They say don't judge a book by it's cover, but that's exactly what I did with this one, and it didn't disappoint. A high-paced trek through Pre-Revolution America, Ottoman Damascus, WWII London, and more, this novel is a scavenger hunt through time that'll leave you begging for the sequel.
Rebel of the Sands - Alwyn Hamilton
A beautiful debut full of Middle Eastern lore, and two incredible heroes building a rebellion. A fresh look at YA fantasy, that'll have you running across the sand before you even know where you're going.
Crown's Game - Evelyn Skye
In a similar vein to the Hunger Games, but set in a Victorian Russia, where magicians exist. You'll fall in love with Pasha, Nikolai, and Vika. Just brace yourself for a plot twist you'll never see coming. And also, feelings for Pasha that you will never be able to contain.
Outlander - Diana Gabaldon
A time-travelling romance that sends you barreling into Jacobean Scotland, where the arms of one James Fraser await you. The pages will turn themselves, you'll be so engrossed in this world.
An Ember in the Ashes - Sabaa Tahir
If you pick this book up, make sure you get the sequel, because you won't want to stop reading. Fresh characters, a developed world, and a sadistic villain you'll love to hate, give it a try!
Land of the Blue Burqas - Kate McCord
A great read for both believers and non believers, this memoir provides an excellent framework for bridging the gap between Islam and the Judaeo-Christian west. In a time where nothing is really certain, we need to be informed so that we are able to love our neighbors and understand where they're coming from.
Mere Christianity - CS Lewis
Whether you're a believer or not, CS Lewis lays out a logical argument for the existence of God. Well thought out, organised, and illustrated in the way only an author can, it's definitely worth a read. I think that, as a skeptic, this is worth your time, though it might be a little deep for someone just starting out in the Christian faith. I had to read some of the pages two or three times to fully understand some of it.
7 Women - Eric Metaxas
Seven women, seven stories. Eric Metaxas puts together a compelling series of essays on women through history that you may have not known much about, and helps you to understand their success. It's also a really empowering read for any woman, not just women of faith. These women are people they don't talk about in school. Joan of Arc, being one. A teenage girl who leads an army and stands up for her country? SIGN ME THE HECK UP.
A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini
Anything by Khaled Hosseini is amazing, but if you're looking for a great insight into the female life in Afghanistan during the rise of the Taliban, look no further. I literally cannot say enough about this book. It's beautifully written, the stories are incredible, and it's a period piece so you get a decent look about what was happening in the 1950's - 1970's in Afghanistan.
Illuminae - Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
If you're looking for a great YA sci-fi, I cannot commend this high enough. Twists, turns, great characters, and a fresh writing style by means of transcriptions, documents, and AI reports, you won't be able to put it down!