The 50 Books I Read Since the Pandemic Began
Whether you’re in high school or college, these books are the perfect reads for whatever your mood! I swear the books on this high school reading list have been some of my all time favorite!
Back in March when the world basically shut down, I took to reading. I have always been an avid reader, but had lost touch the past few years in high school.
Once I had hours upon hours of free time, I found my love for books again. This is a collection of the 50 books that I’ve read from my high school reading list.
When I was in eighth grade, my english teacher had us keep a list of all of the independent reading we were doing.
Most people didn’t have much, but my over-productive self had read 40 books that school year. I wish I could get a copy of that list now, but unfortunately it is lost somewhere in cyber space.
So this time around, I wanted to keep a list on paper, somewhere I would always have it to look back on in the future. And that is exactly what I did.
In the back of my journal, I have been keeping track of all the books I have read since March of 2020. I finally hit 50 books (most of which I am OBSESSED with) and wanted to share them all with you.
Seriously though, I don’t think you understand how excited I am to be writing this article. I LOVE LOVE LOVE talking about books, but don’t have too many friends that read. So even though I am not really talking with a real person about these books, it’s close enough!
This post is all about a high school reading list!
Before I start the list…
I won’t be giving you a plot overview of the books because I am super bad at that (I end up just spoiling the whole book!), I’ll just be giving you my high school reading list.
BUT, if you click on the title of each book, you can read what they are about on Goodreads!
One more thing before I get into the list, I have basically read a little of everything this past year. I love dystopian young adult, and recently have loved historical fiction. I also read a few classics, some romance.
Like I said, a little bit of everything and definitely something for everyone.
#1-2: Secrets and Lies Series
Author: D’Ann Burrow
- Playing by the Rules
- Dangerous Games
To be completely honest, I don’t remember much about these books (these are the first on high school reading list). They were pretty good, but definitely a slow series.
If you are looking for something to get you into reading, these are not the books. The plot seemed super interesting, but after finishing the series I remember thinking that nothing really happened the whole time. Not my favorite, but still a pretty good series.
#3-7: The Selection Series
Author: Kiera Cass
- The Selection
- The Elite
- The One
- The Heir
- The Crown
Ok I just need to take a moment to give this series the credit it deserves. THESE ARE MY FAVORITE BOOKS. Like, I have read hundreds of books and these are and will always be my favorite.
Basically, The Bachelor meets The Hunger Games.
If that alone doesn’t get you to read these books, don’t worry, I have more to say. I read these books in 8th grade and they singlehandedly are responsible for my love of reading.
I have read the whole series about 5 times through since then and love them even more every single time. And an added bonus: a Netflix movie about the first one is coming out soon!!
If you want to get into reading, this is the series. If you are already into reading, this is also the series for you. Basically if you just know how to read, this is the series you should be adding to your own high school reading list.
#8-14: Harry Potter Series
Author: J.K. Rowling
- Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone
- Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets
- Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter & the Dealthy Hallows
There is not much that needs to be said here. I read the Harry Potter Series for the first time this summer (yes, I know I’m a little late to the game!) and fell in love. And the movies of course, you can’t forget the movies!
Harry Potter is such a magical story, I absolutely loved reading it. It may be long, but that makes it so much better to read because you can really connect with the characters. I still remember how bittersweet it was when I finished the series.
There are also some other books that go with this series, but I didn’t read any of those.
#15-18: The Hunger Games Series
Author: Suzanne Collins
- The Hunger Games
- Catching Fire
- The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes
How can these books not be on my high school reading list?! I first read this series in 8th grade (if you can’t tell, that was a big reading year for me) and absolutely loved it. Definitely on my list for one of my favorites. Then this year the fourth book came out, so I wanted to reread them all again.
First of all, these books are absolutely incredible. Second, the new one is equally as incredible. The fourth one is a prequel to the original story and explains so much about the plot!
It was so interesting to read and learn new things about the characters after already having read the books and seen the movies.
Oh and side note: The Hunger Games movies are literally my favorite movies ever. So, if you don’t want to read the books (which you seriously should), at least watch the movies!
#19: The Betrothed
Author: Kiera Cass
I read this book only because the author is the same author as The Selection and those are my favorite. I was slightly disappointed, but probably only because I had such high expectations for this book. It was a really great book, but it was a little slow. It had a really great plot though.
Also, as I am writing this article I just found out that there is a sequel coming out in July! So, if you are planning on reading this, keep in mind another one is coming.
#20-22: Divergent Series
Author: Veronica Roth
Divergent is also one of my favorites (yes, I have a lot of favorites). I absolutely love the characters and the story and everything about these books. If you like The Selection or The Hunger Games, these should definitely be next on your list!
The movies were really good on their own, but compared to the books they were not amazing.
#23: The Paper Girl of Paris
Author: Jordyn Taylor
I really wanted to try to branch out my genres this year, so I read this to get into historical fiction. And let me just say, this is my favorite historical fiction book I have read.
This book is extremely well written and I loved the plot. The story went back and forth between the past and the present, so it didn’t feel like I was reading historical fiction.
There was some romance, some mystery, and a little of some other genres. I would 1000% recommend, whether you are looking to read historical fiction or not.
#24-27: Legend Series
Author: Marie Lu
I heard these books were similar to all my other favorite dystopian series, so I thought I would give them a try. I was definitely not disappointed. While I didn’t love them quite as much as some of the other series, they were really great books.
