There's a series by Michael Grant which is really good- it's Gone, Hunger, Lies, and Plague. They'll be coming out with a new book in the series called Fear in 2012 and the last one called Light in 2013. Also, The Host is a really good book. It's by Stephanie Meyer, the author of the Twilight series. Don't judge The Host because you hate Twilight! It's a really good book and it's nothing like the Twilight series!
I agree with you about not judging all of an author's books by one. I do like anything by Charles Dickens, but I don't like all of Jane Austen's books. Go figure. There are instances when I like one book in a series and not others, but usually if I read a series I consider it as a whole book, not one entry at a time.
I feel old posting this, but back when I was in 9th grade (a couple decades ago), I would devour Anne Rice's vampire series which to me were REAL vampire stories and not teenage stories of blood-sucking football jocks. I, of course, LOVED Interview with the Vampire, followed by The Vampire Lestat, and then the final book totally bummed, but Lestat kept me inspired for a long time. Then, I read The Witching Hour, which totally made me go nuts about witches like the heroine, Rowan.
I guess my opinion of a good book is that it gives the reader a ticket to Utopia. I cannot tell you how reading those stories helped me through a very difficult adolescence, and how it allowed me to escape the boring and tedious life at home. I owe a lot to Anne Rice, to this day. I can still get to be Rowan for Halloween ;)
I read the first book in the House of Night series and thought it was interesting, but I couldn't go beyond that first book. There were too many typos, and I thought the author tried to hard to "talk" like a teenager. Using the spelling lurve a few times to mean love is ok. But over and over and over and it got annoying.
Are you looking specifically for young adult books? My students are hooked on the Lorien books, I Am Number 4 and The Power of Six. They're not great literature, but they are entertaining and engaging. If you're looking for action and adventure, try the Chess Team series by Jeremy Robinson or anything by James Rollins. If you want romance, comedy, and some gore, try the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris. If you want horror and really evil vampires, read The Strain and The Fall by Guillermo del Torro. If it's a stand-alone book, not part of a series, that you want, I recommend The Help, The Book Thief, Room, The Road, Innocent Traitor, The Autobiography of Henry VIII, and so many more!
After the Twilight fanfare, I came across a series of novels written by a mother and daughter. While I am not typically one to read adolescent literature for my own enjoyment, I found the House of Night series very engaging.
When asked to describe it, I typically say it is a mixture between Harry Potter and Twilight. The novels are written very well, contain intriguing characters, and some very descriptive passages.
Ender's Game is also my first and most highly recommended book, to anyone, but especially people who think they don't like to read. Most of my 9th grade students enjoy Walter Dean Meyer's books and claim they are entertaining enough to stick with, but realistic enough to make connections to.
I am personally not a big fan of series books (anymore) because I find them to be terribly repetitive and eventually mundane, but I'd also say the majority of my students can easily get into a series and find themselves reading every single one.
You also might like Ender's Game, which is a sci-fi novel but an excellent book. The central idea is that earth has been battling against an alien species, known as the buggers, and earth is desperately trying to train up a new general who can defeat them. However, this process must start young, and Ender is their chosen child, who must endure so much to defeat the buggers.
A reader in 9th grade might especially enjoy To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. The main character and narrator is a young girl named Scout, and the book is very much about family relationships and especially the girl's relationship with her father. At the same time, the novel also deals with an important social issue. It is well written and relatively easy to read and might lead to some very thought-provoking discussions.
I am not familiar with the titles you mentioned above, but I would also suggest The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. There are three books in the trilogy, and the protagonists are teenagers. The premise of the stories is the rather gruesome task of a literal fight to the death -- only one winner -- of a group of selected young people, but the issues and relationships that evolve over the course of the series is very readable and compelling. You won't be able to put them down!
Everyone should read "Funny boy" by Shiyam Selvadorai ! It's the story of a young Tamil boy of Sri Lanka during the Tamil - Sinhala riots of 1983.
The main character of the book is "Arjie" and why he is defined as funny, you should find out for yourselves!!!
I like most fantasy books, as long as they aren't too silly. Some examples could include Harry Potter, The Giver etc.
I do also like Shakespeare. A Midsummer Night's Dream and Othello are my favourites.
- Tuck Everlasting,
- Telling Christina Goodbye