Ink and Bone

20643052It’s been awhile since I’ve picked up a Young Adult novel. Mostly because I fell out of the genre. None of the books really held my interest. Until now.

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine is a world of intrigue, history, and fantasy. The Great Library has taken over the freedom of owning a book. Now, first editions and originals are the most coveted possessions, eliciting a world of smugglers and darker things.

Jess Brightwell is a son of a smuggler in London. But he’s never really respected his family’s business. Nor does he have any clue about what the Library really stands for. But when his father tells him he must apply to be a part of the Library, or be kicked out of the house, Jess is submerged in a world he’s never known and never expected to be a part of. Along the way, Jess meets a few other applicants and a couple of enemies. As he navigates his way to a Library assignment, his world is rocked to its core and he begins to question who he is and everything he’s ever known.

This is the first book of Rachel Caine’s I’ve read and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Finishing up Ink and Bone has me looking forward to the next book and so glad that Caine decided to make this a series!

They stick around.

I just recently joined the #bookstagram family and I have to say it is the best and worst thing I’ve ever done. For one thing, I’ve started following quite a few other book lovers. I love being a part of a community who loves to read as much as these people do. Their own instagram accounts are great for recommendations on what to read next. But that’s what leads to my problem. I now have so many books to read that I don’t know when I’ll finish them all!

I guess there are worse problems to have.

In an effort to let you know a little more about me, I thought I would share with you a few books that have stuck with me. These are books I definitely wouldn’t mind reading again.

51gfkfjupcl-_sx322_bo1204203200_1. The Night Circus – If you haven’t picked up this book, I highly suggest you run to your nearest bookstore and grab a copy. Filled with magic, romance, and mystery you can’t go wrong with this novel. It’s been a couple of years since I read it last but I would love to get lost in it again.

2. To Kill a Mockingbird – I have to confess, I didn’t read this until last year. Most people I know apparently had to read it for school but I was never subjected to that. And honestly, I’m kinda happy about that. I think if I’d been forced to read it for school I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much as I did.

3. Orphan Train – I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy this book when I first picked it up. It had been recommended on multiple occasions to me and I couldn’t understand why. But I got pulled in quick! I’m a huge history nerd. I love anything dealing with it, especially World War 2 era. That combined with the intertwiningorphan-train-cover-001 of two different but very similar stories intrigued me to no end.

4. Seveneves – I’m not usually too crazy about sci-fi books. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy them but they’re not my go-to. In fact, I usually judge them by their covers. But Seveneves was amazing. Dealing with the end of the world, Stephenson manages to pull me in and keep me in the midst of the chaos that happens. This book was long. Longer than most of our book club books are. But we got through it, and while I have some complaints about it, overall it was well worth the read.

These are just a few of the books that still intrigue me to this day. Most I will definitely go back and read at some point. And I can’t wait to see what other books make the list of the unforgettable.

What are some books that you could read again and again? Are there any that hold a special place in your heart?

A Dog’s Purpose

7723542If you’ve watched any TV lately, you’ve probably seen a trailer for an upcoming movie titled A Dog’s Purpose. I have to tell you, that trailer made me laugh and cry all in the two minutes it lasts. Which of course, makes me want to go see the movie. But when I’d heard it was based off a book, I had to add it to my reading list.

Best. Decision. Ever.

This is by far one of the best books I’ve read recently. Part of that could because I’m an animal lover but another part of it is because this book is so well written. W. Bruce Cameron takes us on a rollercoaster of a ride starting with puppydom to adulthood and back again. Cameron spins a story of a dog that keeps being born, looking for his purpose in this crazy world. And with each birth, he finds it. From being a stray to a search and rescue, this canine finds its way in the world and then some.

A Dog’s Purpose pulls at your heartstrings and makes you bubble with laughter. I caught myself often wondering if this was how my dog saw the world. I warn you, if you pick this book up, have a box of tissues and a canine companion nearby. You will want nothing more than to snuggle into a dog while reading this charming novel.

Even knowing how it ends, I can’t wait to see the movie later this month. Maybe I’ll even pick up Cameron’s other book, A Dog’s Journey.

