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RWR: Class of 2018 Recommends  

Recommendations from the Class of 2018 during their 9th grade year (for Read Write Recommend)
Last Updated: Apr 19, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Realistic Fic & Coming-of-Age

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The World According to Garp - John Irving

With his usual writing style, John Irving tells the story of T. S. Garp, the bastard son of Jenny Fields, a feminist leader. With a narrative that spans several lifetimes, Garp's story is equal parts fantastic and realistic, heart-warming and horrifying. The World According to Garp is a novel about a novelist, but in truth it is a novel about us all. (Recommended by Harry)

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The Chosen - Chaim Potok
ISBN: 9780449213445
Publication Date: 1987-04-12

This is an inspirational story about two friends and their fathers, Reuven Malther and Danny Saunders who befriended one another. Reuven's father is a strong believer in Zionism. Meanwhile, Danny's father is a Rabbi, and he is next to take his place. The conflict is that Reuven wants to take Danny's place and Danny wants to take Reuven's place. However, the differences between them are the ones that split them apart. (Recommended by Maxwell R.)

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The Highest Tide - Jim Lynch

A boy who loves the ocean. He is in his early teens, and is newly exposed to the world of sex, drugs, and media. He is on a mission almost every night to discover a new mystery of the ocean. Meanwhile, he experiences new things with his friends, typical teenage things -- having a crush, breaking the rules, not meeting the expectations of parents, etc. When he finds something one night washed up on a beach, his life changes. He makes a marine biology breakthrough and gets a lot more attention than he's ready for. (Recommended by Francesca)

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The Interestings - Meg Wolitzer

The summer Nixon resigns, 6 kids meet at a summer camp: a singer, an architect, an animator, a dancer, an actress, and a playwright. From there they form a bond that will last them over the next 30 years. This novel tracks the characters through their successes, their failures, their relationships with each other, their marriages, a death, an unforgivable crime, and much more. (Recommended by Lauren)

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Sold - Patricia McCormick

Sold by Patricia McCormick tells a story about a young Indian girl named Lakshmi who is exposed to the dangers of the sex trade in India. Overcome by poverty all her life, when Lakshmi turns 13 she has to volunteer and get involved in finding a job and providing for her family. Her determination to find a job leads her to be tricked and sold into the cruel hands of the sex trade. She is constantly abused and mistreated. She struggled to be away from her family and is forced to mature and grow under these cruel circumstances. Will she be able to return to her family and be normal again? (Recommended by Gisell)

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The Sky Is Everywhere - Jandy Nelson

Lennie is alone. After her sister's death she is lonely and sad, and she doesn't think she can ever be happy again. In whom will Lennie find comfort? In her sister's ex-boyfriend Toby, the only one who seems to feel her pain? Or the new boy in town, Joe, who makes her forget all about her sister? Will Lennie fall deeper into grief, or move on and be happy? This novel is touching for all siblings. Once you start reading, you won't want to let go. (Recommended by Ella)

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Queen of Babble - Meg Cabot

What is Lizzie going to do? She just found out her boyfriend was not who she thought he was. Now she's on her way to France where she encounters a certain guy. Instantly a spark is made. But will it go long-distance? The guy has a girlfriend who will stop this spark at all costs. Not to mention Lizzie has to write a 25-page report on the history of fashion in order to graduate from college. What if her old boyfriend comes back for her? How will her big mouth save her from this? (Recommended by Dariel)

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Fever 1793 - Laurie Halse Anderson

Matilda Cook, your average colonial teen, lives with her grandfather and mother in Philadelphia during the 1793 fever epidemic. She and her grandfather decide to leave after the outbreak and save themselves. Join Mattie on her journey of loss, adventure, and coming-of-age. (Recommended by Kate)

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I Am the Messenger - Markus Zusak

Ed Kennedy is an average 18-year-old who's working as an underaged cab driver. However, that all changes after he saves a bank from an amateur robber and receives the first card with an address. Ed works up the nerve to visit these locations and discovers unexpected surprises. But the real question is, who is sending him these cards, and why? (Recommended by Kenneth)

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Boxers and Saints (Boxed Set) - Gene Luen Yang

In China in 1896, a small village is being invaded by the "foreign devils." In an attempt to fight back, a group of men try to defend the village from the invaders, only to end up being killed. Little Bao, who is seen to bee too weak to fight for himself, trains to become the best fighter his people have ever seen. As Little Bao and his friends defend all of China, they become influenced by the power of the gods. (Recommended by Erika)

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Speak - Laurie Halse Anderson

