I grew up with The Babysitters Club series and then RL Stein. I wasn’t a bookish person through high school or college. But, I’ve always loved a good book. The following are books that I adore and could (and have) read over and over again.
You might also check out my 4 and 5 star books on Goodreads. I review regularly and have many books that I liked a lot but don’t list here.
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers – Wonderful nonfiction that introduced me to wonderful nonfiction.
The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger – So funny and so smart. I related to the protagonist who is searching for a career post-college and doesn’t necessarily know when to say no in pursuit of her dreams.
Divergent (trilogy) by Veronica Roth – I read Divergent in a couple days, adding to my dystopian YA book shelf. In addition to the main character (another strong female) there’s a great character named Four. It’s so difficult to get into a series this early on, because the second book doesn’t come out until May 2012. *waiting, waiting, waiting*
The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells – A book that pulls at the emotions and describes an extremely difficult mother-daughter relationship.
Go Ask Alice by Anonymous – Controversy about the author and if the diary is real aside, I read this book in junior high and found it so compelling.
The Hunger Games (trilogy) by Suzanne Collins – As a teacher I always appreciate good YA lit, but these books showed me that there are YA themes, characters, and vocabulary in plots that aren’t just about fighting with your best friend, or getting a boyfriend. What’s more, is that there’s great connections to Fahrenheit 451 (which I read annual with my English classes) and social commentary about reality TV, government control, etc. Plus, who doesn’t love a kick-butt female protagonist?
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson – I read this in college and was blown away by what I felt was such authentic teenage voice. It felt like high school as I remembered it. LHA can do no wrong in my
The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare – I don’t pick up Shakes for leisure reading, but as a teacher (I didn’t read this in school, surprisingly) it’s one of my favorite things to teach. Students wake up and actually begin to discover and appreciate Bill after this play.
Honorable mentions – These are books that I really, really like and caused me to read more from the author.
The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle series) by Maggie Stiefvater
The Knife of Never Letting Go (The Chaos Walking series) by Patrick Ness
Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone
Sloppy Firsts (the Jessica Darling series) by Megan McCafferty
Forget You by Jennifer Echols
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins