Awesome Books I Read Last Semester

I love that I have so much more time to read now. I have read so many great books the fall semester of my Freshman year, so I want to share a few with you. I’m not going to go into many details, so don’t worry. No spoilers.

//Ember In The Ashes + A Torch Against The Night


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The reason I picked up this book was because I heard the author speak at a book festival. Two of my friends were obsessed with this book and dragged me to hear her speak.  I have to say, I like this woman. She reminds me of a mixture of me and my friend Stellah. It’s sort of scary actually. I bought the book at the festival and even got it signed.

I’ll be honest. I stopped reading dystopian books a while ago. They just started going downhill and I was outgrowing young adult fiction. After reading this book, I changed my mind. I actually like it more than Hunger Games (which is a book I love, but the movies ruined for me. ) This is partially because of the newness of it, so I don’t think it’s fair to compare them because they are two different genres. The reason why I loved it so much is because the plot is so complex. The last thing you expect to happen will end up happening. I was sucked into the story.

The petty part of me also liked that the main character was brown. I actually wouldn’t have thought about it if it weren’t for a friend who mentioned it to me. It’s a nice change. It was just something that was mentioned in passing. Most characters fantasy and dystopian novels are white, which isn’t bad, but it was cool to see a South Asian inspired character that wasn’t oppressed by her religion or her parents or the law in some modern day set fiction (which is how we are usually portrayed). Of course, this character is a slave, so….

I cannot recommend this book enough. I bought the second book within days because I couldn’t wait for it to come from the library.

//The Sun Is Also A Star

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I’ll be honest. I wouldn’t have picked up this book if I hadn’t gotten a hold of the advanced reader’s copy. I read this book months before it came out and fell in love with it. I am in no ways a contemporary romance person, but this book is on my list. It goes into so many issues I can relate to like being a first generation American, immigration reform, interracial relationships…. the list goes on. It’s so well-written and the character development is spot on. I can relate to them so well. Even the minor characters who are only present for a few pages. The writing format is like nothing I’ve ever seen before, so I’m definitely looking out for books by this author.

//Memoirs Of A Geisha

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After watching the trailer for this movie, I knew I had to read the book. I got it for like $0.25 at Goodwill and let it sit on my shelf for months until I finally got around to reading it. Just watch the trailer for a synopsis. I learned so much from this book about Japan and the lives of Geisha. All the training they’d go through and the torture they’d endure. The story follows Chiyo, who’s name is changed to Sayuri later on in the book, who was sold after her mother died. She was basically a slave after that. It goes from her training to surviving during World War II to the Depression. It’s an amazing story. Slow paced at times, but I recommend it.

Seriously, though. Watch the trailer, now.

//Inner Engineering

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This is a book I can’t really describe. Either you’ll get bored or your life will change. It depends on how open-minded you are. Just read it and find out.

//Pride And Prejudice

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This was a pretty good book. It’s not my favorite classic, but it’s interesting. I wish I had read it when I was younger, ironically, since classic books are more loved by adults. I went through a huge classic books phase early on in elementary school. I read popular classics like the Wizard of Oz and Robin Hood to obscure ones that no one’s heard of like Robinson Crusoe (I love that book, though looking back, it’s a bit violent for a 7-year-old). I don’t think I’ll ever enjoy classic books as much as I did as a kid, so I don’t think I got the full effect. The beginning is pretty slow, just a bunch of pretentious rich British people talking about rich people stuff. It picks up later though. I’m probably not selling this book pretty well, but you should read it. I think all classics are must-reads.

//A Sh*t Ton Of Sammy Keyes Books

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Let me explain.  I bought all eighteen Sammy Keyes books from Ebay for like ten bucks at the beginning of the semester and would read them in between new books. This is a series that no one has heard of and is skeptical about reading despite a friend’s recommendation. I was like that and the rest of the people I recommend it to feel that way, too. But then you read them and you fall in love.

I started reading the books in middle school and continued reading them as they came out in high school. Don’t judge a book by its cover. They’re really good. I would argue that this is my favorite book series (which I can’t because I love too many) because I’ve reread all the books multiple times over the years and love them more and more every time and I know I will continue to reread them. Just read one and you’ll be hooked.

Those are some great books I read this semester. There are way more, but those are some that stuck out to me.


What books did you read this semester? Have you read the books I recommended? What did you think of them?

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