Top 10 Tuesday: Read in One Sitting

Hi all. Welcome back to Top 10 Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s theme is read in one sitting. I decided to share some books that I have read in (basically) one sitting.

The Selection Series by Kiera Cass

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

The Martian by Andy Weir

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

What books have you read in one sitting?

 

[Tuck Everlasting]: A Review

Hi y’all! I hope you’re having a great weekend. Today I am back with another review. I am almost caught up with my reviews! Finally! I have been behind all year and I am so excited to catch up–at least momentarily.

I am reviewing Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt today. This is the first time I have read this novel. Although, I have seen the movie several times (love it!). The movie and the novel are markedly different. First of all, Winnie is a child, not a teenager in the book. Just be prepared for that. 🙂

I include several plot spoilers in this review because I assume most people know the basic plot of the novel from the movie. Read on with that in mind!

Initial Thoughts:

  • I did not know this book was first published in 1975. It’s a lot older than I thought it was. I wonder how it would be different if first published now.
  • I was surprised at first to find the novel in the children’s section of the library. But that is certainly where it belongs. The tone and story are simple and easy to understand. Also, it really is a short novel–only almost 150 pages total.
  • I was surprised that the novel takes place over only a few days. I would have liked an epilogue from Winnie’s point of view to get more details about the time that passes after those initial events.

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Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt follows the crossroads of the stories of Winnie Foster, a sheltered child who runs away into the wood her family owns, and the Tucks, a family who come together every 10 years and who share a unique secret. Their worlds are thrown together one August when Winnie discovers their secret–the Tucks have not aged since they drank from a spring in the wood. But a stranger in a yellow suit has also discovered their secret, and he wants to exploit it. As Winnie’s friendship with the Tucks blossoms and is tested, Winnie must decide which future she wants.

 

The characters are simple and likable in this novel. Because the book is so short, we don’t get a lot of details about any of them. I enjoyed the simple descriptions of the characters–the simplicity of who was good and who was evil. I feel like I can picture what they look like and how they interact with others. I can see Mae twisting her music box, Jesse laughing, and Winnie taking in their hectic but warm home. You can’t help but cheer for Winnie when she finally decides to leave the fence. And you want the Tucks to find peace and happiness in their fate.

Lately, I have really been appreciating the simple storytelling and narrative voice of children’s books. This one is no different. The writing is just that–simple and straightforward. And since it’s only about 150 pages, I flew through it in a few hours. But there is something cozy and inviting about the simplicity of this story and the tone. We don’t get a bunch of background on everyone. We don’t even get to see what happens after the few days recounted in the novel. We do get thrust into the heat of those few August days. We feel like we are there exploring with Winnie and experiencing everything in the the Tuck home–from the pancakes for dinner to the lumpy sofa as a bed–for the first time. The story and the tone are not complicated. But they are endearing and enjoyable.

The plot is similarly simple. We get only a few days of action. But they are certainly action packed with the Tucks taking Winnie to their home, the encounters with the man in the yellow suit and the jail break. For me, most of the plot twists are fairly predictable because I’ve seen the movie (except I’m always a bit surprised by Mae’s heroics to keep the yellow hat man from taking Winnie. Is it bad to call hitting him with a shotgun heroic?). Again, I enjoyed the easiness of the plot because I expected it. This is a children’s novel after all. It doesn’t offer complex themes and includes very little philosophical discussion (Tuck and Winnie’s conversation on the lake is about all we get). But that was refreshing and different and fun.

While this is a children’s book, it is also rather profound. Some of my favorite quotes are also great lessons about life.

“Nothing ever seems interesting when it belongs to you–only when it doesn’t.”

“Life’s got to be lived, no matter how long or short. … you got to take what comes.”

“Everything’s a wheel, turning and turning, never stopping. The frogs is part of it, and the bugs, and the fish, and the wood thrush, too. And people. But never the same ones. Always coming in new, always growing and changing, and always moving on. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. That’s the way it is.”

“You can’t have living without dying. So you can’t call it living, what we got. We just are, we just be, like rocks beside the road.”

Tuck Everlasting, pages 7, 54, 62 and 64

The ending surprised me because it is a bit different that the movie–only a little bit different though. And I still would like so many more details about what happens to everyone in the years between that first week of August and the epilogue. What did Winnie do in her life? Where were the Tucks? How have they all changed and progressed?

