Sunday, December 13, 2009

Recommended reading list

A few weeks ago a friend asked me what book she should read next. I listed off a few that I love. These were from all genres. After a brief discussion, I told her that I'd publish a list on my blog of recommended reading. Below are some of my favorites. They are in no particular order. They are fairly recent books. (Within the last 10 or so years.)

1. The Giver-- Lois Lowry-- YA--The story is set in a Utopian society where memories of anything bad have been eradicated. -- Fantastic book. An easy read and one of my all time favorite to teach. There are some shocking, disturbing parts, but all in all, it's a great book for discussion

2.My Sister's Keeper--Jodi Picoult--General Fiction-- A young girl believes she has been bred as extra parts for her sick sister and seeks medical emancipation. -- Huge twist at the end. Picoult always keeps the story moving and the reader on edge.

3. Twilight series--Stephenie Meyer--YA-- Vampires--To those who don't like anything having to do with vampires, stay away. It's a love story that spans four books. I personally loved the first one, (Twilight) kind of liked the second (New Moon), loved the third (Eclipse) and hated the fourth (Breaking Dawn). Once you read one, you have to read them all.

4. The Hunger Games series-- Susanne Collins-- YA--LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this book and it's sequel, Catching Fire. The third comes out next summer. The story is set in a futuristic society that seems as though it has fallen into the past. Poverty, government control, etc. The government uses the annual hunger games to remind the populus of it's role in their daily lives. Each year at the reaping, one boy and one girl are chosen by a lottery to play in the hunger games. It is a fight to the death that is televised to the entire nation. The last man or woman standing is given riches, housing, food for their family and celebrity status whether they want it or not.

5. Shiver-- Maggie Stiefvater--YA-- For all you vampire fans who loved Jacob, here is a werewolf story for you. It's not exactly what I expected. It did have a little bit of a love story, but the story extended beyond that. If you like a good solid story that's just for fun. Try it.

6.The Chosen One--Carol Lynch Williams--YA-- This one was given to me as a gift and was very interesting. It's set in what some would define as a cult group. One young girl of 16 is chosen to be the ninth (or so...I can't remember the exact number) wife of her 60 year old uncle. Enough said.

7.Luxe-- Anna Godbersen--YA--Set in Old New York, this story follows Elizabeth Holland and her family as she discovers what it means to follow her heart. Will she marry the rich and handsome womanizer, Henry Schoonmaker, or will her sister steal him from under her nose? Or maybe he will fall for her best friend, the one who is trying to undermine her wedding plans. It's too bad that she isn't in love with Mr. Schoonmaker, which is good news for Will, the stable hand, that is, if Elizabeth ever builds up enough courage to tell him she loves him. To add to the mix is the secret that the Holland family has secretly lost their fortune. That's why Elizabeth's mom has arranged this wedding to Henry.

This story added some twists and turns, but it was a little predictable. I have to admit that I would have been disappointed if it had not fulfilled my predictions. For those who wonder, there was sex, but it was tastefully done for the YA crowd without specific details. This is appropriate for the older YA readers out there.

8. Just about anything by Sarah Dessen--YA-- Dessen writes easy to read chick books. Just Listen, Someone Like You, The Truth About Forever are just a few.

9. Uglies Series-- Scott Westerfeld-- Again this is a futuristic society book. (I seriously don't go looking for these type. They just find me.) This time it's a place where at age 16 the young people are sent to pretty town to have plastic surgery to make them all look like super models. The catch is that they also are turned "Bubbly" (aka, stupid) This is what Tally Youngblood plans until she finds out about a group of uglies that decide being pretty isn't what they want. The series starts with Uglies, then Pretties, Specials and Extras.

10. Tangerine--Edward Bloor-- YA-- The main character is legally blind but still plays soccer. It follows his troubles through school with the lingering question of how he became blind hanging over the entire story.

I'll stop there for today. I'll add a list of titles without explanations for those of you who can look up the explanations on your own. :)