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Thursday, November 24, 2011

[Post] 21 Books to Read Before You're 21 - Part 1

Earlier this week !ndigo released a list of books "21 Books to Read Before You're 21".

I am way past the age of 21 now, but the list still intrigued me. It seems I have read 7 of them (1/3) and I pretty much enjoyed each and every one of them. I have decided it should be my goal to read them all. And so I share the list, and my status with it, with all of you.

Since this is a pretty long list for one blog post I am going to break it up into 2 or 3 posts. This first post will focus on the 7 that I have read.

So here they are, in order of my top favourite to my least favourite:

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling
When a letter arrives for unhappy but ordinary Harry Potter, a decade-old secret is revealed to him. His parents were wizards, killed by a Dark Lord''s curse when Harry was just a baby, and which he somehow survived. Escaping from his unbearable Muggle guardians to Hogwarts, a wizarding school brimming with ghosts and enchantments, Harry stumbles into a sinister adventure when he finds a three-headed dog guarding a room on the third floor. Then he hears of a missing stone with astonishing powers which could be valuable, dangerous, or both. 

***Obviously I have read this book (and the whole series). I mean is there anyone out there still that hasn't? Completely amazing and recommended to anyone, no matter what your age or reading style you usually prefer, I am sure Harry will win you over! 

Divergent by Veronica Roth
Beatrice "Tris" Prior has reached the fateful age of sixteen, the stage at which teenagers in Veronica Roth's dystopian Chicago must select which of five factions to join for life. Each faction represents a virtue: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. To the surprise of herself and her selfless Abnegation family, she chooses Dauntless, the path of courage. Her choice exposes her to the demanding, violent initiation rites of this group, but it also threatens to expose a personal secret that could place her in mortal danger. Veronica Roth's young adult Divergent trilogy launches with a captivating adventure about love and loyalty playing out under most extreme circumstances.

***Easily the best book I read this year! I am still taking about it, and dying with impatience for the second one. You can read my review on Divergent here. 

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

***I have to thank my son and a young lady who worked at Chapters for getting me interested in this series. My son had been reading them at school and was waiting for the newest one so we were at Chapters. I asked the nice young lady in the YA section and she started raving on and on about the books and how she actually changed her vacation dates so she could be at work when the new one hit the shelves so she could take it on vacation with her. That sold me right there, and I never regretted it. Great book, and great series. I am really looking forward to seeing how the movie turns out as well. 

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
Isabella Swan's move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Bella's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Bella, the person Edward holds most dear. The lovers find themselves balanced precariously on the point of a knife—between desire and danger. Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires. This is a love story with bite.

***I enjoyed reading this book. I don't completely agree with all of the issues in the book, and not sure if I would recommend it to younger girls because of how I feel the relationships were dealt with, but as an adult I enjoyed the book and was able to overlook the issues I felt wouldn't be appropriate for my younger sister (at the time) to be reading about. 

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

When young Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his adopted family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself. Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of inescapable destiny, magical forces, and powerful people. With only an ancient sword and the instruction of an old,mysterious, hermit storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a Emperor whose evil and power knows no bounds. Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands….

*** It has been years since I read this book, but I remember how much I loved it. Unfortunately the movie was so bad it completely ruined everything for me and I never picked up any more in the series. Recently my son picked them up and devoured them, gushing about how awesome they are. I might just have to pick up the rest in the series some day soon.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

***I have read this book and really enjoyed it. If you are interested you can read my full review on this book here. 

Berlin 1942

When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move from their home to a new house far far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence running alongside stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people he can see in the distance.

But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different to his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.
***I wasn't a big fan of this book. A lot of it just rubbed me the wrong way. If you are interested in the details behind my dislike for this book feel free to read my full review here.
How many of the 21 books have you read? Do you plan on reading any others from the list in the near future? Let me know. I would love to hear!  


  1. That list is interesting. I have read only 5 of them but most have been published since I grew past the age of 21. I need to keep more in touch! :P

  2. I'm already 21 and I've read 4/7 - HP, HG, Twilight and Eragon (but not all Eragon books). I've been meaning to read Divergent for a long time now.

  3. Oh I highly recommend Divergent. It is going to be on my top list for 2011. Have you read any of the others from the complete list of 21?

  4. Totally need to read Divergent and Eragon!
    The others are done and dusted :) Woo!

  5. Awesome! And yes, you need to read Divergent!