This is a book I hope to read with my children one day. And I think it is definitely one that most kids can read easily. A fun, simple novel that contrasted nicely with my more complex, deeper Les Miserables and Sense and Sensibility reading. I recommend this one!

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What are some of your favorite children’s novels?

 

[The Fault in Our Stars]: A Review

Hi everyone! Hope you are having a good week. Today has been cloudy in Dallas; I’m hoping it will rain. Today I am here with a review of a recent reread of mine, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

I actually saw the movie before I read this book. And I spontaneously bought the novel at Costco (anyone else find great book deals at Costco?) one afternoon. I read it in only a day and a half. I remember it being tragic, beautiful, and heartbreaking. This reread reinforced all those opinions. Now at the end of the reread, I can’t say if I really like this book or not. There are scenes and elements that I am really torn about. Basically, writing a coherent review is daunting.

Initial thoughts:

  • I have to be in the right mood for a book (or movie) like this. Really, it’s pretty depressing. So I have to be prepared for that. Speaking of, I really did like the movie adaptation of this book. I put it with other such tragic romances like Me Before You and any book ever written by Nicholas Sparks. 😉
  • I have been thinking and craving that incredible meal Hazel and Augustus have in Amsterdam since I finished the novel. How delicious does that sound?
  • I have still only read this novel by John Green and don’t really have a desire to read more of his novels.

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The Fault in Our Stars by John Green follows the unlikely romance of Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters. Goodreads summarizes it like this: “Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

I’m not sure exactly where to start with this review. This book is rather widely read and super popular so it’s hard to say something new that hasn’t already been said. So I thought I would share some disjointed thoughts on it. Enjoy!

Why is this book so popular?

This book is different. It gives us a different perspective on cancer and especially on children’s cancer. I have never read anything like this book. It talks about issues, especially high emotional issues, that we don’t usually talk about. And I oscillate between feeling uncomfortable and appreciating the candor of the writing.

The characters are raw and flawed. Hazel and Augustus both experience intense physical and emotional challenges. I don’t think they always endure them in the best ways. But that makes them feel like real people who make mistakes and are sometimes selfish, hopeful, and depressed at different times of life.

The writing is poignant and fresh. John Green has such a neat writing style that seems to say even the simplest idea in a new way. He shows us the world in unique ways through the descriptions and emotions of the novel. I think the tone and style are what draw so many readers into Hazel and Augustus’ stories.

What I like about it…

I like the descriptions of the trip that Hazel and Augustus take to Amsterdam. The city sounds almost magical from Green’s lively imagery of the canals, architecture, and Anne Frank House made me want to take a trip there myself. And I already alluded to the amazing meal that Hazel and Augustus eat outside near the canals. Has risotto ever sounded so delicious?

I also like the romance between Augustus and Hazel. I like how sincerely he loves her from basically the moment they meet. And how long it takes Hazel to admit her feelings for him. I like their first kiss in the Anne Frank House. I like how they support each other in their challenges. And I like their “okay.”

What I dislike about it…

Sometimes, the negative tone was too much for me. As well as the somewhat ambiguous discussions of an afterlife or God. As a practicing Christian, I had a hard time with some of the moments when Hazel asserts that oblivion is inevitable or when characters do not derive greater peace from a higher power. I can appreciate that there are many religious views in the world. But I would have liked to see more faith.

Honestly, I dislike the big ending plot twist (if you don’t know what that is, I won’t spoil it for you here). I just think there is enough pain and heart ache in this novel. And let’s face it, there is a lot! I wanted a little more hope and happiness at the end.

And finally, some of my favorite quotes from the book. Some very memorable ones here!

Overall, I like this book. But I do not love it. I appreciate the candor and the intensity of a range of emotions. But I prefer books with more faith and more happiness. At the right time though, this type of book can be fun to inhale in just a few hours.

I also don’t feel like I can give this book a rating. Some parts/elements I would give 5 stars, while others I would give 2 stars.

What do you think of The Fault in Our Stars?

Top 10 Tuesday: Spring TBR

Hi everyone! Welcome back to Top 10 Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! I am excited to be back this week with a new TTT all about my Spring TBR. I am feeling so much better in the second trimester of pregnancy and reading is exciting and fun again. So my Spring TBR is ambitious 🙂 Enjoy!

