Review: Origin

IMG_1232Edmond Kirsch is a futurist, a prophetic computer scientist, and an atheist. A former student of Professor Robert Langdon, he has made an earth-shattering discovery that will shake the world’s religions to their core. But when his publicized announcement goes awry, Professor Langdon must find a way to unveil Kirsch’s discovery. Along the way, Robert uncovers much more than he bargained for.

Set in Barcelona, Origin was a book I just couldn’t put down. Dan Brown has a way of messing with my head and I always come out of his books wondering if what I just read was fact or fiction. Brown blends history and art seamlessly into this thriller and will have you questioning everything you thought you knew about computers and where the world is heading. Origin will not disappoint, especially for those who loved The DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons.

After reading this one, I have had the sudden urge to go and buy every Dan Brown book I can get my hands on. It has been years since I last read a Dan Brown novel, the last one being Digital Fortress (which I highly recommend). I would love to read more of Langdon’s adventures!

#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: 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.

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!

#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.