Some of My Favorite Books
(I have too many to list them all.)
A Bookworm's Confession
by Stephanie Cardel
Don't you feel the longing somewhere deep inside
To search and solve and soar the heights on life's
great carpet ride?
To waltz with nobles, dine with thieves, fulfill a hero's quest,
To go where no man's gone before--yet never need to rest!
Are you captivated? Neglectful of your chores?
Just one more page you promise, then go on to read six more.
I have to know what happens next. I'm loyal to my friends.
My place is by the heroine until the bitter end.
A true bookworm will tell you--no story is a scam.
It's my life TOO that's changed for good.
I read--therefore I am.
My favorites for 7-10 year olds:
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
Whimsical, funny poetry for all ages
The Amelia Bedelia series by Peggy Parish
Amelia Bedelia is always helpful and cheerful, but she takes everything you say literally. If you ask her to dust the furniture, she puts dust on the furniture. Somehow she always saves the day in spite of the craziness she causes.
The Borrowers series by Mary Norton
Underneath the kitchen floor is the tiny world of the Borrowers- Pod and Homily Clock and their daughter, Arrietty. Although she's not supposed to be spotted by a human, Arrietty is desperate for a friend, and so she befriends the human boy in the house above.
Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
Fern keeps her father from killing Wilbur, a runt pig. Later, when Wilbur is full-grown, Charlotte the spider comes up with an idea to save Wilbur from the butcher knife which brings them county-wide notoriety.
Henry Huggins (the series) by Beverly Clearly
Henry is friends with Ramona's sister, Beezus. So there is a crossover of characters in the Ramona series. Henry is nine through eleven during his adventures with his dog, his clubhouse, his bicycle and paper route.
Little Bear (the series) by Maurice Sendak
Little Bear's mother helps him through all of his adventures--from figuring out that he really doesn't need a coat to go outside in the winter to granting his wish at story time.
Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
It's the late 1870's, and young Laura and her family are living in a log house deep in the Wisconsin woods. Their days are filled with hard work, Pa's stories, a bountiful harvest, hard work, and good times as always. It's the book that started it all! (All the "Little House" books are good!)
Madeline (the series) by Ludwig Bemelmans
A little girl in a Paris school has many crazy adventures--like being stolen by gypsies, dealing with the bratty boy next door, having an appendix out, etc., which are all told in rhyme.
The Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne
Explore history by going through time with eight-year-old Jack and seven-year-old Annie as they discover a magic porthole in an awesome tree house filled with books.
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle (the series) by Betty MacDonald
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle lives in an upside down house and dispenses cures for naughty kids like "the won't-pick-up-toys" cure and the "answer-backer" cure. It's so fun!
My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett
A boy tells a story about an adventure his father had and then learns of a dragon that needs to be rescued on the Island of Tangerina and sets off on his own adventure.
Nate the Great (the series) by Majorie Sharmat
The young detective Nate and his dog Sludge take on serious cases like missing joke books, missing lists and other things for his friends.
Ramona (the series) by Beverly Clearly
Ramona goes through adventures from age 5 through 10 in this cute, funny series. She can't understand why she's considered a pest when she's trying so hard to be a grown-up.
The Spiderwick Chronicles by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black
When Jared, Simon and Mallory Grace move with their mother into her aunt's old house, it turns out to have a magical creature living in it who is trying to protect an infamous book written by their great-great uncle. Once the other magical creatures (some with evil intentions) find out that Jared has the book, their lives are in danger.
Stuart Little by E.B. White
Stuart, the mouse, is born to a family of humans and although they love him very much life is difficult for him. When his good friend the bird, Margalo, is missing, Stuart sets off on his own, for the first time, to find her.
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
Another book of delightful, funny poetry for kids. Fun to memorize and quote.
My Favorites for 11-13 year olds:
The Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer
Artemis is a millionaire genius evil mastermind who may have met his match when he kidnaps fairy, Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit. These aren't the fairies of bedtime stories--they're dangerous. Exciting, page turners, full of magical adventure.
A Series of Unfortunate Events (the series) by Lemony Snicket
This series follows the adventures of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire after the death of their parents as the villianous Count Olaf tries to steal their fortune. The Baudelaire orphans must rely on their strengths, their unique talents, and each other in order to uncover the mystery of their parents deaths and finally find a place they can call home.
