BONUS BOOK: Room by Emma Donoghue

“Stories are a different kind of true.”

Genre: Fiction

Book Jacket Synopsis: “To five-year-old Jack, Room is the world. It’s where he was born. It’s where he and Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. There are endless wonders that let loose Jack’s imagination – the snake under Bed that he constructs out of eggshells; the imaginary world projected through the TV; the coziness of Wardrobe beneath Ma’s clothes, where she tucks him in safely at night, in case Old Nick comes. Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it’s the prison where she’s been held since she was nineteen – for seven long years. Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life for him in that eleven-by-eleven foot space. But Jack’s curiosity is building alongside Ma’s own desperation, and she knows that Room cannot contain either indefinitely.”

Review: THIS BOOK. GUYS. READ IT. Stop reading this blog post and start reading Room. I honestly cannot praise this book enough. I’ve been meaning to get to it forever and am so glad that I finally made the time, because it was impossible to put down. It becomes apparent within the first few pages that Donoghue is an amazing storyteller, largely through her ability to convey the unique world of Room through Jack’s naive eyes. She does an excellent job of writing in a way that allows readers to experience the many nuanced emotions felt by both Ma, as her desperation mounts, and Jack, as he learns about and comes to terms with the realities of Room. As a side note, I also watched the movie version shortly after reading the book and was blown away by both Brie Larsen’s and Jacob Tremblay’s performances. I know I’m a bit late to the game, both in reading the book and watching the movie, but I highly encourage everyone to do both. This book does an incredible job of handling sensitive subject matter in an eloquent, poignant way. It will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading.











BONUS BOOK: King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

“My patience has worn through yet again. I already had to deal with the whining of a walking lightning rod. I’m not going to tolerate the attitude of a mopey matchstick prince.”

Genre: Dystopian, Fantasy, Adventure, Fiction

Book Jacket Synopsis: “When the lightning girl’s spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion? Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country – and his prisoner. As Mare bares the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continues organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back. In this breathless third installment in Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire – leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.”

Review: I’ve been looking forward to King’s Cage ever since I enjoyed Red Queen and LOVED Glass Sword. Unfortunately, King’s Cage ended up being my least favorite book so far, largely because the first half of the book proceeds at an extremely slow pace. I don’t understand the whole Mare/Maven obsession that some Red Queen fans have (which is probably why the first half of the book dragged for me), and I also don’t think the book benefited from including Cameron’s narrative perspective, largely because I’ve never really cared about her as a character. On a more positive note, I did appreciate that all three of the main characters (and some of the supplementary characters) became even more faceted in King’s Cage. Aveyard does a really good job of crafting characters that don’t fall in predefined, unchangeable boxes, which is commendable (see Evangeline Samos for a great example).  I also thought King’s Cage was the most humorous book yet, with some really well-timed light heartedness. The dramatic ending was predictable, but I am looking forward to seeing how Aveyard wraps things up in the fourth and final installment.