PWN teen writers share their favorite books, movies, TV shows, and more every Friday to inspire young writers. We believe that the best way to become a stronger writer is to immerse yourself in other storytelling forms.
This week, teen writer Abigail Fenn shares three of her favorite novels.
A Darker Shade of Magic
by V.E. Schwab
A Darker Shade of Magic captures readers as it brings us into a world of magic, power, control, and into the mind of a young man, Kell, who has the ability to travel through different parallel versions of a late 1800s London. Within a trilogy, this first book shows Kell traveling through these different Londons (Gray, Red, and White) while trying to repair peace between them. The story gives a glimpse into a society where magic is either desired and wanted, praised and preserved, or abused and despised. There’s romance and adventure, and while it is a small and irrelevant role throughout the books, there is some LGBTQ representation that is seamlessly woven into the storyline. I found the entire series extremely compelling and I highly recommend it to any fantasy lovers.
by Stephen King
What if you were able to go back in time and stop something from happening that could change the outcome of events? Stephen King takes a step away from horror, in 2011, to explore that question when he sends his main protagonist, Jake Epping, to the past where he would attempt to save JFK from being assassinated. From the request of a friend, Jake goes through a portal into 1958, where he would wait and gather intel, in the process of rescuing a most beloved president, to see if his survival would change anything for the better. As I already enjoy Stephen King’s novels, this one drew me in immediately with that question, and I was curious to see how he would accomplish it. A historical fiction novel at its finest, it has become one of my favorites ever, and I recommend it to anyone interested in seeing the what-if’s, as well as anyone who might be afraid of his horror content, but willing to give Stephen King a try. Warning: there is some explicit content.
by William Ritter
This novel centers around a young woman arriving in a New England town in the late 1800s looking for a job. In her search, she meets Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with an eye for the extraordinary—one where he is able to see supernatural beings. Jackaby offers her a job, where she can notice certain important details that Jackaby might miss, and within the first few days of her employment, they find themselves in the midst of a case involving a serial killer. This is a thrilling adventure, where they are both convinced something supernatural is behind the killings. Being the first of four books, it’s another compelling and curious story dealing with identity, adventure, paranormal investigations, and the relationship between several individual characters. With its similarity to Sherlock Holmes, I was drawn into the mystery and desire to figure out what was going to happen, as well as wanting to understand why Jackaby is the way he is.