A Wrinkle in Time series by Madeline L'Engle
Meg and Charles Wallace, along with their friend, Calvin, search for their scientist father. Traveling through space, they finally find him on the planet of
Camazotz. Can they rescue him from his evil captors?
The Boxcar Children (the series) by Gertrude Chandler Warner
The Alden children, Henry, Jessie, Violet and Benny have many adventures as they live on their own, making an abandoned boxcar their home.
Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryve Brink
Caddie is an adventurer, a tomboy, imaginative and brave. But is she brave enough to save her family from an Indian massacre? Will she have to leave behind the life she loves when Father inherits an estate from England?
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S Lewis
Journey to the land of Narnia where animals can talk, trees are alive, and the Great Lion Aslan is king. In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the most popular second book in the series, Narnia is ruled by the evil White Witch and it is up to four children from our world to stop her. (But we recommend reading through the entire series. Our favorite is book three: The Horse and His Boy.)
The Cooper Kids Adventure Series by Frank Peretti
Jay and Lila Cooper go on adventures with their archeologist father, sometimes it brings them close to mysterious ancient evil. In book one, The Door in the Dragon's Throat, they are trying to discover why all the other exploration parties fled in panic or died terrible deaths after trying to open the door. What lies behind the door and what evil is protecting it? Will their faith in God protect them?
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
Ella was given the gift of obedience at birth from a foolish fairy, but strong-willed Ella does not tamely accept her fate. In a story filled with prines, ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters and fairy godmothers, Ella goes on a quest to break the curse.
Encyclopedia Brown (the series) by Donald Sobol
Ten-year-old Leroy "Encyclopedia" Brown is so smart because he pays close attention to details. He helps his father, the Chief of Police, solve Idaville's toughest cases.
Erec Rex by Kaza Kingsley
Life is not easy for twelve-year-old Erec, his mother and six adoped siblings. They are always struggling to get by and moving around. What's worse, there is a strange force within Erec that compels him to do odd things. When his mother is suddenly missing, that force leads Erec to a hidden world of old magic where he learns that the entire kingdom is in peril and he might be the only one who can save them.
The Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull
Kendra and her brother Seth discover that their grandparents are caretakers of a secret preserve of magical creatures. Inside the woods ancient laws keep peace between the trolls, satyrs, witches, imps, and fairies, but when the rules get broken, powerful forces of evil are unleashed and Kendra and Seth must save their family, Fablehaven and perhaps even the world.
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg
Claudia Kincaid, along with her brother, Jamie, run away from home and live in New York City Metropolitan Museaum of Art. In an effort to solve one of the museums mysteries, Claudia and Jamie end up on a race against time to find the answers in the files of Mrs. Frankweiler.
Hank the Cowdog series by John R. Erickson
These are rollicking, humorous, action-packed books about Hank the Cowdog, the head of Ranch Security. Nothing escapes his steely gaze--except, perhaps the perfectly obvious.
The Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling
An eleven year old boy who has been raised by his uncaring aunt and uncle discovers that there is a whole different world of wizards and witches out there and he is part of it. The first three books in this series are appropriate for this age group. The rest of the series is a little darker and recommended for thirteen and up.
The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien
Hobbit Bilbo Baggins is chosen to help the dwarves recover their lost treasure from the dragon Smaug. Adventures and journey follow in this fantasy about elves, dwarves, goblins, and other magical, mythical creatures.
The Incredible Worlds of Wally McDoogle series by Bill Myers
Starting with "My Life As a Smashed Burrito with Extra Hot Sauce" this is a hilarious series about a 12-year-old computer whiz who finds himself in all sorts of crazy situations and must trust in God to get him through.
The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
These books are set in the 1870's and chronicle Laura Ingalls life with her family on the Kansas prairie. These books are NOT just for girls! Boys that love to build things will also enjoy these books as she describes the hardships of prairie life and how they build a house and barn from scratch.
