It's been a busy summer so I haven't had a chance to read much, and my to-be-read pile keeps growing dangerously high. (seriously, I'm afraid it's going to topple over and crush someone.)
But I recently read two books that were so incredible I wanted to recommend them.
THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE, by Neil Gaiman.
For a #1 NYT bestseller that's gotten rave reviews from nearly every major trade publication (see some of them here), I'm surprised by how few reader friends have heard of this one. Take my advice and pick it up. It's an enchanting and powerful little book about childhood, memory, magic, family, and growth. In it, an older writer returns to his childhood home for a funeral, and is swept up in his repressed memories of the supernatural adventure that happened to him when he was seven. I fell in love with the writing and atmosphere right from the beginning, but it wasn't until halfway that the genius of it really snuck up on me and totally captivated me. One of those books you put down after finishing and just stare into space while you try to process everything.
VICIOUS, by Victoria Schwab.
I was lucky enough to beg an advanced reader copy off of the author when she was recently in town for a book event. Like Gaiman, Schwab writes for all ages, and this is her first foray into adult literature. She's described VICIOUS as "a comic book without any pictures," which is the perfect description. Two college friends turn down a dangerous path when they discover the secret to super powers, and become antagonists in a deadly and brilliant game of outwitting each other. This one stuck with me for a long time.