Monthly Archives: January 2015

The Winner’s Curse


By: Marie Rutkoski

This book has been highly advertised and quickly found its way on to my radar. When it came in, it had already been mentioned on several lists as a book that will quickly rise up the charts. Marie Rutkoski is the author of one of our current Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl books (The Shadow Society) and because of this book, I know that she is a fantastic author. So over the winter break, I made sure to grab this book so I could check it out. I didn’t end up picking it up until the last possible moment, but I will tell you, it was done before I returned! I absolutely loved this story!

The main character is the 17-year-old Kestrel, who is the daughter to the country’s top general. She lives in the lap of luxury and never has to lift a hand. Her father wants her to join the military, but she is not interested in that. She is an incredible strategist and prefers to use that skill on her own time and in her own way, and not as a part of the military career.

Another main character is Arin, a slave that was purchased by Kestrel on a whim at the slave auction. He is a very angry man who has watched his country get taken away from him in a war. He has lost his entire family and is now forced to work as a slave. Needless to say, he is not the most compliant slave. He doesn’t follow the rules that slaves are supposed to follow. And I won’t give any spoilers, but there is a reason for this.

As you read through this story, you will experience frustration, death, love, hope, and loss. It is all woven in a story that is easy to get engrossed in. And although I have become a bit bored with trilogies (usually because the stories seem drawn out just for the purpose of selling more books), I think this is an excellent start to a new series and I can’t wait for the next installment, which is due out in March 2015.

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To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before


By: Jenny Han

This is one of the books that I had heard a lot of buzz about before I finally got my hands on it. It quickly made its way to my shortlist of books I wanted to read. And I have to say that I was not disappointed with it. It was a very cute read. The main character, Lara Jean, is a very naïve character that has fallen in her version of love with 5 boys during her short life. In order to get over each of these boys, she writes them letters expressing her feelings. She places all these letters in a very special place with no intention of anyone ever seeing them. However, somehow her letters get sent to each of the boys. One of these boys is her sister’s ex-boyfriend. Between him and Peter, another one of the boys, Lara Jean ends up in a bit of a quandary. The story unfolds quickly and Lara Jean’s life changes rapidly. She goes from a girl who has never had a boyfriend (and really only 2 quick kisses that weren’t really kisses) to a girl who has a boyfriend and another boy interested in her (who also happens to be her neighbor). It makes for some very interesting experiences, given how naïve and innocent Lara Jean is. I will tell you, though, as I finished this book, I was not happy. There is absolutely no closure to the story. As I looked into this book a little more, I discovered that there will be a sequel, so at least I won’t be left hanging like I thought. I don’t know that the story line lends itself to a sequel, but I know I will read it just to see how it turns out. If you are looking for a quick read with a cute story line, check this one out!

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