My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
This is an account of Sam's adventures as he lives alone on his grandfather's mountain for a year. Sam lives in the trunk of a tree, catches and trains a falcon, and makes his own clothing.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan
In the first book, The Lightning Thief, Percy discovers that he is not who he thinks he is. The mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus that he's been studying about are real and some of them are chasing him. Zeus' master lightning bolt is missing and Percy is the prime suspect. He must go on a quest to find the real thief, come to terms with the father who abandoned him, and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.
The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer
Eleven-year-old Jack has been apprenticed to the bard when berserkers attack his village and take him and his sister Lucy hostage. Set in the year 793 A.D., Jack and Lucy are swept up into an adventure-quest full of vikings and trolls and magic.
The Sword in the Stone by T.H White
A young boy named Wart is tutored by a magician named Merlyn. From turning into a bird to meeting the outlaw Robin Wood, Wart learns a lot from Merlyn.
Trixie Belden (the series) by Kathryn Kenny
Written in the 50's and 60's, the clean, wholesome storylines may remind you of Nancy Drew, but the two girls are different. Trixie is fourteen and a tomboy. She has a bad temper and doesn't like school. She lives near New York with her three brothers and solves mysteries with a whole gang of friends.
My Favorites for ages 13 and up: (some overlap)
The Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer
Artemis is a millionaire genius evil mastermind who may have met his match when he kidnaps fairy, Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit. These aren't the fairies of bedtime stories--they're dangerous. This is an exciting, page turner, full of magical adventure.
Anne of Green Gables (the series) by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Nothing is the same at Green Gables after the Cuthberts adopt red-haired, hot-tempered Anne Shirley. Her lively imagination and knack for making comical errors make life interesting for all at Avonlea.
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
In a small South Carolina town, where it seems little has changed since the Civil War, sixteen-year-old Ethan is powerfully drawn to a new classmate named Lena with whom he shares a psychic connection and whose family hides a dark secret. Loved the Southern characters!
(Some violence and intense themes.)
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Trying to make sense of the horrors of WWII, the Angel of Death relates the story of Liesel, a young German girl whose book stealing and story telling talents help sustain her, her family, and the Jewish man they are hiding.
Thought provoking and sad. How heart breaking to watch children come face to face with man’s inhumanity to man.
Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
After being sold to a cruel couple in New York City, a slave named Isabel spies for the rebels during the Revolutionary War.
Engrossing. Isabel is living a nightmare. I wanted to jump inside the story and rescue her.
Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness
In the first book, The Knife of Never Letting Go, Todd and Viola set out across the New World searching for answers about his colony's true past and seeking a way to warn the ship bringing hopeful settlers that it isn't safe. Strong characters that are easy to love and cheer for. Great science fiction.
(Some violence and intense themes.)
Chronicles of Nick by Sherrilyn Kenyon
At fourteen, Nick, a streetwise, scholarship student at an exclusive school where he is bullied relentlessly, learns there is a much larger and more dangerous world out there full of zombies, vampires, werecreatures and demons. He is sucked into it by the Dark Hunter who saves his life. Nick's quick wit and sarcasm kept me laughing and the danger kept me turning pages.
Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
After spending the summer running the family farm and training the quarterback for her school's rival football team, sixteen-year-old D.J. decides to go out for the sport herself, not anticipating the negative reactions of those around her.
D. J.'s voice will grab you from page one and it won't let go.
Darkest Powers trilogy by Kelley Armstrong
Book One: The Summoning - After fifteen-year-old Chloe starts seeing ghosts and is sent to Lyle House, a group home for mentally disturbed teens, she soon discovers that the place and the others there are not what they seem and they are all in danger.
Paranormal gifts, mystery, and a little romance--what's not to like?
The Dark is Rising sequence by Susan Cooper
First book: Over Sea, Under Stone - On a holiday in Cornwall, the three Drew children discover an ancient map in the attic of the house that they're staying in. It turns out to be a key to finding a grail, a source of power to fight the evil forces known as the Dark.
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson LevineElla was given the gift of obedience at birth from a foolish fairy, but strong-willed Ella does not tamely accept her fate. In a story filled with prines, ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters and fairy godmothers, Ella goes on a quest to break the curse.
The Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter
Book One: I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You - The Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses, but it's really a school for spies. Cammie Morgan may be fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways with her bare hands, but she has no idea what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she's an ordinary girl.
