Saturday, August 2, 2014

What I'm Reading: Geeky and/or Scary Books

This week is my least favorite genre...and honestly a bit of a letdown after my required romance reading last week! "Geeky" is essentially science-fiction and fantasy (a bit tongue-in-cheek, I think, by my professor) and Scary obviously speaks for itself. Our course this summer is one week shorter than when it runs in either the fall or spring semester, so we were able to choose either Geeky or Scary for the week's assignment. Since my assigned book was in the Geeky category (More Than This by Patrick Ness), I decided to be consistent.

In searching for my books this week, I tended to gravitate towards ones that I might actually be interested in reading. I figure this category is the easiest to get boys interested in so I let myself off the hook. In the comments kicking off our module this week, our professor advised not to shy away from series. Which is good, because all of my choices (unintentionally) are parts of a greater set.

Here we go...

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson & the Olympians, Book 1)
Rick Riordan, Hyperion Books, 2005

This series (there are 5 books in total) topped most of my searches into YA fantasy books (and got a thumbs up from my fantasy-loving sister-in-law). Incorporating classic Greek mythology with modern day problems, Riordan immediately draws the reader in to a fast-paced, suspenseful thriller. A newly published graphic novel (with others to follow, I am sure) makes this story accessible for a wide variety of readers.

Wither (The Chemical Garden Trilogy)
Lauren DeStefano, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2011

When I first started my search this week, I came across this article that pointed me towards some interesting titles. Although several caught my eye, I was drawn to Wither primarily for the female protagonist and the interesting subject matter: due to a glitch in genetic tinkering, all women have a lifespan of 20 years and men, 25 years. What would you do if you knew your "end date"? It's an interesting question to ponder, and readers who enjoy this book will appreciate that there are 2 others that follow.

Scott Westerfeld, Simon Pulse, 2005

Recommended on our class discussion board, this is another sci-fi choice prominently featuring a female lead, which is what initially drew me in. The premise? Tally lives in a world where everyone is an "Ugly" until they turn sixteen and receive plastic surgery to become a "Pretty." But all is not well in this so-called utopia, especially when Tally meets a new friend who fights back against the system. Captivating from the first chapter, it's an interesting look at society's concept of beauty and the universal teen struggle with conformity. Three more books (Pretties, Specials and Extras) follow with additional insight into Tally's world.

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