Traci Chee’s The Reader (available September 13th) is a book about books, which is basically a win-win. In The Reader, Sefia’s world isn’t supposed to have books – but when Sefia discovers one, it could be the key to her saving one person she loves and avenging the death of another. Check out the details:
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.
You had me at “swashbuckling pirates!” To celebrate the release of The Reader, I’ve put together a list of books I couldn’t live without – and hopefully will never have to. Check out the list below, and keep reading to enter a giveaway to win a copy of The Reader (and more)!
Books I Couldn’t Live Without
Disclaimer: This list focuses on young adult books, because they’re my favorite, and because YA is, as a general rule, HOPEFUL – and hope is also something I couldn’t live without.
For me, this is the book equivalent of the the world’s coziest sweater. I think I have read this book at least once a year since it was released – it’s the perfect remedy to a reading rut or a string of bad days. It never fails to make me smile, and I love living vicariously through Anna as she goes off on her Parisian adventures.
If Anna is a cozy sweater, Amy & Roger are a soft t-shirt. I love a good road trip story, and Amy & Roger do their road trip up RIGHT. In addition to the lovely story of overcoming grief and letting yourself off the hook, this book also includes just the right amount of novelty, in the form of photos, receipts and playlists courtesy of Amy’s travel journal.
I’m cheating a little with this one because I’m using the first book in The Raven Cycle series to represent the whole thing – so sue me! It’s a fantastic, ambient series that is different from anything else I’ve ever read both tonally and thematically. There’s a little something for everyone here, and it’s impossible to read this series without feeling like Blue and her Raven Boys are your new BFFs.
Really this could say “Most books by Jenny Han,” but Lara Jean from To All The Boys is my favorite Han heroine. Jenny Han gets me. She (and her characters) appreciate a cute outfit, a delicious baked good, and the chance to avoid awkward social situations. Han’s portrayal of teenagers is so much closer to my own teenage experience than I usually see in fiction, so I revel in seeing characters like Lara Jean learn life lessons and bag cute boys.
As a single book, The Diviners packs in more than I thought possible. A massive amount of characters and perspectives. An accurate and alluring historical portrayal of prohibition-era New York. X-Men-esque powers, with a more sinister spin. The most hateable yet likeable main character I’ve ever encountered. Amazing ‘20s slang. Serial killers. Commentary on class and race and fantastic representation of the spectrum of both. Eugenics. A hint of steampunk. And yet, it all comes together into a fantastic spectacle that Bray weaves together seamlessly.
I love Rainbow Rowell as a general rule, but Fangirl is my bread and butter. And once again, it’s largely because of oh-so-relatable main character Cath. She’s extremely shy and socially awkward, but she’s smart and funny and obsessed with Simon Snow – I think we can all relate to being a fangirl about something! Rowell really does Cath and her fanfic world justice while telling a lovely coming-of-age story.
What books could you not live without? Let us know in the comments! While you wait for The Reader to hit shelves on September 13th, you can read an excerpt of the first two chapters of The Reader, and don’t forget to enter below to win a super cool The Reader prize pack.
The Reader Prize Pack Giveaway
We’ve partnered with Penguin Random House to offer a book-centric giveaway! One winner will receive:
- a copy of The Reader by Traci Chee
- a branded “I Am The Reader” tote bag
- $50 Visa gift card to build on your book collection
Enter to Win:
Giveaway open to US addresses only. Prizing and samples provided by Penguin Random House.
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.