Is reading more on your list of New Year resolutions? Over the holidays, I had some good reading time and I made the most of it! These are the books that I loved this season! If these books aren't what you're looking for, keep looking! There is always something exciting to read.
Alexander Hamilton Biography by Ron Chernow
With the "Hamilton" tours spreading across the United States, the hit Broadway show is becoming more accessible. With that being said, a great book for "Hamilton" fans is the biography that started it all. This 731 page book is a detailed account of Alexander Hamilton's life. Within it, you meet all of the important figures that were around at the start of our country. If you're interested in learning about the man before you see the musical, this book is perfect.
Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield
This novel, written by Diane Setterfield, is a newer hit. Magical and mysterious, this story is told from multiple perspectives and revolves around the strange appearance of a young girl. Three families claim her as their own, but who does she really belong to and where has she been all this time? This story was gripping, but definitely one of the lighter books that I read this holiday season.
The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang
This book was a surprising contender for my top five. When I started it, the story felt like just another Hunger Games-esque novel. However, as the novel progressed, I realized that this was something special. The more that the main character, Rin, learns about her powers, the more questions she and the reader are left with. It isn't until the very end that all of the pieces fall into place and Rin is fully aware of her strength.
Warning: This book is about war. At first, it seems relatively tame, but as the Poppy War begins, humanity is pushed to a limit and the details get rather graphic.
The Lost Queen by Signe Pike
Another historical fiction, this book is set in the time of Arthurian legend. Magic, history, and intrigue fill this novel from cover to cover. This story follows the man who would be Merlin and his twin sister, Languoreth. Languoreth's sacrifices for the ones that she loves are the focal point of the novel. The reader watches as she learns and grows from a young girl to a mother of four. Her sharp tongue and loyal heart give life to the classic story. The author, Signe Pike, has studied Celtic history for years and it shows in her storytelling.
The Red Rising Series by Pierce Brown
Like some of my other favorite books, I didn't have high expectations for this series. My roommate, who suggested it to me, described it as a mix between the Hunger Games and Percy Jackson series. It was so much more than that. It can be difficult to dedicate yourself to an entire series when you have doubts about the topic, I read through these books faster than I have read anything in years. Pierce Brown jumps right into the action and brings you characters that are broken, messy, and entirely lovable. The plot never slows down and any time you let your guard down, another plot twist comes around.
The actual plot is difficult to describe without giving any spoilers away. The main character, Darrow, is a miner like everyone else in the tunnels of Mars. However, when tragedy hits home, he is pulled into a political scheme, a universal revolution, and worlds bigger than he had imagined. After undergoing massive transformations, he ends up at a school where the only field of study is war and there are no rules. This is only the beginning and it only gets bigger and more complicated from there.