Friday, July 25, 2014

Loved The Fault in Our Stars? Perhaps you should read these...

John Green’s The Fault in our Stars has taken the world by storm in recent months. At the library we get at least one request for this book daily, not to mention the frequent inquiries as to other books by Green from those who have already read it. Though we have several copies in our collection the wait list never seems to dwindle.

Perhaps the  most obvious theme from this book is that of teens dying too young of an incurable disease. Yet there are so many other reason that people love this book. One librarian friend told me that she always book talks this title as “the funniest book about teens dying from cancer you’ll ever read”. That statement might generate a few odd looks but I couldn't agree more. The humor in this book is a large part of it’s appeal. Also the title contains a beautiful love story. So below you will find titles that contain terminal illness or death, as well as a few selected because of the love story found within and their witty humor sure to resonate with readers.

At the top of my list would be Esther Earl's biography, This Star Won't Go Out. This was the girl to whom John Green dedicated The Fault in Our Stars, and though the main character, Hazel Grace, is not based on Esther the two do share many similarities. 

Summary: A collection of Esther's writings, This Star Won't Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl, was published by Dutton on Jan. 28, 2014, and is now a New York Times Bestseller. Photographs and essays by family and friends will help to tell Esther's story along with an introduction by award-winning author John Green who dedicated his #1 bestselling novel The Fault in Our Stars to her.
Image and summary from

Titles that are smart and funny, contain a love story, and also feature a teen dying from a terminal illness:

Deadline by Chris Crutcher

Summary: Ben Wolf has big things planned for his senior year. Had big things planned. Now what he has is some very bad news and only one year left to make his mark on the world.
How can a pint-sized, smart-ass seventeen-year-old do anything significant in the nowheresville of Trout, Idaho?
First, Ben makes sure that no one else knows what is going on—not his superstar quarterback brother, Cody, not his parents, not his coach, no one. Next, he decides to become the best 127-pound football player Trout High has ever seen; to give his close-minded civics teacher a daily migraine; and to help the local drunk clean up his act.
And then there's Dallas Suzuki. Amazingly perfect, fascinating Dallas Suzuki, who may or may not give Ben the time of day. Really, she's first on the list.
Living with a secret isn't easy, though, and Ben's resolve begins to crumble . . . especially when he realizes that he isn't the only person in Trout with secrets.
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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Summary: Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.
Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.
Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.
And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.
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Before I Die by Jenny Downham

Summary: Tessa is a 16-year-old with a terminal case of leukemia. After four years of battling the disease, Tessa forgoes treatment in order to more fully appreciate the last few months of her life. Not knowing how to cope with the knowledge of a death that is both certain and soon, Tessa makes a list of things she'd like to do before she dies.
Image and summary from www,

Titles that are smart and funny, contain a love story, and also feature a teen dying (sans the terminal illness):

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate,
political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.
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If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Summary: On a day that started like any other…
Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, adoring boyfriend, and a bright future full of music and full of choices. Then, in an instant, almost all of that is taken from her. Caught between life and death, between a happy past and an unknowable future, Mia spends one critical day contemplating the one decision she has left—the most important decision she’ll ever make.
Simultaneously tragic and hopeful, this is a romantic, riveting and ultimately uplifting story about memory, music, living, dying, loving.
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Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Summary: Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.
On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.
Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.
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Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Summary: What if you had only one day to live? What would you do?
Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?
Samantha Kingston has it all: the world's most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life.
Instead, it turns out to be her last.
Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

Titles that are smart and funny, and contain a love story (sans the teen dying):

Every Day by David Levithan

Summary: Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.
In his New York Times bestselling novel, David Levithan introduces readers to what Entertainment Weekly calls a “wise, wildly unique” love story about A, a teen who wakes up every morning in a different body, living a different life.
There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere. It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.
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Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

Summary: I'm telling you why we broke up, Ed. I'm writing it in this letter, the whole truth of why it happened.
Min Green and Ed Slaterton are breaking up, so Min is writing Ed a letter and giving him a box. Inside the box is why they broke up. Two bottle caps, a movie ticket, a folded note, a box of matches, a protractor, books, a toy truck, a pair of ugly earrings, a comb from a motel room, and every other item collected over the course of a giddy, intimate, heartbreaking relationship. Item after item is illustrated and accounted for, and then the box, like a girlfriend, will be dumped.
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1 comment:

Jillian said...

Great recs. I have been wanting to read Why We Broke Up, but haven't gotten around to it yet. I liked 13 reasons why, If I Stay, Before I Fall, and This Star Won't Go Out. Beautiful stories! I have to say I didn't really like We Were Liars, but I think a lot of readers enjoy it.


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