I have to admit: I don’t read a ton of historical fiction. But never fear, readers like me! Here is a list of absolutely fabulous books that feature real characters and moments in history from creative, different, and interesting points of view.




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A Suffragist’s Guide to the Antarctic by Yi Shun Lai
A teen’s fight for suffrage turns into one of survival when her crew’s Antarctic expedition ship gets stuck in the ice in this historical novel told in journal entries perfect for fans of Gary Paulsen and The Downstairs Girl.
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The Witch Haven by Sasha Peyton Smith

The Last Magician meets The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy in this thrilling and atmospheric historical fantasy, set in 1911 New York, following a young woman who discovers she has magical powers and is thrust into a battle between witches and wizards.

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Soaring Earth by Margarita Engle

Margarita Engle’s childhood straddled two worlds: the lush, welcoming island of Cuba and the lonely, dream-soaked reality of Los Angeles. But the revolution in the 1960s has transformed Cuba into a mystery of impossibility, no longer reachable in real life. Amid the challenges of adolescence and a world steeped in conflict, Margarita finds hope beyond the struggle, and love in the most unexpected of places.

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The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf

The Weight of Our Sky is a beautiful and heart wrenching story that takes place during the 1969 race riots in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Beatles-loving Melati Ahmad is just like any other teenager at the movies when violence erupts between the Chinese and the Malay. Her entire world shifts as tensions escalate in this heart-pounding debut.

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The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

One of the best ways to experience history is if you can travel through time, which is Esta’s gift (along with being a talented thief). Her newest job includes traveling to 1902 to steal a magical book, but Old New York is much more dangerous than she expected.

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Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

Nicole Castroman reimagines the origins of history’s most infamous pirate—Blackbeard—and tells the story of the girl who captured his heart and then broke it, setting him on a path to destruction. From Bristol to Curaçao to the open seas, follow Edward “Teach” Drummond and Anne Barrett as they set out on an adventure to chase their dreams.

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The Great Unknowable End by Kathryn Ormsbee

The Great Unknowable End features Stella, Galliard, and a creepy cult called Red Sun. When the lightning turns pink and the rain bloodred, Galliard and Stella must decide what they want to accomplish before the (potential) end of the world. Inspired by the music and atmosphere of the seventies, Kathryn takes readers on a wild and crazy journey about following your dreams when faced with seemingly impossible odds.

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The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed
Set in Los Angeles, 1992 against the background of the Rodney King Riots, The Black Kids centers on the charmed life of Ashley Bennett. Ashley’s family is wealthy; she attends an expensive private school, lives in a fancy neighborhood of L.A., and now that it’s the end of senior year, she spends more time in the pool with her white friends than in the classroom. But when four police officers are acquitted after beating a Black man, Rodney King, half to death, she’s no longer just one of the girls—she’s one of the Black kids. And when a rumor Ashley starts threatens to derail the future of her classmate and fellow Black kid Lashawn, she’s forced to confront uncomfortable truths about the world, and about herself.
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Your Heart, My Sky by Margarita Engle
Acclaimed author Margarita Engle tells a “deeply felt and engrossing” (Horn Book Magazine) story of love in a time of hunger inspired by her own family’s struggles during a dark period in Cuba’s history. Once you’ve read Your Heart, My Skybe sure to check out Margarita Engle’s latest book, Rima’s Rebellionan inspiring coming-of-age story set in 1920’s Cuba!
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When Can We Go Back to America? by Susan H. Kamei

In this dramatic and page-turning narrative history of Japanese Americans before, during, and after their World War II incarceration, Susan H. Kamei weaves the voices of over 130 individuals who lived through this tragic episode, most of them as young adults.

Everyone loves a good Romeo and Juliet retelling – with all the romance and drama who wouldn’t? These Romeo and Juliet retellings will satisfy any craving for our favorite star-crossed lovers, with creative, unique, and modern additions to make it feel fresh.

