unRequired Reading Blog

Brain Jack by Brian Falkner

Brain Jack by Brian Falkner

Sam Wilson is 14 years old, lives in New York City, and is a computer genius.  It is not unusual for Sam and his friends to hack into computer systems and fool around.   In fact, computer gaming and use has reached a whole new level in Brain Jack, by Brian Falkner.  In Sam's world, being addicted to computer gaming has moved from the basement to gaming lounges.  There are individuals who spend their entire days hooked to gaming systems and do nothing else.  This book begs the question ...is this a possible future?

Sam likes to hack into systems for fun and to see if he can shut them down and then get out without his identity being detected.  One day he decides to disrupt the structure of one of the country's largest  telecommunications systems.  He is able to move through the system undetected for a while using his computer hacking skills.  However, unusual activity is noted by the web security team working for the large company.  Sam realizes that he has been spotted and decides to get out quickly.  There is a flurry of activity that follows as Sam scrambles to finish the job and remove any evidence that could link this security breach back to him.

If You Like The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (for Teens)

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. You can browse our book matches here.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Set against the tumultuous years of the post-Napoleonic era, The Count of Monet Cristo recounts the swashbuckling adventures of Edmond Dantes, a dashing young sailor falsely accused of treason. The story of his long imprisonment, dramatic escape, and carefully wrought revenge offers up a vision of France that has become immortal.

If you liked The Count of Monte Cristo, here are some other great titles you might enjoy!

Kidnapped: Being the Memoirs of the Adventures of David Balfour in the Year 1751 by Robert Louis Stevenson
Kidnapped: Being the Memoirs of the Adventures of David Balfour in the Year 1751
by Robert Louis Stevenson
A sixteen-year-old orphan is kidnapped by his villainous uncle, but later escapes and becomes involved in the struggle of the Scottish highlanders against English rule.


 

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
A Tale of Two Cities
by Charles Dickens
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" -- it was the tumultuous era of the French Revolution. Rich in drama and romance, this deftly plotted tale of adventure and courage by the most popular of English novelists bristles with suspense, culminating in a daring prison escape in the shadow of the guillotine.

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Revolution Jennifer Donnelly

Revolution, by Jennifer Donnelly, spans both time and social status. In the present there is Andi, a musical prodigy who is about to get kicked out of her prestigious New York City school. She’s mad at her father for the divorce and at her mother for retreating into her own private shell. But mostly she’s in pain over the death of her younger brother, for which she blames herself.

In the past there’s Alexandrine, living through the bloody days of the French Revolution. Alex is a struggling actor who serves as nanny to Louis-Charles, the lost prince of France, and an unwilling spy for Duc d’Orleans.

If you like Kate Brian's Private series

Kate Brian's Private series

This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. You can browse our book matches here.

Private by Kate Brian
Fifteen-year-old Reed Brennan wins a scholarship to Easton Academy -- the golden ticket away from her pill-popping mother and run-of-the-mill suburban life. But when she arrives on the beautiful, tradition-steeped campus of Easton, everyone is just a bit more sophisticated, a bit more gorgeous, and a lot wealthier than she ever thought possible. Reed realizes that even though she has been accepted to Easton, Easton has not accepted her. She feels like she's on the outside, looking in. Until she meets the Billings Girls.

Since you like Kate Brian's Private series, here are some other books filled with school drama and the lives
of the "in-crowds:"

The A-List (series) by Zoey Dean
The A-List (series)
by Zoey Dean
Seventeen-year-old blueblood Anna Percy leaves Manhattan to spend the second half of her senior year with her father in Los Angeles and quickly becomes involved in the lives of the rich and famous at Beverly Hills High School. 


 

The Au Pairs (series) by Melissa de la CruzThe Au Pairs (series) by Melissa de la Cruz
Designer labels and movie star names fall like hailstones in this trendy story of three girls spending a summer in the Hamptons, taking care of a superwealthy couple's kids. Actually, Eliza was once rich herself--until her father got busted for illegal financial activities. Forced to move to Buffalo, she's eager to be back on the scene, though she's afraid people will learn she's a worker not a player. Jacqui, from Brazil, hopes to reunite with the love of her life, and Mara is a hard worker from Sturbridge who doesn't know her Gucci from her Pucci. (from Booklist review)
 

The Clique (series) by Lisi Harrison
The Clique (series)
by Lisi Harrison
Head-to-toe Calvin Klein is in. So is Ralph Lauren. Burberry is so out. And as for Claire's platform navy Keds and two-year-old, white Gap jeans--doesn't she know that clothes are like milk or cheese with a "best-before date" and a limited shelf life? Claire is clueless when she enters seventh grade, a newcomer and total outsider when it comes to Massie's friends at an exclusive private girls' school. Massie leads her clique in humiliating Claire and the instant  messaging is very mean. (from Booklist review)

Oogy: The Dog Only a Family Could Love by Larry Levin

Oogy, the Dog Only a Family Could Love

Sometimes you find a book that reflects your own life so much that you just have to get it and read it. That is the case with this book. Oogy was a 10-week-old puppy who was used as a bait dog in dog fighting and then left in an abandoned house to die. They think that approximately a week later police received a tip about recent dog fighting in the house and discovered Oogy lying inside. His ear was ripped off, part of his head was torn away and his jaw was broken. Instead of taking him to the county pound which would result in the puppy being euthanized, the police took him to the Ardmore Animal Hospital. There, a courageous woman who worked for the veterinarian fought to save him and inspired the whole staff of the animal hospital to keep Oogy alive.

