This article was submitted by a very special guest writer – my oldest daughter, Brynn.
First and foremost, I’m honored to be my dad’s first guest writer on The Book Spy! For the most part, I’d say that I’m your average teenage girl – with one exception: I’m a huge bookworm! I love reading more than just about anything.
Naturally, when you have a father nicknamed “The Rappologist” you’re around books a lot. But, and this is one thing that really stinks, my younger siblings and I (I’m the oldest) aren’t allowed to read the majority of the books that my dad reads, reviews and enjoys.
I mean think of it, we’ve literally had Mitch Rapp trivia contests in our home (moderated by my dad) and none of us kids have even been allowed to read the series uncensored!
It’s torture to see all the books my dad receives in the mail, or picks up at the local bookstore, and know that I can’t read them yet. That’s my first problem: It’s hard to find books that both interest me and are “dad-approved,” meaning my parents will let me read them.
The second problem is this: Not enough kids are reading nowadays! I know this because my friends and cousins rarely know what the heck I’m talking about when I start discussing the latest book I’m reading. It’s unfortunate, as there are so many benefits to reading. Mainly, as my dad says, “if you want to write well, read a lot!”
So when my “Rappologist” father, who moonlights as The Real Book Spy, asked me to help write an article intended to help connect my fellow teens with good books, I had just one question. When do I start?!
Below you will find five books series that I enjoy, are dad or parent-approved, and have new books coming out in 2016. Whether your kids are bookworms like me, or picky readers, these stories are sure to suck them into the wonderful world of reading!
Riders – Veronica Rossi (February 16, 2016)
The first book in Veronica Rossi’s new series sounds like an intriguing read. Gideon Blake has one dream, to become a U.S. Army Ranger. However, unbeknownst to him, a higher destiny awaits his future.
After somehow surviving an accident that was thought to be fatal, Gideon discovers that he has become one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.
An ancient evil is rising that poses a threat to the entire human race. Together with the other three horsemen and a mysterious girl, Gideon tries and fails to prevent its emergence.
Soon afterwards, Gideon is captured and interrogated by the authorities about his role in a battle that becomes a widespread incident. With the fate of all humanity on the line, he has to convince the government officials that as bizarre as it sounds, the world is in immediate and grave danger. If Gideon can’t persuade them in time, then his friends, the girl he loves, and every other person on earth will pay the price.
This book has everything I look for in a novel—suspense, action, a perilous situation with high stakes, and a hint of a love story. By having her characters face failure that will have a devastating effect worldwide, Rossi has an excellent opportunity to develop realistic characters with flaws that readers will surely be able to relate to. I cannot wait to see how Gideon reacts to, and overcomes, the horsemen’s failure.
The Riders series has the potential to open up an exciting new world for teens, both boys and girls alike, and to give readers lifelike characters they can root for.
Starflight – Melissa Landers (February 2, 2016)
Starflight is the first book in Melissa Landers’ new YA sci-fi series, and it sounds incredible! The main character, Solara Brooks, is an orphaned felon who has long dreamed of leaving her life behind and escaping to the outer realm, despite the hard life she would face there.
But in order to gain passage to the outer realm, Solara has to make a deal with Doran Spaulding, the rich, popular boy who made Solara’s trip through high school miserable.
During her journey, Solara finds herself stuck on a vessel with Doran, who then discovers that he has been framed as part of a massive conspiracy. As the two travel across space to escape their pursuers and clear Doran’s name, they must find a way to work around their enmity and get along.
Eventually, the duo reaches a mysterious planet where they discover something that is powerful enough to affect everybody in the universe – and that changes everything!
Solara’s tale sounds very exciting, and she is a beautifully flawed girl who readers can connect with. Melissa Landers’ fictional universe is vast, and her characters definitely have a lot of potential. This is one science-fiction story that I will snatch up as soon as I can, I bet your teens will love it too!
Thief of Lies – Brenda Drake (January 5, 2016)
The thing that grabbed me almost instantly with this book, is that it is the first in a series called Library Jumpers. I’ve been a bookworm since I was in second grade, and I’ve always felt right at home in libraries. So, naturally, I just had to check out this series.
Gia Kearns is an awesome girl who has no qualms about fighting boys, and who gets to travel to a whole bunch of libraries all over the world.
Thief of Lies follows Gia as she jumps around the world, and has to deal with a love triangle or two, at the same time that she’s trying to save her world and the Mystic world that she travels through.
Will Gia be able to make the right choices and save both worlds? I’m certainly looking forward to finding out! Thief of Lies will be the perfect book for teens who love libraries and the worlds that they hold on their shelves!
The Great Hunt – Wendy Higgins
I am the kind of person who enjoys fantasy stories, and I love to temporarily escape from reality to explore the impossible settings that fantasy stories often take place in.
The Great Hunt promises to take readers on a fascinating trip through a strange world where a terrible beast is wreaking havoc in the kingdom of Lochlanach, leaving death and destruction in its wake. Knowing that the beast must be stopped, the king declares a competition to kill the creature, promising his daughter’s hand in marriage to the victor.
Despite Princess Aerity’s reluctance to have to marry a man who is a complete stranger, she cares more about fulfilling her duty to the kingdom, so she does not resist. Aerity soon finds herself attracted to one hunter in particular, the rugged Paxton Seabolt. When Paxton joined the hunt, he only cared about getting rid of the beast and keeping his family safe. He resented the spoiled royal family and wasn’t interested in marrying the princess. However, Aerity and Paxton feel lured to each other, and Paxton’s opinions are challenged as he is faced by the princess’ charm.
If your teens are hungry for a good fantasy, The Great Hunt sounds like a tale that will satisfy their craving. It has brave hunters, an evil beast, and an interesting love story that is full of tension. Higgins’ next novel may prove to be the next big thing in the world of fantasy!
Into the Dim – Janet B. Taylor
Many of the female lead characters in today’s YA fiction are strong, tough, kick-butt teenage girls. But Hope Walton, the heroine of Into the Dim promises to deviate from that cliché.
Hope’s mom dies when she is just sixteen-years-old, and the already fragile girl soon finds her world collapsing all around her. While traveling to Scotland, where she will spend her summer, Hope learns something about her mother that leads to her embarking on the adventure of a lifetime.
Her mom, as it turns out, was part of a secret society of time travelers, and Hope gets the opportunity to go back and save her. She travels backwards in time to the 1100s, but has just three days to rescue her mom and return them to their current time.
Because Into the Dim is partially set in the past, there is a good chance that the reader will learn a little something about history along the way. I love the confusing possibilities that time-travel stories open up because you never quite know for sure what will happen next, or how one small action could affect an entire timeline.
I think that this novel would be perfect for teens who like suspenseful stories, with the potential of a few surprising twists along the way. Into the Dim is one novel that will find a home on my crowded bookshelf just as soon as I can get my hands on it!