unRequired Reading Blog
October has a special place in my heart. Pumpkins, changing leaves, cold weather, boots, and, of course, Halloween. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. The idea of ghosts and all types of monsters is just fascinating to me. Which is interesting in itself because I really don’t like being scared. You’ll rarely find me watching a horror movie. But scary books—those I can do, and I love them. Here are some of my favorite creepy books.
“Scuze my language.” — Billy, Ask the Dark
Billy Zeet has quite a reputation. And he got it the hard way—he earned it. Despite having a heart of gold, Billy’s rap sheet includes more petty crimes than even he can remember. He can silently break into a locked second-story window with one hand tied behind his back. And nobody can slip unseen through the dark like Billy. He’s practically a shadow. Nobody can skip school quite like Billy, either. Being the invisible man at school has put him in the seventh grade for the second time. But he has an expansive vocabulary—of cuss words.
We never outgrow fairy tales. It’s just that as we get older, we want there to be more to the story of a princess who kisses a frog. Who does that?! And what about those 12 dancing princesses? Couldn’t they do –anything- to keep each other from a terrible fate?
“...you are all the colors in one, at full brightness.”—All the Bright Places
Anything but predictable, Theodore “Freak” Finch has a phenomenal talent for making his weirdness sexy. Think your favorite Johnny Depp character. He’s a tall, dark guitarist and songwriter for a couple of local bar bands who drives his car at nail-biting speeds, can quote lengthy passages from Dr. Seuss, and is on probation at school.
Finch refuses to have a Facebook account—until he wants to contact Violet Markey. Violet is china-doll perfect, cheerleader-popular, student-council smart, I-have-my-own-website confident, and last chair flute in orchestra. Well, until a tragic accident. Now she’s just last chair flute in orchestra, sporting bangs she cut all by herself.
Video games? Check. Alien invaders? Check. Special appearances from world-renowned scientists? Triple-check! Armada, by Ernest Cline, has it all. He is back on our radar with another chart-topping classic for geeks and muggles alike. If you are a fan of Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card, and The Last Starfighter, this is the book for you. So, grab your Game Boys, tablets and keyboards. It is time to save the world.
I love Batman. I remember watching the old, cheesy shows when I was a kid. Now, Batman is much more about kicking butt and taking names. Look at all the gadgets! Look at the revamped Batmobile.. err.. Bat Tank? And, oh-my-gosh, the video games. I love the Arkham video game series and am very sad that it has come to an end with its latest installment. I just want it to keep going.
So, if you’re like me and love the elements of the Arkham Batman games—the martial arts, the riddles, the toxins, and the betrayal, check out these books filled with all those delightful, Batman-y characteristics.
Matt Miller’s mother is dead. Every day, he wakes up and puts on the same suit that he wore to her funeral. At work, at school…everywhere he goes, Matt is The Boy in the Black Suit.
I know there have been many famous time travelers throughout literary and cinematic history, but few seem to capture the interest of the Millennial Generation the way Doctor Who has. I should know. I’m one of those captivated by his shenanigans.
As we wait for series 9 to air (September 19!!), enjoy these time-traveling adventures.
Do you LOVE Assassin’s Creed? So do I! Maybe not for the same reason as you, unless you really love to geek out over how historically accurate they make their games. They do their research, and they do it well, which makes this history major squeal with glee. But, truly, there are so many reasons to love Assassin’s Creed: history; assassins; action; adventure; and even a dash of mythology and romance. There are just so many books that can be matched to it!
"Because the day, it was school. It was the bells too loud or rattly in broken speakers that would never get fixed. It was the bad floors squeaky and footprinted, and the bang of lockers. It was writing my name in the upper-right-hand corner of the paper or Mr. Nelson would automatically deduct five points, and in the upper left-hand-corner of the paper or Mr. Peter would deduct three. "—Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
High school is a strange existence. It is a minefield of cliques, relationships, and hopefully schoolwork. There are several authors who have found a sharply accurate voice when writing as teens, John Green being the most successful.
When it does ring true, scenes and exchanges strike with the power to take us back to our most vibrant adolescent memories. These are the books that hold this ability for me. They are great high school narratives dealing with isolation, cliques, peer-pressure, and simply trying to survive.