Welcome to the inaugural edition of a new feature here on the site, “What Rob Read!”
It’s really simple: These are some of the books I’ve read and enjoyed lately that I think you should check out, in no particular order. I’ll include links to the books and to the author’s pages so you’ll have everything you need to check them out.
The links below are affiliate links that might earn me a tiny commission but won’t cost you a thing, so click away!
Lately, I’ve been trying to read more in the genre I’m writing in with my Avery & Angela series, so I’m looking at a lot more YA/NA novels including Robyn Schneider’s The Beginning of Everything and The Infinite Pieces of Us by Rebekah Crane.
The Infinite Pieces of Us introduces us to Esther Ainsworth, a math-loving high schooler who's family recently relocated from suburban Ohio to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico in an effort to escape a rather significant secret from Esther's recent past. It's a story about trying to move forward when your heart won't let you forget and the cast of characters Esther meets in her new home are a blast. Isolated from her past and passive-aggressively being shunned by her sister and parents, Esther's new pals help her find a way forward with often hilarious escapades and heart-breaking sensitivity. I liked Esther's voice and reccommend you check out this and Rebekah's other works here!
I really enjoyed The Beginning of Everything, in large part because it has a male protagonist, which I obviously enjoy, writing a series in Avery’s voice. It’s less common in YA than I think it should be, and I really got into Ezra's story immediately. It's an interesting premise: Super-popular boy falls out of favor socially and seeks connection a new group of friends, including the mysterious new girl, Cassidy. There are some surprising twists that move this book joyfully far away feeling predictable and you're going to love his dog. Honestly, I'd really enjoy seeing her revisit Ezra's story in a future book. You can learn more about The Beginning of Everything and Robyn's other books HERE!
I am writing in Young/New Adult at the moment, but that's not all that I read. I enjoy multiple genres, including Sci Fi, and one of my favorites is the great John Scalzi. I've read pretty much everything he's written and clamor for more. His world-building is fantastic and unique to each book. Also, frankly, he's funny. There's a humor and an irreverence to his characters that I just find so enjoyable in a genre that sometimes can be dour. Recently I've read book #2 in his "Interdependency" series, The Consuming Fire which is a nice follow-up to The Collapsing Empire. The books focus on the future of the human race, spread out in space and connected through the "Flow," an interdimensional travel conduit that is beginning to disappear, isolating whole planets from the remainder of the Interdependency. It's an apt social commentary as well in a world where we are increasingly connected, yet constantly being bombarded with calls to isolate ourselves. The story is nuanced and I hesitate to give much away, but if you've never read Scalzi, you should, and this is a good gateway into his work. I plan to discuss his "Lock In" series in a future edition as I find that to be similarly prescient. You can learn more about John and his books, including his "Old Man's War" series HERE!
Thanks for reading and for supporting this site and my books. Please check out the novels above and comment below with what you think AND what you are reading yourself! I'm always open to recommendations! Maybe your recommendation will make the next installment! Until then, HAPPY READING!