Funny, clever, fast-paced and romantic. I love the whole series!
Gone series by Michael Grant
One morning everyone over fourteen disappears. Sam is sure it has something to do with the weird power he's developed. Soon he discovers that lots of kids have powers too and they are looking to him to lead them in the bizarre new reality they live in. Compelling, sad, sweet and even scary. Seemed like a pretty accurate portrayal of the chaos that would ensue without adults or rules. Haunting.
The Hardy Boys (the series) by Franklin W. Dixon
These brothers, like Nancy, are also high school age and the reading level may be a little advanced for some in this age group, but the mysteries are great for challenging, critical thinking and there is more action than Nancy Drew. Can you solve it before Frank and Joe?
The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
In the fourth through seventh book in this series Voldemort is growing stronger. Harry must come to terms with the fact that their destinies are entwined.
Heir Apparent by Vivian Van Velde
While playing a total immersion virtual reality game of kings and intrigue, Giannine learns that protesters have damaged the equipment to which she is connected. Now she must win the game quickly, or she might be damaged herself.
The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien
Hobbit Bilbo Baggins is chosen to help the dwarves recover their lost treasure from the dragon Smaug. Adventures and journey follow in this fantasy about elves, dwarves, goblins, and other magical, mythical creatures.
I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
His friendship with a beautiful girl distracts fifteen-year-old John from doing what he knows is right to stay safe when he is found by the alien race of Mogadorians that he has been hiding from for ten years as he waits to develop his legacies, or powers. Exciting, clever science fiction.
The Immortals Quartet by Tamora Pierce
Set in Tortall during the reign of King Jonathan III and Queen Thayet, Wild Magic is the first book of the series, which chronicles the time when the world is invaded by immortal creatures and a girl is born with a magical gift that could restore the very balance of nature.
The Inheritance Saga by Christopher Paolini
In Alagalsia, a 15-year-old boy named Eragon of unknown lineage finds a mysterious stone that weaves his life into an intricate tapestry of destiny, magic and power peopled with dragons, elves and monsters.
Little Women (the series) by Louisa May Alcott
Set in the time of the Civil War, the March girls manage to lead interesting lives despite their father's absence and their lack of money. This treasured classic is at times sweet and sad and funny.
The Midnighter’s trilogy by Scott Westerfield
Five teenagers in Bixby, Oklahoma are the only ones that are able to experience a mysterious extra hour at midnight when time freezes everything except for them and the creatures that inhabit the darkness.
Clever, exciting, fast-paced. Great adventure!
Nancy Drew (the series) by Carolyn Keene
Naturally, since we love Trixie, we love Nancy too. Although Nancy is a teenager, her detective skills appeal to a younger audience in today's world. (We haven't read any of the modern, updated versions, so I can't comment on those.)
Paranormalcy trilogy by Kiersten White
When a dark prophecy begins to come true, sixteen-year-old Evie of the International Paranormal containment Agency must not only try and stop it, she must also uncover its connection to herself and the alluring shape-shifter, Lend.
Loved Evie and Lend! So cute, except when it’s scary.
The Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flanagan
Fifteen-year-old Will has been chosen as a Ranger's apprentice. He learns that the Rangers are highly trained in battle and surveillance and protect the kingdom so well that the villagers didn't even realize they were in danger. But the exiled Morgarath is gathering his forces for an attack. This time, he will not be denied. (Be sure and read past the first book which moves a little slower than the others.)
Rot and Ruin series by Jonathan Maberry
In a post-zombie-apocalypse world where fences and border patrols guard the few people left from the zombies that have taken over, fifteen-year-old Benny Imura is finally convinced that he must follow in his older brother's footsteps and become a bounty hunter. Surprising, exciting, and sometimes sad.
(Can be gory. Very intense themes.)
The Seventh Tower series by Garth Nix
Set in another world where the people live in darkness in a mysterious castle of seven towers, Tal must climb to the top of the Red Tower and steal a sunstone to save his family. When he reaches the top, he falls into a strange and unknown world of warriors, iceships and hidden magic.
