Friday, January 11, 2013


I've had some crazy success with book recommendations lately. I recommend books a lot-- to family, friends, friends of friends, co-workers, random strangers, etc. I'm always elated when they liked the book I suggested. Especially if it's a book in a series, then they tell me about their mad rush to get their hands on the sequel and I feel a little thrill of happiness. The books below are a few that I've recommended to people lately that have been a huge hit. If you haven't read them yet, well, I recommend that you do.

For those who like YA, some romance, and a little paranormal, or who won't mind being totally sucked into a book for a little while:

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, by Michelle Hodkin
Mara wakes up in the hospital, the only survivor of an accident that killed her friends and ex-boyfriend. She can't remember anything. Her family soon thereafter moves to Florida, where she starts in a new school and tries to remember and deal with what happened. And hello! hot boy at school with a British accent who seems to be everywhere and also interested in Mara! And whoa! crazy things start happening to Mara that she can't explain, but memories are starting to come back and with Noah's help she's starting to figure things out. Just as you think that you have it figured out, another piece of the puzzle shakes things up. And the relationship between Mara and Noah is something you will easily get caught up in. (See my review here.)

Yes the sequel is out (The Evolution of Mara Dyer), and don't scream, but the last one (The Retribution of Mara Dyer) comes out this fall.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
From the chilling and atmospheric beginning in a graveyard where sixteen year old Blue sees the spirit of a boy that is either her true love or that she will kill . . . all the way through the end--this book is fabulously sinister and beautifully written. Blue becomes friends with a tight knit group of boys who go to a local private school, and who are involved in solving an ancient mystery (which is a somewhat re-imagined version of a real Welsh folk tale). But as she is brought into their strange and sometimes haunting search, she is also reminded of a warning that she will bring about her true love's death with a kiss. That warning goes off in her head more and more as she feels stronger and stronger about the boys--one in particular. While the fascinating details and the complex characters might seem a little much at first, stick through the first bit and you will be thrilled with the way this turns out.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
So this one is nonfiction, but I would put it on everyone's must-read list. Seriously, I have it out on like quadruple loan and it's never sitting on my shelf for very long. So let me tell you, this guy makes it through a rather rough and delinquent childhood in which he learns to channel his energy into running, then becomes an Olympic track star/record breaking athlete, joins the Air Force in WWII, flies these ridiculously high-fatality planes, is shot down in the ocean and survives on a raft for 47 days just to get picked up by the enemy, spends the rest of the war and then some in various horrific POW camps, and eventually is able to come home. For sure this guy is some kind of Odyssean rockstar and his story is so amazingly written by the lovely Hillenbrand. (See my review here.)

So, have you read any of these? What books that you loved came your way on recommendation? I'd love to hear!

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