The best modern classic novels that you can't put down

Who am I?

As a young child, during rainy days on my great uncle’s mountain farm, I’d huddle in a corner with one of the many books from his library. Always fiction. And always a classic. Those were my true loves. I reveled in losing myself to some fantastical realm and shutting out the rest of the world. Even when I didn’t have a book, I lived in my imagination. My first grade teacher told my parents how I’d lose my head in the clouds. Now I get to write the tales that lived my imagination. It’s been a great privilege to meet these characters and I love writing their stories.

I wrote...

The Renascent World

By Carryn W. Kerr,

Book cover of The Renascent World

What is my book about?

It’s a cruel and dark mystery that laces Petriville, the town that saved Cassidy Jones and her family from the meteorite strike. While Earth perished they thrived in a blissful utopia, orbiting Earth within the town’s indestructible sphere. Now Cassidy is sixteen and Gina, Petriville’s founder, reveals Cassidy's assigned mate. But instead, Cassidy meets an alluring hologram, Eric, who leaves her unnaturally intoxicated—a passion that intensifies when they share a virtual kiss. Eric leaves her with something else—he warns of Gina’s plans.

Cassidy yearns to meet Eric in person. But Eric is still on Earth, and Gina means for him to follow the rest of Earth's citizens—into the grave.

The books I picked & why

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The Host

By Stephenie Meyer,

Book cover of The Host

Why this book?

Although The Host doesn’t quite fit in the classics list, it touches a place in my heart: it’s the novel that inspired me to write. I loved the depth of the characters and the intense emotions that the book brought out in me. Not only did The Host lead me to explore my own writing, but the plot drew me along so much that I read the book several times for the pure enjoyment of it.

The Hunger Games

By Suzanne Collins,

Book cover of The Hunger Games

Why this book?

I believe The Hunger Games is a must-read for all fans of young adult and/or dystopia. I became so invested in the main character, Katniss Everdeen, that I felt real fear when she found herself in danger and real hope for her family. Although I didn’t base my novel on The Hunger Games or its world, I found that it had some influence on the plot.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

By J.K. Rowling,

Book cover of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Why this book?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m not sure you can call yourself a reader unless you’ve read the Harry Potter series. The world! The characters! The story! Oh, I loved it all! I ate up every bit—over and over. For me, like The Lord of the Rings, a world without Harry Potter is no world at all. It’s an honor to have read the books.

The Lord of the Rings

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Book cover of The Lord of the Rings

Why this book?

At ten years old, I read The Lord of the Rings and it was the first major novel I’d gotten to read—after The Hobbit, of course. So, I could never write a favorites list without adding it. Like Harry Potter, the world, characters, and plot of The Lord of the Rings coalesce to make it a hit for me. This story drew me into a long love of fantasy novels and made me become a ferocious reader.

Jane Eyre

By Charlotte Brontë,

Book cover of Jane Eyre

Why this book?

Although Jane Eyre doesn’t quite fit the ‘modern’ era of classics, it is a classic and still has the ability to enamor the modern reader. I think we love it because we can all identify with love and loss, and no one escapes this life without facing difficulties. I felt such empathy for the younger Jane. I loved the intensity of her emotions throughout the book. I find the story somehow grounds me.

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