This is a list of my all time favourite books and products that I would buy over and over again. Whether you're looking for gifts for book lovers, ya fantasy books or LGBTQ+ books, these are the books and products I recommend to everyone.
This post contains affiliate links.
My favourite books to read
1. Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
One of the top ya fantasy books you should read is Legendborn. It's a fast paced ya fantasy book with an action packed plot and plenty of twists and turns.
Legendborn follows Bree Mathews. After the death of her mother, she wants to avoid family memories. So, she joins a residential program for gifted high school students.
But then she witnesses a magical attack on her first night. A flying demon feeding on human energy. A Mage tries to wipe her memory. But he fails. And instead Bree unlocks new memories of her mother’s death.
You should read this if you love a strong female lead, morally grey characters or the A Court of Thorns and Roses Trilogy. It also features great commentary on slavery and racism.
2. Malice by Heather Walter
Let me tell you - Malice is one of the best books I have read this year. It was an instant 5 stars from me. You will absolutely love the dystopian world building, morally grey main character and wlw romance.
Malice is a Maleficent retelling. The book is set in a Kingdom called Briar. Once upon a time, a wicked fairy cursed a line of princesses to die. Only true love’s kiss can break the curse.
The book follows Alyce – the dark grace. She was left abandoned in Briar from a dark kingdom. The dark magic that runs in her veins abhors residents in Briar.
Except for Princess Aurora who accepts her. And she encourages Alyce to accept herself.
This book is almost a cross between Wicked and The Hunger Games. But with fae. The world building is darkly magical. And the residents of Briar reminded me of the residents of the Capitol.
3. A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth
This book is so underrated! If you like Crescent City then you will be obsessed with the grumpy/sunshine wlw romance in this book.
A series of gruesome murders threatens to expose the faerie world to humans. Four queer teens – Nausicaä, Arlo, Vehan, and Aurelian – each hold a piece of the truth. And they must track down the mysterious killer.
The characters in this book are so well developed! Nausicaä is a grumpy, chaotic and sarcastic lesbian. Nausicaä and Arlo have such a perfect slow burn enemies to lovers vibe.
If you're looking for an audiobook then you should definitely give this one a listen. It features a full cast of narrators which make it so engrossing!
4. Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating by Adiba Jaigirdar
I am OBSESSED with the fake dating trope. And if you also enjoy the fake dating trope – I guarantee you will love Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating!
Hani is bisexual but she is having trouble getting her friends to believe her. Ishu wants to be Head Girl. They decide to fake date so that Hani’s friends believe she is bisexual. And to help Ishu in her Head girl campaign.
This book had me laughing out loud so many times. It has the perfect combination of a grumpy and sunshine main character.
The fake dating trope is executed perfectly – it leads to so many funny moments. And both characters learn from each other.
5. This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron
I am in love with the Cottagecore aesthetic atm. If you love Cottagecore or Urban fantasy books then you NEED to read this.
This Poison Heart follows Briseis. She has a magic gift where she can magic tiny seeds grow into rich blooms with a single touch.
Her aunt dies and wills her a dilapidated estate in rural New York. And it’s there she must uncover her family’s heritage and secrets.
Again, mythology was woven seamlessly into the plot of this book. It opens in an urban setting before the characters move to a small town.
And the cottagecore imagery is beautiful. I love the plant references. And I love how the magic system is woven into Briseis' love for plants.
It opens with several mysteries and they keep you intrigued until the end of the book. If you like sapphic romance or cottagecore then I highly recommend picking this up
6. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
This series got so many people into fantasy books. If you're looking to get back into reading I would highly recommend reading A Court of Thorns and Roses. While Sarah J Maas has lots of books, this is a trilogy. So just three books makes it more manageable to finish.
A Court of Thorns and Roses is a Beauty and the Beast retelling. It follows Feyre. She is really poor and lives with her father and two sisters. She has to hunt to care for the family.
One day she sees a deer and can’t resist killing it to sell. But it was actually a faerie she murdered. And the owner comes to kidnap her to live at the castle as punishment.
It is a little slow to start. Sarah J Maas does dump a lot of information about the fantasy world on you. But stay with it – I promise you it gets so much better. The second book is definitely the best in the series where many of my favourite characters are introduced.
7. Heartstopper by Alice Oseman
Heartstopper is seriously one of the most adorable books I've ever read. I can re-read this series a million times and still love it.
The book series follows Charlie Spring and Nick Nelson. Charlie Spring is an openly gay student in year 10. And he meets Nick Nelson a soft-hearted rugby player in year 11. They quickly become friends. But could there be something more?
Alice Oseman wrote and illustrated the graphic novel series. She is insanely talented. And she secured her first publishing deal at just 17 years old!
8. Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
Felix Ever After is an own voices book featuring a black, queer and transgender main character.
It follows Felix Love who has never been in love. And he is desperate to experience it.
An anonymous student starts sending him transphobic messages. And the student publicly posts Felix’s deadname. Along with photos of him before his transition.
Felix decides to plot revenge. But his catfishing lands him in a love triangle.
Kacen Callender wrote Felix Ever After. Callender also won the Stonewall Book Award and Lambda literary award for Hurricane Child. They do a particularly good job at discussing difficult topics such as class disadvantage, transphobia and body dysmorphia. Oh and it features an adorable friends to lovers m/m romance.
My favourite gifts for book lovers
1. Special editions of books
Buying books for a book lover can be tricky. But special collectable editions of books are an excellent choice. I won this beautiful Wordsworth Collectors edition of Anne of Green Gables in a competition. And I was over the moon!
Any book lover will be proud to display one of these on their shelves. Especially if they love classics. You can find special editions of many books online.
A stunning edition of their favourite book is sure to make any bookworm happy. You can buy these on Book Depository with free delivery worldwide. You can find the stunning Anne of Green Gables edition pictured here.
2. Fairyloot Crate subscription
Okay if you love ya fantasy books then I highly recommend subscribing to Fairyloot crate.
Fairyloot is a book subscription box services aimed at fantasy lovers. They send a monthly box with a BEAUTIFUL special edition of a book along with goodies such as booksleeves, mugs and candles.
I first got Fairyloot crate after seeing the gorgeous special editions of books sent with the boxes. It feels like such a treat to come back home after a long day to find a Fairyloot crate box waiting for you.
If you're a ya fantasy fan then you should try it - you won't regret it!
A booksleeve is a fabric pouch to slide a book into. Its purpose is to prevent damage to books while on the go such as creasing, marking or spillages.
Booksleeves make excellent gifts for book lovers. Particularly if they like to read on the go or on their morning commute. They have cute designs and some even have padding inside.
I received the booksleeve pictured in a Fairyloot crate and couldn't find the exact one online. However, I've linked some gorgeous booksleeves above.
4. Bookish mugs
Okay, I can't be the only person who has a cupboard literally overflowing with mugs. Most bookworms love to cosy up with a good book and a hot drink (myself included!
I love to gift these with different drink sachets such a hot chocolate or coffee. You can get them very cheaply at the supermarket. But on a cold day, they will love curling up with a hot drink.