Five Favorite Books is a special feature at LA Books Examiner in which our favorite authors share their five favorite books within a category. In this edition, Los Angeles author Candi Sary discusses her five favorite Coming-of-Age Books. Candi is the author of Black Crow White Lie, an excellent coming-of-age novel set in Hollywood that releases on October 1 from Casperian Books. To learn more about Candi and her books, visit candisary.com.
Five Favorite Coming-of-Age Books by Candi Sary
#5: The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch
While reading The Highest Tide, Miles O’Mally felt more like a kid who lived somewhere in my life than just the narrator of this exceptional novel. The story looks at life through the eyes of the bright thirteen-year-old who spends most of his time on the mud flats of Skookumchuck Bay in Washington, collecting sea creatures for money, and paying close attention to life in the water. He’s a young scientist trying to understand the natural world, while also trying to make sense of friendships, his first crush, his parents’ separation, and his own unique identity. Miles comes up with profound ideas while observing sea life — just little bits of wisdom that stuck in my mind for days after reading the passages. The novel plays with the opposing perspectives of science and magic, at times giving the feeling that science is magic. This is a novel about the challenges of growing up, and yet the author does a wonderful job of pointing out the magic and the beauty along that difficult journey. There is something so special about this book that even after the story ended, its ideas continue to make me wonder.
#4: White Oleander by Janet Fitch
White Oleander made me fall in love with fiction all over again. It came along when I hadn’t read anything in a while that blew me away. Then I met Astrid and Ingrid. Ingrid, the poet/murderess, is the intriguing bohemian who kills her boyfriend and leaves her daughter to a life of foster care. Astrid is the daughter on a journey of self-discovery. She tries to make sense of the world through the variety of foster families she has to live with, as well as through her mother who still influences her from jail. The Los Angeles setting comes alive with the Santa Ana winds and the intense heat, and it gives a haunting quality to the story. This is a powerful novel with some of the most stunning sentences I’ve ever come across. The detail put into this book makes it so complete and thorough and a one-of-a-kind literary experience.
Read the rest of Candi Sary’s Five Favorite books at LA Books Examiner.
Purchase Black Crow White Lie by Candi Sary at Amazon.com or Casperian Books. Read the LA Books Examiner’s review of Black Crow White Lie.
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Frank Mundo is the author of The Brubury Tales (foreword by Carolyn See) and Gary, the Four-Eyed Fairy and Other Stories.