Top 5 Books That Deserve More Credit

I like to think I’m not alone in saying we’ve all been there when it comes to reading a book or book series with a small fan base. Sure, I love Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Divergent, and several other popular book series. And yeah, there are times where I’ve gotten lucky and stumbled upon books less known that still have a lot of fans, like the Warrior Cats Arcs. However, there are some books that deserve more credit, some that have fan bases that look like that episode of Spongebob, where his only friends are a potato chip, a used napkin, and a penny. So, today I present to you my Top 5 Books That Deserve More Credit:

Number One: Michael Vey by Richard Paul Evans– Ah, Michael Vey. One of my most recent reads. I adore this book series (and am still desperately waiting to get my hands on the newest book).

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Photo Vernon Barford School 4/15/14 © (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Essentially, our main character, Michael, has mysterious electric powers, and is starting to find more people like him. Now, the reason I love this book so much is because of how “relatable” it is, for lack of a better word. Characters behave in a way that makes it seem real. You’re kidnapped? You cry. You don’t put on a tough front (which is seen a lot). If you’re a teenager who’s been stolen because of your crazy ability, you’re scared. Michael Vey nails this aspect, and because of how real it seems, it makes this book all the more terrifying. Reason #2 why I love it so much. I was on edge when I was reading this series. I don’t know if this is just me, but books that are scary are literally the greatest things. This series kills it, in my humble opinion, and should have more people reading it. It’s too good to pass up!

Number Two: H.I.V.E. by Mark Walden– Okay, I’m willing to bet most of you haven’t heard of this series. And if you have, you’re my new best friend.

I read these books about a year ago, but I never finished the series, since the newest book was impossible to find at my local library (not finishing a series is a pet peeve of mine, so this bothers me to this day). This series takes us through the journey of Otto Malpense and his friends as they train at the Higher Institute of Villainous Education to become the greatest super villains the world has ever known. This was another series that had me on the edge of my seat. Honestly, suspenseful books are my favorite thing, and this one had something crazy going on all the time. Infiltrating facilities, faking deaths, betrayals, insane backstories and reveals and wow. It was just impossible to be bored while reading this series! I loved it to pieces, and frankly, it doesn’t get the credit it deserves.

Number Three: Maximum Ride by James Patterson– I’m not sure about other people, but usually, I don’t read a series twice. And if I do, I wait awhile before doing so. But Maximum Ride. Oh man.

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Photo Vernon Barford School 10/28/16 © (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) [Maximum Ride: Book 7- Angel]

I read this series two or three years ago, and just finished rereading it last October or so. I just love it so much. I even read all the manga created for it. In this series, Max and her gang of fellow bird kids (you read that right; bird kids) were created in a lab as experiments. 98% human. 2% bird. They have wings. They were tested on and able to escape because of one of the lab workers who felt sorry for them and busted them out. They’re on the run from the scientists who want them back, and it’s all action from there. The fight sequences in this book blow my mind, and the plot is stunning. To this day, this is probably my favorite book series of all time. I think it’s the most well known book series on this list, but still, I feel it deserves more attention.

 

Number Four: Lorien Legacies by Pittacus Lore– Alright, first of all, props to anyone who knows why this is number four before reading on. Now, I haven’t read this series in about three years, and this is also one that I never finished, because the newer books weren’t out at the time. However, it is on my list of things to reread, so I’ll definitely look into it again soon and read the new books along with it. If I remember, though, this series is about the Lorien, a group of aliens who were attacked by the Mogadorians, another group of aliens, but meaner. There were two types of Lorien; the Garde, who were the warriors and had the cool legacies (powers), and the Cepan, who lack legacies, but are unfathomably smart and act as advisers, in a sense. Only a handful of Lorien were able to escape the planet, nine Garde, and nine Cepan. Each has a number, and they can only be killed in the order of their numbers (our main hero is number four). And the journey goes from there as the Mogs try to hunt down the Loric children, who are developing their legacies. It’s a great series, and the backstory is fantastic. Probably one of the most detailed backstories I’ve ever read, actually. And the delivery is phenomenal. Nothing is revealed too fast or too slow. The pace is perfect. I can’t wait to finish it.

Number Five: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson– So maybe this isn’t a “real” book. But hold on. This graphic novel is too good to be ignored.

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Photo Vernon Barford School 11/18/15 © (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Nimona is a shapeshifter looking to be the sidekick of the town’s notorious villain, Ballister Blackheart. Their adventures are not only adorable illustrated, but have an amazing story line. I love how it portrays the view points of the hero and villain (and sidekick), but the best part to me, is the ending. Which I guess you’ll have to read for yourself (please go read it now we can fangirl together).

 

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How Popular is Reading?

Reading is something I’ve always enjoyed, and I still love it to this day. Here are my thoughts on how society views reading today, and how I viewed it growing up:

I used to think everyone liked to read. Why shouldn’t they? We always read at school. We read in groups, on our own, with our teachers. It was all about reading and writing, learning to spell, and memorizing phonics charts to learn how certain letters sound together.

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Photo Kathy Cassidy 6/2/14 © (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Besides all that, I read a lot at home, or at least on my own time. I got my library card when I was six, and if I didn’t have any books I wanted to read at my house, I’d go there and find what I liked. All of my friends loved to read, too. It was great! Pretty much all aspects of my life influenced my love for reading. It seemed that it was something everyone loved to do.

Then, as I got older, the people around me (my classmates in particular) started passing time doing other activities. Video games were starting to become more popular, and soon, it seemed everyone had some sort of game console, particularly, Nintendo ones. Sports were a hit, too.

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Photo Jason Lander 5/8/10 © (CC BY 2.0)

Everyone was starting to figure out the things they liked to do to have fun. As we grew older, sleepovers and other activities with friends took up a lot of our weekends. Other things were stealing our interests.

So, I thought that, while we all had other hobbies, we all still liked to read. After all, we were still young. Reading was certainly still fun to me. It was about this time when I’d start reading one of my favorite book series to this day. Still being in elementary school weren’t plagued by overbearing amounts of homework.

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Photo Kathy Cassidy 3/21/13 © (CC-BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Plus, before we got into middle school, we had allotted times during the week where our whole class would go read in the library. It was still enough to convince me that reading was enjoyed by everyone in my life.

Unfortunately, the ugly truth became more apparent with age, and I realized that there are people who flat out hate reading. Moving up into middle school didn’t leave as much time for reading.

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Photo College Degrees 360 7/12/12 © (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Grades were suddenly our number one priority, we were introduced to final exams, and the weight of taking several different classes that piled on homework was heavy. For some people, the only reading they ever did was once every few months to get AR points for the quarter. It was honestly saddening. Suddenly, reading wasn’t a pastime anymore. It was a requirement for school. It was a burden.

Now, I believe society is unappreciative of literature. Of course, some people still adore reading, and to those people, I say, props to you, friend. You deserve a round of applause. However, a lot of focus in this day and age has shifted to social media. The “hierarchy” today isn’t as supportive of reading as it is of social media sites and the like. Several people in the honors English class I’m taking complain about having to read for class, because it’s “cool.” It’s especially sad to see great works, such as To Kill a Mockingbird, put down. If you don’t have in interest in reading, maybe you shouldn’t be in the class at all. For some, reading has been reduced to skimming the occasional newspaper article or magazine. It’s upsetting to watch society lose interest in reading, and for what? To waste their time trying to get more likes than others? Likes won’t get you into college, friend. Try picking up a book instead of your phone.

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Photo Emily Carlin 8/21/10 © (CC BY-ND 2.0)