Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

This book was probably one of my favorites to read of the series. The amount of adventure and creativity put into The Sea of Monsters just kept my imagination whirling the whole time. That may sound a little cheesy, but it’s true. This is one of those books that forms pictures in your head- it’s like you’re watching a movie that you created as you read. The other books did that too, but this one more so than the  rest, at least for me. In this book, Thalia’s tree (the large beautiful tree guarding Camp Half Blood) is poisoned, threatening the magical borders of the camp. Percy has to set out to find the magic item that will heal the tree and save the camp and all the demi-gods in it. They have to sail through the Sea of Monsters (also known as the Bermuda Triangle). Percy also has a new friend, a 6'3 mentally handicap boy named Tyson, so ends up playing a larger role in Percy’s life than he ever thought. 

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

I first heard of the book from the movie Conspiracies Theories where Mel Gibson's obsessive compulsive disorder forced him to buy a copy of the book whenever he saw it in a store. And then again in my 11th grade AP English class- but being the slacker I am, I bought the book for $4, left it on my bookshelf all semester, and fudged my way through class discussions with SparkNotes. About 6 months later, I got around to finally reading it- and it was a HARD book to get into for me. I felt like I read 400 pages of this kid bitching about his shitty non-friends before I realized it was just a couple chapters. But I got through it, and at the end it was another one of the classics that I was glad I read but I would probably never read again all the way through. The story is of an adolescent Holden Caulfield. There isn’t much to say aside about the story being emphasizing that it’s an embodiment of all things teen angst and the dark side of rebellion. One of the main points of the book is that there’s no character maturation- Holden is the same confused, sullen boy through the whole thing. Worth the read if you have the time, but it’s not the end of the world if you don’t. 

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

I had barely even heard of the series when this movie came out, but I had a friend who loved the books so I went to see it with her. And I actually really liked the movie so I borrowed the books from her and read them myself. And I loved them. In case you don’t know, the back story of the books are that the ancient mythical Gods, namely the Greek ones, are real and still alive (and reproducing) today. The story follows the demi-god (half human, half god) children of these Gods. The first book, The Lightning Thief, begins the tale of Percy Jackson, a teenage boy dealing with the troubles of being young and over coming an interesting form of dyslexia. Percy finds out that he is actually the only son of Poseidon, and is sent to Camp Half-Blood, a safe haven for young demi-gods to learn and train. The conflict arises when a lightning bolt is stolen from Zeus and he believes Percy is the thief. Percy sets off to find and return the bolt with his friend Annabeth Chase (daughter of Athena) and Grover (a satyr). 

After reading the books, I was slightly disappointed in the movie, although it stands alright on it’s on. But since I love the whole series so much, I’m still hoping that IMBD isn’t lying when it says they’re working on the 2nd movie of the series. 

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

What can I say about this book? The first time I read it (or tried to) when the Fellowship movie came out I was way too young to appreciate it, but once I fell deeply in love with the movies I decided to read it again (and again and again). To be fair, sometimes the passages can be little hard to follow. Sometimes I would reread a page 4 times before it sunk in. It can be a little tough to get into, especially if you don’t know the story. But if you’ve liked any of the movies, or any of the other Lord of the Rings books, I would highly recommend you include this one too. Reading the story rather than watching it allows your imagination to run even farther than the movies do. You should definitely read it before this December if you’re planning on seeing the movie version (which I’m also excited about).