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December 13, 2013

Book Recommendations from my Friends

A few weeks ago I gave you my list of favorite books I've read this year. Since then I've read two more books that I would add to best of my 2013 reading: The Time Traveling Fashionista and Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile by Bianca Turetsky and Nearly Departed by JB Lynn. I'll be giving my review of these two books in the coming weeks.

Even as a book blogger there are great books that I don't have the time to read or sometimes even know are out there. So I asked my friends to share their best of 2013 reads. I would love for you to share what favorite books you read this year in the comments.

Laura Howard, author of The Forgotten Ones, recommends,

A Different Blue
Blue Echohawk doesn't know who she is. She doesn't know her real name or when she was born. Abandoned at two and raised by a drifter, she didn't attend school until she was ten years old. At nineteen, when most kids her age are attending college or moving on with life, she is just a senior in high school. With no mother, no father, no faith, and no future, Blue Echohawk is a difficult student, to say the least. Tough, hard and overtly sexy, she is the complete opposite of the young British teacher who decides he is up for the challenge, and takes the troublemaker under his wing.

This is the story of a nobody who becomes somebody. It is the story of an unlikely friendship, where hope fosters healing and redemption becomes love. But falling in love can be hard when you don't know who you are. Falling in love with someone who knows exactly who they are and exactly why they can't love you back might be impossible.

Buy A Different Blue at Amazon

Mandy Roberts, my high school friend, recommends,

The Reason I Jump
You’ve never read a book like The Reason I Jump. Written by Naoki Higashida, a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, it is a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one at last have a way to break through to the curious, subtle, and complex life within.
Using an alphabet grid to painstakingly construct words, sentences, and thoughts that he is unable to speak out loud, Naoki answers even the most delicate questions that people want to know. Questions such as: “Why do people with autism talk so loudly and weirdly?” “Why do you line up your toy cars and blocks?” “Why don’t you make eye contact when you’re talking?” and “What’s the reason you jump?” (Naoki’s answer: “When I’m jumping, it’s as if my feelings are going upward to the sky.”) With disarming honesty and a generous heart, Naoki shares his unique point of view on not only autism but life itself. His insights—into the mystery of words, the wonders of laughter, and the elusiveness of memory—are so startling, so strange, and so powerful that you will never look at the world the same way again.
In his introduction, bestselling novelist David Mitchell writes that Naoki’s words allowed him to feel, for the first time, as if his own autistic child was explaining what was happening in his mind. “It is no exaggeration to say that The Reason I Jump allowed me to round a corner in our relationship.” This translation was a labor of love by David and his wife, KA Yoshida, so they’d be able to share that feeling with friends, the wider autism community, and beyond. Naoki’s book, in its beauty, truthfulness, and simplicity, is a gift to be shared.

Buy The Reason I Jump at Amazon

Rachel Tsoumbakos, author of Unremembered Things and other books, recommends,

Intermix Nation
Intermix: to mix together, blend

North America, paragon of diversity, is gone. From its ashes, a new nation has arisen – Renatus – where the government segregates the surviving population into races, forbidding interracial marriage, mating, and love.

Eighteen-year-old Nazirah Nation is a pariah, an intermix, born of people from different races. When her parents are murdered in the name of justice, Nazirah grudgingly joins the growing rebellion fighting against the despotic government.

Overwhelmed with grief, consumed by guilt, Nazirah craves vengeance as a substitute for absolution. But on her journey to find the girl she once was, Nazirah must learn the hard way that nothing … no one … is purely black or white. Like her, every human is intermix, shades and hues of complex emotions. And those who can take everything away are also the ones who can give everything back.

Buy Intermix Nation at Amazon

A.B. Shepherd, author of Lifeboat and The Beacon, recommends,

She will be hunted. She will be found. The Empire will never be the same.

In a world where Power is everything, Gwendolyn leads a quiet life in a country town. That life ends the day a Rogue attack triggers the dormant Power within her.

Her guardian has been kidnapped and her home is no longer the sanctuary it once was. Accompanied by a young man who is more than what he seems, hunted by Rogues and the Empire Ruling Council, Gwen must find herself before they do.

With Power she can't control and plagued by forgotten memories she does the only thing she can.


Buy Running at Amazon

Like me, she is a fan of The Gateway Chronicles by K. B. Hoyle: The Six, The Oracle, The White Thread, The Enchanted, and The Scroll.

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

Buy Allegiant at Amazon

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