Toay I am sharing 30 books I read before I turned 30. This is a prompt I gleaned from “60 Blog Post Ideas for Book Bloggers” by Jo Linsdell. These were all books I loved and recommend to any other fans of the genre or who just think they sound interesting!

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Falling Up by Shel Silverstein – a book of poetry that captured my imagination

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine – a fairy tale retelling I come back to again and again! Read my full review here.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume – a childhood classic for a reason

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli – a solid middle grade read for those transitioning to YA

Teenage Years

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares – the start to a series featuring friendship between girls

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson – a story that spoke to me as a kid and was a comfort to me as an adult

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray – the start to a series with some wonderful fantasy and historical fiction crossover

Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier – immersed me into historical fiction geared towards adults

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – a classic I read in school that stuck with me

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – the first classic I chose to read on my own

Macbeth by William Shakespeare – I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite Shakespeare, but this was the first time I really “got” Shakespeare.

The Luxe by Anna Godbersen – an underrated, fun YA series – I am SO mad I donated my original covers


A Song for Summer by Eva Ibbotson – a historical fiction romance (not as smutty as my usual reads, but certainly get me into the genre)

Looking for Alaska by John Green – so many memorable quotes in this one

The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly – the start to a sweeping family drama series

Early Twenties

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig – a truly underrated historical romance series – Read more about it here.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier – really got me into books with more gothic vibes

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan – just genuinely enjoyed this one – Read my full review of the second book in the series here.

The Stranger I Married by Sylvia Day – the first HEAVILY erotic book I read in the historical romance genre – Read my full review here.

Late Twenties

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – a total must-read dystopian classic

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han – I enjoyed reading this YA series even though I was years seperated from my teens.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – reconnected me with my love of fantasy – Read my review for the fifth book in the series here.

You by Caroline Kepnes – the start to an engrossing series – Read my review for the third book in the series here.

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton – was so excited to dive into SFF with a diverse cast and haven’t stopped seeking this out since

Persuasion by Jane Austen – my favorite Austen

Ghost by Jason Reynolds – a compelling middle grade read that made me start enjoying books for this age group again

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell – a disturbing and compelling must-read – Read my full review here.

Would I Lie to the Duke by Eva Leigh – book two in this series just… did things for me – Read my full review here.

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi – a must read, whether you read this YA version, the original version for adults, or the new kids’ version

The Moon Within by Aida Salazar – made me fall in love with this awesome author – Read my full review here.

Have you read any of these books? Which books have you enjoyed that you consider must-reads?