"Oh, you're a reader? That's great. I always want to read more. What would you recommend?"
*Cue Panic Attack*
*Takes deep breath and notices the person is still waiting for an answer*
“I don’t know. I can’t really think of anything. I’ll get back to you!” ::runs away::
The interesting thing about this interaction is that 1) it occurs at least once per week and my response is exactly the same each time and 2) that without the direction question, I will almost certainly start talking about books I’ve loved, recently read, or somehow tangentially relate to the current conversation topic. But as soon as I’m asked for a book recommendation I actually have zero recommendations! Two such incidents have resulted in actual blog posts for specific people, my friends Jennifer and Laura (names linked) because I promised them that I would “think about it” and get back to them. Ridiculous. I don’t think either of them thought it would be such a big flipping deal!
So, those Page Turner posts inspired a “Regular feature” idea, which is premiering here on my guest post for The Book Voyagers. Clearly, I’m columbusing the use of the word “premier” here as I’ve already said: this isn’t actually the first one, just the first without a specific person in mind. Let us not get distracted with technicalities. Carry on.
If someone asks me about a Young Adult novel for the next one million years I will probably automatically talk about The Winner’s Curse, The Unwind Dystology, or The Six of Crows, all of which I have basically mentioned at every possible opportunity (like this one). However, not everyone wants to commit to a multi-book series. So, this time around, my recommendation is The Weight of Feathers by Anna - Marie McLemore. I’ve mentioned before that this book clearly deserves a full review. It is a wonderfully written, magical story of two families at war with each other when shock among shocks, their teenage offspring meet and can’t stop thinking about each other. It’s got new YA magic with classic Romeo and Juliet appeal.
All- American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely is also a great read for the socially conscious minded. The story of a boy brutalized the police told from his perspective and the perspective of his classmate.
Beauty by Jeremy Haun.
Beauty is about a virus that is spread by sexual contact that makes the infected beautiful: clear skin, taut skin, supple whatever. But it’s still a disease. Should it be stopped? Is there a cure? What is the price of beauty and is it really worth the price? Generally, when I recommend comics to non-reader types I recommend that they pick up the trade paperbacks, the version of the book that is about 4-6 comics in one handy dandy edition.
A Grownup Book:
Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson.
This is a thriller about a woman who loses her memory for the last few years every time she goes to sleep for the night. She has started keeping notes and trying to piece her life back together. The reader comes along with her for the ride. This is now a movie so it also fits as a recommendation for Books that were Turned into Movies, Books to Read Before (or instead of) Seeing the Movie, and Movies I will Never See Because They Will Undoubtedly Muck It Up.