5. Al Capone Does My Shirts
I wasn’t expecting a middle school read with that title to be a heart touching story about two siblings learning to bond. You really can’t judge a book by its cover. You get into the story for the historical fiction and baseball Americana. You stay for the heart-felt story about a boy learning to connect and appreciate his special needs sister.
4. Beautiful Creatures
Beautiful Creatures really is the book that Twilight was trying to be: A classic Romantic Gothic/Southern Gothic novel. I loved it!
It’s classic romantic southern Gothic at it’s best.
When you befriend a mysterious family in an old manor house, you go to expect that there will be some supernatural shenanigans going on.
3. My Plan Jane
When I first picked up this book, I didn’t think I would like it. How can you mess with a classic? but this was fun! An alternate history where ghosts are real and so are Brontë’s characters. Jane is young Charlotte Brontë’s only friend at boarding school.
Jane Eyre, has always been able to see ghosts. Jane is recruited into a paranormal investigation at Thornfield Hall. Can they solve the case? But more importantly, will Jane ever find true love?
The best part of this version is Rochester. I like this version of Rochester because all his secrecy makes sense in the story. Rochester is a good man dealing with supernatural stuff he can’t comprehend.
2. The Cruel Prince
Jude’s parents were killed when she was seven, and she and her sisters were taken to the Faerie Court. Years later, Jude wants to earn her place among the Faer Folk, and in her quest, she delves into the murky underworld of spies, coups, and secession.
The dual nature of emotional manipulation and abuse is really well done. Jude knows her ‘father’ murdered her real parents, she can even remember it, but at the same time, he is the only father figure she’s ever really known. In a twisted way, she can’t help but love him, and she knows it’s twisted.
It’s a complex plot with three dimensional characters.
If you go into Dune expecting it to be pulp scifi where the larger than life heroes have to take down the evil galactic empire, Dune will disappoint you. Dune has more in common with Shakespeare than Flash Gordan.
Dune is a novel about politics, murder, betrayal, revenge, freedom, profit, leadership and true heroism… and spice.
I loved Dune and honestly, I don’t want to read the rest of the series because I fear some sort of Go Set a Watchman scenario.