From villains and antiheroes to top notch world-building and best character driven stories, the TPC has rounded up some quick picks perfect for last-minute holiday giving or for bookmarking your next reads for 2022!

If you’re drawn to Villains, Antiheroes, and Unlikable Characters:

  • Ivy – Vampires Never Get Old, edited by Zoraida Córdova and Natalie C. Parker. A fantastic (and punny) story collection that left the vampire fan in me hungry for more. (Check out Ivy’s review here!)
  • Zoe – Heartless by Marissa Meyer, it focuses on the origin of the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland.
  • Jillian – Vicious by V.E. Schwab, one of the only books from a anti hero perspective where I actually felt like the characters were actually villains.
  • Zoë G – Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao. Zetian, the main character, is definitely an anti-hero. It has Chinese mythology and a polyamorous relationship. 

Must-Read Immersive Sci Fi World Building:

  • Ivy – Binti by Nnedi Okorafor, an expansive world rooted in reality that leaves me hungry to see more of the book’s universe.
  • Zoe – Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman!
  • Zoë G – I second Zoe’s rec! Also, Skyhunter by Marie Lu. The whole world is so complex and I would die for all the characters. 
  • Ava: Skyward by Brandon Sanderson (check out my review on the blog!) While traditionally a high fantasy adult author, Brandon Sanderson has crafted a brilliant YA sci fi novel starring a hilarious, snarky, and unwavering heroine. The third book just came out, making this a perfect option to binge read over the holiday break. 

Best Character Driven Stories:

  • Zoe – Miss Meteor by Anna-Marie McLemore and Tehlor Kay Mejia, it focused on relationship dynamics and friendship between the two main characters.
  • Ivy – Yolk by Mary HK Choi, she always creates deep characters, but Yolk’s main character is on another level of relatability and realness. (Check out Ivy’s review here!)
  • Zoë G – Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff for sure! I love every character and getting a perspective from all of them none of them fall through the cracks. (Check out Zoë’s review of Aurora Rising here!)
  • Ava – Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo! While I doubt at this point there are many YA fans left who have not read about this iconic cast of characters, if you have by any chance not picked up this duology I highly recommend. There is a huge diversity among the characters providing for lots of interesting POVs, romances, and multi-perspective plot.

If you read and loved Percy Jackson, what next? 

  • Ivy – Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas, a fun adventure filled with magic, friendship, and ghost romance. (Check out Ivy’s review here!)
  • Zoe – The Flame of Olympus by Kate O’Hearn, a Roman mythology centered book based around the main character finding her identity and family.
  • Zoë G – Rick Riordan presents books! Specifically the Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi, Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez, and Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia. Aru Shah is based on Hindu mythology and is full of cocky pre-teens who really don’t want to save the world but are kind of stuck doing it. Sal and Gabi is about two best friends and one can take things from other universes. And Tristan Strong is full of West African mythology and you will fall in love with the characters (especially Gum Baby). 

The ONE book you have to read from a favorite author: 

  • Ivy – The Diviners by Libba Bray, this series is Bray’s masterpiece, and now that all the books are released I can’t recommend binge reading them enough.
  • Jillian – Vicious by V.E. Schwab (Stay tuned for my review on this as well since I put it in multiple categories…)
  • Hanna Lou – These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong, has mystery, fantasy, fantastic character dynamics and will keep you one your toes every second.

My favorite book from this year:

  • Andi- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I loved her writing style and Evelyn’s story.  
  • Ivy recs: The Shadow War by Lindsay Smith, it was fast paced, creative, and full of great characters
  • Zoe- We Are Inevitable by Gayle Forman!
  • Rosie – The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab. I heard mixed reviews about this one but personally I loved it because the writing was beautiful, it felt like reading a classic.
  • Jillian – Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé. It was fast pace, shocking, and all in all a story everyone should read.
  • Zoë G – Beasts and Beauty by Soman Chainani. I finished this book in a day! I love The School for Good and Evil, and this blew me away! The diversity and representation was amazing. So many people who couldn’t see themselves in fairytales will see themselves in these. 
  • Hanna Lou – The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon. A super interesting and immersive tale that follows a fantasy story that only covers one book. Great world and amazing characters. 

Happy holidays from the TPC!