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New Books Climbing the Social Ladder (Part 1)

By now just about everyone who hasn’t been living under a rock for the past couple years has heard of The Hunger Games, Twilight, and, (more recently), Divergent.  These are all widely popular books, in no small part due to their movie adaptations.  With books and their adaptations on the rise, what is next on the horizon?

Below, I have selected a couple books, both series and stand-alone’s, that have been quickly gaining popularity in the bookworm community.  I tried to pick several from various genres, as well as ones that I have personally read and enjoy.

Why did we ever stop reading picture books after kindergarten? Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs is bringing it back in style.  This book is the first in the fantasy series and centers on the sixteen-year-old Jacob Portman who witnesses his grandfather’s bizarre death, is convinced by his parents that he is mentally unstable, and travels to an all-but-abandoned island to prove them wrong.  But, the most original and intriguing element of this book is the authentic photographs which drive the plot.  You will not believe it when you see them, but these are authentic, antique and, for lack of a better word, creepy photographs that Riggs has collected from various flea markets and such.  It’s growing popularity is well deserved.

This next high-fantasy series is a must read for anyone who has loved the beautiful world building of the Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter series.  Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor follows Karou, an art student in Prague.  She spends her free time collecting various animal teeth from all over the world for her adopted family who are chimaera: beasts with human and animal physical attributes.  On one such mission for her “father”, the mysterious Brimstone, she is almost killed by something even she didn’t know existed: an angel, (or Seraph as they often refer to themselves).  But, for some reason, this beautiful being of fire hesitates, allowing Karou to escape into an interdimensional portal.  The plot is too complicated to explain in such a short space, but it is well worth the read.  Laini Taylor has a gift for building worlds in which you will have no choice but to lose yourself.

Contemporary fiction as a genre is itself gaining more momentum in popular culture, and one of the writers at the forefront of it is Rainbow Rowell.  She is best known for the novel “Eleanor & Park”, but another of her books, “Fangirl”, is quickly catching up.  This book will introduce you, if you haven’t been already, to the insane world of fandoms and fanfictions.  The main character, Cath is a shy, rather-read-than-party girl who writes fanfiction of the “Simon Snow” series, (which are actually the Harry Potter books but they had to change the name), in her freetime.  But Cath’s world is turned upside down when she has to face the real-life horrors of her freshman year of college.  Rowell does a fantastic job of capturing the reality of being an introverted bookworm just trying to make it in the real world where fake-friends, flirts, and alcoholic sisters stand in the way of your sanity.  It’s a relatable feel-good novel that will exceed expectations.

Stay tuned for more editions.