Book List

Books that Hopped Over the Pond

July 26, 2017
Casey Nugent
Riveted Editorial Board
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Fragile Like Us is sensitive, heartbreaking, and beautiful, and I was so glad to finally read it. It tells the story of Caddy, a sixteen-year-old girl who’s ready for her life to become more interesting and exciting. She meets Suzanne and is swept up in a close and consuming friendship with her. But Suzanne is outrunning some demons of her own, trying to escape her past — and she may get caught in a downward spiral that takes Caddy down too.

But lucky readers in the UK have already been able to read Fragile Like Us for a while — because it was originally published there in February 2016, under the title Beautiful Broken Things. It gained a lot of traction and buzz over there, which helped propel it over the pond and into your local bookstore. Through my mild jealousy that there are people who’ve been able to read this book for almost a year and a half already, I started wondering — what other of my favorite books started with our friends in England? I’ve made a list of some other great titles that hopped over the pond. Check it out, and then read Fragile Like Us (available as an extended excerpt on Riveted through 7/31!).

Don’t forget to let me know some of your favorite British titles in the comments!


 

Vivian Apple at the End of the Worldby Katie Coyle

Originally published as Vivian Versus the Apocalypse in the UK, this is a must-read for any road trip (or end-of-days) lovers out there. Vivian Apple doesn’t really buy into the Evangelical Church of America, the religion her parents have recently gotten caught up in. But when she returns home one day after the predicted rapture to find her parents missing, and two burned holes in the roof, Vivian starts to wonder if maybe the world really is ending after all. With her best friend Harp, and a mysterious new ally named Peter, Vivian sets off cross-country in search of the truth.

Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snoggingby Louise Rennison

In this novel by Louise Rennison, Georgia Nicolson is having a bit of a rough year. She’s accidentally shaved off her eyebrows, her family is totally embarrassing, she’s being tormented by Lindsay, one of the popular girls, and her crush Robbie barely seems to notice her — even after she pretends to lose her cat (actually losing him in the process, of course) to get Robbie’s attention. But Georgia’s got her sense of humor, leading us through her misadventures with Bridget Jones-esque hilarity. This hit series also became one of my favorite movies Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging — starring a young, pre-Avengers Aaron Taylor Johnson!

Lord of the Fliesby

Of course, no British book list is complete without this William Golding book, a favorite amongst English teachers everywhere. A plane evacuating a group of school boys from war crashes on an isolated and remote island. The group of survivors — all preadolescents — try to form some system of democracy to keep themselves in order while they await rescue. But the youths get bored and paranoid, growing increasingly convinced that a massive beast on the island is hunting them — and things quickly turn into a fraught and dangerous struggle for power.

Stormbreakerby Anthony Horowitz

This series of spy novels follow teenager Alex Rider, who’s recruited by Britain’s intelligence agency MI6 after the death of his uncle and caretaker Ian, a secret MI6 agent himself. In the first novel, Stormbreaker, Alex learns that Ian died investigating Herod Sayle, a businessman who’s developed a revolutionary new computer. Ian had uncovered something sinister about Sayle and the computers, but was killed before he could reveal what he knew. Now Alex must pick up where his uncle left off — and keep himself from ending up the next victim of Sayle’s plan. With ten books out and an eleventh releasing in the US later this year, Alex Rider is one of YA’s most prolific spies.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttimeby Mark Haddon

This mystery novel centers on fifteen-year-old Christopher, a boy on the autism spectrum who lives with his father in Swindon, England. One night he discovers the dead body of his neighbor’s dog, Wellington, speared by a garden fork. In spite of his father warning him to stay away from the case, Christopher decides to investigate, discovering a deeper mystery along the way. Charming, affecting, and oftentimes hilarious, this book was so popular it’s since been adapted into a Broadway play.

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