Le sisters at La Push, WA.
Bribery goes hand in hand with having siblings. I have three siblings and we absolutely work according our own sort of barter system where we call in favors to balance things out from years ago. Elephants never forget? Well I would argue that siblings never forget--it's one of the best and worst things about them. The other day, my sister found two huge spiders and she was too chicken to kill them. "Would I do it?" Of course I would...if she wrote a guest blog post for us! Muahahaha! Luckily, my younger sister Aileen is quite a reader. Though I tried to get her to explain why she likes several romance authors--Julia Quinn
, Teresa Medeiros
, Judith McNaught
--she instead chose to not listen to me at all (as usual) and picked her own recommendations. Take it away, Aileen
Flannery agreed to dispose of a spider in my room if I agreed to do an “If You Like This, You Might Like That”
blog post. So here I am, arachnophobe and all. I’ve read different books than Flanna and she requested that I recommend a few:
The Chronicles of Prydain:
How do I love thee, Lloyd Alexander. The movie version of The Black Cauldron
does little justice to this wonderful series. Through five books, we follow Taran, assistant pig keeper, as he protects his land of Prydain from Arawn Death-Lord, who commands a legion of the undead and unsavory. This book is based on the same Welsh folklore as that of the Lord of the Rings
, but each takes a very different interpretation. You will find some similarities, but they are very different novels. If you liked Harry Potter
and are looking for something to fill that hole in your heart, The Chronicles
are a good place to go. These novels are written for a younger crowd, but stand up well to adult reading. I could read all five in a weekend, and sometimes do.
, by Robin McKinley, is a retelling of (you guessed it!) Beauty and the Beast
. McKinley’s Beauty is an awkward, pimpled, clumsy bookworm in a family of great beauties. Great beauties who are terribly nice, to boot. Beauty is funny and caring, and a good role model for young girls. If you like books with strong female characters who are into books and learning, you will like Beauty
. Also, if you like Gail Carson Levine
’s fairy tale retellings or Howl’s Moving Castle
, you may like this.
Speaking of badass heroines, Sabriel
has to be up there for books with a strong female lead. Garth Nix created a world in which the Victorian Age of a country much like England is separated from a more magical kingdom by a wall. The magical kingdom, much like in the Song of Ice and Fire
series, is a place where the dead can walk. Sabriel is a necromancer in training who must leave school in the un-magical world and return to her birthplace once her father, the Abhorsen, dies. If you like Anna Dressed in Blood
or Blood Red Road
, chances are you will like Sabriel.
The Forbidden Game:
Ah, here we come to what may be my most controversial “If You Like…” recommendation. The Forbidden Game
is a trilogy of novels by L.J. Smith, of The Vampire Diaries
and Secret Circle
fame. Obviously, if you like either of those series, pick this one up. The Forbidden Game
follows Jenny, our main protagonist, and her group of friends as they unleash a terrible evil while playing a board game. This might sound ridiculous, but it’s not. It’s actually a pretty freaky novel. Jenny’s whole life has been stalked by a supernatural creature who fell in love with her while she was a child and uses the game to escape into her world. She and her friends each have to live through their worst nightmare, as the game progresses and it’s both frightening and enlightening. Here’s the controversial part…If you liked Twilight
, or any other book with a sort of helpless love/love triangle/beautiful men fighting over me novel, you’ll probably like this.
and Maus II
are divergences from my earlier recommendations, but the graphic novels are fantastic. Art Spiegelman retells the story of a Holocaust survivor through a graphic novelization with mice as the main characters. As a junior high/high school student, these graphic novels helped me get a narrative of the Holocaust that wasn’t too overwhelming while respecting the seriousness of the subject-matter. If you like The Book Thief
or The Diary of Anne Frank
, check these out.
The Blade Itself:
Last but not least is Joe Abercombie’s The Blade Itself
. I’ve only read the first of this series, but that was due to lack of funds and law school rather than lack of desire. Blade
is a dark, twisted story of kings that takes place around the medieval era. If you like Game of Thrones
, but wish there was less politics, or if you like The Name of the Wind
, but wish there was more blood and torture, The Blade Itself
is for you. Dark, complex, twisted, and wonderful writing.
It's always surprising to me how people who spend so much time together can manage to read so many different books. I'm a little ashamed to say that I haven't read a single one of these, though I often flipped through Maus when I was a kid. Also, though I'm sure Aileen will roll her eyes at me for this comment as I'm sure she's told me before many, many times, I don't think I knew that The Black Cauldron was based on a book. (New mission: Get Aileen to do a Book vs. Movie post) I am sad that she will be going back to Oregon this morning but I'm happy that she fulfilled her part of the spider bargain and wrote this post. Thanks for the recommendations, A!
Have you read any of these books? Do you agree with her picks? Do you have any other recommendations for us?