There’s a lot of books out there. Some are good, some are bad, and some fall into the “meh” category. But once in a while there’s a book, or a book series, that we can’t help but finish reading and wonder, “Why didn’t I write that?”
There’s no rhyme or reason to how we get our ideas the way we do, or why they develop a certain way in our minds. At least for me, that is! But every story idea is unique to every author, and it’s part of what makes the writing process so fun. That said, it still doesn’t change the fact that sometimes we look at a book and wish we’d gotten that idea first!
So here’s a list of books I find so good, I just can’t help but wish I’d written them myself.
#1: Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian
If you’ve been following me for a while now, you’ll know I’ve mentioned this book quite a bit and how it reignited my passion for reading. I owe a lot to this book. Not only is it well-written, but the world building is great and I love the characters. Sebastian’s debut novel is one that has continued to be a favorite on my list. And I really think it stands out amongst a lot of other YA fantasies on the shelves.
#2: A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas
Okay, I know, I know. This one shouldn’t be a surprise. I started reading A Court of Thorns and Roses before reading Throne of Glass, and I fell in love with Maas’s writing. Her writing style is beautiful, and she really knows how to craft a story. She also has a knack for creating really interesting side characters. The entire series was a blast to read, and I really enjoyed it.
#3: The Rift: Uprising by Amy S. Foster
Alternate universes – they’re a thing I don’t feel is mentioned a lot in fiction books. You definitely see them when it comes to comic books, but in terms of science fiction novels? I haven’t seen many. I think the concept of explaining alternate universes, and an entire multiverse, is really hard to explain, but Foster does an amazing job of summarizing it in this book. Her world-building is so well thought out and captivating, and the concept is one I’d never seen before.
#4: The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
No one should be surprised by this one! Like so many others, I grew up reading and watching everything Harry Potter. Rowling created a literal world of magic, one that to this day still has readers in love with her work and her wizarding world. Her level of imagination is seriously something to strive for!
#5: The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
This was the last book I read in 2018, and I loved it. The writing and story were both gorgeous. The storyline was so unique. It takes a lot to make me cry because of a book – and this one really got the water works going. Ernshaw’s ability to spin her witchy tale was so captivating that I just couldn’t put this book down.
#6: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
This is a recent read for me. But man, as much as I love thrillers, I’m usually a little disappointed by them. This one? It blew me away. While I wasn’t a fan of Lockhart’s writing style in the beginning, by page fifty, I was hooked. Her writing is superb and beautifully written. The mystery constantly kept me on my toes, and I was always wondering what would happen next. I read a lot of thrillers, and by far this has been one of the best.
#7: Hate List by Jennifer Brown
Like The Wicked Deep, this one had me crying by the final couple of pages. The characters are what sucked me in. I could relate so much to the MC, Valerie, and what went on months before the plot of this book. The emotions the characters felt were so raw and real, that I couldn’t help but feel for them at every turn.
#8: The Watersong quartet by Amanda Hocking
Mermaids and sirens. They’re something you don’t see a lot of on the shelves. The Watersong series was Hocking’s first traditionally published works. She spins a unique tale of mermaids and sirens and Greek mythology, blending together interesting characters with the beach side tourist town that always sucks me in. This series doesn’t get nearly the recognition it deserves.
#9: Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
This shouldn’t be a surprise either. Martin’s series has become a worldwide phenomenon. While his writing isn’t quite as lyrical as I normally like, his ability to craft characters and give them each unique backgrounds, plotlines, and histories is such a talent. His world is so immersive, and it’s no wonder his series has gained the recognition it deserves.
#9: The Fear Street series by R.L. Stine.
Okay, okay. Technically not all the Fear Street books are a series. And technically R.L. Stine has written over 100 Fear Street books, not including the news ones that have been released in the past couple of years. I picked up my first Fear Street book in the school library and fell in love with the books, which took me on a quest to read every single Fear Street book he’s ever written. (I think I’ve read 90% of them). But Stine’s ability to write unique, interesting horror stories in such short word-counts, and build an entire world around his town of Shadyside, has always captivated me. The books don’t necessarily live up to some of the horror books nowadays, but they’re still a major piece of nostalgia for me.
#10: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
This one might come as a shock. Twilight is certainly not the most well-written book, or even the most imaginative, or well…it definitely has a lot of bad things about it. But forget about the writing for a second. Think about the aftermath of Twilight. I remember when the books came out and I was in middle school. A friend recommended the books to me, and of course at that age, I was hooked. But I remember what happened after: kids all over my school were reading Twilight. Classmates I’d never seen hold a book suddenly had their noses buried in library copies (which were frequently checked out and hard to get). My entire school was Twilight crazy. Say what you will about the bad quality, but you can’t deny that Twilight had a serious positive impact on encouraging kids to read.