I cannot believe it took me until now to read this classic book. I am sad ("precision of language" - not sad, chagrined) to say that it was actually the release of the movie that prompted me to give it a go, because I refuse to see a movie that is based on a book before I read the book. Through the eyes of the Giver and Jonas, one can fully understand the definition of beauty, for there is beauty in everything, the good and the bad.
This book, which some would say is the original dystopian novel, has zoomed straight to the top of my "Favorite Books of All Time" list. Not only do I recommend this book with highest regards, I would argue that it is one everyone should experience.
The Giver, Lois Lowry, Houghton Mifflin, 1993
I came across The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by happenstance while scrolling through the "Under $2.99" section of my Nook store. I was drawn in by the blurb and figured I couldn't go wrong in spending two bucks. Not only did I not go wrong, but rather found myself completely drawn into Mara's imperfect world of a perfectly disturbed teenager. In the beginning, I was expecting the story to chronicle a girl in the throes of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder working through her mental demons. Instead, the author seamlessly wove in elements of paranormality, romance, and mystery that kept me turning the page to find out what was real and what was crafted solely within Mara's mind. This book will keep you guessing until the end. And when you finish Book 1, you will want to reach for Book 2.
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, Michelle Hodkin, Simon & Schuster, 2011
I could NOT put this book down! Although this book is one of many dystopian books (Psst, publishing world…I want more dystopian! Don't be so quick to think something is "overdone." Fans of specific genres want more and more and more - and I am no exception.), it stands out from the masses due to its unique writing style and dedication to characterization. I cared about these characters from the onset and found myself craving more upon consumption of the final word. I will definitely purchase book 2 in the series, UNRAVEL ME, and lose myself once again in the world of Juliette, Adam, and Warner. Congratulations to Tahereh Mafi for her creation of this page-turner!
Shatter Me, Tahereh Mafi, HarperCollins, 2011
I enjoyed this book more than I expected to. When I first learned of the premise I thought, "Sounds depressing." But the reality is quite the opposite. It takes a rare talent to turn terminal cancer into an uplifting story of love, friendship, and hope, and John Green accomplished just that. I found myself laughing and crying simultaneously throughout the story and marveling at the unique way August and Hazel saw the world. This book is brimming with inspirational one liners to type up and hang on your wall to read during those inevitable trying human moments. The Fault in Our Stars lies solely in the fact that we had to wait until now for this refreshing novel.
The Fault in Our Stars, John Green, Penguin, 2012