Friday, July 13, 2012
It's been way too long since my last list of recommended reads! For this batch of YA titles, I thought I'd focus on fun, easy reads and/or series perfect for taking on vacation or, if you grab the audio versions, for long car rides.
These books are heavy on adventure and humor, and light on drama: kind of the equivalent of a popcorn movie. (And I mean that in only the best possible way.)
So, in no particular order, here goes:
I was a little surprised no one suggested this series after my last review post; these books (there are three, I think - or is it four?) are pure adrenaline, with almost non-stop action and torturous cliff-hanger endings. The endings were my biggest beef; there's no closure at all, so you'll want to have the next title already on hand, if possible. I remember having a few other issues with the story, too, but the heroine Max is amazing - tough and yet still relatable - and the fast pace will make the pages really zip by. Besides, they're genetically mutated kids who have giant wings - c'mon, that is AWESOME.
[Correction: per the comments, there are now eight (EIGHT??) books in the series - but someone suggested Patterson should have stopped after four. Heheh.]
This was a series John actually picked up before I did, and I only started it myself after seeing him devour so many of the titles. (I've lost track of how many there are now - eight? Nine?) The writing is for a slightly younger audience than most of the YA fiction I read (there are fart jokes. You have been warned) but they're great fun and perfect for finishing in one or two sittings, if you're a quick reader. In a nutshell, Artemis is a budding evil genius who stumbles across the world of the fairies - but these fairies pack less glitter and more guns.
Sound like fun? Believe me, it is!
I was about to recommend The Lightning Thief, but then I remembered: I already did! (I really need to get a master list going of all my reviews...) So instead, how about The Lost Hero, the first book in another of Rick Riordan's series called Heroes of Olympus:
The Red Pyramid. That one is set in Egypt, but it just didn't grab me the way his Olympus series have. (The narrative style by the two main characters drove me a little batty.)
If you like modern-day re-tellings of myths (like Rick Riordan's work up there), then you'll love Gerald Morris' re-tellings of the Arthurian legends. It's not set in the modern day, but the language and writing is more current, and it's filled with humor and unbelievably endearing characters. Compared to the other books in this post it might seem a bit tame, adventure-wise, but there are quests and snappy dialogue and lovable characters that will keep you coming back for more. And if that doesn't convince you, I'm pretty sure this is one of John's favorite series of all time; he's read all eleven or so in the series, and was positively giddy the last time a new one came out.
This is, quite literally, a haunting tale - but despite the cover art it's not scary at all. Promise. :) Two teens get "stuck" between worlds after a car crash, and their adventures in Everlost are both gripping and bizarre. The premise is fabulous - a truly creative twist on the supernatural - but something didn't quite click for me with the characters, and the ending left me a bit hollow. Still, give it a try if the premise sounds interesting; from all the stellar reviews over on Amazon, I'd say I'm in the minority by not loving it.
The Wee Free Men, by Terry Pratchett
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