Traci Chee’s young adult debut, The Reader, explores a world without reading. That is a harrowing idea to think about when we know just how enriching books are to our lives. It had me thinking about what my life would be like without reading – even just recreational reading. I feel like I would be much more ignorant and naïve about the world and its diverse people and cultures – among many other things.
Reading opens many doors, and while they may only start as imaginative, often it can lead to something innovative and life-changing. Here are five stories I know I can’t live without because in their own indirect way reading them has impacted my life greatly. In addition, I partnered with Penguin Random House to offer a giveaway of The Reader, $50 VISA gift card, and tote bag.
The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
The least surprising book series to make any twenty-something’s list, but I can’t deny the love and impact J.K. Rowling’s magical wizarding world made on me growing up. I grew up with Harry, and even though our journeys were quite different (I didn’t have to defeat a powerful dark wizard, fortunately), the lessons learned were similar, and it taught me to be a braver person.
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
On my school’s summer reading list, I had not expected to love this choice as much as I did. The author weaves an epic romance spanning decades in the most interesting way through time travel. In many ways, this novel enlightened me on the complexities of love and relationships.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is one of those books that makes you believe in the goodness and love of the universe and its people. Aristotle and Dante was a breathtaking reminder of the power of love, which is something we need often in this scary and unsettling world.
Saga by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
Not all stories come in the same form. The graphic novel, Saga, is a space epic like no other. It has a unique, flabbergasting and creative world. But what makes Saga great is its transcendent story about love and family, while touching on war, politics and racism. Each issue is an immersive yet incredibly entertaining experience that expands my mind every time I read it.
The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer
This pick might earn some chortling, but if it weren’t for Twilight, this site would not exist. As a huge Twilight fan, Stephenie Meyer’s saga meant a lot to me during some of my formative years. The relationships forged with other likeminded people are ones I treasure until this very day.
One (1) winner receives:
How do you enter to win? For a chance to win The Reader prize pack, follow @TYFofficial on Twitter and retweet the tweet below. This contest is open to U.S. residents only. Prizing courtesy of Penguin Random House. Contest ends 11:00pm EST on August 26, 2016. One winner will be contacted via Direct Message on Twitter.
— The Young Folks (@TYFofficial) August 19, 2016
The Reader by Traci Chee is available in stores on September 13.
ABOUT THE BOOK
A stunning debut set in a world where reading is unheard-of, perfect for fans of Inkheart and Shadow and Bone.
Sefia knows what it means to survive. After her father is brutally murdered, she flees into the wilderness with her aunt Nin, who teaches her to hunt, track, and steal. But when Nin is kidnapped, leaving Sefia completely alone, none of her survival skills can help her discover where Nin’s been taken, or if she’s even alive. The only clue to both her aunt’s disappearance and her father’s murder is the odd rectangular object her father left behind, an object she comes to realize is a book—a marvelous item unheard of in her otherwise illiterate society. With the help of this book, and the aid of a mysterious stranger with dark secrets of his own, Sefia sets out to rescue her aunt and find out what really happened the day her father was killed—and punish the people responsible.
With overlapping stories of swashbuckling pirates and merciless assassins, The Reader is a brilliantly told adventure from an extraordinary new talent.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Traci Chee is an author of speculative fiction for teens. An all-around word geek, she loves book arts and art books, poetry and paper crafts, though she also dabbles at piano playing, egg painting, and hosting potluck game nights for family and friends. She studied literature and creative writing at UC Santa Cruz and earned a master of arts degree from San Francisco State University. Traci grew up in a small town with more cows than people, and now feels most at home in the mountains, scaling switchbacks and happening upon hidden highland lakes. She lives in California with her fast-fast dog.The Reader is her YA debut.
Read an excerpt of the first two chapters here!
Follow @TraciChee on Twitter