What I Have Read – 2013
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, JRR Tolkien (Fantasy)
Book One in The Lord of the Rings
The dark, fearsome Ringwraiths were searching for a hobbit. Frodo Baggins knew they were seeking him and the Ring he bore–the Ring of Power that would enable evil Sauron to destroy all that was good in Middle-earth. Now it is up to Frodo and his faithful servant, Sam, with a small band of companions, to carry the Ring to the one place it could be destroyed–Mount Doom, in the very center of Sauron’s dark kingdom.
Thus begins J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic The Lord of the Rings, which continues in The Two Towers and The Return of the King.
Mark of the Lion: A Voice in the Wind, Francine Rivers (Christian, Romance, Historical Fiction)
Book One in The Mark of the Lion series
Torn by her love for a handsome aristocrat, a young slave girl clings to her faith in the living God for deliverance from the forces of decadent Rome.
Tomorrow, When the War Began, John Marsden (Young Adult Fiction)
Book One in the Tomorrow series
Somewhere out there Ellie and her friends are hiding. They’re shocked, they’re frightened, they’re alone. Their world has changed, with the speed of a slamming door.
They’ve got no weapons–except courage.
They’ve got no help–except themselves.
They’ve got nothing–except friendship.
How strong can you be, when the world is full of people trying to kill you?
Tomorrow, When the War Began is the first of an enormously popular series that has been translated and published all over the world. It is the book that started the series that became the legend…
(Oh my God, I love this book, but seriously, that blurb! I copied that from the back of my book, and I can’t stop giggling at how dramatic it is.)
The Dead of Night, John Marsden (Young Adult Fiction)
Book Two in the Tomorrow series
Australia has been invaded. Nothing is as it was. Six teenagers are living out a nightmare in the sanctuary of a hidden valley called Hell. Alone, they make their own rules, protect what’s theirs, and struggle for courage and hope in a world changed forever. Seeking supplies, allies, and information, the friends make forays into enemy territory, drawing on the nerve and resourcefulness they never knew they had. And as the risks become greater, so too do the sacrifices they make.
At once astonishing and frighteningly real, this companion to the award-wining Tomorrow, When the War Began is a riveting, passionate, wholly unforgettable adventure.
A Killing Frost (USA Title), John Marsden (Young Adult Fiction)
Book Three in the Tomorrow series
Originally entitled The Third Day, the Frost
And then there were five…
It has been six long months since Ellie and her friends returned home from a camping trip to find their families and neighbors imprisoned by an enemy that threatens to steal Australia’s freedom. Only Ellie’s group can stop this enemy. Like seasoned soldiers, they have adopted extreme methods.
When she’s not gathering food and supplies or running for her life, Ellie wonders at what they’ve become. Are they now ruthless terrorists themselves? What price will they pay for their actions? The more involved and vicious the battle gets, the higher the stakes. Everyone is fighting to survive.
A Killing Frost is the the third in the series by John Marsden that began with Tomorrow, When the War Began and continued in The Dead of Night. As Ellie and her gang persist in fighting back, A Killing Frost proves the most riveting adventure yet.
The False Prince, Jennifer A. Nielsen (Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy)
Book One in The Ascendance Trilogy
Four boys, one treacherous plan, an entire kingdom to fool…
In a faraway land, civil war is brewing. To unify his kingdom’s divided people, a nobleman named Conner devises a cunning plan to place an impersonator of the king’s long-lost son on the throne. Four orphans are forced to compete for the role, including a defiant and clever boy named Sage. Sage knows Connor’s motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword’s point–he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. As Sage moves from rundown orphanage to Connor’s sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of duplicity and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.
Jennifer A. Nielsen has woven a heart-racing tale taut with danger and bold adventure that will have readers clinging to the edge of their seats.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky (Young Adult Fiction, Realistic Fiction)
Charlie is a freshman.
And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it.
Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But he can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.
Darkness, Be My Friend, John Marsden (Young Adult Fiction)
Book Four in the Tomorrow Series
The battle continues as five ordinary kids must journey back into the heart of an epic conflict.
Five months into World War III, Ellie and her four remaining friends have barely escaped the Australian town of Wirrawee with their lives and their sanity intact.
But as the next step becomes clear, they realize they must once again sacrifice their hard-won comfort and safety. A group of soldiers has recruited the kids to guide the way to the Wirrawee air base.
What could possibly motivate Ellie and her friends to return? This risky sabotage mission may be their only hope of rescuing their families, too.
Warm Bodies, Isaac Marion (Paranormal Fiction)
Book One in Warm Bodies
‘R’ is a zombie. He has no name, no memories and no pulse, but he has dreams. He is a little different from his fellow Dead.
Amongst the ruins of an abandoned city, R meets a girl. Her name is Julie and she is the opposite of everything he knows – warm and bright and very much alive, she is a blast of colour in a dreary grey landscape. For reasons he can’t understand, R chooses to save Julie instead of eating her, and a tense yet strangely tender relationship begins.
