It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by The Book Date.

Read Lately: 

Currently Reading:

The Map of Salt and Stars Jennifer Zeynab JoukhadarThe Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar

Synopsis: This rich, moving, and lyrical debut novel is to Syria what The Kite Runner was to Afghanistan; the story of two girls living eight hundred years apart—a modern-day Syrian refugee seeking safety and a medieval adventurer apprenticed to a legendary mapmaker—places today’s headlines in the sweep of history, where the pain of exile and the triumph of courage echo again and again.

It is the summer of 2011, and Nour has just lost her father to cancer. Her mother, a cartographer who creates unusual, hand-painted maps, decides to move Nour and her sisters from New York City back to Syria to be closer to their family. But the country Nour’s mother once knew is changing, and it isn’t long before protests and shelling threaten their quiet Homs neighborhood. When a shell destroys Nour’s house and almost takes her life, she and her family are forced to choose: stay and risk more violence or flee as refugees across seven countries of the Middle East and North Africa in search of safety. As their journey becomes more and more challenging, Nour’s idea of home becomes a dream she struggles to remember and a hope she cannot live without.

More than eight hundred years earlier, Rawiya, sixteen and a widow’s daughter, knows she must do something to help her impoverished mother. Restless and longing to see the world, she leaves home to seek her fortune. Disguising herself as a boy named Rami, she becomes an apprentice to al-Idrisi, who has been commissioned by King Roger II of Sicily to create a map of the world. In his employ, Rawiya embarks on an epic journey across the Middle East and the north of Africa where she encounters ferocious mythical beasts, epic battles, and real historical figures.

A deep immersion into the richly varied cultures of the Middle East and North Africa, The Map of Salt and Stars follows the journeys of Nour and Rawiya as they travel along identical paths across the region eight hundred years apart, braving the unknown beside their companions as they are pulled by the promise of reaching home at last.

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Review: To Tame a Land by Louis L’Amour

To Tame a Land Louis L'AmourTo Tame a Land by Louis L’Amour

Publication Date: October 1st 1997 (first published 1955)
Details: Mass Market Paperback, 176 pages
Publisher: Bantam
Source: It was a gift.

Louis L’Amour:
Goodreads

Buy To Tame a Land:
Amazon | Book Depository

Summary

Rye Tyler was twelve when his father was killed in an Indian raid. Taken in by a mysterious stranger with a taste for books and an instinct for survival, Rye is schooled in the hard lessons of life in the West. But after killing a man, he is forced to leave his new home. He rides lonely mountain passes and works on dusty cattle drives until he finds a job breaking horses. Then he meets Liza Hetrick, and in her eyes he sees his future. After establishing himself as marshal of Alta, he returns, only to discover that Liza has been kidnapped. Tracking her to Robbers’ Roost, Rye is forced to face the man who taught him all he knows about books, guns, and friendship. Two old friends—one woman: Who will walk away?

Review

I’m not 100% sure but I think I am the biggest reader in my family. I know there are others that read, but I’m not sure anyone reads as much as I do. I’m also a book hoarder collector so when someone in my family was moving, they gave me a bunch of books they didn’t want anymore. This person reads mostly westerns (especially Louis L’Amour) which was something I hadn’t really read but had been meaning to get into.

This is only my second or third western and it was my first Louis L’Amour novel and I was excited to get into it. I’m not exactly sure how I feel about To Tame A Land. Part of me really liked it, but I just couldn’t rate it high. I feel like this could have been an amazing book if it had just been longer. It’s 154 pages and when the story starts Rye is twelve years old, but by the end he’s a lot older (I can’t remember his exact age). I don’t know if this is a common thing for westerns, Louis L’Amour, or just this book, but I didn’t like that he aged a year basically every ten pages.

I am slightly disappointed and I’m not sure if it’s because I had higher expectations for this book than I thought I would, or because it could have been a great book if it was a couple hundred pages longer and more flushed out.

At the end of the day, I liked the characters, I liked the plot and the writing was great, but I just can’t give it more than two stars. It just seemed too rushed. Hopefully this isn’t a common thing with L’Amours books because I have a stack of them and they are all pretty short.

2 out of 5 stars

My April/Magical Readathon TBR

OWLs

I was planning on just getting ahead on ARCs this month, but I just couldn’t pass on this. So I am going to do my best to read the books I’ve won from Goodreads, and complete all of the challenges for this read-a-thon. Luckily I was able to make some of the books I was already going to read count for a few of the challenges. This is a lot of reading for one month but I’m going to give it a try. I can do it for Hufflepuff!!! 😀

The Rest of my TBR:

 

Stacking the Shelves: March Edition

newsts

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.

Recently Bought:

Won From Goodreads:

Review: Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer

Cress The Lunar Chronicles Marissa MeyerCress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer

Publication Date: February 4th 2014
Details: Hardcover, 552 pages
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Source: I bought it.

Marissa Meyer:
Goodreads | Twitter

Buy Cress:
Amazon | Book Depository

Summary

In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

Review

I am loving this series and I don’t want to stop reading it. I told myself I would only read the first three and then move on to other books. I was planning on continuing on in a month or two, but I want to keep going. This book was by far the best one so far and I’m loving the fact that each book gets bigger.

I don’t think there was a single thing I didn’t love about this one. I love Cress and of course Iko and Thorne were perfect. The plot is incredible. I just love everything about this series and I can’t get enough of it.

If you haven’t picked these books up, please do it. I will be making all the readers in my life read The Lunar Chronicles. It’s just so good.

5 out of 5 stars

Review: Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet The Lunar Chronicles Marissa MeyerScarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer

Publication Date: February 5th 2013
Details: Hardcover, 1st, 454 pages
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Source: I bought it.

Marissa Meyer:
Goodreads | Twitter

Buy Scarlet:
Amazon | Book Depository

Summary

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Review

As soon as I finished Cinder, I picked up Scarlet and once again I couldn’t put it down. Though I have to admit this one was a bit slower for me because I love Cinder. Even though I enjoyed all of the other characters, I just couldn’t wait to get back to Cinder and Thorne. Scarlet is amazing, but Cinder is just a bit better.

I am still blown away by the story and the writing. I am flying through these books and I’m pretty sure Marissa Meyer is going to be a new favorite author. I just want to read everything by her.

I can’t wait to get into Cress and continue on with this series. These books are so good.

4 out of 5 stars

Review: Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

Cinder The Lunar Chronicles Marissa MeyerCinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

Publication Date: January 3rd 2012
Details: Hardcover, First Edition, 390 pages
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Source: I bought it.

Marissa Meyer:
Goodreads | Twitter

Buy Cinder:
Amazon | Book Depository

Summary

Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder’s brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it “a matter of national security,” but Cinder suspects it’s more serious than he’s letting on.

Although eager to impress the prince, Cinder’s intentions are derailed when her younger stepsister, and only human friend, is infected with the fatal plague that’s been devastating Earth for a decade. Blaming Cinder for her daughter’s illness, Cinder’s stepmother volunteers her body for plague research, an “honor” that no one has survived.

But it doesn’t take long for the scientists to discover something unusual about their new guinea pig. Something others would kill for.

Review

I have owned this book since it came out and I can’t believe it has taken me this long to read it. I know part of the reason I didn’t pick it up right away is because I have a horrible memory so I need to marathon series. That doesn’t completely explain why I didn’t get to it until 2018. I should have read this years ago. I can’t believe I’ve had a book this good on my shelves since 2012 and I didn’t know it. I know everyone says it’s amazing so I should have known, but I have been burned by that in the past. Many times.

This is by far the best book I’ve read in a long time. While reading Cinder, I had the same feeling I used to get when I first got into reading. The love, happiness, excitement, and curiosity I used to experience when I read. Like I was going on an adventure. The need to do nothing but read the book. I haven’t had that in years.

I loved Cinder, Iko, & Kai. I loved everything about this book and if the rest of the series is half as good as this one, it will definitely be a new favorite.

5 out of 5 stars