Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Top Ten Books I'd Recommend to My Teenage Brother


Hello! Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week, I'm going to give a list of the top ten books I would recommend to my teen brother. Some of these I've already recommended to him, and others I haven't but would love to once Christmas break starts. I'm going to limit the list to books I've already read because I feel weird about recommending a book that I myself haven't read. Do people even do that? 

This list is influenced by the fact that my brother enjoys fantasy and historical/political intrigue. 

This book has a wide appeal - it's good for people interested in tactics and strategy, and it's also great for people like me who love in-depth characterization. 

2. Blankets by Craig Thompson

A coming-of-age graphic novel about first love. It's breathtaking, heartbreaking, and elevating. You will never see comics the same way again. 

3. Monsters by Ken Dahl

A funny and occasionally bittersweet graphic novel about a young man who finds out that he has herpes. A cautionary tale on how to not let an STD ruin your life while protecting others. Widely relevant.

4. Homeland by R.A. Salvatore (Drizzt #1)

Dark elves. A double-scimitar wielding elf grows up to question the brutal dark elf society that he was born into. Lots of well-written action scenes. Touching friendships. However, that's not all there is to it. The politics between the villains is another fascinating aspect of the book, as they constantly check each other and wait for the perfect opportunity to take control. 

5. The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks (Night Angel Trilogy #1)

In a well-developed fantasy world, a boy from the slums trains to become a wetboy, which is a certain type of assassin. A lot of the standard fantasy tropes are used, but Brent Weeks is a great storyteller. 

6. All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill 

A time travel novel, in which the future and past versions of the same girl go against each other in opposite goals. The future one wants to kill the friend, while the past one wants to save him. Who's going to succeed?

7. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Whether you end up liking it or not, I can't imagine going through your teens without reading this novel in which Holden Caulfield notes the hypocrisy in the adult world. Holden's thoughts were especially relevant at a time when I was feeling disillusioned with the differences between the real world and the world I'd been taught to expect.


8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Chbosky was inspired by Catcher in the Rye. Set in the 1990s, Charlie navigates the teen world of drugs, mixed cassette tapes, friendship, and love. I couldn't put this book down. It's one of those books that have extremely realistic characters. Poor Charlie. I hope he's all right now.


9. Throne of Glass by  Sarah J. Maas

A female assassin who's been imprisoned participates in a competition to earn her freedom. Celaena Sardothien is one badass. 


10. Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

This is a tongue-in-cheek, playful take on fantasy. It's different from a lot of the quest/assassin/adventuring hero types of novels due to its quirky and lovable characters, and the fact that while Howl is a magnificent wizard in Sophie's world, he is a typical university graduate in our world who can't land a steady job. I can so relate to his Earth-world anxieties. Now, if I could just find a couple of textbooks on magic in the Geisel library...

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Thanks for checking this out! I would recommend Game of Thrones but I have not read it *blush* and my brother is reading it already. What would you recommend to him? 

22 comments:

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    1. Good morning, Alex! That means this list was a success. :) Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  2. Perks of Being A Wallflower! SUCH a good book! Have you seen the movie? I was actually surprised at how much I liked it. Definitely one of the better book-movie adaptations out there

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    1. Hello Allie! Agreed, I have seen the movie adaptation and enjoyed it too. It's one of those books that leaves an impression long after you've read it.

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  3. Great list! I've been meaning to check out Week's Night Angel trilogy; I've only read the first in his Lightbringer trilogy (eek, hope I got the name of that trilogy right; brain is a little all over the place atm). I finally got around to Howl's Moving Castle recently and absolutely loved it! :)

    Thanks for dropping by my blog! :)

    - Lianne @ caffeinatedlife.net

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    1. Hi Lianne! Oooh. I didn't know Brent Weeks has another trilogy out! :D As for Howl's Moving Castle I had seen the anime and didn't expect to fall so deeply in love with the book. So, so good. <333

      You're welcome for the visit, and thanks for stopping by too! :)

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  4. Aw, I have one for my brother too. These were all books recommended to him as well, but he's just not a reader. It's tough!

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    1. Hello Laura! Non-readers are the hardest to recommend to, partly because you have to pick a book that'll draw them not only to the story but to the act of reading it as well.

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  5. I did the same topic! I actually just started AOY and I WISH my brother would read it! And Throne of Glass! YES! I feel like even guys might enjoy that one!
    Fantastic list!
    My TTT

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    1. Hello Fly to the Sky! Yay for brother guides! Hahaha. I guess many of us have a younger brother who we'd like to recommend books to. I wanted to find some great action/adventure books with strong female protagonists, and Throne of Glass was a great example of one. Thanks!

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  6. This can be a hard age to find good books for! You did a great job, coming up with this list.

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  7. Wow, I can't think of even one book I'd recommend my own brother, let alone ten! For me, I still need to read Howl's Moving Castle! I loved the Studio Ghibli movie, and I hope the book is just as good.

    Jackie at Bookcharmed

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    1. Hey Jackie! Howl's Moving Castle is my #1 fave Miyazaki film, although Castle in the Sky comes as a close second. The book doesn't have the anti-war emphasis that Miyazaki put into it, but it's fantastic in other ways. The world is more fleshed out, and so are the characters. If you loved the characters in the anime, you will probably love getting to know them better in the book.

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  8. I adore The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I only read it for the first time last year, but I'm rather attached to it now, haha! All Our Yesterdays is a great read, it's so action packed that you can't help but keep reading it! I need to get a copy of Blankets soon, it looks like a beautiful story.

    Thanks for stopping by my top ten!

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    1. Hi Hollie! Glad you've read Perks of Being a Wallflower and All Our Yesterdays; they're such good novels. Blankets...Oh my god. It haunts my memory just like Perks of Being a Wallflower, but even more vividly because of the breathtaking art. It's my favorite love story in the world.

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  9. Oh, oh, oh! lots of books I hadn't heard of before :) And Throne of Glass, which I remember I really enjoyed but then never continued with the series - should I? Did you read/enjoy/love the second book?

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    1. Hello BookSmartie. I haven't read Crown of Midnight yet, but I have it on my Kindle. I've heard from so many people that it's much better than the first one but I'll have to read it to make sure I agree. :P I recommend you give it a try if you really enjoyed the first one!

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  10. I haven't read many of these, but they do sound like books a guy would like. Maybe I'll pass them along to my (non-teenage) husband.

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    1. Good evening, Jenna. I have a non-teenage husband too, and I believe a lot of these books would appeal to him too!

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  11. Wow, great topic! I love that you want to find good books for your teenage brother. You've got some great ones here! My stepson really loved the Dune series when he was a teen, and also Lord of the Rings (don't all teenage boys love this? :) ), so I guess you can't go wrong with those either. Nice list!

    Lisa

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    1. Thanks, Lisa! I haven't read the Dune series but it's definitely one of those classic sci-fi/fantasy series that make it to the top lists! Thanks for the suggestions!

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