Speak is a haunting novel about a girl surviving high school after a hard end to a summer. Going to school after calling the cops at the end of a summer party makes her life a little harder, especially because no one knows the truth about what happened to her at the party. Experience a year with Melinda Sordino as she has to deal with what happened at the party while not being able to speak up. Will Melinda be able to share what happened and speak the truth? (Recommended by Jenna)

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Ball Don't Lie - Matt De la Peña

Sticky is a foster kid who repeatedly has to move from one home to another. He is a seventeen-year-old white boy who has no place in the hood. He suffers from an obsessive compulsive personality disorder, and he has been in and our of foster homes ever since his mother died. But Sticky can ball. The savvy basketball skills he shows on the court are his only ticket out of the ghetto. Sticky has one goal, to make it to the NCAA. However, those who are jealous of his skills are out to get him. Sticky need to find a way to stay out of trouble, and achieve his goals. (Recommended by Scekem)

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The Catcher in the Rye - J. D. Salinger

Holden Caulfield is a "cynical teenager" who just got expelled from boarding school. He thinks everyone is a phony and runs away to New York to figure out what to do with his life. Join him as he wanders the city and learns about being a teenager and growing up too fast. (Recommended by Zoey)

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The Outsiders - S. E. Hinton

Ponyboy is part of a gang, the Greasers, rivals to the Socs. Late at night with his best friend Johnny, they are approached by a group of Socs looking for trouble. Ponyboy is grabbed by one of them and is almost drowned by the Socs until Johnny stabs the perpetrator, saving Ponyboy. In fear of getting arrested for murder, Ponyboy and Johnny flee from their town. They end up in an abandoned church, setting up a home in the bond. It seems as if they will live there forever. This is a definite must-read for those who life books with a coming-of-age theme and the drama of a teenage boy in the 1960s. (Recommended by Alegba)

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Boy21 - Matthew Quick

In this book, Finley uses basketball as a means of escape from the struggle he faces on a daily basis. Some of the things Finley goes through in his life are drugs, violence, and being a victim of racial violence. When Finley begins to wear the number 21 on his high school varsity team, things start to make more sense. But when he meets Russ, a new kid that plays basketball as well, Finley's identity as Boy 21 seems to help and have a significance to both of them. (Recommended by Shahid)

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It's Kind of a Funny Story - Ned Vizzini

After getting accepted to the prestigious high school of his dreams, Craig is overwhelmed by the dense workload and pressure that it brings forth, eventually leading him to check himself into a mental ward. This relatable story discloses the reality of being a teen who struggles with depression in a wholehearted and lighthearted way. (Recommended by Layla)



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Slaughterhouse-Five - Kurt Vonnegut

The story of a man's life as he travels back in time through his memories, from the bombing of Dresden to getting abducted by aliens. This is an expertly told biography of a sad man, filled with black commentary and satire. If you want a short but heavy read that will frighten you while at the same time making you laugh, read Slaughterhouse Five. (Recommended by Dalton)

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Unbroken - Laura Hillenbrand

An inspiring true story of a man who lived through the impossible. He is stranded in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with almost no chance of survival. He is then captured and tortured by the Japanese during World War II. This is a story of resilience and bravery. It is the story of an American hero that survives the impossible. (Recommended by Bennett)

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American Sniper - Chris Kyle

A man leaves college to join the Navy Seals. He trains vigorously for it, because only 10% of people pass the Navy Seal test. After passing the test he takes some time off until he is thrown into the Iraq War after 9/11. In his tours he experienced things that no normal person could take. (Recommended by Lachlan)


Dystopian: After Reading Hunger Games

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Divergent - Veronica Roth

In a dystopian society, "faction before blood" is what the citizens live by. Their society is separated into five groups based on personality. When 16-year-old Beatrice Prior takes the aptitude test, she discovers that she doesn't fit into any one faction. She must keep her lips sealed for this strangeness can mean life or death. Will Beatrice be able to keep her secret when she is seen as a threat to the faction system? (Recommended by Ellana)

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Ready Player One - Ernest Cline

The world is falling apart. This is due to most of the people on Earth spending almost their entire lives in the OASIS, a virtual universe that you can practically live in. In this world, OASIS credits are worth more than real money, and your avatar's level in a video game can make you famous in the real world. There is a contest to win the fortune of the deceased creator of OASIS. The contestants have to find clues in order to unlock extremely difficult challenges. Every gamer in the world wants this prize, but not all of them will play fair... (Recommended by Aidan)

