Sunday, June 29, 2014


Happy summer! After the end of the school year (for most of you teachers, students, and parents!) and a much needed break, we are returning with some great books and summer literacy tips over the coming weeks. However, just because we took a break from the internet doesn't mean we took a break from reading--let's be honest, that will probably never happen! So we ran into a bit of a problem, considering the long list of books read in the last month and a half and choosing which ones to post reviews on. We've picked a few of the best to share, starting with Ruin and Rising (a much anticipated trilogy conclusion from author Leigh Bardugo), and as for the rest, we'll refer you to the following links to Goodreads if you want to browse the good and the bad of our summer reading so far!

Boy Snow Bird
A Snicker of Magic
The Winter Horses
The Glass Castle
On the Road
The Brothers Karamazov
She Is Not Invisible
An Untamed State
All Joy And No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood
It Starts With Food
We Were Liars

and now, you should really read this . . .

Ruin and Rising
by Leigh Bardugo
**** 4 of 5 stars

Henry Holt & Co.
Release Date: June 17, 2014
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Pages: 417
Amazon | Indiebound | Goodreads

The capital has fallen. The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne. Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army. 

 Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives. Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. 

But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

I love to love the villain. That is where the power in this book--and the series--lies. He was complex and so easily evoked sympathy and interest--you can't help it. This also opened the door for the story to examine issues such as good and evil in individual people. Really, I was hoping that there would be even more scenes with the Darkling, but what there was ended up being pretty satisfying. And if he's not your flavor, there's plenty of other attractive guys to take your pick from.

Some significant details in the ending were surprising, but overall it followed a fairly predictable path. Still, because the characters were so well done--including a great cast of secondary characters--the ending to this series was on point. Because it was easy to read and imagine, I think I'll have a lot of success recommending this book/series.

1 comment:

  1. I want to read this so bad now! P.S. I love that you include how long the books are. It's helpful :)