The Ultimate Reading List

My current project is The Ultimate Reading List: a list of two hundred books I want to read. I go through the list, reading each book and writing about what I thought of it. At the end, I’ll rank them all.

The List

Here’s the key:

  • If a book is crossed out and has a link, I have finished and reviewed it.
  • If it is just crossed out, I have finished it and am working on a review.
  • If it has [A] (abandoned) before it, I didn’t finish it but am done with it.
  • If it has [H] (hold) before it, it is “put on hold,” meaning i haven’t abandoned it but am not interested in finishing it right now.
  • If it has an [R] (reading) before it, I am currently reading it.
  • If it has a [C] (coming) before it, I am working on getting access to a copy.
  • If it has an [S] (shelf) before it, I have access to a copy but haven’t started it.

Click on any finished one to see my review.

  1. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
  2. [A] Simon v.s. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
  3. The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel
  4. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  5. Incredible Doom by Matthew Bogart and Jesse Holden
  6. [H] The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
  7. Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart
  8. One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
  9. [A] Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
  10. They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
  11. Pumpkin Heads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks
  12. Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
  13. The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
  14. [A] Ship It by Britta Lundin
  15. This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson
  16. [R] Earthseed by Pamela Sargent
  17. [H] Good Omens by Neil Gaiman
  18. The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
  19. The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate
  20. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
  21. Bonnie and Clyde by Karen Blumenthal
  22. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
  23. Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
  24. The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee
  25. Jackpot by Nic Stone
  26. The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X. R. Pan
  27. Through the Language Glass by Guy Deutscher
  28. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
  29. Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
  30. The Unteachables by Gordon Korman
  31. The Lost Sun by Tessa Gratton
  32. [S] Rated by Melissa Grey
  33. I Feel Better with a Frog in My Throat by Carlyn Beccia
  34. Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
  35. The Movie Book by DK
  36. [S] Eragon by Christopher Paolini
  37. [R] The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu
  38. The Edge of Forever by Melissa E. Hurst
  39. Top Ten by Katie Cotugno
  40. Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett Krosoczka
  41. Waste of Space by Stuart Gibbs
  42. Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson
  43. This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee
  44. Mirror in the Sky by Aditi Khorana
  45. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  46. Gunslinger Girl by Lyndsay Ely
  47. Openly Straight by Bill Konigsburg
  48. [S] A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle
  49. Look by Zan Romanoff
  50. Dare Mighty Things by Heather Kaczynski
  51. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
  52. The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
  53. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
  54. Bloom by Kevin Panetta and Savanna Ganucheau
  55. Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
  56. Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu
  57. American Panda by Gloria Chao
  58. Flowers in the Gutter by K. R. Gaddy
  59. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
  60. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  61. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
  62. The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater
  63. The Rain by Virginia Bergin
  64. Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang
  65. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  66. The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
  67. The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
  68. Prophecy by Ellen Oh
  69. Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel by Val Emmich and others
  70. I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver
  71. The Benefits of Being an Octopus by Ann Braden
  72. Kiss Number 8 by Colleen Af Venable and Ellen T. Crenshaw
  73. Firegirl by Tony Abbott
  74. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
  75. [S] Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate
  76. Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott
  77. [S] Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley
  78. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
  79. On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden
  80. Not Your Sidekick by C. B. Lee
  81. Control by Lydia Kang
  82. A Beautiful Poison by Lydia Kang
  83. Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol
  84. [S] Greenglass House by Kate Milford
  85. [R] Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
  86. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  87. These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly
  88. Every Day by David Levithan
  89. The Program by Suzanne Young
  90. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  91. None of the Above by I. W. Gregorio
  92. Lion: A Long Way Home Young Readers’ Edition by Saroo Brierley
  93. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  94. [R] Legend by Marie Lu
  95. When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin
  96. Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell
  97. Dan v.s. Nature by Don Calame
  98. The Music of What Happens by Bill Konigsburg
  99. Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
  100. Loveless by Alice Oseman
  101. Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann
  102. Ultraviolet by R. J. Anderson
  103. Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
  104. Off the Page by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer
  105. Bumped by Megan McCafferty
  106. Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund
  107. Far Far Away by Tom McNeal
  108. Butterfly Yellow by Thanhhà Lai
  109. [S] Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan
  110. The Art of Disappearing by Elena Perez
  111. Autoboyography by Christina Lauren
  112. [R] The Strangers by Margaret Peterson Haddix
  113. I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
  114. Verona Comics by Jennifer Dugan
  115. Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds
  116. If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
  117. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon
  118. [C] Horrid by Katrina Leno
  119. Almost-American Girl by Robin Ha
  120. This One Summer by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki
  121. Overturned by Lamar Giles
  122. [S] Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams
  123. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  124. Yes She Can by Molly Dillon
  125. Some Girls Do by Clodagh Murphy
  126. This is Our Story by Ashley Elston
  127. All the Invisible Things by Orlagh Collins
  128. How Dare the Sun Rise by Sandra Uwiringiyimana
  129. On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis
  130. The Leveller by Julia Durango
  131. Coda by Emma Trevayne
  132. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
  133. Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt
  134. [S] Running Out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix
  135. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
  136. Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley
  137. Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
  138. Don’t Tell a Soul by Kirsten Miller
  139. Bi-Normal by M. G. Higgins
  140. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  141. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  142. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  143. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
  144. [R] The Runaway King by Jennifer Nielsen
  145. Matched by Allie Condie
  146. Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash
  147. Genius: The Game by Leopoldo Gout
  148. [R] The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
  149. Minders by Michele Jaffe
  150. Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise, Part 1 by Gene Luen Yang
  151. A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin
  152. Drama by Raina Telgemeier
  153. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
  154. Salvage by Alexandra Duncan
  155. The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis
  156. Undine by Penni Russon
  157. [S] The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
  158. Amulet: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi
  159. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
  160. Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas
  161. Ten Days a Madwoman by Deborah Noyes
  162. Illusive by Emily Lloyd Jones
  163. [S] Ungifted by Gordon Korman
  164. The Gravity of Us by Adam Silvera
  165. Belly Up by Eva Darrows
  166. 24 Hours in Nowhere by Dusti Bowling
  167. Follow Me Down by Tanya Byrne
  168. Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin
  169. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
  170. The Borden Murders by Sarah Miller
  171. I Am Number Four by James Frey and Jobie Hughes
  172. [S] The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  173. Adaptation by Malinda Lo
  174. The Arsonist by Stephanie Oakes
  175. Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe
  176. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
  177. Three Keys by Kelly Yang
  178. [S] Looking for Alaska by John Green
  179. More Happy than Not by Adam Silvera
  180. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
  181. My Own Worst Frenemy by Kimberly Reid
  182. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  183. Baba Yaga’s Assistant by Marika McCoola
  184. Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
  185. Speak by Lauri Halse Anderson
  186. A Spy in the House by Y. S. Lee
  187. Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova
  188. Cirque du Freak by Darren Shan
  189. The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James
  190. We Are Totally Normal by Rahul Kanakia
  191. Scythe by Neal Shusterman
  192. My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich by Ibi Zoboi
  193. Fair Coin by E. C. Meyers
  194. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  195. [S] Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes
  196. Lizard Radio by Pat Schmatz
  197. I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick
  198. You Must Not Miss by Katrina Leno
  199. Firebird by Claudia Gray
  200. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