The Age of Miracles

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What would you do if the world stopped turning? If the sun no longer set at its usual time? If the crops started dying? If the boy you liked never looked your way?

The Age of Miracles is a unique coming-of-age story about a young girl named Julia and the life she leads when her world literally stops turning. Karen Thompson Walker pulls us into an apocalyptic world like no other. Usually, when I think of the world ending, I envision nuclear warfare, a large meteor striking Earth, a major natural disaster. But Walker’s version is much more subtle however no less traumatic.

Julia is a young girl on the verge of teenager-dom, dealing with the ebb and flow of friendships as she moves from elementary school to middle school. She is living in a world full of personal drama and family drama. Add the end of the world to that, how would you react?

Ms. Walker creates an illusionary world of long days and freezing cold nights. However, as out of the realm this may seem, Walker’s vision seems absolutely realistic. I found myself coming out of her story and wondering why there was nothing on the news about “The Slowing” as she calls it. The Age of Miracles asks what society would do if the apocalypse was not so quick and dramatic as has been portrayed before.

If you’re looking for a unique, out of this world novel, I highly recommend picking up The Age of Miracles.

Unlocked

22574100I grew up in a Christian home. My father is a preacher, my mother the daughter of a deacon. Religion has been a big part of my life. But as such, I’ve never been a big reader of Christian novels. However, I enjoy when someone loans me a book they think I’ll enjoy or just one they want to discuss with me.

My mother loaned me Unlocked by Karen Kingsbury. She’s big on Kingsbury books and has loaned me a few previously. While Kingsbury’s books offer heartwarming stories, her writing style seems like something written by a middle-schooler. Unlocked is no different.

Kingsbury spins a story about an autistic boy and his long-lost best friend. She depicts the trials of having an autistic child and the loss of friendships. We’re pulled into a story that is heart-wrenching yet filled with hope.

If a reader can look past the technicalities of Kingsbury’s writing, you’re sure to find an inspirational story.

The Paris Wife

51m40jzixl-_sy344_bo1204203200_  I’ve never been to Paris, but I’ve always wanted to go. I sometimes feel like I was born into the wrong era. The 20s seem like more of where I should be. The Paris Wife transports me to both.

Following Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley Richardson, The Paris Wife depicts life in the roaring 20s in Jazz-era Paris. The bohemian lifestyle is just beginning and creatives are flocking to Europe. This eclectic novel covers Hemingway’s beginnings and his struggle to make it as a writer. The Paris Wife also explores what it’s like to love someone but love yourself more.

Paula McLain does a wonderful job of pulling her readers in. Lovers of Hemingway will enjoy this fictional glimpse into his life. Even those who take no interest in Hemingway will find something to love in this novel. McLain can paint a picture with her words and pour emotion onto the pages like no other. I highly encourage any reader to pick up this wonderful novel.

A Prayer for Owen Meany

4473 I had never had the pleasure of reading any of John Irving’s books. Little did I know how much of a prolific writer he is. When I was younger, I’d watched the movie Cider House Rules, but being that young I couldn’t really appreciate it. I’d like to go back and watch it again some day.

As part of the book club I take part in, A Prayer for Owen Meany was chosen. I was a bit dubious as to whether I would enjoy this story or not. I know they say never judge a book by its cover but I still tend to do so. And I was definitely not impressed with this one. Written in 1989 about two boys growing up in a small town of New Hampshire, I wasn’t inspired to devour this book as quickly as I usually would.

However, I was pleasantly surprised. We are introduced to the two young characters, John Wheelwright and Owen Meany, as their friendship grows and the adventures they encounter through their years. The town of Gravesend is the setting for these youngsters as they learn to grow up through whatever life may throw at them. Tragedy strikes early and sometimes the boys seek out trouble of their own, but through it all they stick together.

Owen Meany, a strange little boy, is even stranger when it is revealed he thinks that he is God’s gift and that he was put here for a purpose. How many times have we wondered what our purpose is? And here is this young boy who already seems to know. Owen’s “knowledge” makes their escapades even more interesting.

Parts of Irving’s book were a bit dry, and the story was a tad difficult to get into, but after a few pages, it was hard to put down. The ending is a bit predictable but A Prayer for Owen Meany certainly is thought provoking and entertaining.