There are many times I thoroughly enjoy a book upon opening it until the final page is
turned swiped. Books I five-star without reserve and feel confident passing along as recs to friends.
But then there are those books that stay with me. Ones that touch me so deeply, all I have to do is think about them and the emotions are fresh. One of the most vivid memories that linger after I’ve read a great book is the way it made me feel. I may forget the simple details, and possibly some plot turns after time, but the emotions can be easily retrieved.
So, in no particular order, I have compiled a list of my Unforgettables to share with you here. Maybe you’ll find something you’ll, at the very least, enjoy–but maybe you’ll find something worth remembering!
(Please note: Anything by Colleen Hoover is unforgettable by default, for me–my favorite being Slammed. For a list of her lovely books, click here)
This book hit me hard. The heroine is a “cutter” and initially portrayed as self-centered and shallow. You have to dig deeply to understand her. This story makes you work a little harder as a reader. What I loved most about this book–its impeccable writing aside–was its honesty. The author presents a situation that’s difficult to embrace; difficult to bear, and does so in a completely genuine manner. She doesn’t attempt to pretty-up the plot for the sake of propriety–and yet it’s not over-the-top or implausible. I love when a narrator shows his/her imperfections—it makes the character growth that much more effective. The story itself was emotional and completely shattered me before it picked up the pieces. Definitely one to remember!
Fangirl was a fun and fresh read that offered a large dose of originality in both its story and storytelling! I was instantly sucked into this fictional world, and I truly believe almost everyone can relate to at least one of the quirky characters in this book. What makes this read unforgettable for me is the passion its lead (and even supporting) characters exude.
They all possess their own insecurities, yet the plot never morphs into a festival of angst. It’s humorous, warm, gentle–but with a simple power that knocked my socks off. LOVED!
This story has a unique plot surrounding a topic I had yet to read about in fiction: Aspergers. The love story is young and tender but every bit as powerful as many other romances out there.
What I loved most was how this story not only focuses on the condition of Aspergers, but really narrows in on the frustrations, misconceptions, and the eventual understanding of those surrounding someone with this condition.
We get an genuine glimpse of how love can conquer all, and I truly feel this was a powerful, important read.
A powerfully-written, chilling psychological thriller with twists and unexpected turns! This is a prime example of how a reader can LOVE a story while never fully connecting to, or even “liking” its lead characters. (At least, that was my particular experience.)
I was hooked from page one, and remained on the edge of my seat until the finish…and what a finish it was!
Best part, for me: Although the story is told in first person and we are granted full access to our narrator’s thoughts, it is unclear as to whether or not he can be trusted. The author pulls this off BRILLIANTLY without allowing the hero’s character to become obscure.
This is another book where I didn’t fully connect with the characters, but the story itself drew me in entirely. This seems to be a hit-or-miss with many readers, but the emotional story of these misunderstood teenagers broke my heart and sucker-punched my emotions.
The plot, at times, seems vague; there is a ton of mystery that I will keep hidden, but I will say that the final resolve IS in fact worthy of all the incredible build-up. One I will not forget!
This story is all about its hero — the incredibly sweet and genuine Charlie! Charlie’s character is simple, yet one of the most profound ones I’ve yet to come across. His touching story broke my heart, and his outlook on life and the people in it will live with me forever.
This is a Young Adult, coming-of-age story at its finest, and I highly recommend to YA lovers!
Josh Freaking Bennett <— He alone renders this story unforgettable. Add to that a book’s worth of breathtakingly beautiful writing; a cast of exquisitely constructed, broken characters; a heartbreaking plot filled with mystery that builds towards the sweetest of redemptions–and I’d say you’ve got yourself one hell of a story.
Every element in this book is stunning: Its messages. Its symbolism. Its gentle chaos. This is a read that left me speechless. One of the best Young Adult love stories I’ve read. Will NEVER forget The Sea of Tranquility.
A Different Blue by Amy Harmon
My god, this story was beautiful! I actually think about this one quite often. Although Amy Harmon seems to be having much success with her books, I still somehow feel she’s underrated.
