The best books to get as gifts this holiday season


Alanna Felton, A&E Editor

The holiday season is fast approaching, and soon it will be time to start thinking about selecting gifts for your family and friends. Here are four new young adult novels from this year that are sure to please the bookworms in your life.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give is an extremely powerful story about racism and police violence in America, it is also an engaging, well-written novel with complex characters that are real, likable, and all-too-human. It follows Starr Carter, an African American teen who become involved with activism after she witnesses the police shooting of her unarmed friend. The Hate U Give is a heart-wrenching, tearjerker read that few will be able to put down, and its message could not be more important or timely. With a movie adaptation in the works, The Hate U Give is well on its way to becoming a national conversation starter and a must-read for teens everywhere, and is a surefire bet this holiday season.

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

An Enchantment of Ravens is like cool autumnal breeze, a breathtakingly atmospheric read that puts a fresh twist on old Faerie lore. In Margaret Rogerson’s debut, faeries are immortal beings capable of incredible magic, but they lack the ability to create- they cannot bake bread, hold a paintbrush, or weave fabric without dissolving into dust. An Enchantment of Ravens tells the story of Isobel, a portrait artist whose chief subject are faeries. When Isobel paints Rook, the mercurial prince of the Autumn Court, she accidentally infuses his features with human emotion, a weakness the faeries will not tolerate. Isobel and Rook soon find themselves on a whirlwind adventure through the faerie realms as Rook fights to keep his throne and Isobel fights to keep her humanity. With its strong sense of whimsy and bantering leads, An Enchantment of Ravens feels like a rediscovered standalone fantasy classic a la Howl’s Moving Castle. It is the perfect gift for readers who like magic with a dash of romance in their fiction.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is one of the most fun and original young adult novels of 2017, a breakneck road trip through eighteenth century Europe brimming with hilarity and romantic tension. It follows Henry “Monty” Montague, the roguish son of an English Earl, who along with his best friend (and secret crush), Percy, and his younger sister, Felicity, embarks on a Grand Tour of the European continent that quickly devolves into a desperate quest. Forced to flee across Europe, Monty and Percy must contend with pirates, assassins, and their feelings for one another. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is an absolute blast from start to finish, great for any reader who enjoys historical fiction, humor, or romance, and perfect for those that love all three.

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo returns to the setting of her Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows books with her new short story collection, but this book is a deliciously dark treat for dedicated fans and newcomers to the Grishaverse alike. The six stories in The Language of Thorns are full of familiar elements that anyone with even a passing knowledge of fairytales will recognize: put-upon younger daughters, wicked stepmothers, and powerful princes. But Bardugo’s tales are far more than retellings. Each story is compelling in its own right, a darkly gorgeous gem. Bardugo’s spellbinding prose is only further enhanced by Sara Kipin’s lushly detailed illustrations, which swirl ominously around the margins of each page. Lovers of dark fantasy, folklore, and beautiful wordsmithing will find plenty to admire.