As we officially enter the holiday season, we at Fangirlish are doing our part to make your shopping as simple as possible. Whether you’re looking for the perfect gift for a friend or for your own wish list (no shame!), we’ve got you covered, with gift guides for everyone from the bookworm to the Star Wars fanatic to the would-be royal in your life.
When it comes to buying books for friends and family, usually I am hands-down boss at it. However, that said, in reverse, my family and friends dread purchasing books for me because omigosh, apparently I am picky, and ridiculously in love with the oddest titles. Uhm… no, not really. My bookshelves are overflowing with bestsellers, speculative, YA fiction to romance, mystery and genre fiction. You really could not go wrong with any book you purchased other than possibly getting one I already own.
For that reason, I am putting together a list for all you folks who need to buy books or would like to buy books for the nerdastic people in your life. These books were not hyped, hoopla-ed or advertised on every page of every magazine you read, making them most likely not to have found their way to personal shelves yet. These books, though, come highly recommended not only by me, but other book lovers. I promise you… you can do this! Just follow my lead.
[lead]Add a much needed dash of romance to someone’s life:[/lead]
[highlight]The Trouble with Destiny[/highlight] by Lauren Morrill: With her trusty baton and six insanely organized clipboards, drum major Liza Sanders is about to take Destiny by storm—the boat, that is. When Liza discovered that her beloved band was losing funding, she found Destiny, a luxury cruise ship complete with pools, midnight chocolate buffets, and a $25,000 spring break talent show prize.
Liza can’t imagine senior year without the band, and nothing will distract her from achieving victory. She’s therefore not interested when her old camp crush, Lenny, shows up on board, looking shockingly hipster-hot. And she’s especially not interested in Russ, the probably-as-dumb-as-he-is-cute prankster jock whose ex, Demi, happens be Liza’s ex–best friend and leader of the Athenas, a show choir that’s the band’s greatest competition.
But it’s not going to be smooth sailing. After the Destiny breaks down, all of Liza’s best-laid plans start to go awry. Liza likes to think of herself as an expert at almost everything, but when it comes to love, she’s about to find herself lost at sea.
Cam knows what it’s like to be haunted. He’s spent more time in Hell than any angel ever should. And his freshest Hell is high school, where Lilith, the girl he can’t stop loving, is serving out a punishment for his crimes.
Cam made a bet with Lucifer: he has fifteen days to convince the only girl who really matters to him to love him again. If he succeeds, Lilith will be allowed back into the world, and they can live their lives together. But if he fails . . . there’s a special place in Hell just for him.
Spread your wings and cry as bad boy dark angel Cam finally reveals his anguished heart in the epic new FALLEN novel.
[lead]Add some philosophical meanderings to someone’s life:[/lead]
[highlight]The Library of America Edition [/highlight]of Kurt Vonnegut’s Novels & Stories: These anthologies breaking up Vonnegut’s works by decades and packaged with a scholarly design makes them attractive for the student, fan or book collector. My recommended starter anthology for the reader who has not yet started to collect these books – is start with Novels & Stories 1963 – 1973 featuring some of Vonnegut’s most widely-read novels in one elegantly-bound book.
[highlight]Goodbye Stranger[/highlight] by Rebecca Stead: Bridge is an accident survivor who’s wondering why she’s still alive. Emily has new curves and an almost-boyfriend who wants a certain kind of picture. Tabitha sees through everybody’s games—or so she tells the world. The three girls are best friends with one rule: No fighting. Can it get them through seventh grade?
This year everything is different for Sherm Russo as he gets to know Bridge Barsamian. What does it mean to fall for a girl—as a friend?
This brilliant novel by Newbery Medal winner Rebecca Stead explores multiple perspectives on the bonds and limits of friendship.
[lead]Add some quirky & weird to someone’s life:[/lead]
Claire is Ella Grey’s best friend. She’s there when the whirlwind arrives on the scene: catapulted into a North East landscape of gutted shipyards; of high arched bridges and ancient collapsed mines. She witnesses a love so dramatic it is as if her best friend has been captured and taken from her. But the loss of her friend to the arms of Orpheus is nothing compared to the loss she feels when Ella is taken from the world. This is her story – as she bears witness to a love so complete; so sure, that not even death can prove final.
Someone once said David Almond’s books are weird, dark, unsettling stories. The thing is, these stories are ones we all know and cherish and when reading the lyrical narrative, Almond does so well… suddenly our perspectives shift and we too bely the sense of reality in an effort to grasp what part of life we missed if we don’t feel as deeply as his characters do.
[highlight]Confessions of an Imaginary Friend[/highlight] by Michelle Cuevas: Jacques Papier has the sneaking suspicion that everyone except his sister Fleur hates him. Teachers ignore him when his hand is raised in class, he is never chosen for sports teams, and his parents often need to be reminded to set a place for him at the dinner table. But he is shocked when he finally learns the truth: He is Fleur’s imaginary friend! When he convinces Fleur to set him free, he begins a surprising, touching, and always funny quest to find himself—to figure out who Jacques Papier truly is, and where he belongs.
The whimsical “autobiography” of an imaginary friend who doesn’t know he’s imaginary is perfect for fans of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane and Toy Story.
[lead]Add some hypnotic mystery to someone’s life:[/lead]
[highlight]The Appearance of Annie Van Sinderen[/highlight] by Katherine Howe: It’s July in New York City, and aspiring filmmaker Wes Auckerman has just arrived to start his summer term at NYU. While shooting a séance at a psychic’s in the East Village, he meets a mysterious, intoxicatingly beautiful girl named Annie.
As they start spending time together, Wes finds himself falling for her, drawn to her rose-petal lips and her entrancing glow. There’s just something about her that he can’t put his finger on, something faraway and otherworldly that compels him to fall even deeper. Annie’s from the city, and yet she seems just as out of place as Wes feels. Lost in the chaos of the busy city streets, she’s been searching for something—a missing ring. And now Annie is running out of time and needs Wes’s help. As they search together, Annie and Wes uncover secrets lurking around every corner, secrets that will reveal the truth of Annie’s dark past.
[highlight]These Shallow Graves[/highlight] by Jennifer Donnelly: Jo Montfort is beautiful and rich, and soon—like all the girls in her class—she’ll graduate from finishing school and be married off to a wealthy bachelor. Which is the last thing she wants. Jo dreams of becoming a writer—a newspaper reporter like the trailblazing Nellie Bly.
Wild aspirations aside, Jo’s life seems perfect until tragedy strikes: her father is found dead. Charles Montfort shot himself while cleaning his pistol. One of New York City’s wealthiest men, he owned a newspaper and was a partner in a massive shipping firm, and Jo knows he was far too smart to clean a loaded gun. The more Jo hears about her father’s death, the more something feels wrong. Suicide is the only logical explanation, and of course people have started talking, but Jo’s father would never have resorted to that.
And then she meets Eddie—a young, smart, infuriatingly handsome reporter at her father’s newspaper—and it becomes all too clear how much she stands to lose if she keeps searching for the truth. But now it might be too late to stop. The past never stays buried forever. Life is dirtier than Jo Montfort could ever have imagined, and this time the truth is the dirtiest part of all.