Tuesday, August 17, 2010

a middle schooler lists the BEST YA BOOKS OUT THERE!

I'm really excited about this post! I have with me the awesome Kirby W who is about to be a freshman. I asked him to think about the best books he read in middle school and recommend 10 here on my blog. He's got 11 recommendations (I asked him to recommend 10, but I got 11) and it was really cool to hear the perspective of a 14-year-old (former) middle school reader. I may 'yea' or 'nay' a YA book, but I'm 21 years old and in college; what are the kids in actual target audience saying? So let me introduce Kirby the almost-freshman, and he's going to give his recommendations for the best YA books out there!
Just keep in mind that these are the thoughts of a 14-year-old dude: they have not been edited or altered!

1. The Looking Glass Wars, Frank Beddor
SERIES: followed by Seeing Redd, ArchEnemy
Kirby says: This is probably my new favorite series. The last book came out last year. The take on Alice in Wonderland was awesome. I really liked the series villain, Queen Redd. She was evil and funny, which yeah is a weird combo, but she was really entertaining. And this story’s version of the white rabbit is pretty cool, too. I didn’t mind that the main character’s a girl, cause she’s cool and smart and not whiny like girls I know. And I liked the battle scenes. Battle scenes are cool.

2. The Warrior Heir, Cinda Williams Chima
SERIES: followed by The Wizard Heir, The Dragon Heir
Kirby says: This was a really cool take on magic. The second book has more to do with magic and wizards and all that stuff, and the first one was more action-packed and battles and whatnot. I did like that even though the book was about magic and wizards and stuff like that, it didn't feel like I was reading the same story over and over. There were enough cool concepts. And the main character was likable, like he was a real kid. These were both quick reads: not too long and wordy. I get bored if books are too long. And hungry.

3. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
SERIES: followed by Catching Fire, Mockingjay (not released)
Kirby says: BEST SERIES EVER! Better than Harry Potter! For real, Harry’s got that wand and all, but he wouldn’t make it five feet past that cornucopia. I’d like to see him “expelliarmus!” those Careers.I loved reading about that futuristic society, but it was kind of scary too, because I got the feeling that maybe this stuff could happen. Dude. Anyway, this series was cool. I don’t care about those “teams” though. That’s girl stuff. I totally think Peeta’s going to die.

4. The Maze Runner, James Dashner
SERIES: followed by The Scorch Trials (not released), The Death Cure (not released)
Kirby says: Really awesome story idea. Most of my friends read this one too. I’d definitely recommend this to all the guys. Lots of action and suspense. The ending was a little weird, but the next book in the series is coming out soon. TMR reminded me of Percy Jackson for some reason – the characters were funny, cool, and easy to relate to, like the characters from that series. I’d definitely recommend TMR to any PJ fans.

5. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
SERIES: followed by The Arctic Incident, The Eternity Code, The Opal Deception, The Lost Colony, The Time Paradox, The Atlantis Complex
Kirby says: One of my all-time favorite series. Elves here aren’t all old and naturey and all Lord of the Ringsy – they’re really advanced and high-tech. The cool story and many details made reading AF a fun experience. The rest of the books in the series are cool, too, and I’d recommend reading all of them. Plus it’s cool to have a main character like Artemis. He’s like a child-criminal genius, but he’s not like really bad or anything.

6. Skulduggery Pleasant, Derek Landy
SERIES: followed by Playing with Fire, The Faceless Ones, Dark Days, Mortal Coin (not released)
Kirby says: Oh my freaking gosh this book is incredible. You MUST read this. Skulduggery is the awesomest character in fiction. He's a wizard, but a wizard with a twist: not old and not a schoolboy either. When I was reading the first book, I kept thinking of a comic book or a graphic novel for some reason. It just reads that way, which is really cool, cause it's visual in this graphic-novel sense. I don't know how many books will be in the series, but I will read every single one of them.

7. The Alchemyst, Michael Scott (not the boss from 'The Office')
SERIES: followed by The Magician, The Sorceress, The Necromancer, The Warlock (not published), The Enchantress (not published)
Kirby says: I like this book a lot, but it’s kind of advanced. Like, I probably would have understood it better if I’d been in high school. But I like history so it was really cool to have historical people and events blended together with fantasy magic. It was our school's Recommended Book of the Year a few years ago. I think grownups like it because they think all that historical stuff is educational. It is, but it's cool too.

8. Gone, Michael Grant
SERIES: followed by Hunger, Lies, Plague (not published), Darkness (not published), Light (not published)
Kirby says: It sounds like a cheesy idea, right? All the adults are gone, and a bunch of kids and teenagers are left? Party time, right? Actually, Gone showed how crappy and horrible that situation would really be. I liked this book because it was interesting and fun, but also because it had this realistic feel to it too, like this is actually how kids would behave if something like this really happened. I liked how the author seemed to know about how kids really act and how they really feel. This is one of the best series I’ve ever read. It’s got lots of action, and I like action.

9. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone , JK Rowling
SERIES: followed by Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, The Goblet of Fire, The Order of the Phoenix, The Half Blood Prince, The Deathly Hallows
Kirby says: I’m not even going to say anything. It’s Harry freaking Potter. Ya know.

10. The Lightning Thief, Rick Riordan
SERIES: followed by The Sea of Monsters, The Titan's Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, The Last Olympian
Kirby says: Harry Potter may be a classic, but Percy Jackson's going to take over. I would definitely recommend the Percy Jackson series to everyone. Adults will like it, because they’ll get a kick out of the way the myths are incorporated into the story. And teachers will find Mr. D really funny, and probably a little autobiographical. Percy's pretty cool, Grover's hilarious, and Annabeth is hot.

11. Eragon, Christopher Paolini
SERIES: Eldest, Brisingr, untitled 4th book (not released)
Kirby says: Dragons and swords and fighting and not a lot of that romance stuff. Really cool story and pretty exciting all the way through. I didn’t mind that it’s so freaking long. The rest of the books are cool, but the first is the best. Galbatorix is one of the best villains I've ever read.


As always, Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB @ Should be Reading. Here's how it works: Grab the current book you're reading- Open up to a random page- share a little "teaser" from somewhere on that page.***Make sure your section is spoiler free!!
I finished this book last week, but just in the spirit of getting folks pumped for its 9/21 release, I'm going to do The Replacement for my teaser. This will be a little longer than usual teasers, but hey, it's to get you really hooked!

"What do you mean, 'need you'? I don't need anything."
"Oh, darling," she said, smiling and reaching for my hand. "Don't be silly. Of course you need us. You're becoming so frail, and it's only going to get worse. This really is the best solution for all of us. You'll help me, and in return, I'll make sure you're supplied with all the remedies you need and you won't have to live out the rest of your days..in agony."
I watched her, trying to see the reason behind why I was even here.
"What do you want?" I said, sounding more nervous than I would have liked."
- The Replacement, (ARC) page 108

I hope to have my non-spoiler review of The Replacement up by Thursday or Friday.
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