On Book Lists & Recommendations From Friends

So I have this friend name Carla. You might know her from her previous blog, The Crooked  Shelf,  or as Jen’s co-blogger over at Makeshift Bookmark.

Anna,  Carla & I

Two years ago at BEA Anna, Carla & I were exhausted & found somewhere to sit down and rest our feet while we waited to meet up with other bloggers. We talked books and then Carla wrote me a list of books I MUST read (mostly because she was shocked that I hadn’t read some YA contemp staples — hey I’m a relatively new YA groupie). I had lost the list but had remembered a few of the  titles and have been working on them since then. BUT RECENTLY I have found the list in a random notebook!


So while other people might be reading from  the  “1001 Best Books To Read Before You Die” or some other book list out there — I’m reading & checking off this list from Carla! It’s crazy how I’ve adored & loved every book I’ve read off her list so naturally I’m even more excited to tackle the rest of  them now that I have found the rest! Carla is definitely one of my go-to people in terms of book recommendations because I’ve realized we have pretty similar tastes for the most part! So if Carla raves  about a book, I’m DEFINITELY adding it to my TBR list. I have a few other bloggers friends like that whose recommendations I trust implicitly and Carla is for sure at the  top of the list!



Books I’ve Read From The List:

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
Not That Kind Of Girl by Siobhan Vivian
The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks (review to come!)
– Jessica Darling series (Sloppy Firsts, Second Helpings)

Books To Still Read:

How To Say Goodbye In Robot by Natalie Standiford
Jellicoe  Road by Melina Marchetta
How I Live Now by Meg  Rosoff
Mostly Good Girls by Leila  Sales
You by Charles Benoit
Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers (and all her other books)
Secret Society Girl
The Ruby Oliver series
Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta
– anything ever written by C.K Kelly Martin

I’d highly recommend if you love a lot of the books on her list, read the others!

So, more importantly, let’s talk!

Have you read any of these books on this list? Which ones should I move up in priority? Do you have anybody whose recommendations you ALWAYS trust? Are there any book lists you have read off of? If you were to write me a list of some of your MUST reads/all time favorites for me what would be on the top of it?

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 30 year old married lady who is in denial that she’s actually that old. When she’s not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, listening to music with oversized headphones and having adventures with her husband and dog.


  1. I love book recommendation lists! I’m currently halfway through Courtney Summers’ books (after Magan @ Rather Be Reading gushed over her and got me started) and I am LOVING them. I’ve read Some Girls Are and This is Not a Test so far. Plus, she’s a Canadian girl too — woot! I’ve heard amazing things about Saving Francesca, but it’s one that I haven’t yet read either. Enjoy working your way through the list!

  2. I’ve definitely read a few of these but will be bookmarking this list for future reference! All I can say is go read Courtney Summers right now! Seriously, as soon as possible! Out of your not-read books I’ve also read Jellicoe Road and the Ruby Oliver series. I don’t feel like I properly connected with Jellicoe Road the first time I read it so I’m going to give that one another try. And as for the Ruby Oliver series I liked them but didnt love them. Don’t listen to me though, everyone else is a huge fan.

  3. That is an outstanding list–some of those are books I always include in recommendations when people ask for them. I’d prioritize either Jellicoe Road or CK Kelly Martin (I love her YA One Lonely Degree and her adult novel Come See About Me).

    I pretty much read whatever Laura, who blogs with me, tells me to read because our taste is very similar. I’ll also blindly follow recommendations from Angie at Angieville and Trish Doller, who both have very similar taste to mine.

  4. When I looked at the list, Jellicoe Road jumped out the most. Not only is it AWESOME for anyone – I think it is a good fit for you since you love adult books too. It is such a complex and twisty turny story, you are going to kick yourself in the face for not reading it sooner.

    And then, of course, you’ll have to read Saving Francesca because it is BRILLIANT too and you’ll already be in love with Melina Marchetta.

    Also – I have really been wanting to read How to Say Goodbye in Robot! I’ll have to move it up my list.