The Shadow Children Sequence by Margaret Peterson Haddix
In a world where families are allowed only two children, illegal third children--shadow children--must live in hiding. If they are discovered there is only one punishment: death.
Sucks to Be Me by Kimberly Pauley
Mina Hamilton's parents want her dead. (Or undead to be precise.) They're vampires, and like it or not, Mina must decide whether to become a vampire herself. But Mina's more interested in hanging out with best friend Serena and trying to catch the eye of the too-hot-for-high-school Nathan Able than in the vampire training classes she's being forced to take. How's a girl supposed to find the perfect prom date and pass third-year French when her mom and dad are breathing down her neck--literally?
So cute and funny.
Virals series by Kathy Reichs
Genius 14-yr.-old Tory Brennan lives with a father she just met on a small island near Charleston with three boys as her only companions. Her scientific mind and curiosity are her undoing as it leads the four of them into dangerous situations and exposure to a new virus that changes their DNA.
Wings quartet by Aprilynne Pike
Just as fifteen-year-old Laurel is starting to adjust to her new school, a plant suddenly grows out of her back. She is horrified to discover, with the help of the handsome, David, that she’s not human. Finding out what she is and why she never knew is the exciting story of WINGS.
I loved this story. The characters are sweet and believable.
My Favorites for ages 16 and up:
(Most contain content not suitable for under 16.)
A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks
The story of how seventeen year old Landon Carter's life was changed forever by the daughter of a small town pastor in Beaufort, North Carolina.
Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead
This is a spin-off of Vampire Academy (which you MUST read first). I fell in love with these characters in VA and was so glad to reunite with them here. This is the story of Sydney, the alchemist, protecting the sister of the Moroi queen.
(Contains violent scenes and teen pre-marital sex but nothing explicit.)
Chemical Garden trilogy by Lauren Destefano
In the first book, Wither: after modern science turns every human into a genetic time bomb with men dying at age 25 and women at age 20, girls are kidnapped and married off to repopulate the world before they die. Couldn’t put it down! So dark and compelling.
Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth
In a future Chicago, sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to fine her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group.
Gripping. Emotional. Couldn’t put it down.
(Intense themes and violence.)
The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper starts sleeping with Wesley Rush, a notorious womanizer, to distract her from her personal problems.
I didn’t like the method Bianca chose to hide from her problems, but the story is so emotionally charged and compelling, I was hooked. It is a journey in self-discovery.
(A lot of language and teen pre-marital sex, not explicit.)
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Seventeen-year-old cancer patient Hazel Grace Lancaster, is forced by her parents to attend a support group in the "Literal Heart of Jesus" where she subsequently meets and falls in love with seventeen-year-old Augustus Waters, an ex-basketball player and amputee. The title is inspired by Act 1, Scene 2 of Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar, in which the nobleman Cassius says to Brutus: "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings."
Funny, smart, compelling, sad…AMAZING!
(Some language and one small scene of teen pre-marital sex.)
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
The story of the vulnerable yet strong Katsa, a smart, beautiful teenager who lives in a world where selected people are given a Grace, a special talent that can be anything from dancing to swimming. Katsa’s is killing. As the king’s niece, she is forced to use her extreme skills as his thug. Along the way, Katsa must learn to decipher the true nature of her Grace and find a way to use her skills for the greater good.
You will love Katsa and the love interest, Prince Po. Couldn’t put it down!
(Some violence and one implied scene of pre-marital sex.)
Heist Society series by Ally Carter
Katrina Bishop just conned her way into a private boarding school to leave the life she was raised in and the family of con artists she loves, but friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring Kat back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has a good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat’s father isn’t just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.
Loved these characters!
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The story is set in a dismal futuristic version of North America. Here the people are punished by the Capitol every year for a rebellion that took place 75 years before. The punishment is that each district must send a boy and girl to be placed in an arena to fight to the death. This is the compelling story of sixteen-year-old Katniss and her quest to survive in the arena. If she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
If I Stay/ Where She Went by Gayle Forman
In If I Stay, everything changes in an instant for 17-year-old cellist Mia. Caught between life and death, Mia is faced with the most important decision she will ever make. In Where She Went, Mia’s boyfriend narrates what happened to him after her decision.
