Haven't we all been there at one time or another? Facing down that certain someone who can't believe we haven't read their favorite book?

Oh oh.

I remember in high school when I chose to stop reading an assigned book that was offensive to me. I'd made it to Chapter 3 and could GO NO FURTHER! I won't mention the name of the book, because I'm quite sure it will get some people up in arms saying, "You haven't read that book! What's wrong with you? It's a classic!" Maybe for some. But it wasn't for me, so I presented my teacher with an alternate book to read. He let me read the alternate; however, I later discovered that the book I'd refused to read was his FAVORITE. He was offended, and I paid the price the remainder of the school year for not reading his favorite book. (AKA my comments "weren't relevant," and my grade plummeted.)

Reading can be so personal, that when someone suggests a book or a genre to us and we say, “No thanks,” they can take it as though we've rejected THEM personally. Which is NOT the case.  It kind of reminds of the look my kids give me sometimes. You know the one . . . the "You're ruining my life" look?

So, unless you're like my two younger sons, who actually would refuse to read each others' favorite books to "take revenge" on each other, I believe the rest of the world should be above such behavior. Perhaps my expectations are too high? I don't know.

For me, reading is about filling a need, not an opportunity to offend someone, or take offense. I have a whole side dresser filled with different kinds of books that fill different needs: improving writing skills, working on writing research, escaping the everyday, and filling my spiritual bucket.

"You want me to read the Narrative on the American Civil War? Oh, there's 12 Volumes . . . and you say it's the most in-depth description on the Civil War that you've ever read? No thanks!"

I don't hate you when I say no to your suggestions, I promise. And know that I still respect and like you when you say you don't read fantasy. I'll still be your friend if you say you hate fantasy. I promise, It's true! Here's another truth: People read different books and genres for different reasons.

AND THAT'S OKAY. I repeat . . . THAT'S OKAY.

So, you're not a bad person if you don't want to read biographies, literary books, historical non-fiction, political thrillers, and horror stories. Sorry, I got carried away building my own list of books I don't like to read. But I think you get my point. 

Giving book recommendations to others is wonderful. It's an opportunity to share what we love to read, who our favorite authors are, and the words, stories and people who have inspired us to change. Just don't take it personally when someone says, "No thanks." I know I won't. If you don't like my recommendations, if you don't like my stories, even, you'll still be my friend. I won't be offended. I'll still love you. I promise!

If you’re looking for recommendations on great biographies and the latest romances, I can’t help you. If you’re looking for recommendations on some clean YA science fiction and fantasy, however, I’ve got just the thing. Here are some books I’ve read and enjoyed:

 

UNWIND by Neal Shusterman

Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen a parent may choose to retroactively get rid of a child through a process called "unwinding." Now a common and accepted practice in society, troublesome or unwanted teens are able to be easily unwound. In this book, three teens become runaway Unwinds whose paths intersect and whose lives hang in the balance.

DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver

About a teenager who falls in love in a society where love is seen as a disease.

THE GOOSE GIRL by Shannon Hale

When Ani's mother sends her away to be married in a foregn land, she finds herself at the mercy of her silver-tongued lady in waiting, who leads a mutiny that leaves her alone, destitute, and fleeing for her life. To survive, Ani takes on work as a royal goose girl, hiding in plain sight while she develops her forbidden talents and works to discover her own true, powerful voice.

LEVEN THUMPS AND THE GATEWAY TO FOO

by Obert Skye

Fourteen-year-old Leven Thumps (Lev) lives a wretched life in Burnt Culvert, Oklahoma. But his life is about to change and his destiny be fulfilled as he learns about a secret gateway that bridges two worlds—the real world and Foo, a place created at the beginning of time in the folds of the mind that makes it possible for mankind to dream and hope, aspire and imagine. But Foo in in chaos, and three transplants from that dreamworld have been sent to retrieve Lev, who alone has the power to save Foo.

STEELHEART by Brandon Sanderson

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his will.

THE FALSE PRINCE by Jennifer A. Nielsen

In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king's long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy name Sage. Sage knows that Conner's motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword's point—he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage's rivals have their own agendas as well.

THE PAPER MAGICIAN by Charlie Holmberg

Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic, despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she's bonded to paper, that will be her only magic . . . forever.

An Excisioner—a practitioner of dark, flesh magic—invades the cottage and rips Thane's heart from his chest. To save her teacher's life, Ceony must face the evil magician and embark on an unbelievable adventure that will take her into the chambers of Thane's still beating heart—and reveal the very soul of the man.

TICKER by Lisa Mantchev

A girl with a clockwork heart makes every second count. When Penny Farthing nearly died, the brilliant surgeon Clavin Warwick managed to implant a brass "Ticker," transforming her into "the first of the "Augmented."

 

Well, hopefully this gives you a few "to read" books to put on your list, if we like the same genre. If you're not putting them on your list, I'm offended! Just kidding. Remember, we're still friends.


Robin Glassey grew up in Canada across the bay from a leaky nuclear power plant, giving her the not so secret power of deactivating electronic devices.  She moved to Utah in 1994 to attend BYU and fell hopelessly in love with Brett Glassey (despite his refusal to fall in love with BYU).  Robin spends her time trying to keep up with her four teenage boys, and writing clean YA fantasy. She’s addicted to french fries, Doctor Who, and stories with magic. To find out more about Robin's books click here

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