Mar 15, 2016

Apology & My Favorite Fantasies

I'm sorry I missed Mundane Monday this week. I was not prepared for the whirlwind weekend or Daylight Saving Time. I am chastising myself harshly. Next week, I will be better and I will have something extra special for you.

If you go through my list of books on Goodreads the majority of the books you'll find will be Historical Fiction. Because that's just my one true love. But as I have said before I have a frustrating fascination with fantasies. And Sci-Fi. More emphasis on fantasy.

I have helpfully compiled a list of ones I think you should read. Yes, they're all YA. I will let you know if I ever get into adult Fantasy and Sci-Fi.

The Queen's Thief Series, Megan Whalen Turner
I think even adults would enjoy these immensely. The boy is a rascal, but an intelligent rascal. They're fraught with political intrigue, wit, mind games, and Gen is a fascinating, flawed character you shake your head at, but root for anyway. I was beyond delighted when I discovered this series. For me, I think this was the beginning of leaving child-like written stories behind, they really opened up a new world I hadn't stepped into yet.

The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis
Forever my favorites. These will always be on the list because I have been steeped in these stories from the very beginning. I can remember Daddy reading The Magician's Nephew to us out loud and butchering the accent. The Horse and His Boy is a very close second to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, because for this girl, British children during WWII cannot be beaten. They are a world I was destined to live in, and a world I cannot live without. Thank you, C.S. Lewis

The Ascendance Trilogy, Jennifer A. Nielsen
The Ascendance Trilogy also had a hand in broadening my imagination where fantasies were concerned. Sage charmed me hog-eyed. They're a very easy read, aimed at 6-8 graders, but adventurous and exciting all the same, and definitely deserve a place here. They may not be for everyone, but Sage is another one of those dear, courageous, young boys who've been hurt too much for their boy-shaped hearts.

The Hunger Games Trilogy, Suzanne Collins
Possibly the only Sci-Fi series I will love. Suzanne Collins' writing, too, blew me away, and I think I read the last two books just so I could soak in the beautiful mystery of it. Another fantastic series adults would love, as well. I love that there is always something deeper beneath the surface. Nothing is ever as simple as it seems, which is so true to life. After the horror of children fighting children in the first book, the series becomes dedicated to destroying the Capital and ending The Hunger Games.

The Giver, Lois Lowry
I was immensely passionate about this book for months after I read it. But I have a hard time recommending it to middle schoolers. It has a very very emotional subject matter, but it also has a very important lesson everyone needs to hear. Lois Lowry's subject matter in all her books contains very deep, emotional lessons even I need reminded of sometimes. The very sensitive person should be wary.

Fantasies With a Good Dose of Historical Fiction-ness

The Scorpio Races, Maggie Stiefvater
So I've probably raved about The Scorpio Races before. I've more than likely raved about Maggie Stiefvater, too. This book fulfilled a hunger for writing, story, people, and setting I did not even know I had. The thing I'm really appreciating about this book at the moment is the names and the characters. Every single person mentioned is so clearly depicted, their names are so entwined with who they are, even if they had no description their names would make up for the lack of it, they are so personified by their names. This book just sings to me every time I read it, right down to Puck's red hair. It edges on Paranormal, so it may not be everyone's forte, but I think this is done very well.

Echo, Pam Munoz Ryan
This book is all about music. A magical harmonica, and three children who's lives are entwined by it. The fantastical side of this story is brilliant and it captured my imagination from the start. Follow the story from Germany and across America during WWII.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick
The thing that makes this book spectacular is Brian Selznick's illustrations, where the words end and the pictures take up the story. It shows the silent movie era from an entirely beautiful and creative way, but there is still an air of fantasy about this story and the magical mechanics of it.

Tuck Everlasting, Natalie Babbit
It's one of those books that leave you with a wonderful aching sadness. There isn't much more to say about it. Except that it's just a given that it's better than the movie. It reminds me of Anne of Green Gables and Jane of Lantern Hill. Avonlea and all those dear, dear people. But it is still all its own in a way that couldn't be anything else. What would you do with the chance to live forever? Would you take it or follow the circle of time?

Let's talk! Have you read any of these books? What do you think of them?

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