Monday, June 18, 2012

Recommend that made you emotional

Based on the concept of "Recommend a..." from the Chick Loves Lit blog. This week's meme is "Recommend a...BOOK THAT MADE YOU EMOTIONAL."

Two books really rose to the top for me in this category, and both happen to be two very different "Monster" titles, both by Patrick Ness.

"Emotional" Recommendation #1
Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking, book 3) by Patrick Ness

In a word, INTENSE. The entire Chaos Walking trilogy is a heart-pounding,  emotional roller coaster, but this third one really packs a wallop! I cried and cried and cried when...well, if you've read it, you know exactly the part I'm referring to.

This sci-fi trilogy follows Todd and Viola, two teens trying to survive the hardscrabble lifestyle of colonists on a far-away planet amid "Noise," aliens, war, politics, first love, and the constant search for what is right. Nothing comes easy for Todd and Viola, and it seems as though they can trust no one but each other. This series left me breathless from start to finish; I felt like I needed to breathe deeply and calm down when I finished each book. A must-read for anyone who loves YA science fiction, Chaos Walking is among my all-time favorite books.

I read Monsters of Men about a year before I started my blog, so I do not have a review of it on my blog. Here are some others:

Review from Birdbrain(ed) Book blog
Audiobook review from Parajunkee

"Emotional" Recommendation #2
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

At first, I was actually a little disappointed in this book. I LOVE monster stories, and I thought this would be a nice, creepy story about a boy who gets nightly visits from a scary monster. Indeed, the front cover, illustrations, and publisher's trailer all portray fear perfectly.

While the story is definitely about fear, it isn't the monster-in-the-closet, sleep-with-the-lights-on type of fear I was looking for. This story is a much more real type of fear, and this monster is as real as it gets.

Did A Monster Calls make me emotional? Eventually, yes. Once I overcame my expectations of a horror novel, I really enjoyed the story. I've read many reviews where readers cried at the end, and that was not me. It was not until after I read the book that I get the misty eyes over this one. In front of a class of sixth graders, no less.

It was the book trailer that did me in. I had seen the publisher's trailer many times before I read A Monster Calls. But AFTER I read it, I booktalked the story to a class of sixth graders. When I played the trailer for them, I nearly lost it. The music (so sad and desperate, those violins!) and the book's illustrations and the hands of the clock moving to 12:07--that's when the sadness hit me like a Mack truck.

After my teary eyes (which I mentioned to the class), A Monster Calls stays checked out pretty regularly these days.

My review of A Monster Calls
Review from Danielle at "There's A Book"--Contains spoilers but shows how readers really relate emotionally to this book
Review of audiobook by "Up, Up and Away" blog
NY Times article about the healing properties of AMC

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  1. One For The Murphy's and See You at Harry's really had me bawling.

  2. I haven't read any of these, but I have heard great things about the Chaos Walking trilogy! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    -McKenna @ Young at Heart

  3. I haven't heard of either of these--will check out on Goodreads!

  4. Everyone I've seen talk about One For the Murphys or See You At Harrys talks about crying!
    The Fault In Our Stars was an emotional read for me this year. Also I used to cry reading practically EVERY Lurlene McDaniel terminal-illness-love-story book when I was younger :)

  5. Sigh. Is there a limit at the PL for books on hold? I'm up to 8 and now have to add two more. The Fault In Our Stars is already one of them.

    I was/am a huge Lurlene McDaniel fan! I reviewed her latest, Red Heart Tattoo, recently. All these years later, she's still got it!

  6. Wow. I love your write up of these two brilliant books. They both really dig down into your core and pull out your most raw emotions. Patrick Ness is one of those authors that for me will never be topped. There are a few others in his same category, like Beth Kephart, but he has such a powerful way with words. Simply amazing.

    I love that you share the trailers with your students! I'm such a fan of a good book trailer, though they are few and far between. When you do get a great one it makes a huge difference and can really grab young readers.

    Thank you so much for the mention and for the comment on my blog! I really appreciate it!

    PS...One For the Murphys is definitely one you should read! It will make you cry, but it's so good. :o)

  7. Oddly, Mike Lupica's new Game Changers really made me cry! There was a lot of father-son conflict that was deftly done.

  8. Hmm...I need to choose a sports book for my Lone Star Plus list for next year. Sports books are definitely not my forte, but maybe this would be a good one! I don't have it yet, but maybe the PL does.

  9. The cover for A Monster Calls definitely does look like a horror.

    I find I have to be in a certain mood for emotional reads. Life can be stressful enough as it is, and books are a way for me to escape. So when they get too emotional, I find I'd rather read something else.

  10. A Monster Calls is excellent and a definite tear jerker, but lately I've cried most during The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky)and especially during Sophie & Carter (Chelsea Fine)


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