I love to read. I know, such a nerdy admission. But I own my nerdiness. Anyways, now that I am a stay-at-home mom, I have a few more hours on my hands to read than if I was working a full time job (it’s really every now and then but I’ll take what I can get). Sometimes I clean the house (emphasis on sometimes), sometimes I watch TV (there is absolutely nothing good on during the day….and no, I do not watch soap operas), but most of the time I’d rather read. There’s something about getting lost in another world that is really fun and refreshing, especially when you don’t get to leave the house as much as you used to. In light of the new year beginning, I’d like to share with you a few of the books/series I’ve read over the past year. I’ll do my best to give you a short synopsis and my rating (1 being the lowest, 5 being the highest) as well as my opinion on whether or not you should read it. FYI, these are just my opinions, so don’t get mad if you hate something I loved. In fact, I expect that. I hope this will promote some discussion for those of you who like to read as I do. Maybe we can even get a book club going! So without further adieu:
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Synopsis: Based in a fictional Mississippi town during the Civil Rights era, the book follows the life of the women of the town. From the rich and bratty Hilly Hollbrook, to the brainy Skeeter Phelan, to the maids Abilene and Minny, this book is about their lives and how they are affected by the changes occurring in their town during the 1960s.
Why You Should Read: If you like a fictional story based on true events, then this is the book for you. It makes you appreciate the hard times African Americans struggled through to gain their civil rights, but it also shows you the ugly side of ignorance that was rampant during that time. Skeeter Phelan is the “hero” of the story, although Minny and Abilene will tug at your heartstrings. This is a must read.
Matched and its sequel Crossed (with a 3rd book due out next year) by Ally Condie
Synopsis: Cassia Reyes lives in a dystopian society where pretty much everything is chosen for you, including your mate. In the first book, Cassia gets “matched” to a boy she’s known all her life, Xander Carrow. However, when she goes to view a file about him given to her at her match ceremony, another boy’s face flashes up on the screen for a instant before it disappears. Was she wrongly matched? What could this mean?
Why You Should Read: The first book is uh-mazing. If you’ve never read a book based on a dystopian society, you need to jump on the bandwagon with this one. Cassia is a great heroine and the book is full of love, heartache, action and adventure. The second book was sorta blah for me, but I think most 2nd books are (exceptions for the Hunger Games series and Harry Potter). I’m still eagerly anticipating the 3rd book, due out sometime next year.
Hush, Hush Series (includes Hush, Hush, Crescendo, Silence and Book 4, as yet untitled, coming in the fall of 2012) by Becca Fitzpatrick
Synopsis: Nora Grey is the female protagonist who falls for a mysterious boy named Patch. Throughout the series, she discovers that Patch is connected to her through her past and that he is a fallen angel (sorry, if you can’t figure that out by the book cover, well, then I’m sorry for you). What does that mean for the relationship? Will she stay with Patch?
Why You Should Read: Nora is not your typical heroine, but her feelings for Patch and her determination to find out about her past really drive this book. Patch is mysterious enough to keep Nora, and the reader, wanting to know more. The 3rd books ends on a cliffhanger, and I cannot wait to find out what the 4th book will entail!
Fallen Series (includes Fallen, Torment, Passion and Rapture, which will be released next spring) by Lauren Kate
Synopsis: Lucinda (Luce) Price ends up in a boarding school of sorts for juvenile delinquents after being falsely accused of murdering a boy. There she meets Daniel, whom she feels that she has met somewhere before, and Cam, who puts off a lot of sexy, bad boy swagger and for good reason. This book is about (spoiler alert!) fallen angels (please tell me you at least got that from the title), love and the potential for a war between heaven and hell.
Why You Should Read: What? Another fallen angel book? I know, just go with me please. I aslo know I didn’t give it the best rating, but that’s just because after book 1 it kinda lost me. I know this is a fantasy novel, but there were a lot of situations and dialogue that left me going, “Huh?” I’m already too far in now to give up (I have to know how it ends!), but if you’re not into fantasy and the like, you might not find this one as appealing. Then again, Cam and Daniel are some hot book boyfriends 🙂
The Infernal Devices Series (includes Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince and Clockwork Princess, which will be released next fall) by Cassandra Clare
Synopsis: Theresa Gray (Tessa) moves from New York to London to live with her brother after her Aunt Harriet dies. She is intercepted on her way to meet him by people called Downworlders who want to use her for her talent, which she knows nothing about. She is rescued from their tortures by William Herondale (Will), a Shadowhunter who fights against Downworlders who are not following the peace accords that have just been signed between the two “races.” This book is about Tessa, the Shadowhunters and everyone trying to figure out what, and possibly who, Tessa really is.
Why You Should Read: I did not read The Mortal Instruments series first, even though it came out first, because I read that these books were a prequel to them. Not that it really matters which one you read first, but I’m glad I went with these first. The setting for these books is London in the early 1900s. There is just something so prim and proper about that time period; the way everyone dressed, the fact that you had to have a “chaperone” when you “courted” someone and so on. If you enjoy fantasy, but also like history, these books are for you. It has action, adventure, mystery and love thrown in for good measure. I am already crazily anticipating the 3rd book!
So there you have it. My recommendations for your reading list for the new year. Do any of those intrigue you? Do any surprise you? Have you read any of them yet? I’m curious to hear your thoughts! Have a Happy New Year!