Amazing, unforgettable characters. Couldn’t put either book down!
(Lots of language and some teen pre-marital sex referred to.)
Liar by Justine Larbalestier
Micah is a compulsive liar. She’s always managed to stay ahead of her lies until her boyfriend dies under brutal circumstances and her dishonesty begins to catch up with her—and the reader.
The lies create twists and turns in the plot that are clever and unexpected. I loved it.
(Some language and teen pre-marital sex referred to.)
Megan Meade’s Guide to the McGowan Boys by Kate Brian
When Megan’s military parents are shipped off to Korea she chooses to move to Boston to live with the McGowans and their SEVEN boys. Megan sees it as the perfect opportunity to learn everything there is to know about boys.
Cute, funny, sweet. I didn’t want it to end.
The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare
When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she doesn’t expect to witness a murder especially one committed by three teenagers with strange tattoos and bizarre weapons that only she can see. This begins her journey with the shadow hunters.
A little confusing at first, but stick with it for an exciting ride.
(Violence and intense themes. Teen pre-marital sex referred to.)
Need series by Carrie Jones
After the death of her stepfather, Zara is sent to Maine to live with her unusual grandmother. In the small Maine town, her new friends tell Zara that the strange man she keeps seeing may be a pixie king and that only the "were“ creatures can stop him from taking souls.
Intriguing, supernatural thriller with romance—what more could you want?
(Some violence and intense themes.)
Nightshade series by Andrea Cremer
Calla and Ren have been raised knowing they will be mated on their 18th birthdays and will lead a new shape-shifting wolf pack. But when a human boy arrives and vies for Calla’s heart, she is faced with decisions that could change the course of their secret world.
Loved it! Page turning intensity.
(Violence and intense themes. Implied scenes of teen pre-marital sex.)
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
When wealthy, “perfect,” Brittany and gang member Alex, begin to see past each other’s surface stereotypes they begin to develop a relationship that is not approved by their friends or family.
A very intense, emotional story where two teens discover love is a about connection and trust and sacrifice.
Some violence and intense themes. One scene of teen pre-marital sex other scenes of intimacy.)
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The love story of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy. Set in 19th century England, it is the picture of country life and courtship of that time. It is one of the most famous and beloved Austen novels.
Raven Boys Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
Blue Sargent, the daughter of the town psychic in Henrietta, Virginia, has been told for as long as she can remember that if she ever kisses her true love, he will die. But she is too practical to believe in things like true love. Her policy is to stay away from the rich boys at the prestigious Aglionby Academy. The boys there — known as Raven Boys — can only mean trouble.
Breath taking fantasy set in a very realistic world.
(Violence and teen pre-marital sex referenced. Nothing explicit.)
Shiver series by Maggie Stiefvater
In all the winters she has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house, Grace has been particularly drawn to the yellow-eyed wolf that saved her life and watches her with equal intensity.
Unforgettable characters. Exquisite writing.
(Some language and teen pre-marital sex. Nothing explicit.)
Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow
Sixteen-year-old Dru’s psychic abilities helped her father battle zombies and other creatures of the “real world,” but now she must rely on herself, a new friend that’s been bitten by a werewolf, and a half-human vampire hunter to learn who murdered her parents and why.
(Violence and lots of language.)
These Gentle Wounds by Helene Dunbar
Five years after an unspeakable tragedy that changed him forever, Gordie Allen has made a new home with his half-brother Kevin. Their arrangement works since Kevin is the only person who can protect Gordie at school and keep him focused on getting his life back on track. But just when it seems like things are becoming normal, Gordie’s biological father comes back into the picture, demanding a place in his life. Now there’s nothing to stop Gordie from falling into a tailspin that could cost him everything—including his relationship with Sarah, the first girl he’s trusted with the truth.
(Some intense themes and mild violence.)
The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer
In book one, Twilight, seventeen year old Bella leaves Phoenix to live with her father in Forks, Washington. There she meets an exquisitely handsome boy at school for whom she feels an overwhelming attraction and who she comes to realize is not wholly human.
Uglies trilogy by Scott Westerfield
In a world where your sixteenth birthday brings an operation to change you from an “ugly” to a “pretty,” Tally must make a terrible choice. Her friend Shay has run away and the authorities tell Tally she must find and turn in her friend or face never turning pretty at all.