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These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
This Romeo and Juliet retelling is one for the ages and definitely one you don't want to miss. Set in 1920s Shanghai Juliette Cai, heir of the Scarlet gang, must form an alliance with Roma Montagov, heir to the rival White Flowers, to stop a series of mysterious murders. One of the things that makes this story so compelling is the fact that Juliette and Roma already know each other. These former lovers, turned enemies, will have to see if they can put their differences aside to save their city.
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Between You, Me, and the Honeybees by Amelia Diane Coombs
Perfect for fans of Jenn Bennett and Sarah Dessen, this swoon-worthy novel follows a teen girl during her California summer of beekeeping, secrets, and stolen kisses. Josie wants to stay in her California hometown and take over the family business, Hazeldine Honey. The neighbor’s artsy, adorable grandson who’s in town for the summer makes Josie’s web of lies even more tangled. He’s into Josie and the feeling is very mutual, but he’s a Blumstein—the sworn enemy of the Hazeldines and their number one competition in the annual Honey Show at the end of July.
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When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle
There are a lot of great characters in Romeo and Juliet (my personal favorite being the well-meaning but ultimately ignored Benvolio). When You Were Mine is a modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet from Rosaline’s perspective. She and Rob were happy before Juliet came back to town and Rob immediately fell in love with her. Now Rose must navigate young lust, family, and love to change the ending that everyone expects.
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Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott
Can you love someone you can never touch? In this moving story that’s perfect for fans of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, two teens fall in love with just one minor complication—they can’t get within a few feet of each other without risking their lives. This book is now a major motion picture starring Cole Sprouse and Haley Lu Richardson that you can watch right now!
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Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman
This Romeo & Juliet tells the story of two star-crossed lovers separated by privilege and power. As they prepare to protect themselves and their love, they realize that the cost will lead both of them into terrible danger…and will have shocking repercussions for generations to come. Once you've read this book, check out series on the Peacock streaming service!
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City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Of course, we had to include Alec and Magnus on this list. As a Shadowhunter and a Lightwood, Alec was never supposed to fall for High Warlock and Downworlder Magnus Bane. While Downworlders and Shadowhunters aren’t in a feud, both communities definitely have their opinions about their relationship, which Magnus and Alec are all too happy to ignore.
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American Panda by Gloria Chao
While Japanese classmate Darren isn’t a son of a rival family, he is the opposite of what Mei’s family expects as her future husband. Mei must decide how far she is willing to deviate from her parents’ master plan in this humorous, incisive book about following your heart.
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Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett
“Two households, not alike at all, In fair California, where we lay our scene…” Zorie and Lennon are experiencing the feud between the Montagues and the Capulets first hand. Their family’s businesses are contradictory and share a parking lot. However, when they must rely on each other to survive a night in the wilderness, secrets, and feelings are revealed to how and why this best friendship fell apart, and how it can be mended (and maybe turn into something…s’more ?).
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Want by Cindy Pon
Imagine if Romeo and Juliet were not just divided by a vague family feud but also by class, wealth, and their likelihood to live to a normal age. Set in a new-future Taipei where Jin Corps creates life-saving technology at the price of life-threatening pollution, Zhou decides to infiltrate the elite. Unfortunately, he finds himself having to choose between those he left behind and Daiyu, the daughter of Jin Corp’s CEO.

We all know the feeling. You reach the end of the book and it ended perfectly but you still want more. Luckily we have a list for you of the perfect companion novels to some of your favorite books. With different characters, places, and adventures, they are sure to draw in.

1. Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch

Addie, Lina’s friend from Love & Gelato, is just trying to make it through her aunt’s destination wedding in Ireland but her brother has other plans. Filled with heartbreak, a road trip, and family, Love & Luck is a guide to getting lost and finding your way back.

2. The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu

Red Scrolls of Magic is chock full of characters you know and love from the Shadowhunters novels, while revealing the never-before-seen adventure with Alec and Magnus that happens between books. Buckle up – this one is a doozy!

3. There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon

If you read When Dimple Met Rishi and found yourself wanting more of the story after it ended, then you’re in luck! Rishi’s brother Ashish stars alongside Sweetie, a self-proclaimed fat athlete who is determined to show the world what she’s really made of. Ash and Sweetie decide to date with something to prove – to themselves, to their families, and the world – but both may be surprised with what they find.

4. Run Away With Me by Mila Gray

While each of the books by Mila Gray features a new story and new characters, all of them have the small-town, coming-of-age dramatic flair. Once you read Come Back to Me, you’ll want to immediately see what other stories lie in these sleepy towns.

5. Broken Lands by Jonathan Maberry

Return to the world of Rot & Ruin with the new series that begins with Broken Lands. There are more dangers than anyone expected once Gabriella and Benny venture into new and unexplored territory.

6. The Immortals Quartet by Tamora Pierce

While these books take place a few years after The Lioness quartet, they feature an entirely new character, Daine, and explores new places in Tortall. Daine has wild magic, magic that lets her speak to animals but is also unpredictable. In the first book, Wild Magic, she’ll learn as much as she can from master mage Numair, but even that might not be enough to battle the powerful Immortals that have escaped into the human realm.

Even though we love them, family can be complicated, though hopefully no one here has to deal with hauntings, huntings, and family curses that span generations. Here’s a list of books that include cursed families and all the trouble – and teamwork – that comes with them. Because really, in the end, who else would you rather have by your side?

5 Books With Mysterious Family Curses

1. Slayer by Kiersten White

I’m not sure if it’s a blessing or a curse, but coming from a family of vampire slayers certainly makes for a more complicated family than most. While Nina likes to think of herself more of a healer than a fighter, the gifts given to her, her sister, and her classmates at the Watcher’s Academy make for a messy and interesting family dynamic. When Nina life changes forever, she must rely on her training, her friends, and her family to survive.



