I have always loved the smell of libraries, and before you write me off as weird, let me explain. Libraries have always given me the thrill of exploring old books and delving into strange worlds without having to leave the comfort of my armchair. Unlike watching television, I am able to use my imagination and preferences to bring characters to life, but seeing them overcome their unique obstacles is almost as good as watching a thriller. Since I am an avid reader, I have read countless tales ranging from damsels in distress to dystopian wars, and I assure you, the following books have my seal of approval if you are looking to pass the time with a severely addicting plot line. Enjoy!
1. "Virals" by Kathy Reichs
"Virals" is an extremely intriguing book about Victoria Brennan and her three guy best friends, Ben, Hiram and Shelton, who develop canine super senses and use their newfound powers to solve crimes after being exposed to a contagious parvovirus. Along with that, there is even a love square for all of you romance lovers. There are five books and three short stories in this series, and if you enjoy science, mystery, crime and a little romance, you will love this series just as much as I do.
2. "Keeper of the Lost Cities" by Shannon Messenger
Now "Keeper of the Lost Cities" is firmly rooted in the fantasy genre, but that does not make it any less amazing. Sophie Foster, a smarter-than-average human being, discovers that she is an elf, and she leaves her old life to go live with her own species. Little does she know that she has a secret power unlike what anyone has ever seen: telepathy. She and her other astounding abilities are put to the test while she attempts to defeat a mafia group and stop her new world from destroying itself. This series is somewhat cheesy and a little on the goody-two-shoes side, but it's an evergreen tale of finding one's purpose.
3. "The Young Elites" by Marie Lu
If you want to experience the dark side while enjoying a fantasy thriller, then "The Young Elites" is for you. Adelina Amourteru, after losing an eye to a rampaging fever, is abused by her father for failing to conform to high society norms due to her scarred face. When she accidentally murders him when he attempts to stop her from fleeing, she is almost burned at the stake. She's saved at last minute by a group of heroes with mystical powers and then discovers that she has a powerful ability to create illusions. She then joins the mysterious group to overthrow a malicious monarchy.
Warning: the ending may produce tears and severe shock.
4. "Storm and Silence" by Robert Thier
"Storm and Silence" is a historical fiction/romance novel with a fresh take on love and its somewhat-conflicting feelings. Lillian Linton is a feminist in a masochistic, 19th century London society, and she resents the male population for restricting her freedom, choosing to dress like a man and receiving a job from the wealthy and influential Rikkard Ambrose. But he immediately sees her for what she is. Follow their humorous journey in battling serial killers, opportunistic (yet murderous) businessmen and a band of robbers, all while trying to figure out if both Rikkard and Lillian will develop feelings towards each other. Trust me; it's hard to tell.
5. "Their Eyes Were Watching God" by Zora Hurston
"Their Eyes Were Watching God" surprised me with its deeper meaning of breaking free of the barriers that may not always be physical. Janie Crawford searches for love, acceptance and authority through three different marriages during an era of gender inequality. She, ignoring social and financial status, chooses to see what resides within one's true self. This book really puts life into perspective for those looking for a deep, symbolic read.
6. The Grimm Fairy Tales
No one know where "The Grimm Fairy Tales" came from, but it does not matter, these short stories sell important morals through weirdly-fascinating plots that involve kings, queens, princesses, fairy godmothers and so much more. My personal favorites include "The Seven Swans," "Mother Holle," and "The White Snake." If you enjoy fairy tales like "Snow White" and "Cinderella," you will thoroughly enjoy this collection of vastly different tales.
7. "Middleworld" by J&P Voelkel
You may have heard of "Percy Jackson" and the "Kane Chronicles," both depicting Greek and Egyptian gods respectively. Well, here's a brand new twist: Mayan gods coming to life through the misfortune of teenager Maximus Murphy. An ancient Mayan king has to be summoned to battle an evil Mayan god seeking to spread death and destruction. If you enjoy adventure and mythology, then this book is for you.