#28-30: Maze Runner Series
Author: James Dashner
- The Maze Runner
- The Scorch Trials
- The Death Cure
This is another pretty popular series that was on my high school reading list.
The series actually has 5 books, but I didn’t love it and decided not to finish. Going into these books, I was expecting Hunger Games and Divergent vibes. It started out pretty good and basically went downhill for me.
These were not my favorite books and I probably won’t ever try to finish the series.
On another note, I was also super disappointed with the movies. The first one was pretty good, but the others were nothing like the books, which was super disappointing.
#31: We Were Liars
Author: E. Lockhart
Wow. This was a good book. Going into this book, I knew nothing about it except that it had a crazy surprise ending. So I read it and it did not disappoint.
Let’s just say, I was sitting in my bed at one in the morning with my jaw on the floor I was so surprised at the ending. This was a really interesting plot to read, plus it had a little bit of every genre. I would definitely recommend reading this.
Author: Mary Shelley
I read this for school and didn’t love it. Definitely would not choose to put it on my high school reading list, but it was my summer reading assignment.
#33: Angela’s Ashes
Author: Frank McCourt
This was the second book of my summer reading assignment. Also would not choose to read this book. It wasn’t horrible, but it was a really sad book.
#34: Little Women
I read this because I really wanted to try to read more classics and I am so happy I did. It took me forever to read and definitely took awhile to get into it, but once I did I really loved it. Such a cute and happy story!
Now that I am writing this article, I just realized Little Women is part of a series! I didn’t read any of the other ones, but I would love to reread Little Women with the rest of them.
#36-37: Debutantes Series
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
- Little White Lies
- Deadly Little Scandals
Holy sh*t this was a really good series. Like, really really really good. I would definitely consider this a mystery series, but it really had a little of everything.
It was all about high society plus a bunch of family drama and some romance. I literally never wanted to put the book down when I read these. So so so so so good. If you need something to add to your own high school reading list, this is it!
#38: Genuine Fraud
Author: E. Lockhart
I read this book for two reasons. One, it is the same author as We Were Liars which I loved; and two, I had read a lot of really good reviews about it.
I was honestly pretty disappointed when I read this and definitely did not love it. It was a really good storyline, but I was super confused the whole time.
The novel is written in backwards order (starting in the present and working its way back) and I am sure that was supposed to have some sort of effect, but it just made me confused.
#39: The Girl with the Red Balloon
Author: Katherine Locke
This is another really great historical fiction book that I read. Super informational without seeming informational and boring. It also had a little science fiction in it (time travel stuff) which made it very interesting.
This book has a sequel as well but I didn’t read the second one because it was different characters.
#40: Leaving Time
Author: Jodi Picoult
This book was very different than what I usually read, but my friend recommended it so I thought I would give it a try. And I was not disappointed. It is definitely a slower book in the beginning, but I promise it picks up.
And there is a crazy surprise ending in this one too! This book kept me up way past midnight a bunch of times, most of which I was laying in bed at 2 in the morning crying (the sign of a good book).
#41: Four Dead Queens
Author: Astrid Scholte
This book was nothing special, but it was still pretty good. I really loved the storyline and the characters. It also had a little of every genre: mystery, romance, dystopian, and some others.
#42: Before We Were Yours
Author: Lisa Wingate
Me and my grandma had a field day over this book! Wow, this was such an incredible story.
This is also historical fiction, but very different than the other ones on this list. It is all about an adoption scandal, told from the point of view of a little girl. It did get very sad at times (yes, I was crying in my bed in the middle of the night for this book as well), but it was such an incredible story.
The plot switched back and forth between the past and the present, which made it so so interesting.
#43: Girl, Serpent, Thorn
Author: Melissa Bashardoust
I had seen so many Instagram ads about this book so I decided to just read it. My opinion about this one was similar to Four Dead Queens. There was nothing bad about it, it just wasn’t as amazing as some others I have read.
#44-50: Shatter Me Series
Author: Tahereh Mafi
- Shatter Me
- Unravel Me
- Ignite Me
- Restore Me
- Defy Me
- Imagine Me
- Unite Me & Fine Me (collection of novellas)
Ok this series comes in #2 of my favorites behind The Selection series. Wow, this series is so so so so good. I read these books for the first time a few years ago, but the last book (Imagine Me) wasn’t written yet. So, I decided in January that I would reread them all to finally finish the story. And I am SO glad I did.
This series is a similar genre to The Hunger Games (dystopian with a love triangle). It is such a great series and I seriously could not put the books down. I read the entire series in 3 weeks because they were so good.
Hopefully my high school reading list this past year will encourage you to pick up a book and read! And if you do, let me know! I seriously LOVE to talk about books so DM me on Instagram if you read (or have read) any of these books!
If you are looking for even more book recs, I’ve got you covered: 23 Best Books For College Girls That You Have To Read!
This post was all about my high school reading list!
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[…] that I always take a lot longer to fall asleep. If you want to start reading before bed, check out The 50 Books I Read Since the Pandemic Began. I have some great suggestions in this article about my favorite books from the past year that […]
I love the Selection series! Literally my favorite series ever! And there’s a Netlifx movie coming out soon about the first one?! I’m so ready.
Right I absolutely love those books! And I am SO excited for the movie to come out!
Awesome list, thanks for sharing! I see a few I have read before and loved, and some others I want to check out for sure. I love reading so I always love new recommendations!
Thanks Sarah! Let me know what you end up reading!