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Old 12-05-2010, 10:42 PM   #1
Geekette70
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Question Book recommendations for teenaged BOYS

I have a 15 year old son that reads on occasion and I'd like to encourage that as much as possible. He enjoys vampire/edgy books, like the Vladimir Tod series, the Fallen series and Blood Ninja (yes, it's a Vampire/Ninja book ::sigh:: ) but most vampire books are aimed squarely at the female reader, i.e. heavy on the romance. Years ago he enjoyed Harry Potter novels but I think he's looking for something kind of edgy and modern.

Does anyone have any other recommendations for this genre that might be attractive to boys? He's enamored of my Nook (which he's welcome to, since the hubby and I much prefer our Kindles) and I'm hoping the combination of eReader novelity (excuse the pun) and interesting content will encourage him to continue reading for pleasure.

Your thoughts and suggestions are welcome!
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Old 12-05-2010, 11:19 PM   #2
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Brian Lumley! Specifically, his Necroscope series. Errr, I think it's appropriate for a 15 y/o, but you may want to check it out for yourself. I was reading Lumley alongside Stephen King when I was about 15.

Speaking of King, Salem's Lot is pretty good. Eyes of the Dragon is another of my favorites, though that one doesn't involve vampires. He may also like the Dark Tower series.

I also recently read the book Feed by Mira Grant (zombies, not vampires, but I assure you that both appeal to a similar demographic). It was highly imaginative, but it was also a bit too gung-ho stick-it-to-the-man preachy for me. Probably would have appealed to me more when I was younger, especially with the huge emphasis on blogging.

And if he happens to like zombies, he MUST read World War Z by Max Brooks.

I've heard fantastic things about Strain by Guillermo Del Toro (vampires), but I haven't yet read it, so I can't vouch for it.

Last edited by queentess; 12-05-2010 at 11:41 PM. Reason: d'oh, spelling mistake
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Old 12-06-2010, 12:23 AM   #3
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He might like Patient Zero ... a humorous zombie-fest.
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Old 12-06-2010, 12:27 AM   #4
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He might like the Skulduggery Pleasant books! It's got a female lead, but it's quite action-packed with lots of fight scenes, and there's monsters and vampires/werewolves/etc. And no romance that I can remember (I AM only on the third book, though. It might pop up later).

Maybe also Blood of Ambrose? There's a sort of zombie in there, and no real romance. Might be a bit TOO violent, though; it's got pretty graphic descriptions of beheadings and torture and things like that. You may want to check it out first if you're worried about such things. D:
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Old 12-06-2010, 01:06 AM   #5
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I can't help with modern writings, but he ought to like...

Dracula - Bram Stoker
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - Jules Verne
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
Boston Blackie - Jack Boyle
The Scarlet Pimpernel - Baroness Orczy
The Virginian - Owen Wister

and one I haven't read:
The Mark of Zorro.

I believe that all of these are available in our MobileRead library.
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Old 12-06-2010, 01:49 AM   #6
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If he likes blood and gore, he ought to read Shakespeare's "Titus Andronicus". It's probably more for the zombie/texas chainsaw massacre genre fan than the vampire genre fan, though. Man, some of those scenes still give me the willies.

Crap, I went back and re-read your request and noticed the "modern" part. Oh well, nevermind.

Last edited by rkomar; 12-06-2010 at 02:02 AM. Reason: Added postscript.
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Old 12-06-2010, 06:33 AM   #7
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How about Darren Shan?

He's written many books including the Cirque du Freak series. He has lots of novels about other realms, demons etc..

However, he might like the City trilogy too. Described by author (or someone) as...

"The City trilogy is a noirish, gritty urban fantasy for adults and older teenagers. Set in a city of merciless gangsters, mysterious Incan priests, and shadowy figures who belong body and soul to the world of the night. This is a dark, brutal series about power, corruption and the price of one's soul."

Hey I'm almost 40 and I thought The City trilogy looked pretty cool. Although I must admit I have read none of his books.

I do like young adult books almost as much as adult books though.