This has never happened before. It breaks the rules and defies logic, but R is no longer content with life in the grave. He wants to breathe again, he wants to live, and Julie wants to help him. But their grim, rotting world won’t be changed without a fight…
Burning For Revenge, John Marsden (Young Adult Fiction)
Book Five in the Tomorrow Series
From Hell to Stratton isn’t an easy trip, especially when the enemy’s headquarters lie somewhere in between. And that’s exactly where Ellie and her friends unwittingly find themselves–smack in the middle of the Wirrawee Airfield. With only five of them against hundreds of armed soldiers, escape seems like a suicide mission. The odds aren’t good, and Kevin’s nervous breakdown isn’t helping matters.
Ellie and her friends are back, battling to stay alive and struggling to stay together in John Marsden’s latest book in the Tomorrow, When the War Began series. High-speed truck chases, unexpected river journeys, and treachery by one of their own are just a few problems these Australian teens face in this gritty tale of war and survival.
Cinder, Marissa Meyer (Young Adult Fiction, Sci-Fi)
Book One in The Lunar Chronicles
Even in the future, the story begins with Once Upon a Time…
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl…
Sixteen-year-old Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past and is reviled by her stepmother. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future. Because there is something unusual about Cinder, something that others would kill for.
The Silver Linings Playbook, Matthew Quick (Contemporary Fiction, Realistic Fiction)
Meet Pat. Pat has a theory: his life is a movie produced by God. And his God-given mission is to become physically fit and emotionally literate, whereupon God will ensure a happy ending for him — the return of his estranged wife Nikki. (It might not come as a surprise to learn that Pat has spent time in a mental health facility.) The problem is, Pat’s now home, and everything feels off. No one will talk to him about Nikki; his beloved Philadelphia Eagles keep losing; he’s being pursued by the deeply odd Tiffany; his new therapist seems to recommend adultery as a form of therapy. Plus, he’s being hunted by Kenny G!
In this enchanting novel, Matthew Quick takes us inside Pat’s mind, showing us the world from his distorted yet endearing perspective. As the award-winning novelist Justin Cronin put it: “Tender, soulful, hilarious, and true, The Silver Linings Playbook is a wonderful debut.”
The Night Is For Hunting, John Marsden (Young Adult Fiction)
Book Six in the Tomorrow series
From the day the bombers roared overhead, and the tanks and convoys rolled down our highways, there was time for one thing only: survival.
Their families are dying. Their enemy is winning. In a world torn apart by war, Ellie and her gang of survivors must act fast and think later.
Defeat is unthinkable, surrender impossible. Keep fighting for long enough and it becomes instinct. Guard your camp, watch your back, protect your friends–and never question whether there’s anything left to fight for.
Paper Towns, John Green (Young Adult Fiction, Mystery)
Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows.
After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew.
Neverwhere, Neil Gaiman (Urban Fantasy Fiction)
Richard Mayhew is a young man with a good heart and an ordinary life, which is changed forever when he stops to help a girl he finds bleeding on a london sidewalk. His small act of kindness propels him into a world he never dreamed existed. There are people who fall through the cracks, and Richard has become one of them. And he must learn to survive in this city of shadows and darkness, monsters and saints, murderers and angels, if he is ever to return to the London that he knew.
Divergent, Veronica Roth (Young Adult Fiction, Dystopian)
Book One in the Divergent series
One choice decides your friends.
One choice defines your beliefs.
One choice determines your loyalties–forever.
One choice can transform you.
Cleopatra’s Daughter, Michelle Moran (Historical Fiction)
The marriage of Marc Antony and Cleopatra is one of the greatest love stories of all time. Feared and hunted by the powers in Rome, the lovers choose to die by their own hands as the triumphant armies of Antony’s rival, Octavian, sweep into Egypt. When their orphaned children are taken in chains to Rome, only two–the ten-year-old twins Selene and Alexander–survive the journey. As they come of age, they are buffeted by the personal ambitions of Octavian’s family and court, by the ever-present threat of slave rebellion, and by the longings deep within their own hearts.
Based on meticulous research, Cleopatra’s Daughter is a fascinating portrait of imperial Rome and of the people and events of this most tumultuous period in human history. Emerging from the shadows of the past, Selene must confront the same forces that destroyed her mother and struggle to meet a different fate. A young woman of irresistible charm and preternatural intelligence, Selene will capture your heart.
Pirate King, Laurie R. King (Detective Fiction)
Book Eleven in the Mary Russell series
In England’s young silent film industry, the megalomaniacal Randolph Fflytte is king. But rumors of criminal activities swirl around his popular movie studio. At the request of Scotland Yard, Mary Russell travels undercover to the set of Fflytte’s latest cinematic extravaganza, Pirate King. Based on Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Panzance, the project will either set the standard for moviemaking for a generation… or sink a boatload of careers.
As the company starts rehearsals in Lisbon, the thirteen blond-haired, blue-eyed actresses whom Mary is chaperoning meet the swarm of real buccaneers Flytte has recruited to provide authenticity. But when the crew embarks for Morocco and the actual filming, Russell senses ominous currents of trouble: a derelict boat, a film crew with many secrets, decks awash with budding romance–and now the pirates are ignoring Fflytte and answering only to their outlaw leader. Where can Sherlock Holmes be? As movie make-believe becomes true terror, Russell and Holmes themselves may experience a final fadeout.