Young Adult Series Author is at it Again

For those of you who are in love with Ms. Kiera Cass’s work as I am, you will be excited to hear that she is soon to release the first novel of a new series! Cass is known widely for her Selection series and has captured the attention of many young adult readers. This new series is about a siren names Kahlen who lures sailors to their deaths. Of course it wouldn’t be complete without a love interest thrown in, but I am prepared for this series to be suspenseful and alluring. Ms. Cass has announced the first book of the series to be released January of this year. Here is a link to her personal website that gives a more detailed description of the plot of new book and it’s exact release date. January can not come soon enough!

“You’re a wizard Harry”

J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series has created a world in which millions of children lose themselves. Whether it is the setting of the books, which is at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the characters, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermoine Granger, the villains, Voldemort and Draco Malfoy, or the action of the stories readers can’t resist turning the page to discover the new surprises that are in store.

However, while many children enjoy devouring this series it has many parents concerned of the content their kids are reading. Some believe that the stories are too dark for their young kids and want the reading age to be raised. Others don’t want their child reading recreationally about a school where children are brought up in the likes of witchcraft. Do these concerns have any foundation? Are the Harry Potter books something that parents should dissuade their kids from reading?

I had never read a Harry Potter book before this summer; I had only seen the movies. I thought that the movies were pretty light aside from a few choice scenes in certain movies for which even I had to close my eyes. I decided to read through the series and see what my choice would be regarding whether I would want my child to read the series. Based on the movies, I don’t expect there to be too much I wouldn’t want my child to read but I can always change my mind. Book one, here we go.

“Are you ready Empress?”

I had a mixture of feelings when my grandma handed me “The Accidental Empress”. I never was able to finish a historical fiction book prior to this book and so it is safe to say I was a little hesitant to open the cover. However, if I didn’t crack the surface of the book, I would have missed one of the most gripping stories I have ever read.
                “The Accidental Empress” by Allison Pataki is the story of Elisabeth whose nickname is “Sisi” and she would marry the Emperor Franz Joseph. He was betrothed to her older sister until he laid eyes on her and demanded that he be allowed to marry Sisi instead. Their marriage was filled with love but also hurt and loneliness.
                This book had me promising to put it down after I finish the next chapter and then had me breaking that promise as I insisted on continuing to read to find out what happened next. Pataki did an excellent job to make the reader feel and think through the eyes of Sisi. When Sisi was able to be with the man that she loved, the reader celebrated alongside her. But when Sisi’s mother-in-law took her babies away moments after she delivered them you grieved and cried just as Sisi did.  I don’t think I have ever been on quite the emotional rollercoaster as I have with this book. I regretted reading it so fast because the last page, the last sentence came all too quickly.
                I recommend “The Accidental Empress” to any reader who wants a story to get lost and wrapped up in. For those who like me are generally not fans of historical fiction I will vouch for this book and say that it will have you turning page after page. After finishing this book I want to drive to a bookstore and start on the second book that she read titled “The Traitor’s Wife”. I hope all of you give this book a chance and when you finish the book I know you will feel the same joy and despair the moment I read the last word.

“Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

C.S. Lewis captures the imagination of children through his Narnia series with the use of imagery and sense of adventure. I recently read a book published by Tyndale House Publishers titled Finding God in the Land of Narnia by Kurt Bruner and Jim Ware. This book deciphers the symbols that Lewis uses to make a comparison between his fantasy world and the Christian religion. 

I was captivated by the amount of symbols that Lewis included into each of his novels that Bruner and Ware brought into light. Symbols that spurred my attention were those that were hidden in plain sight. Bruner and Ware describe the Turkish Delight that Edmund eats in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wadrobe can be seen as human nature, how we can so easily be tempted by sin. I always saw that as Edmund just enjoying a delicious treat that he was craving.

I definitely recommend this novel for any one who is seeking the truth behind Lewis’s fantasy world. It was both enlightening and humbling to discover that many of the symbols can relate personally to the reader. Reading this novel also helped me to have a deeper understanding of my relationship with God. The way Aslan is both a guide and friend for the Pevensie children, God is a shepherd and friend for me, one of His lost sheep. I hope that this book brings you as much entertainment and knowledge that is has given me.

“They call it Divergent.”

Veronica Roth’s best seller “Divergent” is easily one of the best books I have ever read. The overall plot of the story captures its readers and won’t release you until you are finished reading its pages. “Divergent” would be appropriate for ages 13 and older, there are a few lines in the text that are sexual but nothing that would make me not want my own child to read it. 

“Divergent” is set in the Chicago area in the future. There are five factions that people are separated into based on personality traits. The factions are Erudite, Dauntless, Abnegation, Amity, and Candor. Erudite is a faction that consists of people who are very intelligent and who enjoy research and learning. Dauntless members are fearless and protect the city’s boundaries. Abnegation is a faction whose members are selfless. Amity people are peaceful and Candor members are honest. 

The book’s main character Beatrice, who later is called Tris, belongs to the Abnegation faction along with her family. After taking a test that helps her determine which faction she should pledge her allegiance to the person explains to her that she is Divergent. This means that Tris doesn’t belong to just one faction but her personality can fit into three different factions. Divergent people are considered a threat to the overall system and thus her title must be kept a secret for her own safety. Beatrice decides to join Dauntless because she has always envied their freedom and bravery. 

While in Dauntless, Tris has to go through extensive physical and emotional training before she is called a Dauntless member. Her trainer, Four, challenges her to take advantage of her strengths to downplay her weaknesses that were obvious to others. They of course fall in love, but the great part is that it’s not in the traditional way. 

I don’t want to give away the ending because no one ever enjoys that. This fiction novel by Veronica Roth was one that I read from cover to cover more than once. It would be a good read for anyone that likes action, romance, sic-fi, and even a little suspense. 

Summit Entertainment is releasing a film about the movie in March of 2014.