Thursday, April 10, 2014

Recommended Reading - from the Girl Who Loves All Books

Last week, I finished reading Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, which was SO wonderful that I immediately created a Facebook post which urged everyone I knew to read it.  In response, several of my friends said, "Great!  I'm definitely going to read this... what else do you recommend?"  This spiraled into at least four people asking, "Can you make a list of recommendations?"

On that very same day, my boss at the library and I had a conversation about how I could never work for, say, a review journal, because I am just not a very discerning reader.  I love to write reviews of books, but I detest the system of giving 1-5 stars.  My boss claimed that I have never met a book I didn't love.  This is technically untrue--I have actually taught many books that I couldn't stand (which is one of the many reasons that I am now a librarian instead of an English teacher, but that's another story).  But as a whole, yes, I love pretty much all books.

So that conversation, coupled with the challenge to create a "recommended reading" list, left me wondering if I could, in fact, narrow my "I love all books" mentality to make a list of just the best of the best.  I've already reviewed many of these books on my blog, so to save re-writing summaries, I'm going to link to those (in the cases where I haven't reviewed the myself, I'll link to Goodreads).  Here's what I came up with:

Books that EVERYONE Needs to Read
* anything by John Green.  I love him.  He is my hero.  I would read his grocery list, and I bet it would be amazing.  If you haven't read him yet, don't even bother with the rest of this list.  Just start here:
   - Paper Towns
   - Looking for Alaska
   - The Fault in Our Stars
   - An Abundance of Katherines
   - Let It Snow (collection of short stories with Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle)
   - Will Grayson / Will Grayson (with David Levithan)
* Every Day by David Levithan
* Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Chick Lit
If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman
The List by Siobhan Vivian
* My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
* Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
* Pregnant Pause by Han Nolan
* trilogy: Shiver, Linger, and Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
* Sloppy Firsts (and I'm assuming the rest of the Jessica Darling series, though I've only read the first one) by Megan McCafferty
* Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
* The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and its subsequent series by Ann Brashares
* Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
* trilogy:  The Summer I Turned Pretty, It's Not Summer Without You, and We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han
* and anything by the queen of YA chick lit, Sarah Dessen.  Particularly recommended:
   - Lock & Key
   - What Happened to Goodbye
   - Along for the Ride
   - Just Listen
   - The Moon and More

* trilogy: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
* trilogy: Matched, Crossed, and Reached by Ally Condie
* trilogy: Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem by Lauren Oliver
* trilogy: The Knife of Never Letting Go, The Ask and the Answer, and Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness
* Scored by Lauren McLaughlin
* The Giver and Son by Lois Lowry
* Turnabout by Margaret Peterson Haddix
* Running out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix
* trilogy: Uglies, Pretties, and Specials by Scott Westerfeld

For the Guys
* Twisted by Laurie Halse
* anything by Chris Crutcher
* I Hunt Killers and Game by Barry Lyga
* The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
* Split by Swati Avasthi
* trilogy: White Cat, Red Glove, and Black Heart by Holly Black
* trilogy: The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, and The Death Cure (also the prequel, The Kill Order) by James Dashner
* Feed by M.T. Anderson
* trilogy: Wake, Fade, and Gone by Lisa McMann

* The Hate List by Jennifer Brown
* trilogy: Crank, Glass, and Fallout by Ellen Hopkins
* Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
* The List by Sioban Vivian
* Ask the Passengers by A.S. King
* The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

"What the Heck?
* Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang
* Ask the Passengers by A.S. King
* Period 8  by Chris Crutcher
* I Hunt Killers and Game by Barry Lyga
* Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
* Every Day by David Levithan
* When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
* Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

And a final shout-out to Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea, which doesn't fit anywhere else, but is a sweet story of how a teacher impacts his students' lives.

So there you have it!  Let the reading begin!  :)

1 comment:

  1. Bookmarking this post :) Thanks for sharing. Now: will you be my literary agent?