  5. I LOVED THE Ruby Oliver series.

    So many of her recs are on either on my to-read list or my LOVELOVELOVED list. Your friend has good taste! 🙂

  6. Move the Marchetta books up in priority! LOVE Jellicoe Road & Saving Francesca – both faves of mine. I might not have read the exact same booksones as you have but we’ve both read 6 out of the lot – go us! I love these rec’s and can’t wait to give them a go. You have great book taste (and looking through this list it looks like Carla sure does too!) so that makes me excited to read these. Just went and added the titles I still need to read to my to-read and “liked” Carla’s reviews for the books. She’s gonna get quite a few noticications… Seriously, this should be called The Carla Challenge! 😀

  7. HOW TO SAY GOODBYE IN ROBOT! Such a great book! Hilarious and touching, and a great book about a platonic relationship between a guy and girl.

  8. I have meant to read MOST of these books but in reality have read NONE. ::runs and hides::
    My Goodreads is getting updated with all these titles!

  9. Ginger @ GReads! says:

    I think it’s safe to say that you and I run in the same circle when it comes to book recommendations, haha. I love that we all know one anothers reading tastes so well & can be like: JAMIE! READ THIS! NOW! I have yet to conquer Jellicoe Road, but want to soon. Shall we read this together?! Let me know!

  10. Strangely enough, most of my MUST READ NOW books are contemporary, which I wasn’t really reading much of at all when I first started reading YA… Off the top of my head (which I’m sure you’ve read most of these), my must-reads are Tiger Lily, Anna and the French Kiss, The Sea of Tranquility, The Sky Is Everywhere, If I Stay/Where She Went, and Meant To Be. Since my original focus was dystopian & paranormal, it just goes to show you how much those books have moved me since those became my must-read recommendations! I’m still catching up on a lot of books that have been recommended to me, so most of the books I fall in love with, everyone’s already read!
    I’ve got a few close blogging friends who I can always trust with recommendations – Candice from The Grown-Up YA and Kristina from Gone Pecan are two who I usually almost always see eye-to-eye with on books! I feel like we have very similar tastes and we’re almost always on the same page with how we felt about certain books (so if they see this comment, thanks ladies!)
    I really want to get to Audrey, Wait!, Frankie, and Jessica Darling – I actually have Sloppy Firsts and another one -Twenty Boy Summer – on my shelves. But you know how it goes… So many books, so little time! 🙂

  11. OMG. Jamie, you and Carla need to be my book blogger friends right now. Of all the lists I’ve seen, this one is the most like what I read – mostly contemporary, sassy YA heroines with a lot of heart and depth. I don’t know anyone else who reads and loves Secret Society Girl like I do! I just did an entire spotlight month on Diana Peterfreund (Shameless self-promotion: come by and enter my contest to win any one of her books!) – SSG is one of my favourite series EVER. So yeah, move that one to the top of your list – you’ll love it.

    Frankie Landau-Banks is awesome, as is JESSICA DARLING. OMGMARCUSFLUTIEOMG.

    All of the rest of these are on my TBR list or my shelf already, except for
    – The Ruby Oliver series
    – anything ever written by C.K Kelly Martin
    – You by Charles Benoit

    I am now adding these to my list. Jellicoe Road, by the way, is already at the top, along with your recommendation of Tiger Lily.

    May I make one small recommendation that you and Carla check out Sophomore Switch by Abby McDonald? If you like Frankie, I think you’ll really like this wonderful, girl-power-iness of Tasha and Em. =)

    Thanks for sharing. You and Carla are the best!

  12. Jamie! I just picked up Jellicoe Road this week and got SUCKED into it. (I’m still not finished yet, but I’ve been waiting for the right time–when I have uninterrupted time–to dive back in.) I already know that I want more Melina Marchetta.

  13. I honestly can’t beleive that you STILL have the list!!! also? let me take a second and stroke my own ego because even though I am CLEARLY a book recommending genius, I also have pretty handwriting.

