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By Abby Del Vecchio
There is nothing better than curling up in front of the fire and reading a good book — if you have a fireplace, that is. Either way, books are a great way to escape whatever troubles you are currently dealing with in real life. Since it looks like the snow is never going to go away, pick up one of these books, curl up with some tea and read on.
14. “To Kill a Mockingbird”
This classic by Harper Lee takes place during the Great Depression in Maycomb, Alabama. The book focuses on 6 year-old Scout, her brother Jem and their father Atticus. The book centers around Atticus defending Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white woman. The classic novel focuses on many sensitive themes such as prejudice, racism, class and loss of innocence.
13. “My Sister’s Keeper”
In this Jodi Picoult novel, 13 year-old Anna is looking to sue her parents for medical emancipation when she is expected to donate a kidney to her sister Kate, who is dying from leukemia. This book keeps the reader enamored through many twists and turns, including a trial followed by an unexpected ending — something Picoult is known for.
12. “The Kite Runner”
Author Khaled Hosseini tells the story of Amir, a young boy from Kabul with many historical events being the backdrop of the story. The first half of the book contains an act of violence against Amir’s friend and father’s Hazara servant, Hassan, that Amir fails to put a stop to. The second half of the novel focuses on Amir’s guilt and his quest for redemption two decades after the incident, when he has built a life for himself in America.
11. “Fahrenheit 451”
This dystopian novel, written by Ray Bradbury in 1953, takes place in an unknown futuristic city. Guy Montag, the protagonist, is a firefighter, whose job is to burn books, which have been outlawed by society. In the futuristic society, the people do not think for themselves or have meaningful conversations with one another. Instead they watch an excessive amount of television and listen to the radio on sets attached to their ears. It has been said that Bradbury predicted the future, but he said he is “a preventer of futures.”
10. “Handle with Care”
Another Jodi Picoult book that follows the story of a mother who will do anything she can to help her daughter, Willow, who has Type III Osteogenesis Imperfecta, or brittle bone syndrome. Willow’s parents, Sean and Charlotte, visit a lawyer who tells them they can sue their OB/GYN for wrongful birth, which means, if they knew their daughter had OI, they could have aborted the pregnancy. The OB/GYN in question is Charlotte’s best friend. Throughout a series of family and legal problems, the story unfolds with a tragic, unexpected ending.
9. “Divergent” Trilogy
This series by Veronica Roth takes place in a dystopian Chicago where the citizens are separated by social and personality traits. These five factions are Abnegation, the selfless; Amity, the peaceful; Candor, the honest; Erudite, the intelligent’ and Dauntless, the brave. The story follows 16 year-old Beatrice “Tris” Prior who leaves her familial faction of Abnegation, to join Dauntless. During a series of tests prior to the transfer, Tris finds out she is Divergent, meaning she fits into more than one faction, something that is deemed dangerous. Tris and her friends must defeat those in charge telling everyone that Divergents are dangerous, all while finding the truth about where they are and why they live the way they do. The story is about self-identity and learning to be brave.
8. “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)”
Mindy Kaling’s memoir is about her life, starting from when she was a child growing up in Boston. It is a great read about a young woman trying to make it in Hollywood, but funnier, since it is told by the charming Kaling. Her humor is easily transferred onto the page, making it easy to hear her voice in your head while reading.
7. “The Glass Castle”
This memoir by Jeannette Walls tells the story of Walls’ and her siblings’ lives, growing up in a poverty-stricken family with two dysfunctional parents. The memoir tells the story of how the children try to get out of poverty to become successful people. The Glass Castle is a house Rex Walls says he will someday build for his family.
6. “The Catcher in the Rye”
The 1951 novel by J.D. Salinger focuses on teenage rebellion, identity and isolation. Holden Caulfield is the book’s protagonist and the story follows Caulfield after he is expelled from his private school in Pennsylvania on his way to see his parents in New York City. Between the years of 1961 and 1982, the novel was the most censored book in schools and libraries across the United States because of its content. If that doesn’t make you want to read it, what will?
5. “Nineteen Minutes”
Jodi Picoult is an amazing writer who knows exactly how to keep the reader interested. Nineteen Minutes takes the reader on a wild ride that follows Peter Houghton, a high school student who brings a gun to school and kills ten people. The story follows the perspective of several different characters, trying to solve the mystery of what caused Houghton to commit such a crime. In true Picoult fashion, there is a court case, with a twisted ending that no one sees coming.
4. “The Hunger Games” Trilogy
Suzanne Collins’ dystopian novel takes place in Panem, a futuristic country in North America. Years before the story takes place, the 13 districts tried to overthrow the Capitol, but the Capitol won. As punishment, District 13 was destroyed and the Hunger Games were created. Every year, 24 tributes are sent into an arena to fight to the death in order to bring fortune and fame to their home district. Katniss Everdeen volunteers for her sister and enters the arena with Peeta Mallark. The two must try to make it out alive, but things might not be as they would hope after the games are over.
3. “The Fault in Our Stars”
Of course the romance novel by John Green made the list. This is a story about Hazel Grace Lancaster, a cancer patient, who falls in love with Augustus Waters, also a cancer patient, after meeting at a support group. The book is filled with romance, laughter and tragic sadness, which is a perfect combination for an easy read, like this one.
2. “The Pact”
Another Jodi Picoult book because she knows exactly how to trick the reader into thinking one thing, then fooling them completely and having them utterly confused by the end. This tells the story of a suicide pact made by a teenage couple and the subsequent events that follow.
1. “Harry Potter” Series
Nothing can take you away from real life quite like this series by J.K. Rowling. Yeah, the books are long and there are seven of them, but Rowling writes with such detail and amazing imagination that it doesn’t feel as long as it is. The series follows Harry Potter, a young wizard, who must overcome the dark wizard, Lord Voldemort, who wants to conquer the wizarding world. Death, power, love and friendships are key themes throughout the series in ways that make the fantasy story relatable to the readers.