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Uglies - Scott Westerfeld

Tally is a 15-year-old girl and lives in an ugly town, waiting to turn 16 in order for her to turn into a pretty. As her friends turn 16, they get surgery to become pretty. Tally decides to crash a party to find her now-pretty friend Peris. This is just one of her crazy adventures. As time progresses, she has many experiences and gets caught up in rebellion against society and a world where everyone is pretty. (Recommended by Carla)

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The Testing - Joelle Charbonneau

The world is devastated by total war. The remnants of civilization have organized themselves into colonies under the United Commonwealth. The leaders of the country are chosen by a program called The Testing, which puts candidates through an intense series of examinations, with the ultimate punishment for wrong answers. Malencia Vale lives in the poor Five Lakes Colony, and dreams of being chosen. Her dreams are crushed when no one from her colony is chosen, but her hopes are high the next day when her and four of her classmates are called to the Magistrate's office for an unknown reason. This book takes all the best of The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner, and combines them into a dystopian novel that is impossible to put down. (Recommended by Ian)


Do You Believe In Magic?

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Belzhar - Meg Wolitzer

Following the death of her first boyfriend, Jam Gallahue is sent to the Wooden Barn, a boarding school in Vermont for "fragile teens." Once there, she is selected for an elite english class in which she explores the works of Sylvia Plath and is given a notebook which magically allows her to transport back to her former life, at least for a little while. Will she and her classmates be able to stay in their magical world, or will they be forced to face reality? (Recommended by Stella)

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Precious Little Life - Bryan Lee O'Malley

Scott Pilgrim thought her knew where he was going in life: what he wanted to do, who he wanted to spent it with. He thought he had it all figured out. That was before Ramona Flowers (She's not just some girl he came up with in his dreams, she's actually real!). Now, he's willing to do whatever it takes to be with her, even if it means defeating her seven evil exes. Can he do it? (Recommended by Nicole)

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Going Bovine - Libba Bray

Cameron is a 16-year-old boy who receives some terrifying news: he is sick and is going to die. As he begins to morph into a death-ridding creature, he goes on an adventure that he knows will be his last. Joined by a possibly-hallucinating angel and a pessimistic dwarf, this mixture between real and not real explores the questions of the reasons why we live, and how to make the most of the life we are given. A very humorous read that will appeal to those who like popcorn, cows, and Disneyland. (Recommended by Molly)

Cameron doesn't want to put any effort into anything he does. He hates everyone, and just wants to get on with life and pay no attention to those around him. he is eventually diagnosed with an incurable disease, but has one chance to save himself. Cameron goes on a hell of an adventure to try and save his life, and the world from total annihilation from an unknown threat. He travels with strange companions and completes weird tasks on this road trip across America. (Recommended by Jalen)

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The Sculptor - Scott Mccloud

A sad but inspiring story about a dead-beat sculptor. His life is in a haze until his uncle gives him the power to sculpt anything he likes, but he only has 260 days to live. In this story he discovers his true meaning in life and goes on a journey to find his true love. I recommend this book to anyone who has a passion for fantasy and has an appreciation for art. (Recommended by Paula)

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Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs

This story is about a young boy who soon discovers the magic and mystery of the small town he is visiting with his father. He discovers the past of his grandfather, and the experiences his grandfather encountered. It looks like his grandfather's legacy is being passed onto the young boy, Jacob. (Recommended by Jaya)

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A Great and Terrible Beauty - Libba Bray

Near an Indian market, a girl watches her mother die, and feels responsible. She soon finds herself at Spence, a girl's boarding school outside of London. There she is forced to navigate around a difficult social system, and learns who her mother really was and how she died. This book is full of magic and excitement, while also giving great insight into the life of a young woman in England during the late 1800s. (Recommended by Eve)


Dragons, Mermaids, and Warrior Mice

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Mouse Guard - David Petersen

Mice that have evolved and turned into warriors wander in search of a place to stay. They fight off many much larger creatures on their journey. Even though they are small, they fight to protect their secret order, the Mouse Guard. It is adventurous and exciting. (Recommended by Myles)

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Between the Lines - Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer

Do you ever think about what happens to book characters when you close the book? Do they freeze? Do they move? Are they awake? Are they asleep? Oliver wants nothing more than to get out of the books. When the book is read, he is just your ordinary prince saving a princess, but, in reality, he wants nothing more than to escape the bubble keeping him in. (Recommended by Kayli)

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Shadow and Bone - Leigh Bardugo

Alina Starkov is an orphan, and not particularly skilled in anything. She is a mapmaker, approaching the most dangerous place in the world with her regiment. They are going to the Fold, an impenetrable darkness that holds many ravaging monsters. When her best friend is fatally injured and she is close to death, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves their lives. A power their kingdom needs, one that could save everyone. But will she be able to protect her power, keep it uncorrupted, even in the royal Grisha court? (Recommended by Liv)

