With only a week left until the big day, I’m sure you’ve now realised the cousin, co-worker or (worst of all) sibling you forgot to buy for. But don’t fear, your Guardian angel, Miss Abigail, is here to save you! This list should be fairly easy to navigate, and will hopefully provide you with a few ideas of something you can pick up last minute. Not only are books a great gift to receive, but they’re also a great gift to wrap (I love squares) meaning your life will be 100x easier.
I’m going to attempt to cover a range of ages and tastes, so I’m sure there’ll be something here if you’re in a pinch. Note: Please take the age recommendations with a grain of salt, gauge which category you’re looking at from the maturity of the reader, that way you’ll hopefully stumble across the most appropriate.
As you read on, you may notice the ‘similar to’ section after each suggestion. This can work one of two ways:
- You’ve heard them talk about the book I’ve suggested and so they’d probably like a similar book.
- You’ve heard them talk about the similar book and so they’d probably be particularly interested in my suggestion.
Hopefully, this will cover all bases. Without further ado, let’s get going…
- Esio Trot by Roald Dahl. Mr Hoppy is in love with Mrs Silver, but her heart belongs to Alfie, her pet tortoise. Mr Hoppy is too shy to approach Mrs Silver, until one day he comes up with a brilliant idea to win her heart. If Mr Hoppy’s plan works, Mrs Silver will certainly fall in love with him. But it’s going to take one hundred and forty tortoises, an ancient spell, and a little bit of magic. Buy here.
- Similar to The BFG by Roald Dahl
- The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. Nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it. Buy here.
- Similar to The Works of Beatrix Potter
- Dreamology by Lucy Keating. For as long as Alice can remember, she has dreamed of Max. Together they have travelled the world and fallen deliriously, hopelessly in love. Max is the boy of her dreams—and only her dreams. Because he doesn’t exist. But when Alice walks into class on her first day at a new school, there he is. It turns out, though, that Real Max is nothing like Dream Max, and getting to know each other in reality isn’t as perfect as Alice always hoped. When their dreams start to bleed dangerously into their waking hours, the pair realise that they might have to put an end to a lifetime of dreaming about each other. But when you fall in love in your dreams, can reality ever be enough? Buy here.
- Similar to Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins.
- Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy. Meet Skulduggery Pleasant. Sure, he may lose his head now and again (in fact, he won his current skull in a poker match), but he is much more than he appears to be—which is good, considering that he is, basically, a skeleton. Skulduggery may be long dead, but he is also a mage who dodged the grave so that he could save the world from an ancient evil. But to defeat it, he’ll need the help of a new partner: a not so innocent twelve-year-old girl named Stephanie. That’s right, they’re the heroes. Stephanie and Skulduggery are quickly caught up in a battle to stop evil forces from acquiring her recently deceased uncle’s most prized possession—the Sceptre of the Ancients. The Ancients were the good guys, an extinct race of uber-magicians from the early days of the earth, and the sceptre is their most dangerous weapon, one capable of killing anyone and destroying anything. Back in the day, they used it to banish the bad guys, the evil Faceless Ones. Unfortunately, in the way of bad guys everywhere, the Faceless Ones are staging a comeback and no one besides our two heroes believes in the Faceless Ones, or even that the Sceptre is real. So Stephanie and Skulduggery set off to find the Sceptre, fend off the minions of the bad guys, beat down vampires and the undead, prove the existence of the Ancients and the Faceless Ones, all while trading snappy, snippy banter worthy of the best screwball comedies. Buy here.
- Similar to Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan.
- To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all. Buy here.
- Similar to Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon.
- This is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp. 10:00 a.m. The principal of Opportunity High School finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve. 10:02 a.m. The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class. 10:03 a.m. The auditorium doors won’t open. 10:05 a.m. Someone starts shooting. Told from four different perspectives over the span of fifty-four harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival. Buy here.
- The Jewel by Amy Ewing. The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring. Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life. Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence… and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for. Buy here.
- Similar to The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
- The Program by Suzanne Young. In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program. Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories. Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them. Buy here.
- Similar to Divergent by Veronica Roth.
- A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen. The moving, uplifting true story of an unlikely friendship between a man on the streets and the ginger cat who adopts him and helps him heal his life. Buy here.
- We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. A beautiful and distinguished family. A private island. A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy. A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive. A revolution. An accident. A secret. Lies upon lies. True love. The truth.
- The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp. Buy here.
- The Light Between Oceans by M L Stedman. After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby. Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them. Buy here.
- The Martian by Andy Weir. A mission to Mars. A freak accident. One man’s struggle to survive. Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars’ surface, completely alone, with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive. And even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, Mark won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark’s not ready to quit. Armed with nothing but his ingenuity and his engineering skills—and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength–he embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive, using his botany expertise to grow food and even hatching a mad plan to contact NASA back on Earth. As he overcomes one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next, Mark begins to let himself believe he might make it off the planet alive. But Mars has plenty of surprises in store for him yet. Buy here.
- The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy. Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what. Buy here.
Collectable books – otherwise known as gorgeous classics editions…
- The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (Penguin Threads edition)
- The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald (Penguin F Scott Fitzgerald Hardback Collection)
- Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. (Vintage Classics Austen Series)
- The Bronte Sisters: Three Novels (Barnes & Noble Leatherbound Classic Collection)
Other bookish gifts
Disclaimer: All blurbs in this post are taken directly from goodreads.com – it would have taken me weeks to do this post if I’d written them all myself. No affiliate links used, all links included are purely for ease of access to the reader.