If you like The Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner

Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner

This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. You can browse our book matches here.

Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner
Fifteen-year-old Liza travels through war-ravaged territory in a struggle to bridge the faerie and human worlds and to bring back her mother while learning of her own powers and that magic can be controlled.


If you like Bones of Faerie, you might like:

The Book of Dreams by O.R. Melling
The Book of Dreams
by O. R. Melling
(The Chronicles of Faerie Book #4, the series begins with The Hunter's Moon)
Now thirteen and depressed, Dana has been living with her father and his new wife in Canada for two years, and when she finds that her gateway to the land of Faerie has been mysteriously shattered, she must travel the length and breadth of Canada to find the secret that will re-open the Faerie world.



Fairy Tale by Cyn Balog
Fairy Tale
by Cyn Balog
Morgan Sparks and her boyfriend Cam have been best friends since they were children, but just before their shared sixteenth birthday Cam confesses that he is a fairy who was switched at birth with a human child, and now the fairies want to switch them back.

 

 

Wings by Aprilynne Pike
Wings
by Aprilynne Pike
When a plant blooms out of fifteen-year-old Laurel's back, it leads her to discover the fact that she is a faerie and that she has a crucial role to play in keeping the world safe from the encroaching enemy trolls.

 

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

In Across the Universe by Beth Revis, Amy leaves all she’s ever known behind and is cryogenically frozen to follow her parents as they set out on a 300-year journey to colonize a new planet only to be awakened early and alone.

Elder, the designated next leader of the ship’s crew, has been born years ahead of the rest of his generation, he is alone in a society with no room for difference. He admits to liking a little chaos, so how could he resist a girl his own age who appears in every way different from all he’s ever known.

But being different in an enclosed world means being an outcast, a challenge to the existing order of things, and perhaps even a threat. Eldest, the current leader and Elder’s mentor, states that the greatest threat to the ship is mutiny and the first cause of discord is difference. The other causes in his mind are lack of a strong central leader and individual thought. But is absolute control really the same as strong leadership? On a ship where every function is based on lies, Amy’s difference and Elder’s tendency toward independent thought threaten both their lives.

Meanwhile, someone is killing the frozen colonists.

If you like Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. You can browse our book matches here.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
A traumatic event near the end of the summer has a devastating effect on Melinda's freshman year in high school.

Here are some suggestions for books with school drama/situations and plots that keep you guessing at the ending:
 

Amandine by Adele Griffin
Amandine
by Adele Griffin
Her first week at a new school, shy, plain Delia befriends Amandine, not anticipating the dangerous turns their friendship would take.

 

 

The Boyfriend List: (15 guys, 11 Shrink Appointments, 4 Ceramic Frogs, and Me, Roby Oliver) by E. Lockhart
The Boyfriend List: (15 guys, 11 Shrink Appointments, 4 Ceramic Frogs, and Me, Roby Oliver)
by E. Lockhart
A Seattle fifteen-year-old explains some of the reasons for her recent panic attacks, including breaking up with her boyfriend, losing all her girlfriends, tension between her performance-artist mother and her father, and more.
 

 

Cut by Patricia McCormick
Cut
by Patricia McCormick
While confined to a mental hospital, thirteen-year-old Callie slowly comes to understand some of the reasons behind her self-mutilation, and gradually starts to get better.

A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

When the Brothers Grimm wrote their fairy tales in Germany in the early 1800s, they were scary.  Many of them were so scary, in fact, that they were considered unsuitable for small children.  As time passed, the stories have been altered to give them wider audience appeal.  In A Tale Dark and Grimm, Adam Gidwitz has brought the scary back to Grimm.  This is not a fairy-tale book meant for small children.  The author gives fair warning periodically throughout the story that the tale is going to get gory and it does!!!

If you like Exit Here by Jason Myers

Exit Here by Jason Myers

This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you.

Exit Here by Jason Myers
Enter apathy. Travis is back from college for the summer, and he's just starting to settle in to the usual pattern at home: drinking, drugging ... and hooking up. But Travis isn't settling in like he used to; something isn't right. Maybe it's that deadly debauch in Hawaii, the memories of which Travis can't quite shake. Maybe it's Laura, Travis's ex, who reappears on the scene after a messy breakup and seems to want to get together -- or not. Or maybe it's his suddenly sensing how empty and messed up his life is, and wanting out. But once you're at the party, it's tough to leave...

If you like Exit Here you might like:

Crank by Ellen Hopkins
Crank
by Ellen Hopkins
Kristina Georgia Snow is the perfect daughter: gifted high school junior, quiet, never any trouble. But on a trip to visit her absentee father, Kristina disappears and Bree takes her place. Bree is the exact opposite of Kristina -- she's fearless. Through a boy, Bree meets the monster: crank. And what begins as a wild, ecstatic ride turns into a struggle through hell for her mind, her soul -- her life.

 

Looking for Alaska by John Green
Looking for Alaska
by John Green
Sixteen-year-old Miles' first year at Culver Creek Preparatory School in Alabama includes good friends and great pranks, but is defined by the search for answers about life and death after a fatal car crash.

 

 

Saint Iggy by K.L. Going
Saint Iggy
by K.L. Going
Iggy Corso, who lives in city public housing, is caught physically and spiritually between good and bad when he is kicked out of high school, goes searching for his missing mother, and causes his friend to get involved with the same dangerous drug dealer who deals to his parents.