What to read this winter

—by Danielle Brubaker & Zehra Madhavan—

Let it Snow, by John Green, Lauren Myracle, and Maureen Johnson

This quintessential holiday romance book contains three stories, each written by a different bestselling young adult author.  Each story features humorous and heartwarming moments, without ever becoming cheesy.  Plus, the stories and characters overlap and interconnect throughout the book in surprising ways, creating a Love Actually vibe and making it even more enjoyable as a whole.  This is a great choice for fans of any of the three author’s works or anyone who simply loves a feel-good holiday tale.

The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

A haunting, unforgettable read that would be perfect to cozy up to beside the fireside with some hot cocoa, The Book Thief follows the story of Liesel Meminger, a nine-year-old girl who lives in Nazi Germany and develops a dangerous love for reading.  Liesel enters risky territory when she begins to steal from book burnings and the mayor’s house. Then, her life turns upside down when her family takes a Jewish man into hiding.  Most notably, the entire story is narrated by the entity Death—an extremely interesting storyteller considering the setting.  Beautifully written and emotionally draining, The Book Thief is a must-read for this winter.

Fracture, by Megan Miranda

The word that comes to mind when reading Fracture is “chilling.”  The story starts with the main character drowning in a frozen lake.  She should be dead, but somehow she is completely fine.  But her life doesn’t come without a price; now she can sense when people are going to die.  Fracture is a morbid, dark book that doesn’t hold anything back.  While it does have supernatural elements, it’s ultimately a tale of death and of how fragile our mortality is.  It’s refreshingly original and, with its frozen landscape, perfect for the winter time.

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares, by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

This book is adorable, implausible, and so much fun.  It follows the lives of New York City high school students Dash and Lily during the holiday season.  Lily leaves a notebook full of dares for someone to find in a bookstore.  Dash finds it, and they begin to form a friendship by communicating through the notebook.  It’s endearing in a quirky sort of way that makes you want to smile at strangers and rescue kittens from trees.  What makes this book unique is the way it’s structured.  The chapters alternate between Dash’s and Lily’s perspectives, and because each character is written by a different author (Rachel Cohn writes Lily and David Levithan writes Dash), their voices each have their own style and feel very distinct.  Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares is a quick, light read that will restore your faith in the world and imbue you with holiday spirit.

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