    You don’t even understand how happy this post makes me, or how much I smile and fight back irrational tears whenever someone reads a book because of me and they fall in love too. It’s a pretty amazing feeling knowing that you’ve shared something like that with someone.

    oh and add The Piper’s son – but only read this one after Saving Francesca. (I have a soft spot for girls named Frankie and for boys named Thomas, even if Thomas is the last bastion of arrested development)

  14. you MUST try jaclyn moriaty if you like Melina Marchetta – another Aussie author of YA, her books make me ( a fairly sensible 28 year old) laugh and cry. http://www.jaclynmoriarty.com/Books.html

  15. MELINA MARCHETTA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I like this list a whole lot. That is all.

  16. I love that she put Jessica Darling in capitals!

  17. Oh, there are definitely a handful of bloggers whose recommendations I always trust. I just love that Carla actually handwrote this list for you.

    You should definitely bump Jellicoe Road and anything by Courtney Summers up on your list. I will say that you should start with Some Girls Are for Summers’ books–I read Cracked Up to Be after reading Some Girls Are, and for me, it paled in comparison.

    I’ve enjoyed a lot of books on this list, so I may need to pick up the others. Thanks for sharing this post, Jamie!

  18. Jellicoe Road needs to be bumped out that list. I read it last summer, and I fell in love with Melina Marchetta’s writing. It is so, so beautiful. While I have yet to read anything else by her, I really think Jellicoe Road is amazing.

  19. Oh this is so much fun! I definitely recommend moving up Saving Francesca, Jellicoe Road, and How to Say Goodbye.

    I was not a huge fan of Such Girls Are or the first Ruby Oliver book (but Magan was and continued reading the series).

    And hello? Jessica Darling. GET ON THAT TRAIN! 🙂

  20. Yes, yes, yes! You MUST read the Ruby Oliver series as well as Jellicoe and Francesca – quick sticks!

    Mands xox

  21. Jamie! I will send you my copies of Jellicoe Road and Saving Francesca! They are MUST reads! This is list is so great! I just may borrow it from you! I need to read a good bit of them too.

    As far as recs go, I generally will read anything Tee from YA Crush raves about because I know they’ll be swoooooony good! Lucy from The Reading Date has some great recs too! I love when people recommend books to me because most times I don’t have time to scour upcoming book catalogs or Goodreads or wherever else people find upcoming books.

  22. Bump up On the Jellicoe Road and Saving Francesca. Add Looking for Alibrandi and The Pipers Son also by Melina Marchetta. Her fatasy series, the Lumatere Chonicles, are also a must read.

  23. My mom has been harassing me for a Christmas list so I just sent her a few of these titles that I haven’t read yet. I can’t think of anything I’d like to receive more than books. Love, love that Carla made this list for you. I really admire her reviews. Love this post! xoxo


  25. I just read Saving Francesca and Jellicoe Road this year and I really liked them, especially Jellicoe Road. The beginning was very confusing but it was one of those books that you just can’t stop thinking about afterwards. I hope you’ll get to read these soon! 🙂

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books

  26. Since I am even later than you to the YA book community, I will just say, that I have been blindly following you.

    So far I have found that you have yet to steer me wrong! 🙂

    I have faithfully added all of these books to my goodreads list and am reading away! 🙂

  27. courtney summers! all of them are incredible!

  28. I love Carla’s list and I love Carla! It would’ve been awesome meeting up with you guys except that I wouldn’t have known you then and it would’ve been really awkward. Hee.

    Jellicoe Road! Saving Francesca!! You can’t go wrong with Marchetta. Francesca was my first Marchetta and it sucked me into her world. I need to catch up on my Jessica Darling. Love this post. 🙂

  29. Allison R says:

    I’ve read Twenty Boy Summer, The Sky is Everywhere, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks and Audrey, Wait! (which is the one book that I ALWAYS recommend for a good laugh!)

    I’ve read How I live now and I thought it was kind of an odd story. I hope that doesn’t stop you from reading it though.


  1. […] Recommended by the girl whose recommendations I take SERIOUSLY […]