mini book reviews – 12.07.13
These are just some of the last few books I’ve read that I found to be fantastic reads and felt like I needed to share. I’ve been horrible lately about reading. I have stacks of books from BEA that I need to get through and I’ve been really lazy about it all. I’ve realized that I spend way too much time watching morning talk shows and reruns of Boy Meets World. It kind of needs to stop so I can get through these books before BEA 2014! I recently sat down and read a whole book and it was amazing! I think I should start that habit I have of reading twenty-something books and more in like…two weeks. Maybe I can get through some of these books. I have about 50+ of them, not to mention the other 50+ books I had before BEA that I haven’t read yet.
Anyway, here are a few that I have finished that I thought were fantastic. Not all were from BEA; I have piles of books I bought before the expo that I haven’t gotten through yet either. (I have a problem >.<)
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (2013)
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I love this book! You have no idea, I should have talked about it sooner–like right after I read it–but alas, I didn’t. I read it towards the end of the summer when I was in Puerto Rico. It was sitting on my bookshelf for over six months before I decided to actually read it. And what a read! It’s a story of romance and magic, set in the victorian world of a traveling circus named Le Cirque des Rêves. The circus is an absolute mystery as it appears in different cities all over the work unannounced and is only open at night. The color scheme is black and white, everything seemingly coming off a silent black and white movie. It’s all very showy–the circus, I mean–but hidden in the shadows a duel is being performed by two magicians, who were bound to this competition since before the circus’ conception.
I found the book to be very reminiscent of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. I suppose that’s why I’m completely bias towards The Night Circus because Dorian Gray is one of my all-time favorites. The writing style of both books are similar, but The Night Circus is not heavily philosophical as Wilde’s writing. And like Dorian Gray, The Night Circus is very dark, almost sinister in the way that the two young magicians are pawns in this competition, which not only affects them, but everyone intimately involved in the circus, who aren’t at all aware of a competition going on. The story is beautifully written and the storytelling is magnificent. I will say however, if you don’t like books that jump back and forth in time, this book may not be for you. but if you can get pass that it’s an amazing read.
The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict by Trenton Lee Stewart (2013)
The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict by Trenton Lee Stewart. This is the prequel to The Mysterious Benedict Society, which is a trilogy about a handful of extraordinary children who through various puzzle and challenges are chosen by Nicholas Benedict to help him defeat evil plaguing the town, Stonetown. It took me a while to get around to reading this one, because I was waiting for it to come out in paperback (I have the entire series in paperback), then it took me a few months to get to it. But this prequel is worth the wait. It is about Nicholas Benedict when he was a child and his life as a rather precocious orphan in a very strict orphanage. There’s a mystery to be solved and Nicholas finds himself wrapped up in it, all the while trying to evade the Spiders, an evil group of older boys who wish to harm and embarrass Nicholas, but whom Nicholas always seems to outsmart.
For a YA book, this book as well as the three others, are fantastic and fun reads. You don’t have to be a child in order to enjoy these. They are very smart and witty and extremely well written. You will instantly be swept away by the characters and all of the adventures young Nicholas goes through with his new found friends, as they explore and try to uncover this mystery.
Tandem by Anna Jarzab (2013)
Tandem by Anna Jarzab. This is a gem from BEA 2013. Honestly, I’ve so far have gotten through three books from BEA–I did start two others as well, but couldn’t get through them, so I put them down–and Tandem was the best so far! It’s a YA novel, book one of a trilogy, about multiple universes. The series begins with Sasha, a sixteen year old girl from Earth who lives an ordinary life. She is forcibly taken from her world into an alternative world–a parallel world–where she is made to act like her alternative self: a princess.
Part sci-fi, part romance, some adventure if you think a revolution and a failing government is adventure, then sure! While I found myself accurately predicting who’s who in terms of who’s the allies and who’s the enemy, the story was amazing and different–especially for the current state of teen fiction. Tandem was well written and you really do fall in love with some of the characters, which I think is the best ingredient to a great book. I can’t wait for Tether, the second book in the series, which comes out June 2014. I’m seriously hoping she’ll be at BEA next year!