Sara’s “Must Read’s” & Favs!

Hello friends! There are so many fabulous books out there, you know, besides mine. So I will start with a few I recommend that are similar to the genre I write, young adult fiction.

The Heartbreakers by Pamela Wells. Such a fun read about a group of girlfriends & their boy struggles. Sounds cliché, but the “rules” the girls come up with in their pact are what make it unique and interesting.

Define Normal by Julie Anne Peters. A great teenage story of irony, with a fun twist. It also has a very “Breakfast Club” like appeal…the rebel and a sweet conservative type girl coming together & realizing they have more in common than they thought. Overall, great book, with some deeper meanings buried in there.

Homeroom by Bob Nelson. Even though the 2 books listed above take place during the high school years, this one is probably geared strictly towards high “schoolers” and up. It’s absolutely one of my favorite books of all time, written by one of the most influential teachers I’ve ever had, Dr. Bob Nelson, or as we all called him, “Dr. Bob”. Dr. Bob taught psychology at my high school, J.J. Pearce in Richardson Texas. He was different than most teachers I had experienced. He actually seemed to take a genuine interest in his students and their lives. He was hands down, one of my top favorite teachers, and ended up being one of my favorite authors. His book has such an excellent grasp on the dirty politics of public education and teenage conformity and he tells it with such true psychological insight. I highly recommend you read this book within your lifetime. You won’t regret it. I have something highlighted or starred on almost every page.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. This was my favorite book when I was 11 years old. In fact, I read it twice in just 3 months I loved it so much. (And it wasn’t even a required reading for school) To this day it blows my mind that Hinton was just 16 when she wrote most of the book.

The Giver by Lois Lowry. Everyone should read this book. Such a strong message that I feel we, as a society, can really learn from. Anti conformity for life!

The Awakening by Kate Chopin. Soooooo goood. This read is definitely for older girls, though. The first time I read it I was a junior in college. I think every woman can (and should) take something from this powerful story on just how freeing it can be to break away from a certain comfort zone, or how women “should” behave. Are you sensing a theme here with these “book reviews”? Clearly I’m very into conformity and women’s oppression……*makes fart noise*.

Animal Farm by George Orwell. What can I say, it’s a classic for a reason guys (and gals, of course). Great meaning told by talking animals. A win win if you ask me.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding. Another great classic. Human nature is fascinating, and a bit terrifying, and Golding captures it perfectly. It was a favorite of mine in high school and I still enjoy reading it today. It’s scary how many of my “must reads” were the authors first books….please don’t hold me to those standards…

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? By Mindy Kaling. I just recently read this one, and let me tell you, it is laugh out loud funny. It was super cool to hear about Mindy’s background, childhood experiences, and how she got to where she is today, all told in a very personable funny context.

Before Night Falls by Reinaldo Arenas. This is definitely very mature content, but it’s an autobiography by one of my favorite Cuban writers. An absolutely fascinating story.

And finally, anything, and absolutely everything, written by George Eliot. I adore that woman to no end. It’s like I was her in another life or something…..