Seven Wonders Series by Peter Lerangis
I knew the best way to break out of my reading rut was to pick up some fast-paced, engaging YA. I remembered loving the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan (in fact I think it was one of my very first experiences with reading YA as an adult!), so I first tried to read his new Kane Chronicles series. Unfortunately I got lost pretty quickly trying to keep the various Egyptian gods straight, and the action just wasn't working for me (run into a room, fight through trouble - run to another place, fight through trouble - over and over). So while I hate abandoning books, I put it down.
Someone in the YA Book Club had mentioned the Seven Wonders series being similar to Percy Jackson, so when I found it available on Overdrive from my library I decided to give it a try. And I'm sure glad I did! It was exactly what I needed to break out of my rut.
Four teenagers are taken to a remote island, where they learn they have a special gene in their DNA that gives them powers, but will kill them before they turn 14 if they don't first locate seven items and return them to the island. The seven items are hidden within the seven ancient wonders of the world, so it was fun to follow the story through the five books (yes five books, not seven like I first thought) as they traveled, since I've heard a little bit about the wonders but wouldn't have been able to list them for you before reading this series.
There are apparently "journals" in this series too, short stories that give a little more background about some of the characters and places, but I decided not to pursue them. Overall, the series was a fun break and a good way to get lost in a story and learn a tiny bit of history at the same time.
Another recommendation from the YA Book Club was this dystopian trilogy. I finished the first two books last month, and am already half way through book 3.
In a time where many books in dystopian YA are similar in plot to each other, this series has unique overtones. It definitely is similar to others with the idea that "the world is in trouble, communities can't travel between each other, the government in the city is oppressing the lower class, someone from the lower class rises up to fix the government."
The main character, Gaia, is a midwife, and the government has some rules that affect her work. There are a few touchy subjects that come up over the course of the series such as miscarriage, abortion, and romance (nothing explicit), so while this technically is a YA series, I wouldn't recommend it for those on the younger end of YA like I would recommend the Seven Wonders series above. It's darker, but engaging and unpredictable.
It's also fun for me, living in Michigan, to read references to "Unlake Superior". :)
Once I'm done with the Birthmarked trilogy, I have no idea what to read next. That's the trouble with reading series -- once you finish, you're not ready to leave that world, but have to. And it's hard to know where to go next. Any recommendations?
I'm thinking I won't finish MMD's Reading Challenge this year... but then again maybe I'll choose something from one of these categories to help me decide what to read next!
Linking up with Anne Bogel's Quick Lit on November 15.
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