March Book Edit: Choose Your Genre

Jenna Ledley and Anna Welsh

Everyone has their favorite genre and their favorite kind of book. Some like relaxing, feel-good reads to pick up with a cup of cocoa after a long day, and some like the book-long sagas which keep you on the edge of your seat, constantly itching to read and find out more.

Some like a little bit of everything: the chilling mystery page-turner, the insightful nonfiction, the hilarious and witty comedy, the perfectly sappy romance novel. This article is for everyone: whether you chose your favorite genre and our book recommendation(s) for that type, or whether you decide to really dive in and read them all. We promise that none of these will disappoint. 

Fiction: The Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson

 As soon as people hear of a series that has to do with Disney, they instantly think of little children and the fantasy books they checked out of the library in elementary school. But The Kingdom Keepers series is so much more than that.

A mix of fantasy, adventure, and even a little sci-fi, this seven-book series is so popular that it was followed by a three-book sequel series, an extra book from other characters’ perspectives, and even a book with sections written by the fans. 

The series follows Finn Whitman and the four other Kingdom Keepers: Maybeck, Charlene, Philby, and Willa, and their adventures in the Disney parks, Disney cruise ships, and beyond. At first, the five teens who live in Orlando think that they are simply actors who have been cast as DHIs- which stands for both Disney Host Interactive and Daylight Hologram Imaging.

They are recorded talking about the different rides and attractions and are turned into holograms that lead tours around the Disney parks and talk to park guests. But then Finn and the others wake up in the Disney parks as their hologram selves and are told a sinister truth by a Disney Imagineer.

Magic is real: all of the Disney characters they love, and all of the villains. The series follows the teens’ battles with the evil Overtakers along with other magical creatures, and dives into the actual workings of Disney: from underground tunnels under the parks to the rides (which also come alive at night), to the workings of the different shows like Fantasmic!, and more.

There’s never a dull moment in these action-packed and also incredibly interesting reads. 

Dystopia: The Maze Runner series by James Dashner 

The Maze Runner series is a unique collection of books. The first three: The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, and The Death Cure take place in chronological order, while the last two in the five-book-long series—The Kill Order and The Fever Code—are actually prequels that tell the stories of the teens in the first three books’ childhoods.

The main character of the series is Thomas, though readers find out at the end of The Kill Order that the fourth book was actually telling Teresa’s story, as she was known as Deedee before the events of the next four books. Confusing? Slightly. But a series can’t be a dystopia if readers aren’t constantly trying to piece everything together. 

Nonetheless, the series begins with Thomas waking up in a maze (called The Glade) with no memory of his life before he arrived there. And he’s not alone. The other Gladers (Alby, Newt, Minho, Gally, Frypan, Chuck, and others) have been arriving every month in the maze for the past two years.

None of them can remember anything, and none of them can find their way out. Except as soon as Thomas arrives, the perfect order of life in the maze starts to go wrong. Teresa, the first and only girl, arrives only a day after him in a coma, and the doors of The Glade, which close at night to keep out the monsters that live in the seemingly endless maze, stop closing.

From that point on, The Maze Runner series is a story of survival, as The Gladers band together to try and live through everything thrown their way, from the maze in the first installment to the desert and virus-infected swarms of a sequel. The series is fast-paced, exciting, slightly dark, and always intriguing, as the readers slowly learn what happened to the world to turn it into the dark and crumbling dystopia of The Maze Runner books. 

Mystery: The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley

The Hunting Party, by Lucy Foley, follows a group of old high school friends as they retreat to a faraway cabin for New Year’s Weekend. The catch? This cabin is in the middle of nowhere. On New Year’s Eve, one of the members of the group strays from the pack and is seen dead by the waterfall the following morning.

A classic whodunit mystery, The Hunting Party dives into the backstories and motives of each of the friends, showing that something is not quite what it seems. Aside from the old Oxford bunch, the gamekeepers, Heather and Doug, have to scour the lands and uncover the secrets of their new guests.

Scandals start to arise, as friendships and enemies shine through in the darkest of hours. Drama and uncovered lies expose even the most unassuming characters, as many fear that their past mistakes and relationships are going to come to light.

Foley keeps your attention grabbed on each page, showing that old friends are great, but old friends also know all of the secrets…  the ones that you have tried to keep hidden for years and especially the ones that will come back to haunt you.

Educational Nonfiction: Alone Together by Sherry Turkle

Alone Together, a brilliant piece of educational nonfiction by Sherry Turkle, dives into an issue that many teens face in this current generation: expectations and relationships that develop from technology. The psychological and sociological work establishes a storyline, ranging from the 20th to the 21st centuries, over the course of which games, apps, and data-driven companies have been founded.

These companies, monitoring our every move, focusing and grabbing our attention, have fostered an addiction and an obsession to constantly be online, tethered to the devices that we call our phones. Turkle, a professor at MIT with a Ph.D. in Sociology and Personality Psychology from Harvard University, grabs your attention and doesn’t let go.

She starts to defend the idea that our phones and artificial intelligence as a whole are slowly starting to replace our in-person relationships. Dating back to the Industrial Revolution, when machinery started to replace man’s skills for one of the first times, humans have started to realize the superficial abilities that our electronics contain, yet society is accepting and even integrating these machines in all facets of life.

Robots, artificial intelligence, our cell phones—they do not understand or fully comprehend human emotions, yet the facade and appearance that they put up are creating an illusion that teenagers, adults, and even toddlers are falling susceptible to.

We believe and want to believe that these machines are our therapists, our friends, our significant others, but behind the screen is an automated response waiting to satisfy our desires. Who can we trust anymore? Find out in Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other.

Are you ready to jump into one of our recommended reads? Pick your own adventure, dive into the story, and maybe even discover your new favorite genre. Happy reading!