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine // I’m on a children’s classic kick lately. I haven’t read this book in years and I’m excited to revisit it.

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau // I have never read this children’s novel before but I did see the movie. Interested if I remember enough to compare the two.

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien // A reread for me. I haven’t read this or the LOTR books in years and hope to revisit them this year.

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly // I hear amazing things about the movie. I am interested in starting with the book.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir // My sister has nothing but good things to say about this fantasy/dystopian novel. Perhaps this spring will be the right time to experience it!

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J. K. Rowling // I got this book for Christmas and hope the time is right to read it this spring.

The Postmistress by Sarah Blake // A NY Times Bestseller that I got at a local book sale at our library last fall. I’ve been excited to read it for a while now.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel // I have high hopes for this book. And I think it will be a book that takes some time to read. Perhaps when I finish a few of the ones I’m working on now, I will start this one.

The Girl Who Wrote in Silk by Kelli Estes // This has been on my TBR, and high on the list too, for several months. I hope to get it from the library (again) soon!

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys // I have had this WWII novel on my TBR for a while, and I hear great things about it. Hope to read it this spring!

What are you reading this spring?

 

 

 

[The Bronte Plot]: A Review

Hi everyone! I hope your week is going well. I’m having one of those “the days are long but the week is fast” sort of weeks. But I’m glad because everyday we get closer to meeting baby girl!

Today I am back with a review of my second Katherine Reay novel, The Bronte Plot. I was again easily caught up in Reay’s storytelling and loved feeling totally nerdy with all her literature references. My favorite part of this novel was the literary tour that Helen and Lucy go on. I would love to spend my life going on literary tours around the world.

Initial thoughts:

  • I need to read more Bronte so I can fully appreciate the Parsonage when I one day make my own pilgrimage there.
  • I love the Lake District. I want to live there one day.
  • I was surprised that the romance in this book is secondary to the journeys of Lucy and Helen (more on those later). I actually appreciated this surprise by the end of the novel. Although, I love a good romance as well 🙂

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The Bronte Plot by Katherine Reay follows the story of both Lucy–a rare books dealer and aspiring interior designer who has somewhat questionable methods of both buying and selling–and Helen–the grandmother of Lucy’s boyfriend, James. When James discovers Lucy’s secrets of business, it ruins their relationship. But it also prompts his grandmother, Helen, to hire Lucy to accompany her to England where Helen has various kinds of business to attend to. Both women harbor secrets about their pasts and both will learn to accept themselves as they journey through London. The story climaxes in Haworth, home of the Bronte sisters, who inspire Lucy to let go of the past and endure towards the future that she wants to build.

Lucy was an interesting protagonist because I didn’t always like her. I enjoyed her nerdy love of books. However, her overall character and her questionable choices were difficult for me to connect with. I was as shocked as James or her boss to hear about some of her shady business tactics and was surprised to read the description of her apartment–with almost nothing in it. But I think the journey Lucy goes on with Helen to rediscover herself and come to terms with her past is beautiful and inspiring. As Lucy willing changed, I found myself rooting for her and connecting with her more than I anticipated. She has made mistakes, some rather large, but she seeks to change and make things right. I can respect that.

Helen’s journey to find peace and let go of her past is equally compelling. Her ability to understand and motivate Lucy to change was subtle but powerful. I appreciated her candor and her bravery in undertaking a trip across the ocean and across time. What’s more, she is a literature lover as nerdy as Lucy. I hope to be as nerdy when I am old. I felt some regret for her though. Yes, Helen is able to make things right late in her life, but how much more full her life could have been if she made changes earlier. Perhaps, that’s the strength of her example to Lucy. She gives Lucy the push she needs to change now instead of in 50 years.

The plot of this novel was not what I expected. Of course, I don’t want to give away  too many details (just a few). But I will say that I had mixed feelings about some plot twists. Sometimes I liked the surprising turns of events like when James shows up in England or when Lucy discovers her love of interior design on a new level in Haworth. But sometimes I was disappointed. Like when Lucy confronts her past and some things have not changed. Can I just say that her father is a loser? I thought the first part of the novel could have been more concise to allow more development during later parts. Some parts of the novel dragged for me while others kept me turning the pages quickly.

What surprised me about the plot is the deep lessons on life that can be learned from Helen and Lucy’s experiences. They don’t just love books; they are learning to navigate their lives and move forward into the future and let go of the past. Overall, I was satisfied with the ending. Although, I wouldn’t mind hearing more about some of the characters after the main plot was wrapped up.

