Hello, my name is Mei Li, I’m fifteen and I will be in tenth grade at Park City High School next year. I like to read, swim, and mountain bike. I interned at the library in 2022. Here are some of my favorite books I recommend reading.
Mei Li’s Favorite Books
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is one of my all-time favorite books for good reason. It’s full of heart, sorrow, joy, and family. It’s a book about many things, but most of all, it’s about life.
Francie Nolan is a young girl growing up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in the early 1900’s. Her family is an eclectic group of people – from her alcoholic father, Johnny, who is a singing waiter, her hard-working mother, Katie, who loves her son more than her daughter, and her loving aunt Sissy, who marries man after man but still has no children.
Nothing much happens in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, but at the same time, everything does. If you’re looking for an adventure book, this is not it. However, if you want a book that will make you laugh and cry, a book you can read over and over again, to be reminded what life is really about, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is that book.
For some reason, nobody ever reads this book. It’s been forgotten, but wrongly so. It’s one of the most unique, most beautifully written books that I’ve ever read.
Blue Sargent is the only non-psychic in a family of clairvoyants. Her one rule in life is this: stay away from the Aglionby boys, because they are trouble. But she is fated to collide with them, no matter how hard she tries to stay away from the private school boys. There is Gansey, destined to die in the search of a dead Welsh king, a quest that consumes his every waking moment, Ronan, who is angry at the world, and whose dreams are more than they seem, Adam, who wants a life of his own, and Noah, who is not really one of them, but is at the center of the mystery. When their lives collide in an unexpected way, all five of them are drawn into a world they could never have imagined.
At once a mystery, a horror story, a fantasy, The Raven Boys is a book you won’t forget. Maggie Stiefvater’s haunting prose unfolds a unique and wonderful world. Once you read this book, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t know of it before!
Ruta Septys is known for her moving and well-researched historical fiction books that illuminate forgotten events. The Fountains of Silence is, in my opinion, the best of her books.
The year is 1957, the setting Madrid, Spain. The country is gripped in the fist of Generalissimo Fransico Franco, a tyrant whom history has forgotten.
Ana Moreno is a maid at the Castellana Hilton, one of the first hotels to open to visiting foreigners. She is entranced by the glimpses of the world outside Spain, but she is hiding secrets that threaten to destroy her life.
Daniel Matheson is the son of a wealthy Texas oil tycoon and an aspiring photo-journalist. When his father brings him to Madrid, he is fascinated by the people and the city. He photographs a story that he hopes to share to the world.
Rafael Moreno hides a dark past, but he will do anything to protect his family and his best friend, Fuga, who dreams of becoming a bullfighter.
Purificacion Perez is a training to become a nun at the Madrid orphanage, but she soon stumbles across secrets that upend the world as she knows it.
The stories of these four teenagers from different worlds paint a dazzling and horrifying picture of Madrid under dictatorship, and bring to light a forgotten period of history.
If you want a book that will make you cry, read this one. It’s sad, lovely, and it will stick with you for a long time!
Markus Zusak is an astounding author. He does something that’s not seen very often – he writes in second person. And he does it well. Known mostly for his bestselling WWII novel, The Book Thief, all of his works are masterpieces, and none of them more so than Bridge of Clay.
The Dunbar family has loved and lost, laughed and cried, broken and then been made whole again. Their story is one of tragedy and triumph.
The five Dunbar brothers live alone in a house on Archer Street. Their mother is dead, and their father gone. But it wasn’t always that way. When their long-lost father returns home, asking his sons to help him build a bridge, they refuse.
All but one.
Clay Dunbar is a mystery. He runs, but he doesn’t know what he’s running for. But as he builds a bridge, between past and present, between father and son, it seems like maybe past wrongs can be forgiven.
Bridge of Clay is a masterpiece. It’s a confusing, beautiful picture of family and love and life. This book will break your heart into pieces, yes, but then it will put it back together more whole than it was before. If you want a book that you will never forget, read Bridge of Clay. You won’t regret it.
I couldn’t write book reviews and leave out the best series of all time – Harry Potter. I’ve read these seven books what feels like hundreds of times, ever since I could read. And there’s a reason. Harry Potter is one of the most well-written books ever, and the characters are timeless and realistic. I feel that many young adult books make their teenage protagonists seem far too old, or unrealistically mature. Harry Potter doens’t do that. The characters act their age, and face problems that normal teenagers face, just in a much cooler setting.
Harry Potter is eleven years old when he receives a letter from wizarding school, whisking him away from his horrible life with his aunt and uncle into the magical world of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. There, he learns the true story of his parent’s tragic death, and that he is destined to battle the evil wizard who killed them.
If you are going to read one series in your lifetime, make it Harry Potter. There is something magical about it that no other book can copy. Once you open the pages of Harry Potter, your life will never be the same.
This series is another classic that I could not forget. Even though these books are meant for a middle-grade audience, I still re-read them all the time. The characters are fun, the plot exciting, the premise genius, and the banter hilarious. Though I’ve read these books so many times that my copies are falling apart, I still laugh every time.
Percy Jackson is just a normal kid – beside the fact that he’s been in a different school every year.
Then everything changes.
When Percy’s math teacher suddenly turns into a fearsome creature straight out of Greek myth, his life is turned upside down. Percy learns that his father was one of the Greek gods, who now reside in Manhattan. Forced to leave his home and his mother, Percy finds a new home at Camp Half-Blood, with other demigod children. However, it doesn’t last long – somebody has stolen Zeus’ master lightening bolt, and Percy is the prime suspect.
While the characters may be young, and the series targeted towards younger readers, the books are still great. They are funny, entertaining, witty, and just plain fun. Also, if you get hooked, Riordan has many other Percy Jackson books, and other trilogies focusing on Norse and Egyptian myths.