The Everygirl Editors’ Favorite Books of the Year

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When you finish a book, sometimes you’re ready to move on and jump right into reading the next one on your list. It’s not that it was a bad book, but it might have left you feeling just a bit “meh.” Maybe the characters didn’t resonate with you, the story dragged on in places, or the genre just wasn’t your jam. Whatever it was, these are the books you probably won’t recommend or the ones you may even forget about in a year or two. Your favorite books, however, leave you with a hangover that you actually don’t mind. After you turn that final page, you’re left in a blissful haze, still thinking about the world you just left behind. You’ll want to return to its pages almost the moment you finish. You’ll tell everyone you know (and maybe even unsuspecting strangers) they absolutely need to read this book immediately. It will stick with you for life and has earned a permanent spot on your shelves—and in your heart. 

You don’t often come by favorite books, but when you do, it’s like meeting a friend you’ll have for life. This year, our team has been fortunate enough to add several books to their lists of favorites. These are the books we’ve read this year that made a lasting impression:

George Saunders

Lincoln in the Bardo

Since the beginning of the summer, I have been on a huge reading kick, and George Saunders’ “Lincoln in the Bardo” was one of those books I was able to devour in just over two days. Although historical fiction may not necessarily be my jam, this book captured my attention with its unique style. Written like a play, entirely through dialogue, it tells the story of the afterlife of Willie Lincoln, Abe Lincoln’s son who died of typhoid. I know that this may sound incredibly morbid and super depressing, and it is, but the novel also spins a beautiful reflection on what it means to really be alive.

– Emma, Editorial Intern

Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine Wilkinson

All We Can Save

A collection of women-authored essays and poems about the climate crisis. An extremely important read for anyone who wants to learn more about the intersection between climate change and institutional racism/sexism, or for anyone in desperate need of hope for the planet.

– Emma, Editorial Intern

Elizabeth Hinton

America On Fire

Ok yes I may have read this for class, but it was one of the most transformative and revealing books I've ever read. Reframing violent reactions to American policing from "riots" to "rebellions" as a demonstration of the police as a part of broader systemic issues.

– Emma, Editorial Intern

Mateo Askaripour

Black Buck

When my friend let me borrow this book last summer, it sat on my shelt for a while before I picked it up, even though she told me it was amazing, had so many twists and turns, and made her stare at a wall for 10 minutes after she read it (something that tells me a plot twist is damn good—the only book that has made me do that so far have been I'm Thinking of Ending Things). But when I picked it up finally, I quite literally could not put it down. This book isn't your traditional thriller, but it has so many twists and turns and had me interested the entire time. Go in blind, and trust me: it'll immediately be one of your favorite reads.

– Beth, Beauty Content Manager

Alice Feeney

Rock Paper Scissors

Gorgeous gorgeous girls love a murdery thriller, but so many are the exact same. I thought I was getting something with a predictable plot twist all about a cheating husband and his naive wife—but I was wrong. I audibly gasped at the plot twist and went back to read earlier passages because it was so smart and engaging. I haven't stopped thinking about this book since I put it down.

– Beth, Beauty Content Manager

Talia Hibbert

Take a Hint, Dani Brown

The first of this trilogy, “Get A Life, Chloe Brown,” exceeded my expectations. It showed me that I could like a romance interest who wasn’t a complete f*ckboy with a corporate job, that even the books with the cutest covers can have the most steam, and that even I, a resident hater of all-things British slang, could get down with a book set abroad. So, I was even more surprised when the second novel following Chloe’s sister—a plus-size, bisexual Ph.D. candidate and professor with amazing style who casts spells and appreciates the company of a one-night stand—became my favorite. This novel has all the same amazing aspects I loved of the first book, but the connection and characters were even better. It has fake dating, lots of steam, great anxiety representation, a Black lead, and so much more.

– Beth, Beauty Content Manager

Busy Philips

This Will Only Hurt a Little

I am a SUCKER for a funny-mixed-with-emotional memoir, and tie in a little bit of Hollywood drama and consider me obsessed. Busy Phillip's hilarious memoir was a page turner for so many reasons: for one being that she did spill a lot of tea on relationships with celebrities, certain big-time products/directors/actors, etc. which had me gasping at every page, but her honest, hilarious, and emotional retelling of her entire life was so well-written and beautiful that I could not put the book down. Think of it like a coming of age story mixed with laugh-out-loud humor, juicy details, and brutally honest, emotional, and relatable stories that make each reader feel heard. It's an easy read, making it the perfect travel book.

– Josie, Wellness Content Manager

Glennon Doyle


I’m big on memoirs and self-help books, but this is one of those stand-out books that I have aggressively highlighted every page, dog-eared the entire book, and reread multiple times. From her fascinating takes on gender, family, and going through hard things, Doyle’s writing truly made me laugh and cry so many times from the first to last page. It also gave me my #1 affirmation of the year and the phrase I go to every time I’m struggling: “Your job is to disappoint as many people as possible to avoid disappointing yourself” (as a chronic people-pleaser, this hit hard). Consider it a wake-up call for women everywhere to start living their authentic lives. Read if you’re in major need of some inspiration, motivation, or a reminder of your purpose in life.