My favorite parts of the novel were the literary sites and the references to the novels. I love literary locations and continue to have a long list of places I want to visit (or revisit) someday. The literary tour in this novel reminded me of my first experiences in England on study abroad in college. We went to so many amazing places like Wordsworth’s homes in the Lake District, Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey, and many more. I felt much like Lucy did in Haworth–closer to my favorite heroes and inspired by the beauty and grandeur of these places. I continue to love especially the Lake District. It was so fun to read about Helen and Lucy exploring them too. Plus, all the Bronte references gave me some added motivation to read more of the Bronte sisters’ novels.

So many fantastic quotes in this book!

A few favorites about the power of reading:

“Reading forms your opinions, your worldview, especially childhood reading, and anything that does that has an impact. So call them friends, call some stories enemies if you want, but don’t deny their influence. . . . You learn drama from the Brontes: sense from Austen: social justice from Dickens: beauty from Wordsworth, Keats and Byron: patience and perseverance from Gaskell: and don’t even get me started on exercising your imagination with Carroll, Doyle, Well, Wilde, Stoker.”

“Writers wouldn’t write about change and true love unless they were real, and if they did, we wouldn’t read the stories because we’d know they were writing lies.”

The Bronte Plot, pages 38 and 242

A few favorites about life and learning:

“Aloneness can creep up on you. Some is good and creative . . . but too much isn’t a good thing. To have someone know you, really know you, that’s a nice thing, I think.”

“All real lives hold controversy, trials, mistakes, and regrets. What matters is what you do next. . . . Don’t hang on to the past so tightly that you taint the future.”

The Bronte Plot, pages 125 and 152

Overall, another fun novel from Reay. I sure enjoy her novels and the ways she incorporates classic literature into modern stories. Waiting on Lizzie and Jane until potentially after pregnancy–a novel about food would be hard now. I also hear good things about A Portrait of Emily Price. Always more to read, right? 🙂

What are some of your favorite nerdy literary books?

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Fantasy and Sci Fi Series

Welcome back to Top 5 Wednesday! T5W is a weekly meme is hosted by Sam @ ThoughtsOnTomes.  You can visit the Goodreads T5W group for more info. This week’s topic is Favorite Science Fiction & Fantasy Books. 

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I decided to share some of my favorite series in these genres so I can include more books 😉 Enjoy!

Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling // No explanation needed here. I adore this series. And everyone should read it. Check out my reviews here.

The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien // The classic fantasy series that offers rich characters, plots, and themes. A must read in the genre. I would love to reread this series and blog about it.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer // This is one of my recent favorite series (check out my reviews here. I guess it’s more sci fi than fantasy, but regardless, I think the stories are clever and the misfit band of protagonists is endearing. I include pictures of the extra books in the series–Fairest and Stars Above. If you’re going to read this series, you should experience it all.

The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis // What I love most about Narnia is how accessible it is for people of all ages. Children can engage with the basic story and adults can appreciate the incredible Christian allegories at play throughout.

The Books of Bayern by Shannon Hale // I love Shannon Hale’s books in general. But there is something special about The Goose Girl. I have reviewed the first and last books in the series. Set in a beautiful world and told by a master storyteller, this series follows the coming of age stories of friends who learn the languages of the wind, water, fire, and earth amidst the changing political climates of their world. And how gorgeous are those new covers above?

What are some of your favorite fantasy and science fiction series?

Top 10 Tuesday: What I’m Reading Now

Hi everyone! Welcome back to Top 10 Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! We have had a few weeks off from TTT. But today we are linking up for a freebie week. And I think I would keep it simple and share some of the books I’m reading now and have recently finished. I feel like I have been behind on my reviews from the start of this year (because I actually have been!) Pregnancy changes everything, including my motivation. Hoping to catch up in the next few weeks!

In the last few years, I enjoy reading several books at one time. Often, they are of different genres, scopes, and themes. For me, this helps keep me motivated to read and I enjoy the differences in these books. Enjoy!

Currently reading:

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo // This is my big classic this year. And so far, I really love it! I just got to the second book of the novel when Jean Valjean is finally introduced. The language, the story, the characters are rich and compelling so far.

