Saturday, December 12, 2009


So I went into the local Borders Express the other day to attempt some holiday shopping. I wandered down to the young adult section where one employee was engaged in helping a customer select some Ellen Hopkins novels for someone. They were also standing in front of the books for which I was looking so I was standing around waiting patiently for them to move.

When the lady took her purchases to the register, another customer, a man this time, swooped in to ask the employee a question.

"What's a good book for a sixteen year old girl who is an avid reader?" he asked.

I really wanted to raise my hand and jump up and down going "Oooh! Pick me! Pick me!" But I didn't.

"Do you know what she likes to read?" the employee asked.

He didn't. But he had picked up a copy of Stephenie Meyer's novel The Host. I resisted the urge to gag.

"Oh yeah, that's a great book," the employee said then.

At this point I resisted the urge to say "What, are you kidding? That a great book? Seriously? Have you even read that book or are your standards just that low?" But I didn't.

She went on to explain how it wasn't a part of the Twilight series because there have been some people who have bought it thinking it was the fourth Twilight book.

"They're also making it into a movie," she finished.

I didn't actually know they were making it into a movie. I hadn't heard that. Then I resisted the urge to snicker.

"Okay," the man said. "What else?"

"Umm," I said. "Excuse me..."

Here's what a sixteen year old avid reader should be reading (If she hasn't read them already):

Speak and Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson which I firmly believe are two of the most important books teenage girls could read. The Host is so NOT one of those books.

They should also read books by Ellen Hopkins. Crank, Burned, Tricks, Identical...any of them. Really. Each one of those books is such an unique experience. The way that woman manipulates language in order to create setting and mood and character is unreal.

Suzanne Collins's novels The Hunger Games and Catching Fire are fantastic and feature a sixteen year old girl in some extraordinary circumstances. Plus, they're addictive. Once you start them, you can't put them down. The story just grabs hold of you and won't let go. I stayed up for about three days straight because I just couldn't stop reading them. The only drawback is that the third installment won't be out until August.

If she loves the supernatural, she should read Holly Black's modern faerie tale series Tithe, Valiant and Ironside. Or Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series. Lisa McMann's novel Wake and Fade are another good example.

But please, please, whatever you do, don't get The Host.

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