2. The Cold Is in Her Bones by Peternelle van Arsdale

This is less about family that is cursed than an entire village that may be cursed but I think it still counts. Milla lives near a village that lives in fear of a demon that possesses girls at random, which stirs paranoia and mistrust. Milla has lived her live away from this village, on the farm with her family, but soon will have to face the demon when it possesses her new friend Iris, and begins to infiltrate her own family.



3. Compulsion by Martina Boone

There no curse like a Southern-gothic-civil-war era curse. The Heirs of Watson Island series follow Barrie as she returns to her mother’s childhood home and finds much more than she bargained for, including a feud with a neighboring family and a curse that spans generations. Filled with the creepy, elegant atmosphere of a South Carolina plantation, forbidden romance, and a mysterious and compelling curse, Compulsion is the perfect story of the family you have now fixing the wrongs of the past.



4. The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

Nothing says cursed more than a sleepy coastal town called Sparrow where three sisters killed for being witches drown unsuspecting boys in the harbor. Newcomer Bo doesn’t know about the strange goings-on of the town, or the fate that awaits him, and it’s up to Penny to find an end the curse before it takes its next victim.


5. The Inheritance of Orquidea Divina by Zoraida Córdova

The Montoyas are used to a life without explanations. They know better than to ask why the pantry never seems to run low or empty, or why their matriarch won’t ever leave their home in Four Rivers—even for graduations, weddings, or baptisms. But when Orquídea Divina invites them to her funeral and to collect their inheritance, they hope to learn the secrets that she has held onto so tightly their whole lives. Instead, Orquídea is transformed, leaving them with more questions than answers.


Don’t stop here: check out these books with secret societies!

Like many readers, I have dreams of one day writing and publishing a book. As proven by every writer ever on Twitter and social media, myself included, WRITING IS HARD. A great thing, though, it how supportive, encouraging, and funny some of my favorite authors are when struggling with their own writing woes. Below are some of my favorite pieces of advice!

The Best Writing Advice from Authors You Love

Kiersten White, author of Slayer, knows what’s up when it comes to giving advice that is helpful and encouraging…

…and perfect for when you need a good laugh.

Cindy Pon, author of Want, has this advice for writers, particularly #ownvoices writers, struggling with telling their stories:

“I would say to keep your head down and write what matters to you and speaks to your heart. Put your story and your voice on the page because it truly does matter, and it is needed.”


Morgan Matson, author of Save the Date, shared the best advice she’s ever received and I can’t help but agree.

““You can’t edit a blank page” – meaning that it’s better to write something, even if it’s bad, and just get the words down.”


A post shared by morgan matson (@morgamat) on

It’s good to keep this advice from Andrew Smith, author of Rabbit & Robot, in mind when struggling to tell a story.

“When I write, I don’t imagine an audience because I write to please myself as a reader.”


Jason Reynolds is filled with amazing advice (he wrote a whole speech about it, actually, that you can read in For Every One). Here’s his advice to aspiring writers:

“Excellence is a habit. The way you live your life is the way you approach your novels… If you work to be great at every part of your life, writing a novel will feel natural to you. Excellence can’t be turned on and off.”


Margaret Rogerson, author of An Enchantment of Ravens, shares advice that I’ve learned to embrace as I’ve started writing more (even though it hurts sometimes).

“Don’t be afraid to throw something out and start over.”



And finally, here’s some good advice from Shaun David Hutchinson, author of We Are the Ants:

“Read a shit ton of books. Write a shit ton of pages. Ignore anyone who tells you writing is a fantasy or that you’ll never get published. Like anything else in life, if you want it badly enough you’ll get there.

Also, get a good writing chair and practice good posture. Your 35-year-old back will thank you later.”


Now go get writing!

The holidays are over, which is kind of sad. But hopefully you received lots of amazing books! And what better way to start off the New Year by showing off all your new babies with equally amazing bookends!

For those who love organization and color, or for those trying to be more organized in the New Year, these bookends are the perfect fit. (Book Recommendation: Autoboyography by Christina Lauren )



Source: MOMA


For readers who like things a little retro and love their music as much as their books (or it’s at least close). (Book Recommendation: The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash)


Source: DIYMike


For those who are feeling a little crafty! These are cute, full of character, and gives you something to do on the weekend once you’ve finished reading! (Book Recommendation: Emergency Contact)


Source: A Beautiful Mess


These add a nice rustic look to your shelves. Plus they are a great reminder of past travels or future adventure goals! (Book Recommendation: Your Destination Is On the Left)


Source: Hester Jane, Fun in the Making


For the minimalists out there, these are gorgeous and can go with any books on any shelf. Bookstagram away! (Book Recommendation: Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds)


Source: DesignAtelierArticle on Etsy


For the diehard fantasy lover in your life. (Book recommendation: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare)


Source: BookendsStore on Etsy

I have to include this one because we’ve all felt this way when we’ve tried to move a pile of books or reorganize our shelves, right? (Book recommendation: Save the Date by Morgan Matson)


Source: ARTORI Design


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