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen // I am finally getting into this novel by Austen–my last to finish her complete full novels! I have been listening to it on audio book and loving it.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey // My husband recently read this book and told me I should check it out. I don’t read a lot of books in this genre, but I am enjoying this one. Hoping to apply Covey’s habits into my life as I continue reading!

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt // I picked this up at the library yesterday because I realized I had never read it (seen the movie years ago though). It is short, and I just finished it this morning. Review coming sooner than later!

Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis // I started this one Sunday and just got a few pages in. I have wanted to read more Lewis for a long time and am excited to experience this one.

Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage // I debated putting this book on my list. But I think it belongs here. I am currently reading this book as part of my personal Bible study. I am grateful for the opportunity to deepen my relationship with my Savior, Jesus Christ.

Recently finished and need to review:

The Bronte Plot by Katherine Reay // This book is so nerdy and so fun. It’s the second of Reay’s novels that I have read and I enjoyed the nerdiness of the story once again. This one is next up to be reviewed!

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green // This is my first reread of 2017 (remember my Book Goals for 2017?) It is just as tragic and beautiful and depressing as I remember. Haha. Review coming soon.

What are you reading now?

Top 5 Wednesday: Fictional Jobs You’d Want to Have

Hi everyone! Today I’m back with a post as part of Top 5 Wednesday. T5W is a weekly meme is hosted by Sam @ ThoughtsOnTomes.  You can visit the Goodreads T5W group for more info. This week’s topic is fictional jobs you’d want to have. Excited to share some nerdy fictional jobs today. Enjoy!

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Most of these come from fantasy novels. Interesting.

Hogwarts Professor from Harry Potter // I love this series and how cool would it be to work at Hogwarts? I would especially love to teach transfiguration or charms.

Auror from Harry Potter // Okay, this one is pretty intense. And yes it’s also from Harry Potter. But I still think it would be awesome to be an Auror and defeat evil wizards. I would need some training from Harry himself and the DA first of course 🙂

Magician at The Night Circus // Okay, basically I just want to work at the Night Circus in some capacity because it is one of my most favorite worlds ever. So neat!

Bookstore owner in Stars Hollow // I would love to own a bookstore one day (in real life) and how I would love to live in Stars Hollow and be best friends with the Gilmore Girls.

Astronaut that goes to Mars from The Martian // Except I really don’t want to get stuck on Mars. I just want to see it and come home.

What are some of your favorite fictional jobs?

[The Enchantress Returns]: A Review

Happy Saturday, all! It’s actually pretty chilly here today so we have spent the day inside cleaning and watching movies. Today I am back with a catch up review of a book that, honestly, disappointed me a bit.

I have always really enjoyed fantasy novels. I rave about Harry Potter enough for you to probably know that. For me, these types of novels are great to get me excited about reading after a bit of a lull or just to make me feel accomplished for finishing a book more quickly. Usually, I can whip through a YA or children’s fantasy novel in a few days.

I read the first Land of Stories book last fall and really enjoyed the clever twists on classic fairy tales. Check out my review here. When I was in the mood for another fantasy novel, I grabbed the next installment in the series at the library. I read it fast, as I expected. But I was unexpectedly disappointed.

What I enjoyed about this book is the quick pace–adventures happening on every page. And I also like that it is a quick read and easy to get into. The reading level is somewhere between children’s and middle grade fiction so that keeps it easy.

Initial Thoughts:

  • I am beginning to feel about this story like I do about the TV show Once Upon a Time. There is all this potential for a clever and exciting series, but it doesn’t live up to the expectations of the first book (or season).
  • I think this book should have been shorter. It reminded me of Harry Potter #5–rather long winded and could have been a better plot with fewer unnecessary details.
  • I liked the first book’s plot, but I felt like I basically got the same plot here. More on this later.
  • The enchantress is a seriously vengeful character. Yikes. More on her later too.

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The Land of Stories: The Enchantress Returns by Chris Colfer is the second installment in the Land of Stories series. It again follows the adventures of Alex and Conner Bailey, twins who have ties to both our world and the magical Land of Stories. When their mother is kidnapped, they must find a way back into the Land of Stories to save her. The evil enchantress (who cursed Sleeping Beauty) has their mother hostage as part of her plot to take over the Land of Stories. With the help of some old friends including Froggy, Jack, Goldilocks, and Queen Red Riding Hood, the siblings set off on another adventure to gather magical items. This time, they need to collect fast in order to save their mother and  both worlds the twins love. Can they outsmart and overcome the evil enchantress?

