Serafina & The Twisted Staff

It’s been a long time, book lovers! Life has gotten pretty crazy lately what with family, job, and all the goings on of summer vacation. I’ve been lax in my reading schedule (sorry about that) and this blog has suffered for it. But I am trying! And just this week I finished Serafina & The Twisted Staff.

51z482Xyp0L._SX338_BO1,204,203,200_Not too long ago, I wrote about the first book in this series. I wasn’t blown away by it but it was still an intriguing read. Beatty’s second installment is no different. It was very well written and I was excited to read about Serafina’s next adventure but some of the plot was quite predictable and it didn’t hold the same magic for me as the first one did. Still, it’s worth the read.

In Serafina & The Twisted Staff, we pick back up with Serafina and Braeden after they’ve defeated the man with the black cloak. But now there’s a new danger at Biltmore and it’s affecting the animals. Serafina and Braeden work together to solve the mystery of what could be harming the animals of the forest as well as those on Biltmore’s estate. But in the process, Serafina is torn from Braeden’s side and begins to question where she belongs and who is her true friend. Robert Beatty is a brilliant writer who has created a fantasy that every reader will enjoy. While the second book is not quite as powerful as the first, I was still sucked into the story and curious to find out how it would end. I’m very much looking forward to picking up the next book in this series.

#FictionFriday: Seveneves

Hey book lovers! I’m still working on getting back into the swing of regular reading after taking a break. And hoping to get a habit going before my actual job kicks into high gear for the next couple of months.

Today’s #FictionFriday, I’d like to introduce you to Seveneves by Neal Stephenson. I’m not usually big on Neal Stephenson’s books. They’re usually very dry. Imagine if Anne Rice wrote a science novel. It’s almost boring just to think about, right? But trust me, Seveneves is an exception.

SevenevesThe moon is shattering. The fragments are colliding into each other and falling to Earth. It won’t be long before the human race will cease to exist. The government decides it would be best to evacuate as many people as possible onto a “Cloud Ark” in orbit and they need to survive for five thousand years. But as usual, things go wrong and it is up to seven women to save the human race.

It’s incredibly difficult to explain this novel without giving too much away. But I promise you it’s worth a read. Be prepared though, it’s a long book (880 pages) and sometimes Stephenson’s technical writing slips through but it’s not nearly as dry as his previous books. If you’re a love of The Martian or other space sci-fi books, pick this one up!

Moxie

These days, when you see the word “feminist” thrown around, it puts a bad taste in your mouth. I won’t get into a debate about the connotations surrounding that word, but it’s hard to deny that women are taking a stand these days.

IMG-2310Moxie was the perfect novel to read. It took my a while as I hit a reading lull in the middle of it but that didn’t keep me from loving this young adult novel. Moxie follows Vivian, a teenage girl living in Texas where the football team rules the school, the city, even the county. And I mean literally. The boys are untouchable. Again and again, they are sexist and harassing the girls of the school. But Vivian’s had enough. So Moxie is born.

This thrilling tale of a one girl revolution that eventually becomes an all girl revolution is breath-taking. To see one teenager take it upon herself to do something about the problems in her school without recognition or assistance. Vivian puts herself out there in a way she never has before. Not only hoping to change things for the rest of her time at the school but for all the girls after her as well. If you’re looking for a book about strong women coming together to stand up for one another, this is definitely the book for you.

#FictionFriday: Harry Potter (Yes, all of them)

Hey guys! I feel a little guilty this week as I haven’t read in any of the books I’m supposed to. I just haven’t had the motivation this week. Let’s be honest, if I’d forced myself to read, I wouldn’t have enjoyed it. So I took this week off and worked on some personal things. But this weekend I plan on reading as much as I can. Anyone else have an open weekend? What do you plan on spending your time doing?

I’m fairly certain most (if not all) of you have read the Harry Potter series. But I have to mention it. Magic, mystery, romance, dragons. What’s not to love about this series? I’ve been trying to get my husband to read them for ages now and he still hasn’t! But he does enjoy the movies. (I know, I know. The books are better. But I’ll take what I can get with him.)