You know which series really did it for me though - both as a young reader and again as an adult? Susan Cooper - The Dark is Rising series. That was a magnificent read while not being edgy and certainly not being about vampires it was still a fine example of how young adult fiction can be just as rewarding as adult fiction.

Regards
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:51 AM   #8
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Perhaps he would like The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti. Its an Oliver Twistish story set in early 19th century New England. The violence is more explicit than in Dickens.
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Old 12-06-2010, 08:08 AM   #9
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Not the vampire genre but what about some true life adventures that would appeal to a teenage boy?

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick
Alone: The Classic Polar Adventure by Richard Evelyn Byrd

Or, not adventures but other great true stories:
Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand
The Devil in White City by Erik Larson
Thunderstruck by Erik Larson

All of these are great reads full of action/adventure.

Edit:
I remember another great adventure that happens to be free and available here on MR:
Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Dana

Last edited by edbro; 12-06-2010 at 08:13 AM.
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Old 12-06-2010, 09:31 AM   #10
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Fred Saberhagen's Dracula books:

_The Dracula Tape_
_The Holmes-Dracula File_
_Thorn_

&c.

There's a lot of other contemporary vampire fiction, but really, nothing worth else more than mere entertainment if that.

I second Caleb's suggestion of Susan Cooper (and some members of The Dark are rather vampire-like).

He might enjoy the H.P. Lovecraft stories which are in many ways the under-pinnings of modern horror.

Lastly, a book which I think every teen-ager (boy or girl) should read, Hal Gordon's _Divers Down! Adventure Under Hawaiian Seas_ --- oddly while not available as an ebook (AFAICT) it is freely available as an MP3 --- highly recommended for any holiday travelling:

http://www.sffaudio.com/?p=6202

feed://www.uvulaaudio.com/kids/Kids.xml

(first link is an announcement w/ link to first .mp3, second is long list of many links incl. all 8 parts of Divers Down!)

William
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Old 12-06-2010, 09:57 AM   #11
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Check out Charlie Huston's 'Joe Pitt' series.
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Old 12-06-2010, 11:37 AM   #12
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This may be too far afield, but I would also recommend Mutiny on the Bounty and its two trilogy companions. Great historical adventure!
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Old 12-06-2010, 11:42 AM   #13
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Does he like SF? I'd suggest giving the Heinlein "Juveniles" a go. I loved them when I was a teenager. Heck - I still do love them!
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Old 12-06-2010, 12:43 PM   #14
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Give him some Drizzt or Weis&Hickman Dragonlance novel. Many people in my high school had started reading with them.
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Old 12-06-2010, 12:47 PM   #15
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Thanks for the recommendations, everyone. There are a lot of good ones here to try. I guess I should have pointed out that my son is a bit immature for his age, and is completely against reading anything that may be set in another time period or may even remotely be seen as a classic. (He's in this rebellious, "I'm a teen and that stuff is NOT cool" stage right now.) Trust me, I've tried.

While I grew up reading (and loving) a lot of these stories listed above, he views them like homework, not escapism. He also has a mild austisic spectrum disorder, which is a factor both in his reading choices and my inability to reason with him that there are lots of great stories that were written before Y2K.

His main interest lies in stories set in today's era or slightly ahead, but not distant science fiction. So that rules out historical fiction. And Shakespere? He can't wrap his head around the language (I'll admit that while I enjoy Shakespear in a class enviroment or in theater, but not reading for fun.)

It's really hard for me to find books for him. I'm a reader, but if I show too much interest in a book, he's likely not to read it, especially if I have actually READ the book. I almost never got him to read Harry Potter, which he LOVED, because I recommended them so strongly. Lesson learned. I find most of the books written for kids these days, about kids these days, are pretty insipid. If they get his nose in a book and off the x-box, though, I'm up for it.

Ironically, we like a lot of the same movies, but I can't convince him he'd enjoy the same books I do. So I'm trying to stick with modern fantasy/alternate reality stories about teens. I've been thinking about maybe Patterson's Maximum Ride series, but need to check into them some more.

I'll run some of these books you have suggested by him and see if he's up for them. Thanks everyone. Feel free to post more if you think of any.
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