Julie Kate’s Top 20 Books for Teens

Book Reviews, The Little Literati / Monday, September 16th, 2013

When Daina runs out of books to read, I consult one of the smartest gals I know: Julie Kate Brooks, dear friend, fellow lover of Firehouse Subs and anything at Target, and daughter of a couple fantastic colleagues of mine. She shares my love of books, and every time we have a conversation about what Daina just has to read next, I want to bottle up her recommendations and pass them along to others. 

The Little Literati gives me a perfect chance to share the book love, so I asked JK if she would be a guest blogger and share her top 10 or 20 favorite books. And why share 10 when you can share 20? Here they are! Happy reading!

Favorite Quote
Little Women
Louisa May Alcott
“I like good strong words that mean something.” 
Five fantastic females. Plus, a wonderful movie adaptation.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Sherman Alexie
“I grabbed my book and opened it up. I wanted to smell it. Heck, I wanted to kiss it. Yes, kiss it. That’s right, I am a book kisser. Maybe that’s kind of perverted or maybe it’s just romantic and highly intelligent.” 
Hilarious. Heart-breaking. Pictures.
Jane Austen
“If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.” 
Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match!
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen
“You have bewitched me, body and soul.”
They hate each other. They love each other. What’s it gonna be Liz and Darcy?
O Pioneers!
Willa Cather
“A pioneer should have imagination, should be able to enjoy the idea of things more than the things themselves.” 
You gotta be tough to survive on the Plains.
The Twelve
Justin Cronin
“Because that’s what heaven is…it’s opening the door of a house in twilight and everyone you love is there.” 
A wonderfully scary post-apocalyptic world. Lots of characters. Make a diagram. 
Dave Cullen
“When I fell out the window, I knew somebody would catch me. That’s what I need to tell you: that I knew the loving world was there all the time.”
A possible explanation. A triumph for the survivors.
The House of the Scorpion
Nancy Farmer
“He has his good side and his bad side. Very dark indeed is his majesty when he wants to be. When he was young, he made a choice, like a tree does when it decides to grow one way or the other. He grew large and green until he shadowed over the whole forest, but most of his branches are twisted.” 
Clones. Drug wars. Romance. All of the genres rolled into one great read.
Bossy Pants
Tina Fey
“To say I’m an overrated troll, when you have never even seen me guard a bridge, is patently unfair.” 
When you need a laugh.
The Fault in Our Stars
John Green
“My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.” 
I simultaneously hate and love John Green for creating the character of Augustus Waters.
A Thousand Splendid Suns
Khaled Hosseini
“One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs,
Or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls.”
Powerful. Survival. Friendship.
The World According to Garp
John Irving
“In the world according to Garp, we are all terminal cases.” 
You thought your life was weird?
The Phantom Tollbooth
Norton Juster
“You can swim all day in the Sea of Knowledge and not get wet.” 
Favorite book to read aloud.
To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee
“Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ’em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” 
Coming of age. The South. Justice.
How to Be a Woman
Caitlin Moran
“What part of ‘liberation for women’ is not for you? Is it freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? The campaign for equal pay? ‘Vogue’ by Madonna? Jeans? Did all that good shit GET ON YOUR NERVES? Or were you just DRUNK AT THE TIME OF THE SURVEY?” 
Makes me proud to be a feminist.
Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Eugene O’Neill
“For a second there is meaning! Then the hand lets the veil fall and you are alone, lost in the fog again, and you stumble on towards nowhere for no good reason.” 
Watch a family break down before your very eyes.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
JK Rowling
“Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love.” 
A great conclusion to a classic series.
The Thirteenth Tale
Diane Setterfield
“Once upon a time there was a fairy godmother, but the rest of the time there was none. This story is about one of those other times.” 
A story within a story. Best to read when raining.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Mary Ann Shaffer
“Men are more interesting in books than they are in real life.”
Letters. World War II. Love.
The Glass Castle
Jeannette Walls
“It’s the Joshua tree’s struggle that gives it its beauty.”
Crazy parents. Interesting life. Not a history book about castles.

Julie Kate Brooks is a seventeen-year-old nursing major at Florida State University. She spends most of her time in class or at the library, and though she is very young, she hates staying out past 11:00 pm. In addition to becoming a nurse, she would like to travel the world with a rag-tag team of….doesn’t really matter. Just as long as they are described as “rag-tag.”

Photo Credit: Plumb Photography

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