Today I am going with books I enjoyed more than I was expecting. This was a bit more difficult that I originally thought because I could have kept going. But, I've narrowed it down, and I’ve arranged my list alphabetical by author.
1. ‘Zombies vs. Unicorns’ (Black)
I am always looking for an excuse to include this book in anything—and everything. I love it so much. When I bought it, I only did so because the cover was amazing as was the title. I did not think I would love the concept and the book as much as I did, but now I always recommend it to anyone who will listen.
2. ‘Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature’ (Brande)
This book. Oh man. I did it as an audio and I was not prepared. I thought it would be an okay listen during my drive to and from work. I was not prepared for the message the novel sends—and it’s a powerful one. I loved it from start to finish. So did my husband. This would be great for anyone who teaches biology.
3. ‘The Other Countess’ (Edwards)
I love historical fiction. A lot. I especially love Elizabethan historical fiction. When I purchased this novel, I thought it would be an okay novel to tie into my ‘Hamlet’ unit. Instead, I found myself caught up in a wonderful story, and I loved it from start to finish. I enjoyed the sequel as well.
4. ‘The Virgin Suicides’ (Eugenides)
I watched the movie and loved it and did not realize it was also a book. One day while browsing for a different book, I came across it. I purchased it to read because I enjoyed the movie so much, but then when I saw the author I was weary because I usually do not enjoy his style. I was prepared for a real letdown. It did not come. As a matter of fact, I think I loved the book more than the movie.
5. ‘The Name of the Star’ (Johnson)
I am fascinated by Jack the Ripper, but a YA novel dealing with modern times? Hmmm…On the other hand, it is Maureen Johnson, so I should have been prepared for the epicness of this book. I was not. I really thought I would like it and that it would be interesting to read, but I fell in love with this book. The sequel is epic too.
6. ‘Jane’ (Lindner)
I am always looking for ways to bring YA into my classroom. When I saw this on the shelf, I knew I had to read it because ‘Jane Eyre’ is taught to our freshmen, and that book usually has mixed reviews. I wasn’t too sure how well Lindner would handle modernizing the tale, but I was pleasantly surprised. Now when I talk my juniors about ‘Jane Eyre’ I always bring this up. I usually have someone leave the classroom with it in her hands.
7. ‘Anna and the French Kiss’ (Perkins)
Okay, Okay. I was late to the “We love Stephanie Perkins” party. I usually don’t like reading books like this too often. It gives me a false sense of self and my own teen years (which are many, many, many years past). But I was wrong about this. I bought it to see what all the hype was about. I found out, and I fell in love with this novel. I’m not 100% sure I would have given it a chance had I not heard her speak at the Decatur Book Festival, but I am glad I brought her into my life. Her books always leave in someone’s hands when I speak about them. Always.
8. ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ (Ransom)
This book. Are there any words? I bought it after reading a bit about it, and all I could think was, “This is a book with a lot of pictures. Surely it’s not going to be that good?!” Oh man was I wrong. This is the most creative, interesting YA novel I have ever read. And I stand by that all the time. The concept. The execution. I did not think I would love this book, but I did.
9. ‘Divergent’ (Roth)
After ‘Hunger Games’ series ended, there was a hole in my heart. I thought this would be a HG wannabe series, but I was wrong. As a matter of fact, I enjoyed it more than the HG. So did my husband. Roth had me from the first chapter until the end. I was really surprised by how much I—and my husband—loved this book.
10. ‘Daughter of Smoke & Bone’ (Taylor)
I should have known I would love this book, but I wasn’t too sure. After all, sometimes I will have expectations of a book and am let down. That did not happen with this. This series is one of the most original I have ever read. I love it. I love it. I love it. I have been doing them by audio, and that might make a slight difference for me because sometimes the reader sells the book, but I think even just in print I would be in love.
So…that’s my list. What’s on yours?
- The Hodgenator