Imagine being stranded on a desert island; you’re all alone, your ship is wrecked, and all of your belongings are floating in the ocean. And of course the first thing you should save is your books! Duh! Well, you should probably find food and make shelter, but the books are important too! Here are the books that I would bring if I was on a desert island.
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Entwined by Heather Dixon
This mystical tale is the retelling of a classic story called “The Twelve Dancing Princesses”. The story is about twelve princesses who lose their mother. The eldest daughter, Azalea, receives a silver handkerchief from her mother the night she passes away. Azalea discovers that upon rubbing her silver handkerchief on a D’Eathe mark, left behind by the previous kingdom, secret passageways and rooms appear. Azalea rubs the mark and finds a secret staircase leading down. Her and her eleven sisters find a beautiful wonderland with silver trees and a pavilion full of enchanted dancers. They come across the Keeper, a rebel who was locked away in the castle by the previous king. The Keeper tells the girls to dance their hearts out and invites them to come back every day. They dance so much they wear through their slippers and are constantly exhausted. However, things become dark when the Keeper turns out to be not so friendly.
(You can read more about the original fairy tale here: The Twelve Dancing Princesses)
This may seem like a children’s book about a fairy tale, however the language and beautiful imagery makes this a read for all ages. I chose this novel because of the fantastical story and the headstrong female characters that make this old tale come alive. I recommend Entwined for everyone, but it’s best suited for young girls ages ten to fourteen. So, if you’re looking for a enchanting story to curl up in, this is a good choice.
Check it out here: Entwined by Heather Dixon
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
This is quite perfectly suited to read on a desert island…because it’s about being stranded on a desert island. As the title suggests, fifty “beauty queens” are competing in the Miss Teen Dream Pageant and are on their way to the beach to play in the sand and soak up the sun, but they end up crashing on a desert island.
There’s drama, mischief, and a lot of tongue-in-cheek humor to go around. These girls must work together to survive on this island, or die trying. I don’t want to give away too much, but I would describe this novel as Lord of the Flies with girls with a modern twist. Definitely a great desert island read.
Check it out here: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
I know what you’re thinking; reading about France while I’m stuck on a island trying to survive?!
This book is adorable, funny, sweet, charming, and one of my favorite books of all time! Anna is a senior in high school in Atlanta, excited to finish her last year when she is sent to a boarding school in Paris. She’s disheartened leaving behind her great job, best friend, and blossoming crush in Georgia for a brand new school in a whole new country…until she meets Étienne St. Clair.
Anna finds herself with an awesome group of guys and gals who make her feel at home, including Étienne. She explores Paris, makes friends (and enemies), and falls in love all while trying to pass her classes.
I’ve come back to this book so many times and it has never disappointed. The writing is witty and fun, and the characters could easily be your best friends. This book will always be in my collection, and would absolutely be the first thing I’d save if I was stranded.
Check it out here: Anna and the French Kiss
The Game of Thrones Series by George R.R. Martin
Yes, you read that right. I’d bring the whole series (well, as many as I could fit in a carry-on). I figure I’ll probably be on that island for a while, so maybe I’d finally get around to reading this series.
If you somehow haven’t heard about Game of Thrones, the books or the HBO show, it’s about the fictional Seven Kingdoms of Westeros and the entire continent of Essos. These books follow the violent power struggle between the noble families of the kingdoms. There’s battles, monarchies, romance, magic, and some humor thrown in for good measure.
If you don’t want to read the books, of course, you could check out Game of Thrones on HBO or if you want general overview to see if it’s a series for you, you can check out the Wikipedia page here (it’s about as long as one of the books!).
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
I couldn’t be stranded on a desert island without my favorite Harry Potter book, now could I?
Again, if you somehow haven’t heard about Harry Potter yet, this magical story follows the life of young Harry Potter. Growing up, he had a tough life living with his aunt, uncle, and cousin who treated him like scum. That is, until he discovers the world of magic. He goes on to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he also finds he’s somewhat famous for defeating He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named (Voldemort) as a child. Harry, with his best friends, Ron and Hermione, fight trolls and basiliks, hunt for horcruxes, and meet lots of interesting characters along the way.
This book, The Goblet of Fire, depicts the Triwizard Tournament where (usually) three wizards compete for their schools in a series of three challenges. Students from the other wizardry schools come to Hogwarts in hopes of competing in the Tournament. However, after the three contestants are chosen, the Goblet spits out a fourth contestant; Harry. He is forced to compete in this challenges, while the thoughts of He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named swirl around in his head.
I haven’t heard many people say this is their favorite of the series, but it is definitely mine. I love the idea of the Tournament and getting to see students from schools other than Hogwarts. So, this book would have to come with me on a desert island.
Well, that’s all for me, folks! I hope you enjoyed reading about my desert island picks. Be sure to share your picks with me in the comments down below or on Instagram @literary_lily.