonely pregnant woman who seems to need some help. While the bond between David and Livvie grows stronger, and they learn more about what it really means to care about others and themselves, they come to realize that their assignment is a lot more complicated than they ever imagined. Their teacher is trying to teach sex ed in a way that doesn't just cover the facts and statistics about sex and its risks, but also encourages teens to explore and understand other ways to care for the people they care about, and communicate openly-- because there's a lot more to sex than just the physical act. Anyway, that's not what makes this novel dark. The story is being told by Livvie from a mental institution, as part of her therapy. She's explaining the events, beginning a year ago, that lead to her mental break. As David and Livvie attempted to complete this assignment and take care of their neighbor, they find out that not only is her husband gruff and often absent, but is actually abusive. The kids are suddenly forced to make decisions about a situation they have no easy answers to in an attempt to protect the pregnant woman and the child she intends to have. This book is so great on so many levels. It is intended for ages 12+ and it's great because it really doesn't underestimate its readers and is so beautifully written. It's about a boy and a girl falling in love and then being forced to deal with a situation way beyond what they are capable of handling. It examines sex and relationships and abuse and youth in ways that are real, honest, poignant, and moving. I highly recommend-- it's a quick read and apparently selling for only a penny on amazon!
White Chocolate: A lighthearted/funny readIs Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling - You may or may not have realized by now that I am a lot like Mindy Kaling. We both are the perpetually chubby and often hilarious offspring of hard-working immigrants. We both are mildly narcissistic (probably at the far end of healthy/normal in terms of confidence), constantly worry about whether any one-night-stand we are ever told about is actually a serial killer, are food obsessed, love shopping, and are maybe a little too prideful about things (but we're actually not, in our opinion). This book is great-- it's basically a memoir filled with hilarious lists and whatnot that explains who she is, how she got that way, and many little stories along the way. Mindy is hilarious and every page I was like, "Mindy, we are like soul sisters."
Milk Chocolate: A book with a lot of hype that you're dying to read20-Something, 20-Everything: A Quarter-life Woman's Guide to Balance and Direction by Christine Hassler - This book is considered like, the book on handling your quarter-life crisis-- that time in your 20s when you are suddenly an adult and just don't know who you are or how to find yourself and what you mean in this big wide world. This is considered a young woman's staple, and I've yet to read it-- it's sitting in my shelf with a dozen other books on my to read list. Soon though! I'm finally done (well almost) with school and will have time for myself again!
Chocolate with caramel inside: A book that makes you feel all gooey insideSoulless (The Parasol Protectorate) by Gail Carriger - This is the first in a steampunk fantasy series that I'm still working on called The Parasol Protectorate series. It's not an emotionally gooey mess (although it has it's moments!) but if you love great characters and a well-built world that you dig deeper and deeper into over the course of the series, this will make you weak. in. the. KNEES. It's set in a world of supernaturals (ghosts, werewolves, vampires), mortals, and preternaturals like the main character Alexia Tarabotti. Preternaturals are considered the opposite of supernaturals-- with one touch, they can exorcise a ghost and turn vampires and werewolves mortal while in contact. Alexia is looked down upon by Victorian society for her Italian-ness and her boldness and her substantial size but never the less refuses to be pushed around by the society and ultimately gets wrapped up in a complicated mystery after being forced to kill a vampire. Any respectable hive would have let a newborn out like that, and now she must join forces with the werewolf Lord Conall Maccon to solve the mystery before the social order is upended in a bloody spree! This book has got everything from romance (with Conall, whom she intensely dislikes at the beginning, of course) to steampunk scifi, a well-drawn reimagining of Victorian society with supernaturals, a fabulous gay vampire lord who is one of Alexia's best pals, and of course, comedic mystery! Definitely read this-- plus the world gets even more and more depth as the series draws on!
Wafer-free KitKat: A book that recently surprised youPredictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely - This book is all about how humans are not actually the paragons of reason we like to believe we are. Most of our decisions are actually a lot dumber than we think.
Snickers: A book you are going nuts about-Currently Untitled Thing- by Mindy Kaling and BJ Novak - I am already going nuts about a book that was only recently announced: The book Mindy Kaling and BJ Novak are writing about their relationship. As Jezebel put it: "Throughout history, only a few romances have really captured our imagination. Antony and Cleopatra. Victoria and Albert. Liz and Dick. B.J. Novak and Mindy Kaling."
Hot Chocolate with Cream and Marshmallows: a book you turn to for a comfort readStargirl by Jerry Spinelli - If we're talking book-books, I gotta say Stargirl. It's a novel about a girl who didn't care what anyone thought of her, but cared for everyone. It's told from the point of view of a boy who falls in love with her, but then finds himself in the situation of being too weak (psychologically, emotionally, maybe even spiritually) to be with her. Leo Borlock falls in love with this Manic Pixie Dream Girl-esque teen who arrives at his high school where people first murmur about her and then cheer for her. But when the tables turn and the whole school turns against her he finds himself pleading with her to be more normal, to dull her colors so that they can be together-- and she refuses. Leo is the person we have all once been-- maybe not cowardly, but definitely desperate with emotion and imperfect in our caring. Stargirl is the person we all hope to be-- bold, authentic, compassionate, and emotionally aware of ourselves and others. This was a deeply formative book for me.
But if we throw in comics etc. I'd have to throw in Fruits Basket-- a series of 23 manga volumes. It is classic shoujo and was a great series that I read when I was growing up. There is also an anime of it that is pretty good as well.