May 22, 2013

Book Recommendations

Historical fiction
This one was a bit hard, and I ended up scouring my shelves since nothing came to mind.  Then I found...

Andie's Moon by Linda Newbery

It's set in 1969 and part of a series set at No. 6, Chelsea Walk in London.  What really drew me to this book was the time period-the 1960s.  Chelsea is a perfect setting for a book set in 1969.  The mod scene and trendsetting teens feature, along with the Space Age and art.  The ending was a bit unsatisfactory to me, I want to note. It's a fairly tame book, though.  No foul language that I can remember.

I've really gotten into fantasy over the past few years, so choosing just one book was near impossible.

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George

Fairytale retellings are one of my favorite things in the world.  In fact, with my own fairytale series, I've created two originals and then, with the third, I've got a bit of a Sleeping Beauty twist going on while sticking with the perimeters of my book's world.  Anyways, Jessica Day George's spin on the 12 dancing princesses is fantastic.  She makes it her own, and I love how she expanded it into two more novels.

Science fiction
If you know me well, I am not a sci-fi girl.  Not at all.  Just the thought of anything remotely science-y makes me wrinkle my nose.  But then I came across...

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

I've heard about this book from various places, but today was the first time I actually gave it more than a passing glance.  I've read the first 5 chapters (courtesy of iBooks), and I can't wait to read more.  I've also read the first 5 chapters of the sequel, Scarlet (yeah, before I've even finished Cinder), and I think I'm liking Scarlet more, strangely enough.

Classic novel
I bet y'all can guess what I'll recommend here...

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Darcy is swoonworthy, Elizabeth is witty and lovable, Jane (the character) is sweet, Mr. Collins is hilarious (especially in the 2005 movie version), etc.  It's like an 1800s soap opera!

Contemporary YA fiction
This was another hard category to pick just one from.

Pies & Prejudice by Heather Vogel Frederick

As y'all should know, I'm a huge Mother-Daughter Book Club fan.  The series' premise is great, and each book kept me interested.  This one is easily my favorite of HVF's series (Tristan is my favorite male character from the series and this is the book where he got his introduction; hello, he's basically a teenaged Mr. Darcy!), but the rest are all a close second.  If you haven't read MDBC yet, I implore you (I will get down on my knees and beg) to give the series a try.

Christian lit
Settling for just one was hard, but I think my favorite Christian book is...

Katie Weldon series by Robin Jones Gunn

That's right.  I couldn't just pick one.  Christy Miller is my favorite of Robin's series, but there's something about Katie's quirks and vivacity that just pulls me in.  Plus, the book titles for her series are so cool (Peculiar Treasures, On a Whim, Coming Attractions, Finally and Forever).


Dewey: the Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron

It's a book about a cat.  And Iowa.  And a library.  It couldn't get any better.  I also loved the personal information from the author.  It made the story feel real.  And there's an awesome cat.  I already mentioned that, didn't I?

My first introduction to Ally Carter was through Kate.  Last summer, I first read Ally's Gallagher Girls series.  Fast-forward about eight months, and I decide to read...

Heist Society by Ally Carter

I actually didn't think I'd like this series, but now I like it more than Gallagher Girls. Kat and Hale are cool characters, I love the names Ally invents for the heists (both the ones the gang ends up using and the ones they dismiss), and the entire series idea is great.

Middle grade fiction
In case you didn't know, middle grade is generally for ages 8-12.

The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone

The setting is really why I like this book so much.  The novel's events take place in Chicago at the Art Institute, specifically the Thorne Rooms.  If you've seen the Thorne Rooms, you know how magical they are.  Once again, the book's premise is unique, and that's what makes a stand-out novel.

Bonus Christian
So there are three genres I'm doing another book in.  For Christian lit, it's going to be...

The Merchant's Daughter by Melanie Dickerson

Nothing could be better than a fairytale retelling (especially Beauty and the Beast!) mixed with a realistic medieval setting and Christian themes.  I loved how I could pick out cross-over pieces from the Disney movie, along with details from the original fairytale.  And the best part about Melanie's heroes is that they're just that - heroes.  Princely, chivalrous, strong, Godly, etc.  Her heroines are great, too.

Bonus fantasy
I had to include an extra fantasy book, and my choice is...

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

Alisa gave me this book for my birthday about three years ago.  The first time I read it, I thought it was nice, but not the best novel.  But as I've reread it, I've fallen in love.  Miri is a lovely main character, and the idea of quarry-speaking is clever.  Palace of Stone is a great sequel, and I've heard there's a three-quel in the works...

Bonus classic
Finally, my last recommendation.

Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace

If you're like Emma Hawthorne, you've never even heard of these books.  They're classics, and I read them for the first time when I was 7 (I was an advanced reader back then). Of course, I only read the first four.  The rest were saved for when I was older.  Betsy wants to be a writer, and it's fun to follow her dreams.  Her parents encourage her love of writing, just like my parents.  Plus, the covers on my editions are just so beautiful. (They're like the one I featured above, which is about Betsy's freshman year of high school.)

Honorable Mentions
Percy Jackson and the Olympians/Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan
The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis


  1. You've ready Princess of the Midnight Ball, Emma? How did I not know this? I LOVE THAT BOOK! Have you read the rest of the series?

    Oh, and The Merchant's Daughter and Pride and Prejudice are, I agree, amazing. But you already knew I thought that. xD

    This is the second or third time Cinder has popped up on book posts on blogs I follow . . . maybe I should check it out.

    1. Yup, I've read the other two. I wish she was writing more, but I know the feeling that a writer gets when she knows a story is complete.

    2. Cool! And yeah, I agree. And at least she ended it in a very satisfactory note.

  2. Hmm, I like the sound of Heavens to Betsy. :)

    1. You have to start at the beginning, though!


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