Welcome back! This month there is a theme (sort of) for the books I’m recommending: the human experience. That is to say that although these books span genres and age ranges, they all deal with what it’s like to be a person and live life and have those big questions about the universe floating around in your mind.
I hope you enjoy them!
What’s in the pages? Eight-year-old Christopher has just moved to Mill Grove with his mother to escape an abusive relationship. Lonely, dyslexic and still living under the shadow of the suicide of his father, he disappears into the woods one night only to return six days later. His life is changed forever; he has everything he could ever dream of… but at what cost?
Why should you read it? Imaginary Friend is hard to fit into one genre; sure, it’s a horror novel, taking its inspiration from one of the masters of horror, Stephen King. Though this book is absolutely terrifying (I put it down more than once because of the horrifying imagery) it’s also more than that; it’s a story about small towns, poverty, family ties and the relationship between a vulnerable child and his overprotective mother.
The characters are what this book so enjoyable, Chbosky has a talent for allowing you to fully relate to his characters (as proven in his only other work The Perks of Being A Wallflower – which is my favourite book). This book is a page-turning contemplation of the struggles of society when it fails it’s most vulnerable while also being a fast-paced, crazy story that’s full of suspenseful twists and horrifying turns until the very last word
Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow
Yuval Noah Harari
What’s in the pages? Harari’s aim in this book is to give the world a speculatively retrospective view of the world, and human evolution past what he argues is the tipping point humanity is at currently. He explores what will take the place of famine, plague, war and death once humanity has solved this problem and answers the question that has crossed everyone’s mind at least once. What is next for humanity?
Why should you read it? Having picked this book up at a party and reading the first chapter, when I finally bought a copy, I had extremely high expectations. The introduction to Homo Deus is gripping, intriguing and terrifying – much like the rest of the book.
Painting a bleak picture of the future while using humanities history to back up his claims, Harari turns what most people might consider science fiction into a reality that calls very close to home. If you want to find out the future of the marriage between man and machine, Homo Deus has the answers, and they are worrying to say the least!
The Nahx Invasion Series
Genre: Young Adult/Science Fiction
What’s in the pages? Sixteen-year-old Raven is one of the only survivors in a world captured by the Nahx, an alien race who kill humans and leave them where they fall. Eighth has no voice or name, just his rank and his goal – protect his offside while she kills the humans. When his offside is killed by a human and Raven’s boyfriend is killed by a Nahx – their world collide, and all they have is each other.
Why should you read it? So, I’m cheating slightly and reviewing both books in this series (Zero Repeat Forever & Cold Falling White) because it’s impossible to talk about them as two separate entities.
Although these books are extremely slow, their pacing is perfect. Prendergast uses this to allow her characters to grow passed the page and into your conciseness so that you end up caring about them and their plight. Refreshingly these books don’t fall into the same trap that other YA novels do, where their character has a problem (for example depression), and their whole world and story is focused on that trait. Instead, the author uses it as a challenge for the characters at the times where it would be in reality.
These books are thrilling, refreshing takes on both an alien invasion story and the young adult genre and I recommend them to anyone who is a fan of either genre.
For more book recommendations follow Joel’s Instagram @neurodiversebookworm.