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A Game of Thrones - George R.R. Martin

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin tells a story about a fantasy land where anything and everything is possible. The story tells of many different thrilling and exciting adventures, none of which are alike. The book is told from the perspectives of multiple characters, all of whom are different and offer unique perspectives. Every single person who reads the book has their own unique opinion and their own favorite characters. Even after reading the book twice, every time it excites me even more and I discover new underlying ideas and plots. A Game of Thrones is the kind of book that no matter what you like it will be an amazing read. (Recommended by Riley)

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Lies Beneath - Anne Greenwood Brown

A story about Calder, a mermaid boy who falls for a human girl, except the human girl's father is the killer of Calder's mother. The story goes through the decisions of whether Calder wants revenge, so he can avenge his dead mother, or if he will move on and be with the girl he loves, even though her father is a mermaid killer. (Recommended by Brandon)

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The Merchant of Death - D. J. MacHale

A boy in a normal school finds out that he is a time traveler when his uncle disappears and he finds a mysterious dimension-warping ring. As he embarks on a mysterious quest to a new world, he faces universal evil that transcends time and dimensions. Watch in astonishment as he goes through the struggle to save civilization after civilization. Embrace the story with every inch of your mind as it erases the boundaries of your imagination. (Recommended by Christian)


An Abundance of John Green-ness

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Will Grayson, Will Grayson - John Green and David Levithan

Take a peek into the lives of two boys with the same exact name: Will Grayson. Their polar opposite personalities make for an interesting story when they finally meet. Though both boys live many miles away and have no idea the other exists, their lives interfere at a sex shop in Chicago. When their lives combine and slowly twist together with new-found relationships, both boys learn new things about themselves and the world around them. (Recommended by Sophia C)

Will Grayson and will grayson live completely different lives. Will lives in Chicago, Illinois. will lives in naperville, illinois. Will is best friends with fabulous, flamboyant, and enormous Tiny Cooper. will talks to isaac online, the only person he feels like he can really trust. When Will and will meet, and their worlds collide, nothing will ever be the same *jazz hands*. (Recommended by Loveday)

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Blind - Rachel DeWoskin

A freak accident had happened to her, she opened her eyes and saw nothing; Emma was told that she went blind. When Emma returned to her school, she struggled to fit in and had difficulty recovering her friendships. When she heard that there was a suicide that took the life of one of Emma's classmates, she questioned the meaning of life. Emma does out into the world trying to uncover piece by piece what happened and why, while also putting her own life back together the way it was before. You will want to find out what Emma's able to see when her world goes dark. (Recommended by Rafi)

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Every Day - David Levithan

Waking up in someone else's body every day, A has learned to never get too attached to anyone. Ahas lived his/her life alone, with no one to turn to. This all changes when A falls in love with a girl when he/she wakes up in her boyfriend's body for a day. This moving love story follows the unique, yet heartwarming relationship between A and Rhiannon. Is it possible for true love to exist between two people, regardless of a constantly changing appearance? (Recommended by Rachel)

This is a fictional story about an unidentified human being who changes every day. Each day he wakes up in a different body not knowing who he is, what he's good at, and what type of traits he has. It all starts when he is morphed into a new person named Justin and meets a girl named Rhiannon. The only problem is he doesn't exactly know what happened previously in their relationship, but decides to take a turn and forgive Rhiannon for whatever she did to him. This later on leads him to start having feelings for her, but is upset at the fact that it won't last long due to him changing the next day into a new person. What will he do to keep his relationship with Rhiannon? This story will take you on an adventure in the perspective of an undefined human. (Recommended by Mei)

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Say What You Will - Cammie McGovern

A disabled teenage girl with a major speech impediment has had adults assisting her all her life. She realizes that she is the only girl in the entire school without friends her age. One day the girl has a life-changing conversation with a boy in her class: he tells her that if she had teenage assistants then she would have more friends, because no teens want to be around an adult. The girl gets her parents to agree to hire teens to be her fake friends at school and to help her out. She also requests the boy to be one of the teens she hires. Then the boy agrees they realize that they are not very different and the disabled girl and this troubled boy creates a bond closer than ever. (Recommended by Lulu G.)