– Josie, Wellness Content Manager

Taylor Jenkins Reid

Malibu Rising

After hearing everyone I know talk about how much they love Taylor Jenkins Reid, I downloaded this book on my Kindle to read her work for myself. And as soon as I finished it, I immediately went to download The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones and The Six as well. Her writing is different than a lot of the other books I've read in recent years, and this book really filled a void in my reading life that I didn't even know I had. I loved that this story had all of the best elements of romance, family dynamics, and even a bit of mystery. It has that special aspect of feeling very connected to the characters and really wanting to be a part of a fictional world.

– Jess, Junior Graphic Designer

Jessica Goodman

They Wish They Were Us

At 25 years old, I have recently rediscovered my love for Young Adult fiction. There's just something about the stories and the way they are written that really makes them easy and fun to read while sucking you into the story completely. That can definitely be said for They Wish They Were Us, which I loved so much and would recommend to anyone. It is the perfect mix of Gone Girl-type thriller/mystery and classic YA teen romance and friendship drama. The story revolves around a secret society at an elite prep school, and the mystery surrounding the murder of the school's most popular girl—AKA the perfect recipe for a book you just can’t put down.

– Jess, Junior Graphic Designer

Lisa Unger

Confessions on the 7:45

Let me begin by saying I read a lot of books, and this year I have read more than I ever have in my life. Since I mainly stick to psychological thrillers (and since so many have similar plots) 90 percent of them blur together for me—so the 10 percent that doesn’t are really good. When I thought about what books I read this year, this one popped in my head first. It’s a quick, entertaining read with a plot that isn’t like anything else I’ve ever read. It keeps you guessing the entire time, and the ending will not disappoint you.

– Maddie, Fashion Content Manager

Colleen Hoover


I’ve already spoken about this before, but I will continue to because it just might be my favorite book I’ve ever read. The ending literally left my jaw on the floor and made me laugh maniacally because it was so insane. If you read one thriller this year, trust me, you should make it this one.

– Maddie, Fashion Content Manager

Sabaa Tahir

An Ember in the Ashes

I cannot stop thinking about this book. I read it in an absolutely manic 48-hour period where I quite literally could not put it down. It is dark. It is nasty. It is heart-pounding, palms-sweating, breath-catching compelling. I hated it and I loved it and I've never been so immersed in a world before. The story follows Laia, a slave in a world loosely based on ancient Rome. I loved that Laia wasn't your typical guns-blazing badass fantasy female heroine but instead scared out of her wits, trying to save her brother, and gradually becoming so realistically badass—it's eat-your-heart-out satisfying. If you like fantasy, read this. If you like love-to-hate love triangles, read this. If you like sociopathic morally-grey characters that will make all your hairs stand on end, read this. I feel my point is clear: Read this.

– Kelly, Course Director

Samantha Shannon

The Mask Falling

The Bone Season series has cemented itself as one of my favorites of. all. time. I read the first two installments in a frantic, week-long reading sprint, and the following two books had much the same effect. The series follows Paige Mahoney, a member of London’s clairvoyant underground in the not-so-distant future. In The Mask Falling, Paige copes with both the physical and mental trauma she experienced in the first three books. But at this point, she has to find a way to keep fighting when what she really needs is time to heal. This book is a perfect balance of quiet, character-building moments and jam-packed action scenes that leave you breathless. By the end, I was this close to flying to London to demand the author tell me what happens next.

– Garri, Managing Editor

TJ Klune

The House in the Cerulean Sea

After hearing nothing but good things about this book for literal months, it finally made its way to the top of my TBR-pile and left me kicking myself for not reading it sooner. I read some really great books this year, and a few others I’d give five stars to, but when it comes down to it, this one will have a permanent place on my all-time favorite list. For fans of magic, love, and adventure, it doesn’t get much better than this. Don’t get me wrong, this book will absolutely break your heart, but I promise the ending makes everything worth it.

– Garri, Managing Editor

E. Lockheart

We Were Liars

Even though I get really busy with my readings for classes, I still try to find a couple novels to read for fun whenever I have some free time. Since I’m obsessed with mystery and romance novels, I chose to read We Were Liars and am so glad I did. We Were Liars tells the story of four best friends who travel to a private island every summer until a tragic incident occurs and the quiet, imaginative girl of the friend group is forced to find out what happened to her and her friends. This novel was so intriguing and emotional that I literally could not put it down. If you want to read something that is a quick read but still super emotionally moving, I would definitely recommend checking out We Were Liars.

– Caitlyn, Editorial Intern

Jen Atkin

Blowing My Way to the Top

I'm huge fan of anything Jen Atkin does, so I, of course, had to give her book a read. Though she uses tangible examples from her experience working as a celebrity hairstylist, the empowering lessons and insight she provides to readers can be applied to most careers and industries. Not only does she provide tips on how to have a successful career, she offers advice on how to lead an overall flourishing life and find your voice through humorous anecdotes and personal life lessons. If you're looking for a motivational yet entertaining book to kick off you new year goals, I recommend giving this one a try!

– Keely, Senior Social Media Editor