My two favorite books, equally tied in my world of perception of greatness, are Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind and The Westing Game, by Ellen Raskin. (Right about now some of you are reeling..."WHAT? Not Twilight?" Oh, my lovelies...the four books of that saga are in the top 10, rest assured. Resume your reading now.) I also adore anything Francine Rivers ever penned, as well as Steinbeck's East of Eden, which my forgetful friend, Kelly, gave to me on my 18th birthday, with an inscription that read, "Thought you'd like this--it's rather soap operaish and stuff." To this day I haven't determined if I should've been flattered or offended by that summation, but no matter. I loved it.
I love to read, clearly. It's my passion. And I am not, nor ever I have been a book snob. If I feel like reading some Stephen King, I'm reading Stephen King. (Oh, The Stand. Fabulous!) Every now and then I break out some Judy Blume, just because. Her works of fiction, for all age groups, mean that much to me. And do not even get me started on my beloved Mary Higgins Clark...I've read every word she's ever written, with rapt attention and a fondness normally reserved for members of my own family.
The last four novels I've read have had two traits in common: they were unputdownable (yeah, I made that word up!), and sold in the YA section of bookstore. YA--as in Young Adult. Heather said recently, "YA is where it's at!" Truer words have never been spoken. Hello--Twilight? The Hunger Games? (Click the links to read my posts on these two, if you're so inclined.) I rest my case.
Because I love each of you, I have to pass on my latest and greatest reads. If you're in a cold, snowy part of the country, there's no better time to curl up with a fantastic story. If you're in warm, sunny parts, I hate you. OK, I jest. Kind of. Also, because I love each of you, I'm linking each book's page on Amazon...read Amazon's synopsis (because I'm the world's worst at describing why I love a particular story), order away, and be happy.
Graceling, by Kristin Cashore, is this author's first work of fiction. My dear Angie gave me the heads up just before Christmas and because I trust her, I instantly ordered it from Amazon and read almost every word by Christmas Eve. Once I got into the story, it was unputdownable. Truly, Graceling is in my top three list of favorite reads of 2008. It also contains one of my favorite scenes I've ever read...ever...but I shant spoil it. Go read...then we'll discuss. (And thanks, Angie...I'm indebted to you for this one!)
I read this a few nights ago. In the bathrub. The entire book in less than 2 hours, while I became all pruny and waterlogged. Wake, by Lisa McMann. What made this work brilliant for me is that I literally saw it in my head as I was reading. I saw it as a movie, continually playing in my overly dramatic brain. It was fantastic. And the sequel comes out next month. It makes me happy.
Susan Beth Pfeffer's Life As We Knew It. Unputdownable, to say the least. It's the diary of Miranda, a sixteen year old girl whose life is drastically altered when a cosmic event changes the world as we know it. Somewhere Michael Bay is dreaming of bringing it to the big screen...
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, by E. Lockhart. Smart. Serious. Saucy. Utterly brilliant. Just read it. Trust me.
If you've made it this far, without skimming, I have a little reward in the form of a giveaway. Because I loved it so much, I think someone needs a copy of Graceling. An autographed copy, at that. No, not by me, by its author, Kristin Cashore. Leave a comment...and I'll pick a winner on Friday. I'll also share a few more recommended reads, some of which come by way of a middle school librarian. Now that's a gal who knows her YA literature!
OK, y'all...get reading. And then we'll discuss, as always.