Top 10 Books That Would Make
A Great Book Club Pick
Two boys taken by a deadbeat, off-his-rocker dad makes up for a brutal, heart wrenching and hopeful story of how they survive on their own intelligences, instincts and love for each other. This book covers everything from new love to enduring love to failed love to misplaced familial love and just how much of it we can bear - and what ultimately it all means.
2. Matched by Ally Condie (read my review here!)
Simply because I think the world Ally Condie has created could be a possible future. Eliminating excess, controlling lives and choices and matches and food intake to maximize our output and outcome? I could probably pick 10+ people from my life right now who would opt for a life like that, and I think that warrants a discussion.
3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I don't think there's much to say that we all don't know. This series is fantastic and interesting and so action-packed that there's been years of discussion on it.
4. If I Stay/Where She Went by Gayle Foreman
If you've read these, you know why it's on this list - and if you haven't, then dear God GO GET THE BOOKS. The choice of staying when you know your family has gone will rip your soul to shreds, and then the absolute tragic and great love when there's so much to bear will make it all worthwhile.
Similar in catalyst to If I Stay, The Beginning of After tackles the idea of being left behind when the rest of your family is killed in a car accident. It adds an interesting plot element of having a friend's family involved (even to blame, pending your judgment), and after I read it I felt I could talk for hours about Laurel and her life.
6. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
This has been optioned for a movie, right? It seems fairly obvious to me why, because it's gripping and has such possibilities when you find out it's a deceased girl who has made tapes for each person who played a part in her suicide - and then sent them to those involved to let them know why and how it all comes together. It's one of those Big Life Topics neatly packaged into a bold story. Even though I was only so-so on the book itself, it would lead to tons of discussion.
I think we're all kind of like Craig Gilner, in a weird and semi-messed up way. Who hasn't felt so much pressure that we all just...crack a little bit? This is a story of a 15-year old gifted boy in a gifted school who doesn't feel like he can live up to it all: so he checks himself into a psychiatric ward after he begins to consider suicide.
8. Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan
I've mentioned on this blog before that this isn't even my favourite David Levithan novel (though still loved), but it's such a Big, Intimidating topic: 9/11 in it's just-before, during and after state. How did we all handle it? How did we all come to terms with such a tragic event, how did we all wrap our minds around it? The book handles it so well and with such a respect that it deserves to be talked about.
9. The Outsiders by SE Hinton
It's a classic about brotherhood and rivalries and the love that can cross all. Absolutely brilliant, and one of my all-time favourite books ever.
10. The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephan Chbosky
Also becoming a movie to be released later this year (with Logan Lerman, of Percy Jackson fame!), this one is also well-known and frequently banned or limited as it deals a lot with drugs, homosexuality, sex and suicide. But it's also more than just hot-button topics: it's about adolescence and introversion and awkwardness and influence and how we all have to learn how to handle life.
17-year-old Mclean has spent her years since a divorce traveling around with her father on his many jobs and avoiding her cheating mother and the new family she's creating. With every move, Mclean creates another name and personality, opting to never really be known as the inevitable relocation will only rip away all that she's known for the last year. And then they move to one town, and Mclean, in a blindsided moment, has to tell her real name: and suddenly, she's learning what it means to want to belong, how to become her real person, and that she can't always run and change forever. It's a beautiful story of feeling lost and reinvented.
12. Bonus Adult Novel: Addition by Toni Jordan
I was recommended to read this a few years ago, and even though I wasn't too crazy about it (it's a light, funny and vaguely memorable novel that mixes in some very real struggles), I still remember how it takes on the notion of OCD and how it really affects lives: not just yours, but the people around you, too. People like to joke nowadays that they're "so OCD omg, I like need to eat carrots every day or else I just feel gross, y'know?" (that's a real quote from someone in my life, by the way). But not many realize just how restrictive and terrifying this disease is. Toni Jordan's novel does quite well in the avenue of explaining it, showing what it can do and what it makes a person do, and just how to live with it. I really loved how she integrated the idea of accepting OCD and learning to live with it, not just trying to get rid of it.
What books would you pick for a book club? Leave me your link and I'll come check it out!