Today I’m going to go in a different direction. I’m going to talk about nothing more than some of my favorite books. These are the authors that I aspire to be like—and although I’ll skip over the obvious books like Harry Potter, know that authors like J.K. Rowling have played a big role in my writing development since I started writing on a more serious basis seven years ago.
So here they are:
I’ll start out with Unwind by Neal Shusterman. The premise—that abortion has been deemed illegal but parents can have their teenaged children “unwound,” or harvested as parts for other needy human beings, was so intriguing. I’ve yet to find a more chilling or interesting plot, and I didn’t want to put the book down as I followed the narrators towards their death.
The Gone series by Michael Grant played a huge part in my high school years (thanks Mike Abell for introducing me!). Taking a look at a fictional coastal town in California, the books explored just how children would react to an apocalyptic event—in this case, having everyone over the age of 15 disappear. Who takes charge? Who is mature enough to handle the stress of having to run the town? Only five books after the first do you really see the toll it takes on these tweens, and that’s after bouts with hunger, fear, lies, and plague.
Another series that I got into during college was Beth Revis’ Across the Universe. Three books set almost entirely on a spaceship, the books followed two teens—one waking up from cryogenic sleep—as they try to discover why things aren’t going according to plan on their trip across the universe to their new planet.
While I’ll admit that I read a lot of YA fiction—John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars and Barry Lyga’s I Hunt Killers are also favorites of mine—I have a couple of favorites that star adult protagonists.
The first is Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. I was introduced to this story by my college English professor, and I’m glad he told me about it! It’s about a laid-off tech worker who gets a job at a bookstore, only to find out that it plays a key role in a world-wide secret society of literature lovers. I really appreciated how the author married the past and the future of books.
Another favorite is Katrina Bivald’s The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend, about a Swedish tourist who travels to Iowa to meet a pen pal she didn’t know had passed away. Determined to make the most of her time in the town, she decides to start a bookstore and slowly transforms the town with her foreign charm.
Other favorites include:
Jay Asher- Thirteen Reasons Why and The Future of Us
Daniel and Dina Nayeri- Another Faust
E. Lockhart- We Were Liars and The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks (We Were Liars has perhaps the best plot twist I’ve ever read, and although I knew something was coming I would never have guessed what that something actually was.)
Carl Deuker- Payback Time
Jonathan Friesen- Rush
Siobhan Vivian- The List
Lindsay Leavitt- Going Vintage
Veronica Roth– Divergent series
That’s my list … what’s yours?
I’d love to hear from you and learn more about your favorite books. Leave a comment below with your list—what am I missing out on? I like all sorts of stories. If I decide to add one of yours to my list one day, I promise I’ll give you a special shout-out for the whole world to see!