There are books of all genres and lengths, as well as all kinds of characters and authors. I won’t read exactly one after the other, but I try to go generally in order.

Reviewing System

1. The Book

A picture of the book cover, with buttons to buy on Kindle, share, and preview for free.

2. Cover Judgment

A section written before reading, in which I do judge the book by its cover.

3. Teaser

What’s written on the back or inside cover of the book.

4. Star Rating

A star rating of 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 out of 5 stars. I do go to half-stars sometimes, but try to stick to whole ones as much as possible. The scale is very simple — 1 is bad, 2 is average, 3 is good, 4 is great, and 5 is AMAZING. I only rate a book 5 stars if I consider it to be one of the best books I’ve ever read.

5. Representation Score

A score on the book’s representation of different races, religions, sexualities, genders, neurodiversity, etc. The number can be from 1 to 5, or “Unclear.”

1/5: Every character was the same or extremely similar in terms of the above categories and more.

2/5: Either there was very little diversity, or all the characters were the same minority (in other words, there was representation but only of one community).

3/5: There was some representation. A book where all or almost all the characters were one minority group might be rated 3/5 too.

4/5: There was diversity in secondary characters or possibly a main character.

5/5: There was great representation in the main character(s) and beyond of all sorts of minorities.

Unclear: The race, religion, sexuality, etc. of the characters was not mentioned or unclear.

This score won’t affect the star rating or my main review. Although representation matters — that’s why I have this section — there could be an amazing thriller with just one character, or a humor book about animals, or a nonfiction book, or a murder mystery about some isolated European monks, where everyone is obviously of the same race, gender, and religion — et cetera. The fact that there aren’t all kinds of people doesn’t necessarily make it a bad book. I just thought it might be interesting to pay attention to the representation in all the books in this long list.


Simply my thoughts on the book, good and bad.

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