HarryPotter

I started reading these books when I was 11 years old. I literally grew up with them and I appreciate them so much. When I was 11, I moved away from my best friend and I was heartbroken. These books helped me get through some tough times and the friends I’ve made because of these books are that much more special.

It’s a series that I go back and read at least every year. And every single time, I feel the magic from them hitting me. They’re an amazing story that deserves to be read.

#FictionFriday: The Sight

It’s Friday!!! *cue happy dance* I don’t know about y’all but it’s supposed to be gorgeous today and I intend to enjoy every bit of this weather. Anyone else happy to have those winter blues melt away?

This #FictionFriday I’d like to introduce you to The Sight. I read this book a few years back and absolutely fell in love with David Clement-Davies’s work. I even went out and bought another of his books because I loved the stories he was telling.

51WsYOlYyFLIn the middle of a Transylvanian winter, a wolf pack seeks shelter. As they are stalked by a lone wolf, Morgra, possessed by a terrifying power known as the sight. Because of this mysterious curse, Morgra knows there is a wolf pup in the pack that has power even greater than her own. The pack will do anything to protect the pup, even as far as starting a war involving all of nature.

When I first heard about The Sight, I was afraid it was going to be another White Fang but Clement-Davies does a wonderful job of creating his own story. I love a good animal story (although Watership Down tore me up) and this is one of the best. If you like stories like the ones mentioned above, I highly recommend picking up The Sight or Fire Bringer. Both are solid works and will leave you wanting more!

Carry On

I love books that dabble with magic. Seriously, you wanna be my friend? Suggest a good fantasy novel to read (bonus points if it’s a series). So obviously, I’m a huge Harry Potter fan. Ask my husband. I made him watch the movies and he kept asking questions. All I could tell him is he needs to read the books. (He still hasn’t read them.) So I was excited to pick up Carry On. I’d only read one other Rainbow Rowell book and was in love with her writing style.

IMG-2291Simon Snow has been raised in the Normal world most of his life, hopping from orphanage to foster home, never really knowing where he belongs. Until The Mage comes for him and opens his eyes to the World of Mages and the magic within. But most of the time Simon can’t get a spell out correctly and the rest of the time he’s sitting something on fire. Now it’s his final year at Watford, the wizarding school, and he must face a multitude of troubles, including a magic-eating monster that is terrorizing this place he has come to call “home”.

Sounds very similar to a certain other magic-wielding orphan, right? That’s what I thought too when I started Carry On. It put a bad taste in my mouth because it seemed like Rowell was trying to rewrite the Harry Potter story. While there are some strong similarities between the two, Carry On definitely stands apart. With some intricacies not shown in Harry Potter and an ending that left me unsettled, I was sucked in. Rainbow Rowell is a phenomenal author. Once again I was blown away by her story-weaving abilities. In the end, I absolutely loved reading Simon Snow’s story. If I had to complain about anything, it’s that I wish she had turned it into a series if only so I could stay in that world a little longer.

#FictionFriday: A Prayer for Owen Meany

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.

Welcome to another #FictionFriday, book lovers! The weekend is finally here. (Cue the angel choir) While I still have a lot of housework to do this weekend, I’m hoping to get quite a bit of reading done. Currently I’m reading through Carry On by Rainbow Rowell for my book club. Since it’s such a thick book I’m debating on adding a second book to my “currently reading” list. What do you think?

4473This #FictionFriday, I’d like to share with you A Prayer for Owen Meany. If you’ve been following my page for a while, you’ll know that I read this book last year. I’ll be honest, I’m not very familiar with John Irving’s writing and that’s simply because I’ve never read any of his books up until I picked up this one. I’d seen the movie Cider House Rules which was based off one of his books. But that doesn’t really count.

A Prayer for Owen Meany follows two young boys, John and Owen, in the 1950s and beyond. Owen is a strange boy with an abnormal voice and a belief in miracles. What do you do when your best friend believes he is God’s instrument?

I have to admit, I wasn’t immediately taken in by this book. It’s not something that I would have picked up on my own but I enjoyed it. It took a bit but eventually I was hooked wanting to know what happened to Owen Meany. I’m still not quite a fan of Irving’s writing but I enjoyed this book. Perhaps I’ll pick up another one soon. Any lovers of John Irving out there? If you have a book you think I should read, send me a message.