What a horrible world. What a well crafted story!
(Teen pre-marital sex alluded to.)
Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead
Rose, a dhamphir, must protect her best friend, a Moroi vampire, from the deadly Strigoi who want her whole race dead. But soon she learns that there’s a closer threat she wasn’t prepared for.
Rose is a great heroine, sometimes a little reckless, but loyal to the bitter end.
(Violence, language, intense themes and teen pre-marital sex and drinking. But nothing explicit.)
White Cat (Curse Workers trilogy) by Holly Black
When Cassel Sharpe discovers that his older brothers have used him to carry out their criminal schemes, he must figure out a way to turn it all against them.
An adventure from beginning to end. Flawless world building that makes you afraid to touch anyone when you finish. I loved Cassel.
Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr
Aislinn has the sight. She can see faeries. They walk among us, but she’s been taught to pretend they don’t exist. That becomes impossible when the faerie’s Summer King sets his sights on her.
Imaginative, exciting and dark.
(Very intense with violence and teen pre-marital sex alluded too. Not explicit.)
My Favorites for Adults:
(Disclaimer: I don't read a lot of adult books. Because I write for teens, I mostly read teen books.)
Cape Refuge series by Terri Blackstock
A small town murder investigation with a lot of suspects in this plot twisting, suspenseful mystery that reveals God's grace in even the most tragic situations.
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell and Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley.
The story of how southern belle Scarlett O'Hara struggles to survive the horror and poverty created by the Civil War. The sequel, Scarlett, by Alexandra Ripley, is true to the story and offers a much more satisfying ending.
The Green Mile by Stephen King
The story of the head prison guard on death row and his encounter with an amazing prisoner that changes him forever.
Amazing story by the master storyteller!
The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
The extraordinary true story of one courageous Christian woman who became a militant heroine of the anti-Nazi underground.
Full of gems. Don’t miss this classic!
The Host by Stephenie Meyer
Our world has been invaded by aliens that have taken over our minds and bodies. Melanie Stryder, one of the few remaining "wild" humans, is captured. Wanderer, an invading "soul" that is given Melanie's body, is unprepared for the fact that Melanie refuses to relinquish possession of her mind. Wanderer is tasked with probing Melanie's memories to learn the location of the other "wild" humans. Through those memories she instead begins to love Melanie's boyfriend and little brother and long to be with them. Excellent storytelling by the Twilight Saga author.
Newpointe 911 series by Terri Blackstock
Another suspense series by award winning author Terri Blackstock set in a small town, seasoned with romance, and tempered by insights into the nature of relationships, redemption, and the human heart.
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
Set in North Carolina and switching from 1946 to present day, we are told the love story of Noah Calhoun and Allie Nelson.
I love the way Nicholas Sparks tells a love story. (But he always makes me cry!) The movie version is one of the few books-to-movies that I highly recommend. Both are steamy!
The O'Malley series by Dee Henderson
Book One,The Negotiator, is an exciting, suspenseful story of a hostage negotiator that becomes a target.
It is the perfect blend of romance and suspense.
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
The story of a family in search of peace in the Badlands of North Dakota one cold and desperate winter. It is an unforgettable story of outlaws, miracles, and love.
The Screwtape Letters by C.S Lewis
Screwtape, a highly placed assistant to "Our Father Below", writes letters to his nephew Wormwood, a novice demon in charge of securing the damnation of an ordinary young man.
It's the most engaging account of temptation-and triumph over it- every written.
The Study Series: Poison Study, Fire Study, Glass Study by Maria Snyder
In Poison Study, about to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve: to become the commander’s food tester. But so she won’t run away, the chief of security poisons her and only the daily antidote will stop an agonizing death.
Adventure, suspense, romance…what’s not to like? Loved all three books. Yelena is a character I can’t forget.
(She recently added two books to Yelena's story.)
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The untraditional love story of Henry DeTample, an adventurous librarian who involuntarily travels through time and Claire Abshire, an artist whose life takes its natural sequential course.
Crafted through time so that it comes together in one big, beautiful picture. Steamy! (Explicit.)