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

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

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: Matched by Ally Condie

Matched

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

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

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: Beyond Corista by Robert Elmer

Beyond Corista
Robert Elmer
Zondervan
Published May 1, 2009

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

After a narrow escape from an intense battle on her home planet Corista, Oriannon and her friends head toward a way station, guided by the mysterious pilot stone. Oriannon’s mentor, Jesmet, appears to her and instructs her to take word to each way station, warning the people of an impending attack by the merciless Troikans. Oriannon wants to obey, but there are two problems:  she is saddled with the presence of their enemy, Sola Minnik, blinded in the attack on Corista, and no one seems to believe her visions of Jesmet and his message about the doom to come. Is Oriannon wrong? Are her experiences with Jesmet … Continue reading

Review: Me, Just Different by Stephanie Morrill

Me, Just Different
Stephanie Morrill
Revell
Published July 1, 2009

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Senior year should be everything beautiful Skylar Hoyt can hope for. She has popular friends, a hot boyfriend. But a terrible experience gives her a late summer wake-up call, and for Skylar, it’s time to make some changes. No to parties, and yes to youth group top her list.

Until her family begins crumbling beneath her. Her parents seem to be moving opposite directions, with Skylar and her sister caught in the middle. Then Skylar discovers her sister’s secret. Should she tell? Can her parents’ fragile marriage handle a blow like this one?

With Skylar’s best friend acting weird and her boyfriend’s jealousy skyrocketing, she doesn’t … Continue reading

Review: By Darkness Hid by Jill Williamson

By Darkness Hid
Jill Williamson
Marcher Lord Press
Published April 1, 2009

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Achan has known nothing but the life of a stray, lower even than that of a slave. When a mysterious knight, rumored to have once been a stray himself, makes an offer to Achan to train him as his squire, despite laws that should prevent it, Achan finds himself trapped between two lives. In this midst of this, a strange gift seems to wake inside him. But isn’t bloodvoicing just a myth?

When an evil prince seeks her hand in marriage, Vrell hides behind the orange tunic of a stray and masquerades as a boy to conceal her identity. At the same time, her … Continue reading

Review: Once Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris

Once Upon a Marigold
Jean Ferris
HMH Books for Young Readers
Published October 1, 2002

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Christian is a young inventor living in the forest with his foster father, a troll named Ed. Life is pretty sweet until the day Christian discovers the lonely Princess Marigold and decides to send her a message via carrier pigeon (p-mail). To Christian’s surprise, the princess replies to his message and the two become best friends.

When Christian uncovers a vicious plot to kill Marigold, he can’t sit by and do nothing. But how can a commoner do anything to save the princess?

Once Upon a Marigold is a spunky, cute fairy tale type story about having courage to do what’s … Continue reading

So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld

So Yesterday
Scott Westerfeld
Razorbill
Published January 1, 2004

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When Hunter meets a girl with a whole different way of doing her shoelaces, he has no idea the strange adventure that’s about to begin. Through her, he winds up invited to a secret meeting at which he stumbles onto a pair of amazing shoes, and the possibility that his cool-hunting boss has been kidnapped. Hunter and his new friend pursue the shoemakers, trying to discover what’s become of his boss, Mandy. Full of quirky characters and with Hunter’s off-the-wall sense of humor and irony, So Yesterday was a worthy read. Go Hunter, the Mighty Penguin!

This was such a fun story. I read and loved the … Continue reading

The Owling by Robert Elmer

The Owling
Robert Elmer
Zondervan
Published October 12, 2008

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

On her way home from the Shadowside, Oriannon’s shuttle is hijacked and forced to land on a small way station where a mysterious Owling risks his life to give her a strange stone for safekeeping. Soothed by his allegiance to Jesmet, but still puzzled over the whole thing, Oriannon agrees to keep the stone hidden. When she finally reaches home, things only continue getting more strange. Rumors of earthquakes and warped reports of what is happening to the Owling people, who live in the Shadowside, make Oriannon more and more nervous. But a bright star shines out of the dark. A new voice with an offer of hope she … Continue reading

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