Her writing is thoughtful, creative, poetic, and so incredibly powerful. A Different Blue is just one example. This particular story focuses on a forbidden love between teacher and student, yet there is not the slightest feeling of “immorality” in its delivery.
Some authors tend to push the envelope a little too far when it comes to tackling a bold, taboo topic. But this author handles this feat flawlessly.
The heroine in this story thrives. She, and her broken-but-not-defeated soul is what made this for me. I loved every bit of “Blue’s” character, and the attention to detail this author displays when it comes to incorporating pieces of history in her plot is remarkable. Will definitely be revisiting this one soon!
I buddy-read this story with a very dear friend of mine. Looking back, I couldn’t be happier about the choice to have shared this book with him.
Because this is a story you want to talk about. There is so much mystery, it’s almost haunting. The plot surrounds a group of teenagers, and the beginning of the book is actually quite confusing. But as the story unravels, the pieces begin to fit together perfectly–so perfectly that I remember having chills on more than one occasion.
This story is about life and love and friendship and hope. Its beauty is captivating, and its messages are ones you can’t help but keep with you. Even years later, the brilliance of this book still astounds me.
The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred
Don’t be fooled by this not-so-eye-catching cover — there is an amazing story waiting inside!
The Sweet Gum Tree will always be a favorite of mine because it spans years of the relationship between its hero and heroine. I’m a total sucker for second chance romances. The characters meet as kids and form an unbreakable bond … But when circumstance rips them apart, bitterness taints their love even years later.
This story has tons of passion, and plenty of angst. I rode a roller coaster of emotions, and loved every bit of it. It is not without some heartache, but I promise it’s all worth it in the end!
This story surprised me in every positive way possible. Yes, I was expecting a “vain” and shallow heroine, and yes, that is initially what we get…but then the plot spirals into so much more.
The “shallow” is overtaken with an immense amount of depth, as the story takes a fascinating turn.
What I loved most: The character growth, the unique plot (which I will not touch upon here), and how we are shown (never “told”) what really maters in life. Outstanding read!
Easy was one of the first books I read after joining Goodreads, and still remains a favorite of mine today. The plot focuses on a few serious topics, yet doesn’t get weighed down by the heaviness of these subject matters.
The love story is sweet and tender, and there is a fun twist that I adored. The characters are not without their demons, and I particularly admired the way certain issues were handled.
This book was refreshing and I remember feeling giddy as I read. Definitely unforgettable, and worthy of another read, or two 😉
The characters in this story stood out the most for me, as well as the witty, quick, and humorous dialogue.
I had so much fun reading this one, and what began as a light read slowly inched its way into profound territory. There was a twist that only added the book’s allure. I remember reading this in the car with my family on the way home from the zoo, and (unsuccessfully) attempting to hide the tears that were streaking down my face from my husband.
Someone once told me that you know a book is truly important if you remember where and when you read it. And I remember everything. Such an out-of-the-box, enjoyable read!
I couldn’t end this list without adding this little hilarious but informative gem. Sara Benincasa is a comedian who suffered an extreme bout of agoraphobia and anxiety. Her memoir is told candidly, as she uses humor to portray her very heartbreaking struggles. As someone who has suffered from anxiety for most of my life, I found her lighthearted execution a perfect fit for this story. I laughed, I related, and I LOVED this read. It can get very personal and goes into many gory details, but I truly appreciated the unfiltered representation of this debilitating condition.
Honorable mention: Years by Lavyrle Spencer
So maybe I will always be biased when it comes to this read since it was the first love story I ever read after finding it buried in my grandmother’s old book stand: dusty and crinkled–but this was one one of the most beautiful historical romances I’ve come across. The plot is very slow building, and the elements of family and friendship become touching focal points, as well. For me, this one has it all: Heartache, tension, “years” worth of story, strong family bonds, tragedy, and a truly unforgettable love story!
Thanks so much for checking out my favorites. Feel free to share some of your unforgettable reads! 🙂