Serafina and the Black Cloak

Do you ever have those books that you put off reading because they’ve been hyped so much? How could a book be that good, right? I have a few of those and Serafina and the Black Cloak is one of them. I put off reading it and put off reading it but it’s been staring at me lately so I finally decided to pick it up.

51Cpf+z1U+L._SX336_BO1,204,203,200_Serafina is a unique little girl living in the basement of Biltmore Estate as the C.R.C. (Chief Rat Catcher). Her pa helps keep the electricity running as their handyman. Together they’ve made a quiet, private life together. Until children on the estate start disappearing. Risking everything, Serafina allies herself with the young nephew of Biltmore’s owners. They race to uncover who the Man in the Black Cloak is before all the children disappear. In doing so, Serafina also delves into the mystery of her past and who she is.

 

Every person was a hero in his own mind, fighting for what he thought was right, or just fighting to survive another day, but no one thought they were evil.

Robert Beatty has created an enchanting tale filled with suspense and beauty with every page. I found myself wanting to finish this one quickly. Not because I wanted to be over and done with it but because I couldn’t wait to see how he ended the story. Serafina and the Black Cloak is dripping with magic and mystery. Definitely a book everyone can enjoy. I can’t wait to pick up the sequel!

A Monster Calls

“Stories are the wildest things of all, the monster rumbled. Stories chase and bite and hunt.”

Nightmares are living, breathing things. But can they help you through tragedy?

IMG-2103A Monster Calls may be one of my favorite and least favorite books all at the same time. Conor O’Malley is losing his mother to a monster that cannot be fought. As she slips away a day at a time, Conor must go on living his life. But each night there is The Nightmare, the one that wakes him up in a cold sweat, the one he can’t finish. The one he doesn’t want to finish. And each night he’s visited by The Monster. But this isn’t your average Godzilla. This monster was called, he is here for a purpose.

Patrick Ness is a word magician. He creates a story of reality using fantasy. I had no idea how this story would end or the path it would take to get there. I was pleasantly surprised and also devastated. This book is a contradiction beautifully done. The illustrations alone are intricate and gorgeous. If you haven’t picked this one up, I highly suggest you do. But prepare for a ride!

#FictionFriday: Tuck Everlasting

I remember reading Tuck Everlasting back in middle school and this book has stuck with me ever since. I find myself constantly thinking of this book and wanting to read it again and again.

51pjcLaWOSL._SX337_BO1,204,203,200_Meet Winnie Foster. Her family is relatively normal, life fairly predictable. Until one day she discovers a spring on her family’s land. Not just a normal spring but one that grants immortality if drunk from.

Meet Tuck. His family has drunk from the spring on Winnie’s land and boy do they have a lot of stories. Winnie is enamored with them and their history. But soon she must decide whether to keep their secret or join them. Is eternal life a blessing or a curse?

Natalie Babbitt has created a world that you will want to revisit again and again. With characters to fall in love with and a unique story, you won’t want to put this one down!

By Your Side

I’m not usually big on teen romance novels. They’ve never rocked my proverbial socks off. Not much was different when reading By Your Side.

IMG-2041Anxiety-riddled Autumn Collins finds herself locked in the local library over the long holiday weekend. She thinks she’s alone until she finds herself face-to-face with Dax Miller, the black sheep of their school. But as the weekend wears on, and left with no other company, Autumn finds herself opening up to Dax in ways she hadn’t even with her love interest Jeff. When the weekend is over, will the feelings that have blossomed wither? And if not, who will hold Autumns heart when she makes her final decision?

Kasie West does a wonderful job of bringing the trials and tribulations of anxiety disorders to the story. She definitely enlightens readers to what their fellow classmates and friends may be going through. While I found myself wanting to finish the story, I didn’t really find myself invested. It seemed from the very beginning who Autumn would choose. Other than the corny lines that seem ever present in teen romances and the predictable outcome, it was an enjoyable read. Definitely a refresher for the senses after some heavy reads beforehand.

When the Moon was Ours

To the boys who get called girls,
the girls who get called boys,
and those who live outside these words.
To those called names,
and those searching for names of their own.
To those who live on the edges,
and in the spaces in between
I wish for you ever light in the sky.

Do you ever have those books that you draw you in with their beautifully written words? Those books that seem lush and eloquent and absolutely breathtaking in their prose? When the Moon was Ours is definitely one of those books.

IMG-1975From a boy who hangs moons in the trees to a girl who grows roses from her wrist, When the Moon was Ours is a tale of two best friends and the strangeness that bonds them. Sam and Miel are inseparable and strange in their own ways, but even as the town spreads rumors about their oddities, they all know to keep their distance from the Bonner sisters. Four girls who run the town and who are now convinced Miel’s roses will give them more power. Using every secret to bribe her to hand over the roses, Sam and Miel must face each other’s darkest secrets and see if they can knock the Bonner sisters down a peg or two.

While Anna-Marie McLemore writes beautifully, I found myself wishing there was a plot to the story…or any plot at all. I felt as if McLemore was covering for the lack of story with her well-written words and her apt for creating a fantasy world. It was hard to pick out absolute truths from the story amidst all the metaphors McLemore filled the pages with. That being said, the story itself is absolutely wonderful. I just wish a little more thought had been put into the plot of it all.

#FictionFriday: The Night Circus

Hey book lovers!!! It’s Friday which means another #FictionFriday. It’s been a while since I’ve read this one but boy, has it stuck with me.

“You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them, and who knows what they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.”

51gfkfjupcl-_sx322_bo1204203200_Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus is all about two young magicians, Celia and Marco, trained since childhood to duel. Suddenly, a circus appears as if from nowhere. Only open at night, it becomes the battleground for Celia and Marco. But neither of them could expect the relationship that would blossom between them. Now they must face their mentors and the fact that only one of them will come out of this alive.

Morgenstern poetically creates a world in which the reader will not want to leave. Magic occurs with every turn of the page. It is almost impossible not to imagine this fantastical world that Morgenstern has written into existence. I have a hard time picking a favorite book (because I have so many) but The Night Circus is definitely at the top of my list. This one will leave you spellbound!

The Beauty

“We move, we surge, we dash and we flow, and we think that our furious beating upon the far shores of the universe means we are powerful. But we are only the crest of an uncontrollable surge in the tide.”

IMG-1956I had no idea what to expect when I started reading The Beauty. Honestly, I’m still not sure how I feel about it. Aliya Whiteley has written an intriguing tale. The women are all dead, killed off by a strange disease, and men are all that is left. The age of humanity is coming to an end. But a young storyteller in a group of men, Nathan, has found what he believes to be their saving grace.

What follows is a story that is reminiscent of H.P. Lovecraft’s works. After finishing The Beauty, I felt as if my brain and been taken out and played with. While I thoroughly enjoyed Whiteley’s writing style and poetic prose, I was left wanting. I wanted more details on the downfall of humanity, a more complete ending, just more. That being said, I was kept on the edge of my seat. The Beauty is indeed a unique story, unlike anything I’ve ever read. It will keep you thinking and you won’t be able to put it down.