Recommended Books

Here are some books that I absolutely love! (My summaries of these books suck, I know.) More recommendations to be posted!

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer
This book is a futuristic take on the “Cinderella” fairy-tale. This retelling takes place in New Beijing and is about Cinder, a cyborg who lives with her stepmother and stepsister. Cinder uncovers political secrets when she works on Prince Kai’s android and begins to discover a few secrets about herself. Seriously, this book has cyborgs, people from the moon, and the plague. A very original take on Cinderella.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns trilogy #1) by Rae Carson
Every century, someone is chosen to complete a grand task. This someone carries the Godstone in their navel, a living, pulsing stone. The stone marks the chosen one and often puts them in danger. Elisa is the youngest of two princesses, overweight and self-conscious and can’t understand why God chose her for a great destiny. After she marries King Alejandro and is then kidnapped, Elisa begins to uncover her destiny. This book is an interesting fantasy, with a Hispanic-inspired fantasy world, and a strong protagonist.

The Immortals Quartet by Tamora Pierce
Veralidaine Sarrasri has always been good with animals, but what she doesn’t realize is that she has magic. While training with the mage Numair, Daine discovers that Immortals, powerful creatures locked away centures ago, have been unleashed from their prison and plan to declare war on the mortals.

Divergent by Veronica Roth
Interesting, new dystopia, though the world-building could use a little work. (I couldn’t think of a summary)

Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
This isn’t a YA series, but it’s still enjoyable. This series is about brother-and-sister Kendra and Seth, who, while visiting their grandparents, discover that their grandparents’ estate is actually one of five magical preserves where magical creatures come to live.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
Funny, exciting series about Percy Jackson, a demigod son of Poseidon. I’d also recommend the sequel series, The Heroes of Olympus.

Graceling and Fire by Kristin Cashore
Graceling is about Katsa, a young woman Graced with killing (Graces are extreme skill at something.) Fire is its pseudo-prequel, about a young woman named Fire, a human monster (a monster is a brightly-colored creature able to control people’s minds.) I say “pseudo-prequel” since, while it has its connections to Graceling, you don’t have to read it first. In fact, Fire has some Graceling spoilers, so you might want to read Graceling first. Interesting new fantasies. There’s also a third in the series, Bitterblue, which I haven’t read yet.

My Fair Godmother and My Unfair Godmother by Janette Rallison
Chrysanthemum Everstar isn't exactly the best fairy godmother around. In an attempt to raise her grade to enter Fairy Godmother Academey, Chrissy takes on two extra-credit projects (one in Fair and the other in Unfair.) The first book details Chrissy attempting to help Savannah Delano find a prom date, with disastrous results that land Savannah back in the Middle Ages. The second book is about Chrissy trying to help Tansy Miller, who accidentally got on the wrong side of the law. In an disastrous attempt to help Tansy, Chrissy sends Robin Hood into the present-day and accidentally sends Tansy and her family back into the Middle Ages to recreate the story of Rumpelstiltskin. Light, fun romp. I'd also recommend Rallison's other books as well.

The Books of Bayern by Shannon Hale
A four-part series. The first novel is The Goose Girl, which is a retelling of a lesser-known Brothers Grimm tale. Anidori Kiladra Talianna Isilee, or "Ani", is sent away from her native home in Kildenree to marry the prince of Bayern. On the way, she is betrayed by her lady-in-waiting, Selia, and left in the woods so Selia can go off to marry the prince. The second book is Enna Burning, which takes place about two years after Goose Girl. Enna discovers the language of fire and while fire-speaking at first seem like a grand ability, it proves to be more dark and twisted than Enna bargained for. River Secrets is the third book in the series and is about Razo, a character in Goose Girl and Enna Burning. He goes to Tira, a country Bayern had been at war with, with Bayern's Own in an attempt to create a peace treaty. As dead Tiran bodies turn up and all signs point to the Bayern as the murders, Razo must find out who the murderer is before time is up. Forest Born is the fourth book, about Rinna "Rin", Razo's younger sister. Rin has always had a connection with the trees in her Forest home, but as of the late, the trees seem to have turned on her. Rin attempts to escape her problems by traveling with Queen Isi, Enna, and Lady Dasha to the country of Kel, where an enemy waits. (Yeah, those summaries sucked, I know.) I love this series. Loooove this series. Go read it. Now. ;)

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
Miri lives on Mount Eskel, a sloping mountain that looks down on the country of Danland. When lowlanders (people from Danland) come up to the mountain announcing the prince's desire for a wife, all girls twelve to eighteen are taken to a school on the mountain to train to become princesses. At the end of their schooling, one will be chosen by the prince to be his bride. This book is another amazing Shannon Hale novel. It was the winner of the 2005 Newbery Honor. The sequel, Palace of Stone, will be released August 2012.

Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
Yup, another Shannon Hale novel. I adore her books. Book of a Thousand Days is a retelling of "Maid Maileen" (I don't think I spelled that right), another Grimm fairy tale. It's the diary of Dashti, who is a maid to the Lady Saren. They are being locked up in a tower for seven years due to Saren's refusal to marry. When Saren's two suitors begin to visit the tower, Dashti pretends to be Saren, which ends up getting them into more trouble once they escape the tower. (If that made any sense.)

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
A historical novel set in 1940s Russia. The book is about fifteen-year-old Lina, who is deported to a Russian labor camp. The book chronicles her events in the camps along with her family. This book is absolutely amazing. HIGHLY recommended. (*Content note: This book is not without its share of grit. Several characters die in horrible ways and there is violence.)

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