Alex and Conner have matured some since we first met them at the start of the series. They have a new sense of identity and purpose because of their adventures in the Land of Stories. I especially like that Conner has started writing down their adventures and is praised at school for his stories. But at times, they still irritated me. Their anger then quick acceptance of Bob was underdeveloped. And the ending (won’t give away details here) made me upset. Yes, they go on another fabulous adventure and manage to save the world (sorry if that gives away the plot). But sometimes things seem a bit too easy for them to fix.

I was disappointed in the plot because it is basically a repeat of the first book. It goes something like this. They seem to be in an impossible situation. They find a magical way to solve their problems. They go searching for magical items to fulfill that quest. And they succeed despite the magnitude and the time constraints of the quest. It was clever in the first book. In this one, I wanted something different. Because they had so many places to visit, the specific destinations did not feel equally developed. Some interactions were very brief (like the Snow Queen) and some more interesting (like Cinderella’s step mother). But the twins and their friends always succeed and always get the item they came for. It’s all a bit too easy. I would have liked to see a new adventure that doesn’t center around a quest for magical items.

While the enchantress is certainly an intense villain, I would have liked more details about her background. We get her basic history, but I still wanted a bit more on why she was so vengeful and angry at the whole world. Yes, she wasn’t treated well. But she hates everyone no matter if they tried to show her kindness or not. I would say that she isn’t a complex villain. In fact, she is rather simple–just pure evil. And I wanted more complexities to her character.

I have several issues with the ending of this novel as well. Without giving away details, suffice it to say that I had issues with the ease of Alex and Conner beating the enchantress (it’s a kid’s novel; you knew that was going to happen). I also had big issues with the surprise twist at the end. That would just not happen so easily. And as a mother, I would not be okay with it.

Perhaps, I was just not the right audience for this book. Because I am not an elementary school student, perhaps I judge the juvenile writing and simplistic characters too harshly. Perhaps it was not a good time for me to read this book. Or perhaps, it just wasn’t my style. Regardless, I am not running to the library to check out the next book; I have no desire to continue the series.

But all this being said, it might be right for you with the right expectations. And I still would recommend the first book in the series.

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What do you think of the Land of Stories series?

Top 10 Tuesday: Favorites without a blog post

Welcome back to Top 10 Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! The prompt for today wasn’t really speaking to me. So I decided to look through some old TTT topics and find one that sounded fun. I settled on favorite books that I have not blogged about.

I am still a pretty new blogger–it will be 2 years in June. And I did plenty of reading before that! One of my book goals this year is to reread some favorites and blog about them. Because some of these books are on my all time favorites list and deserve the spotlight here on my blog. Enjoy!

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak // Although I hate the question “what is your favorite book,” this one always comes to mind. It’s definitely up there on my favorites list.

The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis // I finished this full series the summer before I started blogging. And I was blown away. I have posted a review of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe but would love to do the full series. These are great read aloud books. In fact, I need to get back in the habit of reading aloud to my husband.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett // I loved this book when I read it years ago. And I am unsure if I have ever read it again. Would love to reread it this year!

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostovesky // This is the novel that inspired me to take a Russian Literature course in college (taught in English luckily) and is still one of my favorite classics ever. I’d love to blog more about why.

The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien // I am certainly not as die hard a LOTR fan as you can find out there. But I do enjoy these novels quite a bit and would love to tell you why.

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norman Juster // This is one of my favorite books from my childhood. I remember just loving it as a kid. And I don’t think I’ve read it as an adult! Would love to reread it this year!

The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson // Same thing for this children’s book. I remember loving it as a kid (pre-Harry Potter even). It would be so fun to return to it now and see what I think.

The Giver by Lois Lowry // I had reread this book in recent years but it must have been pre-blog because I don’t have any review posted. Such a thought provoking novel that is both simple and sophisticated.

Shakespeare // Guys, I know I’m an anomaly, but I really enjoy reading Shakespeare. I took a great Shakespeare course in college, and a few more where were read some Shakespeare. Plus, I’ve seen several shows in London. I think I need to give the Bard some time and share why I enjoy his plays so much (and perhaps how I understand them too 😉 ).

What are some of your favorites that you want to blog about?