National Library Week runs in the middle of April making this month a great time to celebrate libraries. Teen gaming nights and midnight release parties for popular books, movies, and TV are just some of the fun activities offered by youth services librarians around the country. For many of us, libraries are where our love for books and reading really took shape. Some of us still feel a little like Belle from Beauty and the Beast whenever we step inside a library and soak up the book eye candy!
It’s easy to come away from a library with five, ten, fifteen (free!) books to devour at your leisure. And some of us drool over libraries like other people drool over a shopping spree on Rodeo Drive! If this sounds like you, you’ll want to check out (pun intended) these young adult novels featuring libraries.
Fantasy author Victoria Schwab is a master storyteller, and her fans love her novels for their intricate, Harry Potter-level magic systems and worlds so real you feel you could live inside her novels. In her series The Archived, Schwab takes the idea of a library’s archives and makes it a literal interpretation of life after death. Librarians are charged with reading the lives of the dead through the stories their bodies tell. These people, the “Histories,” are then slotted away in the Archives. Mac is a Keeper, once the apprentice of the infamous Da, and is charged with keeping the dead asleep. But someone is toying with their memories and erasing key chapters of their lives. Suddenly the line between duty and doubt is not so clear, especially when Mac thinks of the people in her life whom she has lost. School Library Journal praised the novel as, “a spine-tingling, supernatural, ghostly mystery that is fully believable,” and fans on Goodreads urge readers to pick it up, saying, “Everybody needs this book in their life” and “Why didn’t I pick this book up sooner! It’s so good I need the whole world to read this book!” Two books in The Archived series have already been published with at least one more on the way.
For an alternate history, fantasy novel that matches heartstopping moments with compelling characters, you’ll want to pick up Ink and Bone, the first novel in Rachel Caine’s The Great Library series. The series revolves around the premise that the Great Library of Alexandria, said to be the largest and most incredible library the world has ever seen, did not fall in a devastating fire like history tells us. In Ink and Bone, a Great Library exists in every city, but not everyone can handle, own, or even read the books. Jess loves books, but his reading knowledge is limited to the books he and his family trade illegally on the black market. Still, Jess trains to work in the Library, believing it to be as good as it is powerful, at least until one of his friends is punished by the library for creating an invention could change the world. With the Library bearing down on him, Jess must save his friend—and humanity—from an institution that believes that anything and everything is justified in the name of Knowledge…even taking human lives. Ink and Bone is praised for its thought-provoking themes, shocking plot twists, and characters you feel you know. You’ll close the book satisfied and itching for more. Fortunately you won’t have to wait long—the sequel comes out July 5, 2016.
If you’re looking for more romance than The Archived and Ink and Bone, you might find your next favorite novel in Brenda Drake’s Thief of Lies. A bookworm, Gia Kearns isn’t one to fall for boys…she’d rather fight with them. But a trip to a special library in Boston has her intrigued by the hot guy, Arik, perusing the reading material. When he disappears, Gia and her friend accidentally follow him by falling into a Paris library shown in the book he was reading. In this new world of magic and teleportation, Gia travels from one amazing library to the next, chasing her heart even as it gets caught in an epic love triangle between Arik and a young wizard, Bastien. With mythical creatures and a fierce heroine you want to be, Thief of Lies is a page-turning novel you won’t want to put down and the first in the Library Jumpers series.