Looking for a book that sucks you in and won’t let you go– not until you’ve read the very last sentence of the acknowledgements AND the author bio? Look no further.
If you haven’t already read The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner, you probably have a good reason. So here are a few that fly under the radar– or at least haven’t been turned into movie franchises. All are recommended by us, and more than one has personally kept me up until three in the morning, awake until I turned the last page:
All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry
Mysteries, secrets, a small town under threat– and the girl with all the answers can’t speak. This historical fiction thriller took me completely by surprise.
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
It was actually the sequel to Graceling, Fire that kept me up all night. But I PROMISE Graceling is just as good, and you should read it first. In this fantasy, Gracelings are individuals with special powers, identified by unique heterochromic eyes. When a Graceling is born, he or she becomes the property of the king– but then one goes rogue, enacting her own brand of justice.
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
A happenstance meeting in Chicago of two teens reveals that they share the exact same name– after, their lives become entwined in ways they never imagined. This book is co-written by John Green and David Levithan, each of them voicing one of the (you guessed it) Will Graysons. It gives the story a really wonderful, conversational flow that draws you in.
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
My coworker describes this one as a “space opera– like a soap opera, but in space.” The story is engrossing, but the case-file format is what really sets this one apart.
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Melina Marchetta has never failed to wow us with her superb writing, and characters so true and flawed you might have known them in real life. At her boarding school in Australia, Taylor Markham narrates following the disappearance of her friend and mentor Hannah, while exploring her own shady personal history.
Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty
I will recommend the Jessica Darling books at every possible opportunity– she’s hilarious, and the books are written in a journal format, which makes those pages fly.
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
This is one of those squeal-y romances that you just can’t put down (I stayed up all night for this one). A boarding school in Paris and a cosmopolitan love interest? Signed, sealed, delivered: all right here in this book.
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
Set in the 80s, this one tells a very familiar and realistic story: two odd ducks finding each other, on a regular school bus in Oklahoma. The chapters alternate between the two main characters narrating, and it’s impossible to finish one without wanting to read the next. This book feels just like falling in love.
The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski
From Bibliocommons: An aristocratic girl who is a member of a warmongering and enslaving empire purchases a slave, an act that sets in motion a rebellion that might overthrow her world as well as her heart.
Cracked up to Be by Courtney Summers
Parker was top of her class, cheerleader, in love with her popular boyfriend– but her ideal life begins to unravel following an event she refuses to discuss.
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Under the rule of a brutal empire, a young rebel goes undercover on a dangerous mission as a spy in the military academy.
Trouble is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly
From Bibliocommons: After her parents’ divorce, Zoe Webster moves from Brooklyn to upstate New York where she meets the weirdly compelling misfit, Philip Digby, and soon finds herself in a series of hilarious and dangerous situations as he pulls her into his investigation into the kidnapping of a local teenage girl, which may be related to the disappearance of his kid sister eight years ago.
Another to add to this list: What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler. It deals with the important topic of rape and consent in a small high school town. It’s not an easy one – I felt uncomfortable, angry, sad, and horrified while reading. But the realistic portrayal of the main character’s conflicting feelings, her resolve to ask questions, and to finally take action kept me turning pages.
[…] out at the end of the month. If you haven’t read it, start with the first (I blurbed it here as one of our favorite page-turners), and then number two— once you’re caught up, you […]