One of the most challenging things for an avid reader is deciding "what next?" after finishing a great book. You could have piles of books surrounding you, and yet none of them seem ripe for reading just yet. It's infuriating, because you want to read, but you don't want to read the books you already have. Below are three of my favorite books for different preferences.
If You Like Coming Of Age Novels...
You should read Small Circles by Megan Duke! Small Circles is a short coming of age novel that follows the lives and relationships of four friends over the course of four years. Slowly but surely, you fall in love with the characters - Larson, Paxton, Owen, and Jade - as they struggle with both internal and external problems. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll smile, but most of all, you'll walk away from this story with the message that it's okay to be happy.
If You Like Morally Complicated Stories...
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult is the book for you. Told from multiple POVs, this is not only the story of two sisters, but of everyone around them. Kate is dying of leukemia. Anna is perfectly healthy, but she's spent nearly as much time in and out of the hospitals as Kate, donating everything from blood to bone marrow to keep Kate alive. When Anna is thirteen, she legally challenges her parents' right to sign off on these procedures.
Throughout the story, you are forced to ask yourself hard questions about morals and ethics: is it fair to ask one sister to sacrifice so much to save the other? If Kate dies as a result of Anna's refusal to donate a kidney, how will that affect everyone involved? Did her parents make a good decision in choosing to rely on science to create a baby that would be Kate's perfect genetic match? By the end of the book, it's up to you to answer those questions for yourself.
If You Like Dystopian YA...
You might like The Maze Runner by James Dashner! The movie comes out any day now, so if you haven't read the book yet, now's a good time. The Maze Runner is an adventurous tale of a group of boys living in The Glade - a courtyard surrounded by an enormous labyrinth of moving walls and horrible creatures. Anyone who leaves The Glade after dark dies. No one knows who put them there or why, and everyone is oddly okay with that. Until a new boy, Thomas, arrives. And then the very next day, the first girl, who seems to know too much about The Maze and Thomas. Piece by piece, they use the new knowledge to attempt escape.
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