Apparently today is Single Awareness Day and to celebrate I wanted to share 6 stand-alone books that will rock your socks off! Let’s be honest, we all love a good series, but sometimes it’s just more appealing to read a book where the story is finished and you don’t have to wait a year to know what happens next. With these 6 books, you get just that.
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
This book totally mesmerized me when I read it. It’s difficult to explain what’s so amazing about it, and that short description really doesn’t do it justice, but I’m going to try anyway: haunting, most beautiful writing in the world, atmospheric, heartbreaking, original, diverse…
Love makes us such fools…
Pain in love appears to be a Roux family birthright, and for Ava Lavender, a girl born with the wings of a bird, it is key to her inheritance.
Longing to fit in with her peers, Ava ventures away from home, ill-prepared for what awaits her in a world that does not know whether to view her as girl or angel.
Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo until, on the summer solstice, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air and Ava’s fate is revealed.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
This one really falls into the epic stand-alone category and proves you don’t need to have a series to tell an adventure story. You do not want to miss this ode to geek culture and the 80s!
It’s the year 2044, and the real world has become an ugly place. We’re out of oil. We’ve wrecked the climate. Famine, poverty, and disease are widespread.
Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes this depressing reality by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia where you can be anything you want to be, where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. And like most of humanity, Wade is obsessed by the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this alternate reality: OASIS founder James Halliday, who dies with no heir, has promised that control of the OASIS – and his massive fortune – will go to the person who can solve the riddles he has left scattered throughout his creation.
For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that the riddles are based in the culture of the late twentieth century. And then Wade stumbles onto the key to the first puzzle. Suddenly, he finds himself pitted against thousands of competitors in a desperate race to claim the ultimate prize, a chase that soon takes on terrifying real-world dimensions – and that will leave both Wade and his world profoundly changed.
Invictus by Ryan Graudin
Just like the previous book on the list, this one is another epic stand-alone about time travel and historic thievery.
Time flies when you’re plundering history.
Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far’s birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he’s ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past.
But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with knowledge that will bring Far’s very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Okay so this is one of my favorite books in the world so I couldn’t pass up a chance to promote it. Another atmospheric story that will submerge you in a beautiful world that’s about as perfectly written as humanly possible.
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway – a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love – a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.
The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
I don’t remember what drew me to this one, but the feminism and magical realism completely drew me in. It surpassed any expectation I had and gave me one heart-lifting story. No wonder that it won the Costa Award!
Faith Sunderly leads a double life. To most people, she is reliable, dull, trustworthy – a proper young lady who knows her place as inferior to men. But inside, Faith is full of questions and curiosity, and she cannot resist mysteries: an unattended envelope, an unlocked door. She knows secrets no one suspects her of knowing. She knows that her family moved to the close-knit island of Vane because her famous scientist father was fleeing a reputation-destroying scandal. And she knows, when her father is discovered dead shortly thereafter, that he was murdered.
In pursuit of justice and revenge, Faith hunts through her father’s possessions and discovers a strange tree. The tree bears fruit only when she whispers a lie to it. The fruit of the tree, when eaten, delivers a hidden truth. The tree might hold the key to her father’s murder – or it may lure the murderer directly to Faith herself.
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
I loved this story to pieces and if I could, I would hug the stuffing out of it. This book is about the most perfectly cute with the most original back-drop out there. A definite must-read for everyone.
Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen.
That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.
Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here — it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.
What do you think of the books that ended up on my list? Are there any books you’re missing and like to add? Let me know in the comments!