Five Books I Couldn’t Stop Reading

In honor of summer’s approach, I wanted to do something a little different today. (A new review will be posted on Wednesday.)

When I was in school, I looked forward to the summer for all the usual reasons. One of my fond memories is taking family vacations with my family. We’d visit my grandparents in rural North Carolina and tube the creek, shop the flea market, hike in the woods and play Nintendo until deep into the night. But one of my most cherished evening activities during those lazy summer trips was reading. I’d often stumble upon an unexpected gem in one of the rundown flea market used book shops. Some of those books I read and reread until my copies came apart. Here are a few of the finds that never left me.

beauty


Beauty
by Robin McKinley

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Review: Starflower by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Starflower (Tales of Goldstone Wood #4)
Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Bethany House
Published November 1, 2012

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The entire court of immortal faeries is distraught when beloved and beautiful Lady Gleamdren is kidnapped by a fearsome dragon-witch. Two of her most devoted admirers race to her rescue, and the Bard Eanrin is determined to be first to reach his ladylove. On his journey he encounters a human girl locked in a spell of sleep and finds he cannot simply leave the unlucky mortal to her fate.

Eanrin wakes Starflower from her sleep, intent upon sending her on her way, but the maiden knows little of the treacherous Wood. As she accompanies Eanrin on his quest, a deep connection … Continue reading

Review: Liberty by Annie Laurie Cechini

Liberty
Annie Laurie Cechini
Rhemalda Publishing
Published February 1, 2013

Goodreads | Currently out of Print

Captain Tabitha “Dix” Dixon and her crew make a living transporting cargo across the solar system and staying off the radar of the corrupt and powerful System of United Planets (SUN). To Dix, the crew are family, and she will do anything to protect them.

But Dix carries a secret in a tiny vial that even most of her crew don’t know, one that could cost them their lives. Eternigen is a miracle serum that would allow humans to travel through deep space, beyond the control of the SUN. Agents of the SUN will go to any lengths to get it back, and now they have a new ally.

Eira Ninge is … Continue reading

Review: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

julie_kagawa_the_immortal_rulesThe Immortal Rules
Julie Kagawa
Harlequin Teen
Published April 24, 2012

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In a world ruled by vampires, Allison Sekemoto survives by staying hidden and scavenging for food. When hunger forces her to venture outside the safety of home, she is attacked and offered a choice: to die or become what she hates most. A vampire.

Allie struggles to learn vampire ways and accept and what her new form means to the humans she has left behind. Another attack forces her to flee from the city and into the wild where she will be stalked by rabids, diseased and deadly creatures. But Allie isn’t the only one braving those wilds. In the night, she comes upon … Continue reading

Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why
Jay Asher
Razorbill
Published October 18, 2007

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An unexpected package greets high school student Clay Jenson at home one day. It bears no return address. Inside are seven cassette tapes. Curious, Clay pops one into a dusty player and is shocked to hear the voice of his crush, Hannah Baker, who committed suicide just weeks earlier. Clay is stunned. Through the tapes, Hannah promises to reveal the names and circumstances in which thirteen people contributed to her suicide. But how can he be one of them? He liked her.

Hannah’s story sends Clay spinning through town, visiting locations Hannah has marked on a map, reliving each scene … Continue reading

Review: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye J. Walton

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
Leslye J. Walton
Candlewick Press
Published January 1, 2014

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Ava Lavender comes from a long line of peculiarly gifted women who’ve been unlucky in love. She relates her family history beginning with her great-grandparents and their journey from France to the United States in the early 1900s. Ava’s grandmother is the surviving member of her small family by the time she marries. Desperate to escape the bitter memories of her lost loved ones, Emiliene and her husband head west, finally settling in a small Washington town. Emiliene bears one child, Ava’s mother, before her husband dies. Each member of Emiliene’s family bears some peculiarity, and it seems Viviane, … Continue reading

Review: Matched by Ally Condie

Matched

Matched
Ally Condie
Dutton Books for Young Readers
Published November 30, 2010

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Cassia has looked forward to her Match Banquet for as long as she can remember, and nothing could be more wonderful than sharing that day with her best friend, Xander. She is elated when the Society choses Xander to be her very own match. He is right for her in every way, a confirmation to Cassia of the Society’s perfection.

So she believes until a rare malfunction occurs and another face flashes across Cassia’s screen. Ky Markham’s face. Confused, Cassia allows the Society leaders to reassure her that everything is fine. Her doubts resurface in the form of a gift from her grandfather: words from … Continue reading

Review: Darkwater by Catherine Fisher

Darkwater
Catherine Fisher
Dial Books for Young Readers
Published September 27, 2012

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With her famed family estate lost to a mysterious stranger, Sarah and her father have been forced on the kindness of a former servant and her family. When Sarah loses her job, she swallows her pride and accepts a new position assisting Azrael, the owner of her former home. A job isn’t all the strange man seems interested in. Disturbing rumors about how he acquired the estate buzz around Sarah’s head, and his question lingers in her mind: for what price would she offer him her soul? She resists, but tragedy forces her hand. All Sarah can do now is try to save the … Continue reading

Review: Scorch by Gina Damico

Scorch by Gina Damico

Scorch
Gina Damico
HMH Books for Young Readers
Published September 25, 2012

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Going home after her sister’s death is the hardest thing Lex has ever had to do. But life in Croak isn’t getting any easier for the teenage Grim Reaper. Though her friends stick with her, the rest of the town blames Lex for Zara’s murderous rampage. After all, Zara wouldn’t be able to Damn souls if Lex hadn’t somehow transferred that ability to her. That Zara killed Lex’s sister doesn’t seem to matter either. Irrational fear and poor leadership whip the town into a frenzy of paranoia until Lex and her friends have no choice but to flee to the Grim capital, … Continue reading

Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief
Markus Zusak
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Published March 14, 2006 (Orig. published 2005)

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

A mysterious narrator gives an account of a young girl who has an unusual vice: she steals books. Death comes for the girl’s brother as she and her mother wait for a train to take them to a foster home where the children will be safe. It is he, the collector of souls, who is the only witness to the girl’s first thievery, and he begins to follow her story.

Life in Liesel’s new home is a difficult adjustment, plagued with nightmares, but through them, she and her foster father … Continue reading

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