unRequired Reading Blog

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

In Clockwork Angel, Cassandra Clare returns to the world she created in her series, The Mortal Instruments. Clockwork Angel, the first installment in the new Infernal Devices series, is set in London, several hundred years before the events in City of Bones. Tessa, an American, is called to London by her brother, only to find him missing and herself a captive, embroiled in a dark world of demons, warlocks, vampires and Nephilim, those descendants of angels who strive to protect the world from the forces of evil.

The London Clave that shelters Tessa is also home to three orphaned Nephilim, each apparently with secrets of their own. The attraction between Tessa and fiery Will takes center stage. But the quiet, mysterious Jem also falls for her, as Will pushes her away. Which handsome young man will get the girl in the end? Can a Team-Jem versus Team-Will fan split be far off?

If you like Robin McKinley

Pegasus by Robin McKinley

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.

If you haven't read Robin McKinley's newest book Pegasus (published in 2010), you might want to check it out :

Pegasus by Robin McKinley
Because of a thousand-year-old alliance between humans and pegasi, Princess Sylvi is ceremonially bound to Ebon, her own pegasus, on her twelfth birthday, but the closeness of their bond becomes a threat to the status quo and possibly to the safety of their two nations.

If you're looking for some other prolific authors, you might also enjoy Vivian Vande Velde and Donna Jo Napoli, who don't write entirely fantasy but are excellent writers in that genre and others.

Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
Book of a Thousand Days
by Shannon Hale
Fifteen-year-old Dashti, sworn to obey her sixteen-year-old mistress, the Lady Saren, shares Saren's years of punishment locked in a tower, then brings her safely to the lands of her true love, where both must hide who they are as they work as kitchen maids.


 

Cabinet of Wonders by Marie Rutkoski
Cabinet of Wonders
by Marie Rutkoski
Twelve-year-old Petra, accompanied by her magical tin spider, goes to Prague hoping to retrieve the enchanted eyes the Prince of Bohemia took from her father, and is aided in her quest by a Roma boy and his sister. (An exciting mix of fantasy, historical fiction and adventure!)


 

A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth Bunce
A Curse Dark as Gold
by Elizabeth Bunce
Upon the death of her father, seventeen-year-old Charlotte struggles to keep the family's woolen mill running in the face of an overwhelming mortgage and what the local villagers believe is a curse, but when a man capable of spinning straw into gold appears on the scene she must decide if his help is worth the price. (This is an amazing retelling of Rumplestiltskin)
 

Hero by Mike Lupica

Hero by Mike Lupica

Fourteen-year-old Zach Harriman lives in New York City with his mother and father.  He has been living the life of a typical teen until his father is killed under mysterious circumstances. In Mike Lupica's book Hero, Zach decides that following the devastating loss of his father, he wants to get to the bottom of the story.  He knows that his father was powerful and had the ear of the President of the United States.  He knows that his father was very skilled in his job of "getting things done."  Zach suspects that his father's death was no accident but a premeditated murder by an organization known as the "bads."

Zach's mother decides to throw herself into the presidential campaign for the candidate that Zach's father supported.  Though Zach supports his mother's political efforts, he decides to turn his energies towards the investigation of his father's death.  He starts asking questions.  He also begins to notice that he is being followed.  While walking though Central Park he is approached by a mysterious stranger who has information for him.  When Zach tells his beloved Uncle John about this man, he warns him to stay away from the stranger.  Who should Zach believe?

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer

Sam LaCroix has got some serious issues. He’s a college dropout working a dead-end job in fast food and an elderly next-door neighbor who has more of a night life than he does. But at least none of Sam’s problems verge on the darker side of paranormal…until now.

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, by Lish McBride, is the story of one man’s journey from slacker to soul reaver. The only things Sam has going for himself are playing hockey with potatoes in the parking lot and betting when the rookie employee is finally going to crack under the pressure. This all changes when a renegade tater obliterates a car’s tail light.

If you like Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

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.

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Eldest of three sisters, in a land where it is considered to be a misfortune, Sophie is resigned to her fate as a hat shop apprentice until a witch turns her into an old woman and she finds herself in the castle of the greatly feared Wizard Howl.

If you like Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, you might like:

Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones
Dark Lord of Derkholm
by Diana Wynne Jones
Derk, an unconventional wizard, and his magical family become involved in a plan to put a stop to the devastating tours of their world arranged by the tyrannical Mr. Chesney.

 

 

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
The Golden Compass
by Philip Pullman
Accompanied by her daemon, Lyra Belacqua sets out to prevent her best friend and other kidnapped children from becoming the subject of gruesome experiments in the Far North.

 

 

Goose Chase by Patrice Kindl
Goose Chase
by Patrice Kindl
Rather than marry a cruel king or a seemingly dim-witted prince, an enchanted goose girl endures imprisonment, capture by several ogresses, and other dangers, before learning exactly who she is.

 
 

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.