Welcome to Shelf Life, ELLE.com’s books column, in which authors share their most memorable reads. Whether you’re on the hunt for a book to console you, move you profoundly, or make you laugh, consider a recommendation from the writers in our series, who, like you (since you’re here), love books. Perhaps one of their favorite titles will become one of yours, too.
Millie Bobby Brown, of Stranger Things fame, has now added “author” to her resume. Nineteen Steps (Harper Collins), released on September 12, is her debut novel and the story is a personal one. Part historical fiction and part romance, the book is inspired by her grandmother’s experience in London during World War II and follows an 18-year-old young woman named Nellie who works as a secretary and eventually falls in love with a U.S. Air Force pilot.
Born in Spain, the 19-year-old actress moved to England as a child and later relocated to America. When she first began acting, she made guest appearances on shows like Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, NCIS, Modern Family, and Grey’s Anatomy before landing her most notable role yet in Netflix’s Stranger Things, for which she is a two-time Emmy nominee.
The book that…
…kept me up way too late:
Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros. I couldn’t put it down!
…made me weep uncontrollably:
A Thousand Boy Kisses. This is one of the saddest books I have ever read.
…I recommend over and over again:
Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren.
…made me rethink a long-held belief:
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. This book really makes you think all about our choices in life and that big question of “Where would I be if I had made a different choice?” It’s a book that definitely made me self-reflect.
…I read in one sitting, it was that good:
Happy Place by Emily Henry.
…I’d pass on to my kid:
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I think it shows the importance of being kind to one another particularly when children are in school as you never know what people are going through. It is also a great story to show what people can become when they are themselves!
…I’d like turned into a TV show:
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas.
…I first bought:
I first bought Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. And then I watched the films, and I was obsessed with Robert Pattinson!
…has the best title:
…broke my heart:
The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo.
…should be on every college syllabus:
The Alchemist because this book is about how everyone makes mistakes, but it is important to not give up on your dreams. Get up and try again!
…I consider literary comfort food:
Normal People by Sally Rooney. This story is so beautiful and one of my all time favorites.
…features the coolest book jacket:
Magnolia Parks by Jessa Hastings. She has the most amazing covers for her books.
…everyone should read:
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak everyone should read. This is one of my favorite historical fiction novels!
Juliana Ukiomogbe is the Assistant Editor at ELLE. Her work has previously appeared in Interview, i-D, Teen Vogue, Nylon, and more.