Sunday, July 4, 2010

Series Satifaction

It appears that people who enjoy The Norwood Nest are the smartest, most intellectual, most avid readers with the best taste in books in all of the blogging world! I have gotten a lot of emails, comments, and Facebook posts about my recent post on summer reading. I am flattered, really, that you liked my book recommendations. It gives me hope that I might not be a half-bad librarian after all. Some of you have asked for more, so I thought I'd post about something near and dear to my reader's heart: the series.

I love me a series! I mean, who hasn't loved a series? I grew up on series books. Back in the day, if you gave me a few Nancy Drew books, I was good for a whole weekend. I still read Nancy Drew books for comfort - it's like going back in time. Raise your hand if you read every single Babysitter's Club book. And the Super Specials? I LIVED for those Super Specials - where they wrote in handwriting! Did you know they are reviving the Babysitter's Club? I just saw it at the bookstore today... Ann Martin wrote a new "prequel" to the first book called "The Summer Before". What about Sweet Valley High? I thought Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield were my best friends. I just got a sudden craving to re-read those books. Little House on the Prairie? Anne of Green Gables? The idea of a series is not a new one by any means. However, they are still sucking in readers from elementary school on. Series books are a little teacher's secret. If you can get a reluctant reader to love the first book in a series, they will often read three or more books without even realizing it! I almost always try to recommend a series book to my reluctant readers. Works like a charm... heck, it still works on me!

A quick browse at the bookstore will reveal more series than I could ever mention on this blog. It's crazy how many there are. Weather it's a sequel, trilogy, or full blown series: I love them. I've already mentioned a few of my favorite series:

by Suzanne Collins: The Hunger Games, Chasing Fire, and Mockingjay
by Patrick Carman: Skeleton Creek and Ghost in the Machine
by Anna Godberson: The Luxe, Envy, Rumors, and Splendor

Today I want to share three more series that I can't live without.

Series Pick #1: The Gemma Doyle Series by Libba Bray
Most of the comments I received about my last post were about "The Luxe" series. For you Luxe lovers out there... I have another one for you!! The Gemma Doyle series is very similar to The Luxe. This series tells the story of Gemma Doyle, a girl who lives in Victorian England, goes to a boarding school called Spence Academy, and has strange visions and powers that link her to "the realms" and a dangerous form of ancient magic. It's dark and a bit scary - kind of a cross between The Luxe and Twilight. The back of the first book touts it as "A delicious, elegant Gothic" and "This is a curl-up-under-the covers kind of book... a vast canvas of rustling skirts and dancing shadows and things that go bump in the night." SOLD.

Series Pick #2: The Uglies Series by Scott Westerfield
This series could not be more different from The Luxe. However, they are truly some of my favorite books ever. When I finished this series, I cried because I was so sad it was over. I truly felt as if I knew the characters, and I did not want it to be over. Scott Westerfield is amazing! These novels have a fascinating premise: they are set far in the future in a world almost completely controlled by technology. The main character, Tally, lives in a society in which everyone in their natural state is considered to be ugly. When teens turn sixteen, they undergo a special operation that makes them pretty by replacing their bones, skin, and facial features. People then go to live in "pretty town" where they are separated at a safe distance from the uglies and they spend the rest of their lives having crazy parties with no worries at all. Tally, however, is different. She's not sure if she wants to become pretty. The story is about what happens when she bucks tradition and rebels against the authorities to not become pretty. Later in the book, you find that something much more sinister is happening than just making people pretty. The futuristic setting of these books just came to life for me, and the mix of sci-fi and fantasy drew me in. These are great "escape" books. I highly recommend them! You'll definitely want to read them in the order below.

Series Pick #3: The City of Ember Series by Jeanne DuPrau
This series has been around for a while, but if you haven't read it... you should! You may have seen the movie a few years ago. The movie is good, but the books are better! This series tells the story of a post-apocalyptic world - a world in which all life on Earth has been destroyed. However, there was a group of people who anticipated the disaster and built a home for themselves underground. Generations later, these people still live underground, many of whom have never seen the "real world". Two children in the city of Ember, Lina and Doon, find out a terrible secret - their city is running out of supplies. It won't be long before they run out of power and food and everyone dies. To make matters worse, the city's government is intensely corrupt and has no desire to help the city's people, only to help themselves. This is a lower level series that could be appropriate for kids as young as 4th grade, but it can certainly be enjoyed by adults too!
Summer is about half-way over, so there's still plenty of time to read! Go get yourself hooked on a series! But don't blame me when your laundry, dishes, and errands don't get done until you have turned the last page of the last book!



Shayla said...

You'll make a great librarian, Katie! Last week on vacation I read "Also Known As Harper" after you recommended it and I really liked it a lot! I just finished another great read called "Someone Knows My Name"'s LONG but sooo good. The "Luxe" series is next on my list. I love summer reading!

Liz said...

OK so I'm not even through your whole post because when you wrote "Ann of Green Gables", you didn't write "Anne, with an 'e'".... this was like the theme of the first half of the book. ANNE with an E. :)

Liz said...

p.s. I love the last part of your post about not being able to put the books down.... that's why I didn't even start to read your POST yesterday. I knew I didn't have time to read the post, much less get sucked in and want to go to Half Price Books immediately and disaster.

Katie Norwood said...

OK so maybe I am going to be a TERRIBLE librarian, Liz! And to think I teach grammar and spelling, too! The shame. The issue has been fixed and I assure you it shall not happen again.

Elena Serna said...

Oh my gosh! Thanks so much for this post - I can't wait to start in on some of these... Hooray summer! :)

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