August 16

Book Recommendations

Can I recommend a good book?

I would like to stir up conversations and interest in good books. This page is for book recommendations. I will periodically add recommendations for books that I have read and enjoyed. I would also like to include student book recommendations. If you have a book you have enjoyed, please send me a recommendation to post on this page.

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You can also find great deals on books at BookBub. You will need to enroll and fill out a questionnaire about your book/reading preferences. Then you will receive a daily e-mail with free and reduced priced offers that fit your profile.   They have deals on almost all e-reader formats.

The Raven Boys By Maggie Stiefvatte

“If Blue were to kiss her true love, he would die. This is the unwavering conclusion all the clairvoyant women in her family have reached countless times, again and again. For Blue, the situation is simple; she will never allow herself to fall in love. ” (http://realmoffiction.blogspot.com/)

On the Eve of St. Mark’s Day, April 24th, Blue joins her mother’s half-sister in the churchyard as the spirits of those fated to die within the next year walk past. T When Blue suddenly realises she can see one of the spirits, an elegant Raven Boy from Aglionby Academy, there are only two possible explanations, neither of them particularly satisfying. Either Blue is this Raven Boy’s true love… or Blue is somehow responsible for his death.

At the core of this book is a mystery – a bizarre and original mystery of ley lines, ancient kings and momentous promises. Gansey, one of the four Raven Boys key to this story, has his heart set on uncovering the resting place of Owen Glendower.  Along for the ride are hot-tempered Ronan Lynch, wealth-resenting Adam Parrish and quiet and mostly absent Noah.

The friendship between these boys is one of my favourite aspects of this book, for each Raven Boy is layered and impossible to truly understand at first. For a group of boys so different and so complex, Maggie Stiefvater managed to make them all strangely compatible. Gansey and Ronan are the stars of this book for me, though both are very nearly opposite in character. Blue does become the fifth member soon enough. Stiefvater’s writing is as eloquent as ever, almost lyrical at times, and it shines through in her well-developed characters.

There is much uncertainty surrounding elements of the plot, but not in a way which frustrates and leaves disappointment. If anything, I am more desperate than ever to get hold of a sequel. After such an impressive start to this series, I can only hope for more promising things to come. I can’t say Maggie Stiefvater’s books have always been favourites of mine, but this new book from her is quite unlike anything I have read in a while. And really, as hard as I may try, I can’t think of anything at all that I didn’t like about this book.

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Stolen by Lucy Christopher
Last summer I read Stolen. It is a book about 16 year old Gemma who is kidnapped from a Bangkok airport while traveling with her parents. She is drugged, disguised, thrown in a trunk and transported to the Sandy desert in Australia. She experiences fear, anger, annoyance and dependence at the hands of her abductor, Ty. In between attempts to escape, Gemma is forced to communicate with her abductor. It is during these times that Gemma learns Ty didn’t pick her at random. He has been watching and planning for years. Despite Ty’s erratic behavior, Gemma begins to develop feelings for him. However, Gemma isn’t sure if the feelings are real, or if she is suffering symptoms of Stockholm syndrome.

I really liked this book. I thought it was exciting and fast paced. Even though Ty was the villian, you can see how someone in Gemma’s situation could be come confused and be manipulated. It has some language scattered through the book, but is not overwhelming. I would recommend this for students in the ninth grade or higher. It is also a Printz Honor Award nominee. If you would like to learn more about the author, the book and her upcoming work you can visit her website or blog at http://www.lucychristopher.com/

Ashes by Ilsa Bick
The next book I would like to recommend is Ashes by Ilsa Bick. If you are a fan of The Walking Dead, or Zombie stories in general, you will enjoy AshesAshes follows Alex, a seventeen-year-old girl with a brain tumor, on her way through the Waukamaw wilderness. During her trip an EMP (electro magnetic pulse) wreaks havoc across the country, resulting in death, complete electronic blackout and some massive biological changes to the majority of teens across the world. The changes cause teens to turn into cannibalistic predators of the remaining normal people left in the world. Alex, a “spared” teen does not experience the change. She along with Ellie, an eight-year-old, and Tom, an soldier on military leave work together to get out of the wilderness and to a town rumored to be a safe haven. They experience multiple obstacles and dangers on the way. The sequel to Ashes isShadow. Shadows will be followed this fall by the finale Monsters. If you like books involving adventures, zombies and monsters you will enjoy this series. You can find information about the series at http://www.ilsajbick.com/.

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