Five Books (or Book Series) To Read During Your Spare Time

If You're a Horror, Romance, YA Fiction, Sci-Fi, or Fantasy Fan, Good News: I Have Books For You!

Michelle Alvarado, Writer

Reading a book is an introduction to a new world different from ours, whether it’s sci-fi, fantasy, romance, a memoir, or so many others: Here is a list of 5 books and series for book lovers that they do not want to miss out on:


The Shining by Stephen King (Horror)

Michelle Alvarado
This is the beginning of The Shining by Stephen King. Chapter One: Job Interview.

Summary: A family of three: Jack Torrance(an author and former teacher), his wife, Wendy Torrance, and their 5-year-old gifted son, Daniel “Danny” Torrance. After getting released from his teaching position, Jack Torrance takes up a job as a caretaker of the Overlook Hotel in Colorado for the winter. Now that he has to live in the hotel with his wife and their son, he sees this as an opportunity to finish writing his play that he’d been working on. However, as the Torrance family faces off the winter, something terrible begins to arise within the walls of the hotel. In the beginning, Danny is the only one who’s noticing these things due to his gift, but before long, the sinister forces that are at work start to torment Jack and the rest of the family. The Torrances have no help until Danny is able to use his power to get help from one of the workers of the Overlook Hotel, Dick Hallorann, but by then it’s becoming too late because Jack is slowly becoming possessed by these strange forces. It’s up to Danny, Wendy, and Hallorann to fight against them while trying to get Jack back, but the Overlook Hotel isn’t going to let it be an easy battle.

Personal Experience Reading This Book: I couldn’t put down this book after I started reading it, even though it really did scare me. If you’re going to start off with a good Stephen King book, this definitely is the one to start with.


Michelle Alvarado
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King: The very beginning of the book that reveals the start of part one along with a quote from AA also known as Alcoholics Anonymous.

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King (Horror)

Summary: The sequel to The Shining returns to Daniel Torrance, now an adult living his own life. His power that was very strong as a child is now slowly becoming dormant. His father was a violent alcoholic, and that stayed with him until he started attending AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings to help with sobriety in New Hampshire. He made new friends there such as Billy Freeman. Daniel found a place for himself working at a nursing home. The people there call him Doctor Sleep. He meets a young girl of 12 years, Abra Stone, that possesses the same power Daniel did as a child, only it is a lot stronger than his own. Her power draws the attention of a group of supernatural human beings known as the True Knot. With the help of Billy and Abra’s family, Daniel fights for Abra’s survival and the destruction of the True Knot.

My Personal Experience Reading This Book: This one is also a must-read right after The Shining. No other words than that.



The Mortal Instruments a 6-book series by Cassandra Clare (Young Adult Fiction)

Michelle Alvarado
This is the beginning of chapter one of City of Bones, titled Pandemonium, where The Mortal Instruments series starts.

Summary: In the world we know, there exists an unknown race of warriors whose mandate is to protect humans (mundanes) from demons that threaten our existence. The warriors are known as Shadowhunters, half-angel, half-human. They hide among us everywhere in the world, protecting us, and they are born and raised as Shadowhunters. Not everyone is, however. Clarissa “Clary” Fray is a mundane that does not know she is a Shadowhunter, at least not yet. She has The Sight, the ability to see into the Shadow World. She can see Shadowhunters, the demons they hunt, and the children of demons which are warlocks, vampires, werewolves, and faeries. Slowly, Clary is sucked into this magical world of shadows and her friends and family are dragged in right along with her. She meets fellow Shadowhunters, Jace Herondale, Isabelle and Alec Lightwood, and so many more. Along the way, Clary must find out who she is and grow as a person all the while facing the hardships of Shadowhunter and human life.

My Personal Experience Reading This Series: I do not know how Cassandra Clare did it, but she wrote something amazing. The series is truly good. The entire world described in this book is incredible. There is so much action and drama. I recommend it 10/10. 


Michelle Alvarado
The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare. Left page: a sneak peak at one of the quotes that is going to be in one of the 11 short stories. Right page: a comic of one of the scenes in that story.

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare (Young Adult Fiction)

Summary: This is a collection of 11 short stories about one of The Mortal Instruments most loved characters, Magnus Bane, a warlock. In the short stories, we catch moments and adventures throughout Magnus’s life. They range from stories about Magnus being banned from Peru with his fellow warlock friend, Ragnor Fell, to running away and hiding Marie Antoinette up in a hot air balloon in Paris, to meeting Shadowhunters and saving vampires, and falling in love. 

My Personal Experience Reading This Book: All of the stories are really good, and they were also funny. The stories not only show Magnus’s sense of humor, but they also show the compassion he has for his friends and all of the knowledge he gained over the centuries that made him the warlock he is now.


The Host by Stephenie Meyer (Romance/Dystopia/Sci-Fi/Fantasy)

Michelle Alvarado
 Pages in the middle of Stephenie Meyer’s book, The Host.

Summary: The world as we know it is overrun by an alien species that are known as Souls. They are very small and parasitic. They have inhabited the Earth to restore peace and get rid of all evil, yet there is some resistance. One soul, named Wanderer, is placed into a resistant host body named Melanie Stryder. Melanie had been on the run with her brother, Jamie Stryder, and her boyfriend, Jared Howe, but she was soon caught. Just like any other Soul insertion, Melanie is left with no control over her own body, her memories and knowledge remain and all she is able to do is speak to Wanderer in her head. Melanie detests her at first, as Wanderer is doing her job to look through her memories and find other pockets of resistance, but then Wanderer begins to feel sympathy for all of the people that are having Souls put into their bodies. She feels everything Melanie has ever felt and because of this, turns her back on her own kind to go out on a journey to find Melanie’s brother and the man she loves, as they made it out alive. Doing this is a risk, however, because of Wanderer’s Seeker, whose job is to assist the Souls in finding the location of resistant humans and seeking them so they may be inserted with a Soul. The Seeker is intent on discovering Wanderer and Melanie’s whereabouts and finding their loved ones. Wanderer and Melanie make it to the hiding spot of Jared and Jamie that belongs to Melanie’s uncle Jeb. They find that there are more humans there and they do not want them there. Now, Melanie and Wanderer must prove to them that Wanderer is capable of being around them and that she won’t betray them while trying to get their loved ones back and making friends out of the rest along the way. 

My Personal Experience Reading This Book: I do not remember how many times I have read this book already, but I have not gotten tired of it yet. Meyer’s writing ability made it simply amazing. 

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