So instead, I’ve enlisted Diana’s help. We’ve written each other letters recommending five books.
Here are the five books that you MUST read:
Let’s be real. You’re the blogger responsible for all things romance, and you haven’t actually read the best-selling romance novel of all time (I made that statistic up and have no idea if it’s true). I find this unforgiveable. If you wish to remain a happening lady who is up on her pop-culture references, it’s imperative that you at least read the first book.
It’s simply not enough to rely on the cumulative knowledge of Common Novel (read: my knowledge) and the Wikipedia entry.
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, by E. Lockhart
I consider you a card carrying feminist, which means you would probably love any book by E. Lockhart, but particularly this one. I originally came across it on a list of must reads for empowering young women.
I’ve talked about The Disreputable History before, so all I’ll say here is that it’s incredibly well-written, entertaining, and smart. I’ve put this book on a pedestal (where it belongs) with Harry Potter and the Percy Jackson series. So if you hate it, it’ll probably be best if you don’t tell me.
An Abundance of Katherines, by John Green
Prior to either of us reading a John Green book, we engaged in numerous discussions on whether his hype was deserved or was a product of him being a male in a mostly female dominated genre. I bit the bullet and read The Fault in our Stars. And then followed it up by reading every other John Green book in a weekend. Yes. They were great. And yes. He deserves his props.
So now it’s time for you to read one of his books, if for no other reasons than he is one of the most popular YA authors around. But also because his books are some of the funniest I’ve ever read. My personal favorite is an Abundance of Katherines, so get on it.
The Lightening Thief, by Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson and the Olympians series)
I add this book to the list rather selfishly. I love, love, love this series. And I want to be able to talk to someone about it. I’ve asked my husband to read it several times—the most recent of which occurred yesterday.
Rachel: *scrolls through Nook, looking for a book for Ted* Oh, you should read the Percy Jackson series!
Rachel: Why not?
Ted: Because I don’t want to.
Rachel: *sighs* But why don’t you want to?
Ted: Why do you always nag me?
As you can see, I won’t be convincing Ted to read this anytime soon. So I put all my hopes on you.
Wizard’s First Rule, by Terry Goodkind
This one might be my most helpful pick for you, and I pick it only because of your first novel. It’s the first book in the Sword of Truth series, and one of the lead characters reminds me so much of the Willers in your book it’s a little shocking to me that you haven’t already read it. It’s a very fun fantasy adventure and my favorite (adult) fantasy series.
Also, I'd like to take this opportunity to give a strong recommend to the Sword of Truth TV show, which may or may not still be on Netflix.
The books I think you absolutely should read:
This isn’t particularly based on your personality. I just think that everybody should read it. You like historical romances, even if you’ve read too many of them lately, and this is one of my new favorite historicals.
#4: American Gods, by Neil Gaiman.
Look, you love road trip books. You love them so much that you’re writing one. Well, this is the ultimate road trip book. I reread it recently, and it really is as good as I remember. Weird and smart and wonderful.
#3: Vampire Academy, by Richelle Mead.
I honestly don’t understand how you haven’t read this series yet. You read and enjoyed Twilight. You cover Young Adult for our blog. You adore Richelle Mead’s Age of X series. You will love Vampire Academy. It’s absolutely delightful.
#2: The Look of Love, by Bella Andre.
You’ve overdosed so much on historical romances lately that you’ve forgotten how to write contemporary sentences. Allow me to suggest a remedy: Bella Andre’s Sullivan’s series. You like your romances to be funny, and Andre has a lovely humorous touch. I also suspect that you’ll fall in love with the men of the Sullivan clan, each of whom are taller, darker, and more handsome than the last.
#1: Sunshine, by Robin McKinley.
I really, really need you to read this book. McKinley is one of my favorite authors, and Sunshine is one of my favorite McKinley books, so that should tell you how enthusiastic I am about this. It’s one of the most enjoyable books I’ve ever read. Look at all these things that it has that you like: (1) vampires; (2) magic; (3) chocolate; (4) baked goods. What more do you want? I know it’s not available in ebook, which is a real disaster, but you go to Barnes & Noble, and they should carry it. Go make this happen.
With great affection,