The best books to be laughing on one page and crying on the next

Who am I?

I am a dystopian author who loves using writing to spread awareness about different social issues in society. As an avid reader, I feel like nowadays, the quality of literature has decreased. Authors have been focusing more on how close to trending topics and easy-to-read a book is than on its depth, themes, or any kind of element that is crucial in storytelling. This is why many recently published books have been difficult for me to connect with. As an author myself, I want that to change. Here’s a list of books that are so well written that it’ll feel like you’re riding a rollercoaster—of emotions.

I wrote...

A Gleaming Shard of Glass

By Sowon Kim,

Book cover of A Gleaming Shard of Glass

What is my book about?

Every six months on Regulation Day, children from the honorable city of Nepenthe take a required intelligence examination. Those who pass resume their lives as valuable students, but those who fail are imprisoned, no longer considered human.

When fourteen-year-old Grecia Rivera fails the examination—despite being one of the best artists of her age—her life is turned upside down. To avoid her prison sentence, she must abandon everyone she loves and escape from Nepenthe. But Grecia soon discovers that the outside world is just as brutal as the city she left behind. Now trapped within a society of runaways, Grecia must risk her life for freedom once again.

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The books I picked & why


By Neal Shusterman,

Book cover of Scythe

Why did I love this book?

Scythe is a gripping story filled with philosophical themes and characters that will make you feel like you’ve just met some new amazing friends. I read Scythe after having read a ton of cliché and stereotypical YA dystopian novels, so the depth this book had surprised me so much that it engrained itself into my mind forever. Not only does this book answer questions about human nature, but it also asks you questions—and they’re so well formulated that I stayed awake a whole night thinking about them. And the characters…let’s say that never in my life had I been so attached to fictional people before.

By Neal Shusterman,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Scythe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A true successor to The Hunger Games." Maggie Stiefvater

In a perfect world, what is there left to fear? A chilling and thought-provoking sci-fi novel from New York Times bestselling author Neal Shusterman.

A dark, gripping and witty thriller in which the only thing humanity has control over is death.

In a world where disease, war and crime have been eliminated, the only way to die is to be randomly killed ("gleaned") by professional scythes. Citra and Rowan are teenagers who have been selected to be scythes' apprentices, and despite wanting nothing to do with the vocation, they must learn…

The Giver

By Lois Lowry,

Book cover of The Giver

Why did I love this book?

The Giver is close to my heart, as it played a huge role in my development as an author and was one of the first book recommendations my mother gave me. This novel shows you what it could take for humanity to reach perfection, and makes you question whether perfection is something really worth reaching for. It also introduced me to the wonderful dystopian genre, and showed me that literature is much more than entertainment: it’s a whole world of important messages that the world needs to hear.

By Lois Lowry,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked The Giver as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE GIVER is soon to be a major motion picture starring Jeff Bridges, Katie Holmes and Taylor Swift.

Now available for the first time in the UK, THE GIVER QUARTET is the complete four-novel collection.

THE GIVER: It is the future. There is no war, no hunger, no pain. No one in the community wants for anything. Everything needed is provided. And at twelve years old, each member of the community has their profession carefully chosen for them by the Committee of Elders.

Jonas has never thought there was anything wrong with his world. But from the moment he is…

Book cover of The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on a Human-Centered Planet

Why did I love this book?

I’m not lying when I say that this book saved my life. I was going through a particularly difficult moment when I read it, and let’s say that it made me find the beauty in life once again. After reading The Anthropocene Reviewed, my once monochrome world burst with colors. This essay collection points out ideas about things in daily life that an average person would never notice. It makes you smile dumbly at the ceiling and say, “this world is beautiful.”

By John Green,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Anthropocene Reviewed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Goodreads Choice winner for Nonfiction 2021 and instant #1 bestseller! A deeply moving collection of personal essays from John Green, the author of The Fault in Our Stars and Turtles All the Way Down.

“The perfect book for right now.” –People

“The Anthropocene Reviewed is essential to the human conversation.” –Library Journal, starred review

The Anthropocene is the current geologic age, in which humans have profoundly reshaped the planet and its biodiversity. In this remarkable symphony of essays adapted and expanded from his groundbreaking podcast, bestselling author John Green reviews different facets of the human-centered planet on a five-star scale—from…


By Mel Torrefranca,

Book cover of Capsule

Why did I love this book?

Since Capsule was actually written by a teenager, anyone from Generation Z will be able to relate to this gut-wrenching tale about friendships and memories better left forgotten. Each character is both unique and human, and the writing makes you stare into space in awe. This novel throws difficult-to-swallow truths at the reader, and leaves them without oxygen with a fantastic ending. For anyone who has struggled, this book is for you.

By Mel Torrefranca,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Capsule as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


#1 AMAZON NEW RELEASE • “Torrefranca has crafted a highly immersive and up-to-date work of fiction with plenty of techno twists and dangerous, exciting turns to offer its readers.” —Readers’ Favorite

Two students from Brookwood High School mysteriously go missing on the same night.

The first is Peter Moon, a heartless pescatarian who bashes students from Brookwood on his blog, turning everyone against him. The second is the adored Kat Pike, an audacious girl desperate to boost her adrenaline. Three days pass. No leads.

Indifferent to the disappearances, sixteen-year-old Jackie Mendoza remains immersed in her virtual…

Book cover of The Midnight Library

Why did I love this book?

This book isn’t complex at all, but it still managed to make me cry enough water to replicate an ocean and rethink my life decisions. Just like The Anthropocene Reviewed, I was going through a very difficult situation when I read The Midnight Library, and I honestly don’t know where I’d be if I hadn’t read it. I hope that anyone who reads it finds that gleam of hope that I found. It also reminded me of the simpler stories that I had read in elementary school, which made me really nostalgic and filled my head with great memories.

By Matt Haig,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked The Midnight Library as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The #1 New York Times bestselling WORLDWIDE phenomenon

Winner of the Goodreads Choice Award for Fiction | A Good Morning America Book Club Pick | Independent (London) Ten Best Books of the Year

"A feel-good book guaranteed to lift your spirits."-The Washington Post

The dazzling reader-favorite about the choices that go into a life well lived, from the acclaimed author of How To Stop Time and The Comfort Book.

Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in dystopian, culture, and murder?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about dystopian, culture, and murder.

Dystopian Explore 483 books about dystopian
Culture Explore 88 books about culture
Murder Explore 731 books about murder

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