All right, I’m back with another addition to the Spell the Month in Books challenge from Jana @ Review From the Stacks! Most obviously, it’s not June anymore (it’s not even July anymore 😳), but I don’t want to skip any months. Consistency in posting is hopefully now a lesson learned!
J – Just One Wish by Janette Rallison
About the Book
Seventeen-year-old Annika Truman knows about the power of positive thinking. With a little brother who has cancer, it’s all she ever hears about. And in order to help Jeremy, she will go to the ends of the earth (or at least as far as Hollywood) to help him believe he can survive his upcoming surgery.
But Annika’s plan to convince Jeremy that a magic genie will grant him any wish throws her a curveball when he unexpectedly wishes that his television idol would visit him. Annika suddenly finds herself in the desperate predicament of getting access to a hunky star actor and convincing him to come home with her. Piece of cake, right?
Janette Rallison’s proven talent for laugh-out-loud humor, teen romance, and deep-hearted storytelling shines in a novel that will have readers laughing and crying at the same time.
When the blurb says that this book will have readers laughing and crying at the same time, they are completely right. Janette Rallison writes many rom-coms, but Just One Wish is more than just a rom-com. Don’t get me wrong, it’s super funny and romantic and sometimes a little absurd, but it also deals with serious topics realistically. I laughed reading this book. And I . . . *ahem* . . . I . . . also cried reading it. Not every story can do that to a person! I definitely recommend this one.
U – Unblemished by Sara Ella
About the Book
Eliyana has always recoiled from her own reflection in the mirror. But what if that were only one Reflection—one world? What if another world existed where her blemish could become her strength?
Eliyana is used to the shadows. With a hideous birthmark covering half her face, she just hopes to graduate high school unscathed. That is, until Joshua hops a fence and changes her perspective. No one, aside from her mother, has ever treated her as normal. Maybe even beautiful. Because of Joshua, Eliyana finally begins to believe she could be loved.
But one night her mother doesn’t come home, and that’s when everything gets weird.
Now Joshua is her new, and rather reluctant, legal Guardian. Add a hooded stalker and a Central Park battle to the mix and you’ve gone from weird to otherworldly.
Eliyana soon finds herself in a world much larger and more complicated than she’s ever known. A world enslaved by a powerful and vile man. And Eliyana holds the answer to defeating him. How can an ordinary girl, a blemished girl, become a savior when she can’t even save herself?
Okay, so I own the entire series (it consists of Unblemished, Unraveling, and Unbreakable), but I haven’t read any of them yet! Oops! I did read Sara Ella’s Coral, though, and even though it was a little too dark and heavy at times, I still loved it. I’m a little worried that this series will be too “modern” for my tastes (why do so many YA boys have to be named Ky?!), but the covers were too beautiful for me to not buy. I really hope I end up loving this series!
N – Night by Elie Wiesel
About the Book
Night is Elie Wiesel’s masterpiece, a candid, horrific, and deeply poignant autobiographical account of his survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps. This new translation by Marion Wiesel, Elie’s wife and frequent translator, presents this seminal memoir in the language and spirit truest to the author’s original intent. And in a substantive new preface, Elie reflects on the enduring importance of Night and his lifelong, passionate dedication to ensuring that the world never forgets man’s capacity for inhumanity to man.
Night offers much more than a litany of the daily terrors, everyday perversions, and rampant sadism at Auschwitz and Buchenwald; it also eloquently addresses many of the philosophical as well as personal questions implicit in any serious consideration of what the Holocaust was, what it meant, and what its legacy is and will be.
Night is a little book, but it contains infinite heaviness. Also, coincidence l or not, I also cried reading this one. Not just cried, but I actually burst into tears. Is that weird? Yeah, it’s weird. Really weird. If you’ve read this, you might remember the scene with the violin. That’s when it happened for me. 😭
But, in all seriousness, I would say that this is a book that needs to read by every person who is old enough and mature enough to read it. The Holocaust is already being forgotten. One survey found that one in ten Americans under the age of forty have never heard of the Holocaust. They were said to have never “recall[ed] ever having heard the word ‘Holocaust’ before”.
Another survey found that more than two thirds of young Americans don’t know that six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust. In the same survey, 11% of respondents “believe Jewish people caused the Holocaust”.
In yet another survey, 34% of Europeans surveyed said they knew “just a little or had never heard of the Holocaust”, while 20% of French people between the ages of eighteen and thirty-four said they “had never heard of the Holocaust”.
With these grim statistics in mind, we should, at the very least, be informing ourselves when it comes to the Second World War and the Holocaust.
E – Eragon
About the Book
A world of adventure.
When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon soon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself.
Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds.
Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands.
So . . . I finished this book a few weeks ago, and I just . . . wasn’t impressed. I feel like I should be apologizing, but I’m actually not sorry at all that I disliked this book. I’m happy that Paolini was able to live the dream that every young writer has, but with how popular Eragon is, I expected it to be much better than it actually was. I think I could write quite a bit about my dislike for Eragon, but I’ll spare you guys that. However, I will be posting a review on it soon, so do keep an eye out for that on Goodreads and on here!
Okay, that’s all for now! I hope at least some of you will be adding Just One Wish and Night to your TBR lists. And have you read and/or enjoyed Unblemished or any of Sara Ella’s other books? Do you also sometimes buy books because of their covers? Has anyone else read Eragon? I won’t judge if you liked it. 😉 And on a more serious note, were you surprised by the Holocaust statistics? And does anyone have any World War Two (non)fiction recommendations? 🥺
Namárië for now,