Mackenzi Lee is the New York Times bestseller of The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and a majorly popular author in the YA genre. When asked to pick three of her favorite books of all time, she said, “Picking three books with no rules is my nightmare! There are so many books I want to recommend. So let’s try this… ”
In celebration of Teen Reads Week, these are the books that Mackenzi Lee reads.
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
My most favorite, go-to recommendation. Code Name Verity is the story of two young women involved in the British war movement during WWII – one is a spy, one is a pilot, and when they’re shot down over Nazi-occupied France, one of them is captured and the other disappears. This book is a gorgeous, emotional story of friendship, sacrifice and resistance. I love it so much I even named my puppy after the main character!
Less by Andrew Sean Greer
This is a new favorite for me – I only read it a few weeks ago and haven’t stopped thinking about it. Arthur Less, the midlist author and once lover of a much more famous poet, has accepted every speaking engagement offered him to avoid his ex-boyfriend’s wedding, and the looming specter of turning fifty. What follows is a trip around the world with various misadventures and meditations on aging, love, sexuality, art and travel. I love love loved this book – it made me laugh out loud and weep in turn.
Bones & All by Camille DeAngelis
For fans of Her Body and Other Parties, which I almost recommended, this feminist horror read is perfect for October. For as long as she can remember, Maren has had an issue – the way she expresses desire is by eating the boy she likes. Bones and all. As she sets off to find the father she never knew, she encounters other people like her, and truths about herself. A rare book that manages to be both a compelling story at face value and a deeper critique of subjects like meat eating and the way we villainize female sexuality, this book kept me up reading late, and then kept me up even later because I was too freaked out to sleep!