Winger by Andrew Smith

I am super obsessed with this book right now. If you haven’t read it, you need to. Seriously. I’m super super obsessed.

Ryan Dean West is a 14-year-old junior. Yes, you read that correctly. He also plays rugby.

Both of these things are rather uncommon. And yet, Ryan Dean West is an effortlessly relatable character. Andrew Smith’s writing is accompanied by illustrations–comics and commentary on Ryan Dean’s life drawn by RDW himself (actually drawn by Sam Bosma).

Go read it. Now. Do it.


The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

This book is charming, funny, and hearbreaking all at once.

It is a perfect “next book” for those who have devoured all of John Green’s books.

It is a perfect “I don’t like John Green books but want that sort of idea”

It is a perfect addition to the YA world.

This book is the beginning of everything.

(Get it?)

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

If you loved The Perks of Being a Wallflower, you will love this.

If you didn’t read The Perks of Being a Wallflower, you will still love this.

Laurel is given an assignment to write a letter to a dead person. She chooses Kurt Cobain for one reason–he died young, just like her sister May. While she never turns in her assignment, she continues writing letters to Cobain, Judy Garland, Amelia Earhart, and many more–working through the issues in her life through these letters. Dellaira’s debut is a wonder–I can’t recommend this book more.

Proxy by Alex London

In Syd’s world, if you’re in debt, you have a patron. And when that patron does something wrong, it’s you who takes the punishment. And when Syd’s patron Knox gets into a car accident that kills the girl he’s with, it’s Syd who is sentenced to death. And when he escapes, he runs into Knox–his patron. And Knox finds out that the girl killed in the car accident never died…

In this great dystopian novel, Alex London provides a fantastic read for anyone of any age. With characters that are dynamic and a story that is enthralling, Proxy is one you do NOT want to miss!

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. MaasThrone of Glass
by Sarah J. Maas
(pub. 4/13)

The best comparison I can make for this is it is like the Hunger Games for Fantasy

But better. So much better. This book is *insert every possible positive adjective here* (and book two is even better!)

What is great about the protagonist (among many things) is that she is a morally ambiguous character. She is not the innocent, wide-eyed female protagonist that many book series follow behind. Caelena is, to put it as clearly as the book does, an assassin. That is what she does, and that is what makes her such an interesting character to follow. Maas is a wonderful storyteller that has left me begging for the next book. I cannot get enough of her books.

Recommended by:
Rachel – Anderson’s Bookshop Naperville

The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy

The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher HealyThe Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom
by Christopher Healy
(pub. 4/13)

This is a charming, clever, and utterly wonderful interpretation of fairy tales. Taking the four “Prince Charming”s from Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Rapunzel, this book shows the frustration these four feel at only being remembered as Prince Charming. After all they have names! (Frederick, Duncan, Liam, and Gustav, respectively, in case you were wondering.) This book is easy to adore, and even easier to laugh with (because, to be honest, these princes aren’t very good at what they do). The League of Princes is the best kind of league–unintentionally funny and still just as charming as their nicknames claim them to be.

This book is outstanding. But the character of Duncan (Snow White’s prince) is the best of all. Read it for him and Snow White, if nothing else.

Recommended by:
Rachel – Anderson’s Bookshop Naperville

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussThe Name of the Wind
by Patrick Rothfuss
(pub. 12/08)

Oh. My. Lanta.

I cannot even begin to describe this book. Seriously, just go read it right now. Rothfuss has such a deep, well-built world that it is hard to escape from–mostly because you don’t want to. Even putting the magic and all fantasy elements aside, this book offers a point of view of what it is like when someone becomes a legend in their own lifetime. Told as part flashback, part present day, this recounting of a lifetime of adventures is a miraculous journey to take part of.

Seriously. Go read it.

Recommended by:
Rachel – Anderson’s Bookshop Naperville