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Let It Snow - John Green, Lauren Myracle, and Maureen Johnson

Follow Tobin, Jubilee, and Addie as they embark on three holiday romances. Through their journeys of love, laughter, and tears, they encounter new people and new experiences. Watch them make new friends and lose old ones throughout the Christmas holiday. These stories will make you want to cuddle by the fire with hot chocolate and bask in the joyous descriptions and also flail your arms in exasperation at some of the risky decisions each character makes. You will not be disappointed by this seasonal adventure. (Recommended by Ava)

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The Fault in Our Stars - John Green

A cancer patient meets a boy and falls in love. This book is different from other romantic plots because it shows us reality and real love with all its obstacles. We see pain and suffering, but we also see happiness and joy through all of that. If you want to read a book that is real and honest, read this one. (Recommended by Chloe)

When two teenage cancer patients meet at a support group, their lives become forever changed. Both at varying stages of their disease, progressing in both positive and negative ways, their fear of hurting each other gets worse as Hazel knows her illness is terminal. As their love for each other grows more and more, despite their fears, it becomes harder and harder for them to live a normal life. (Recommended by Sophia R.)

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Boy Meets Boy - David Levithan
Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan follows the life of Paul, a high schooler with a fantastic sense of self. At the gayest high school you'll ever hear about, Paul meets Noah, and immediately falls in love. The two quickly connect and everything seems like it couldn't get any better. But with characters like the loud and intense drag queen Infinite Darlene, shy closeted Tony, and Paul's supposedly best friend Joni and ex Kyle, things become anything but normal. Read Boy Meets Boy and fall in love with the unique and imaginative characters that you'll never forget. (Recommended by Sophia S.-C.)

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Looking for Alaska - John Green

A quiet, small town boy who's obsessed with people's last words arrives at a boarding school and meets a wild and beautiful girl. The result is a heartbreaking story about love, live, angst, friendship, and the answer to the "great perhaps." Fans of The Fault In Our Stars or Paper Towns will love John Green's Looking For Alaska. (Recommended by Maya)


REDЯUM (Mystery & Horror)

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And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie

Eight people are invited to an isolated island off the coast of Devonshire, England. As they spend their vacation there, a person dies every day. Throughout the entire story, they try to find the person amongst them who is murdering people in their group. (Recommended by Semiramis)

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Dark Places - Gillian Flynn

Three members of one family on one morning. Each is murdered differently and seen by the eyes of Libby Day, one of the only ones left standing. Confident about who the culprit is, she must testify in court. However, is Libby telling the truth? (Recommended by Zoe)

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The Shining - Stephen King

Jack Torrence finally found a good job. A hotelier at the Overlook Hotel in the middle of an isolated area in Colorado. What could go wrong? When evil forces start to lurk within the hotel, Jack's son Danny is the only one who seems to notice them. A real page turner that terrifies even the bravest souls. (Recommended by Linus)

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Murder in Mesopotamia - Agatha Christie

What began as a normal expedition would soon turn friends into enemies and make them question each other's intentions after one of the crew is killed. Well-known detective Hercule Poirot is called to take the case and what he finds out is truly unexpected. A classic crime mysetery book, it is full of deception and unexpected twists that make each page an exciting new event. (Recommended by Agatha)

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Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn

Imagine you get a call one morning: Your wife is missing and the entire country has you pegged as the murderer. A husband must find the answers as a happy and isolated suburban couple is transformed in this tail of mystery, lies, and revenge. This is one of those books that hooks the reader in and completely remodels the image of a couple in the 21st century. (Recommended by Natalie)

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Where'd You Go, Bernadette: a Novel - Maria Semple

Bee is in 8th grade, and she is planning to head to boarding school in high school. It is only when her mother disappears that she notices how important she really was to here. Using letters and emails she tracks down every step her mother took. Will Bee be able to find out the true reason for which her mother left so suddenly? This books is so entertaining, it will cause you to stay up every night wanting to know more. (Recommended by Gaia)

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Sharp Objects - Gillian Flynn

After years of not speaking to her neurotic and controlling mother, Camille Preaker faces one of her most difficult assignments. Given the task of investigating the murder of two pre-teen girls in her hometown, Camille must face her own demons if she wants to get the story, face her mother, and face her skin, crawling with words she's spoken. As Camille struggles to identify the killer, and to keep herself alive and her homecoming safe, she will find herself thrown directly into her hometown's gossip, and involved with the murderer. Sharp Objects will keep you up at night reading and make you gasp with the discovery of the killer. (Recommended by Lola)

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Murder on the Orient Express - Agatha Christie

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie tells the story of a high-class private detective on an unexpected case. When his supervisor mysteriously tells him he must return to Istanbul, he takes the next non-stop train, leading to a series of events that will shape his life, and that of everyone else on the train. This fast-paced, high-action mystery will keep you up all night trying to figure out what is going on, and who everyone really is. (Recommended by Luke)


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