Friday, April 6, 2012

Books I Like

Today, I'm pointing out a few YA books I enjoyed reading recently. One is now a major motion picture. The next is a wonderful adventure that I would love to see on the big screen some day. After that is a great new twist on an old fairy-tale.  And the last is a blast from the past (2004) which I love for its wit and memorable characters.  I highly recommend these:

I know. I know. I am late. Everyone is talking about The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  I learned about this series at our annual Halloween party, two years ago. Many kids were dressed as Hogwarts but, in between magic wand fights, they talked excitedly about a character called Katniss and a book called The Hunger Games. They highly recommended it, and after finally reading it, so do I. Even if you see the movie, read the book! I loved it.

Note: For the more mature audience,  Battle Royale is both a manga and movie. Or so I have heard, but again--sigh--I am a bit behind and haven't seen those yet!

Above World by Jenn Reese is one of the best YA books I have read in the past year. I cannot recommend it more highly. Taking place sometime in the future, this story is about Aluna, a young girl whose people (the Kampii) have adapted to living underwater, in the sea. When Aluna and her best friend Hoku discover the Kampii's breathing devices are failing, they set out on a courageous quest to find a solution and save their families. They must journey to Above World. The worlds within the story are delightful in detail; the characters, lovable. It is a rare gift for the reader when an author takes the time to create such depth within her worlds. It's much appreciated!  Usually, I can guess an ending to a book a chapter in, but this story was so original, I was pleasantly surprised at every turn. I eagerly await the next book and recommend it to many friends, young and 'less' young!

Marissa Meyer delivers. Without a doubt. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. A great variation on the old fairy tale, Cinderella. Cinder is a cyborg. She's a strong, lovable character who faces a tough world with her street smarts and resourceful optimism. It's a world that spares little sympathy for her, but I had plenty of empathy to make up for that. By the end I was reading on the edge of my seat. I still am. Loved this book. Couldn't put it down.

Okay, this is one fun book. Its title says it all, and I can't really add to that. I enjoyed Hunter and Jen's adventure in So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld and I think you will enjoy it, too.

Published eight years ago, this book is still relevant and, remarkably, very few elements feel dated. The story is a funny social commentary camouflaged within a twisting plot and hidden between some bright, clever characters skating above a 'ticking time bomb' pace.