Book Review: The City Of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

My Rating: download

Goodreads Description:

Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles. 

But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass?a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound. 

In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences. 

After all, there is a reason they say be careful what you wish for

My Review:

I am really surprised to say this, but this book just wasn’t for me. I went into it fully expecting to love it because of all the amazing reviews that it has, yet that just wasn’t the case. However, there were many parts that I did appreciate and I will outline those first (good before bad). Nonetheless, I couldn’t give this any more than three stars because I found myself not wanting to pick it up as I was reading it.

The good thing about this book was how much thought went into everything. It is easy to tell that Chakroborty knows every detail about the world and has managed to make it very politically complex.

The plot was really original and unlike anything that I have read before. All the characters are extremely gray (meaning they aren’t only good or bad) and the plot was filled with unexpected plot twists (especially towards the end).

Now, onto the bad. Throughout the entire book, there were so many different names of groups, people, etc. that I couldn’t keep things straight. This made my whole reading experience a bit confusing. I’m still not completely sure how to feel about most characters or things that happened in the story.

To be fair, I think a big part of the book was meant to have the reader not be sure who was on whose side or what the motives were behind things. However, I feel like the story left too much out in these aspects so that the reader is forced to go back and reread multiple passages. It’s not enjoyable for me when I end up having to do this with a book.

I found the characters to be very complex and I enjoyed reading from Ali’s perspective the most. The entire book alternates between Nahri and Ali’s narratives.

The ending made it feel like there is going to be a second book, but I don’t think I will be picking it up if there is one. This is due to the fact that I didn’t find the story riveting until about the last 200 pages of the 526-page book.

Before reading this, make sure that you are ready to think hard and expect to be confused at times. I would recommend this book to people wanting very detailed world building with complex politics and characters.


Book Review: The History of Bees by Maja Lunde

A book review of The History of Bees by Maja Lunde

My Rating 3-out-of-5

Goodreads Description:

In the spirit of Station Eleven and Never Let Me Go, this dazzling and ambitious literary debut follows three generations of beekeepers from the past, present, and future, weaving a spellbinding story of their relationship to the bees and to their children and one another against the backdrop of an urgent, global crisis.

England, 1852. William is a biologist and seed merchant, who sets out to build a new type of beehive one that will give both him and his children honor and fame.

United States, 2007. George is a beekeeper fighting an uphill battle against modern farming but hopes that his son can be their salvation.

China, 2098. Tao hand paints pollen onto the fruit trees now that the bees have long since disappeared. When Tao’s young son is taken away by the authorities after a tragic accident, she sets out on a grueling journey to find out what happened to him.

Haunting, illuminating, and deftly written, The History of Bees joins these three very different narratives into one gripping and thought-provoking story that is just as much about the powerful bond between children and parents as it is about our very relationship to nature and humanity. 

My Review:

I was really excited to read this book when I won it in a giveaway. It sounded like it was going to be a super interesting historical fiction read and that genre is one that always tends to keep my interest. I was also hoping that this book would teach me a lot more about bees and their disappearances (a phenomenon happening in our world today).

Both of those things turned out to be true, but not quite in the way that I had expected.

The book was an interesting historical read, however, it was just too slow for me. At the time that I read this, I think that I needed something a bit more fast-paced considering I just finished up reading a lot of textbooks at University. I found myself not wanting to pick it up, not because the story or writing wasn’t good, but because it wasn’t the pace that I wanted to be reading. This is one of the main reasons that the book got a 3 out of 5 stars from me.

Nonetheless, the story taught me a lot about bees and was a really creative take on the past, present, and future relationship between bees and humans. I loved that the story was told from three different perspectives and I think that is what made it work. Maja would not have been able to tell the whole story without the three different time periods.

The characters in this book were all parents and the story centered very strongly on their relationships with their kids. For this reason, it was hard for me to connect strongly with their narratives because I have never been a parent. I’m not saying that they weren’t at all relatable, but I do think that this story might resonate stronger with parents and people who know what it feels like to have a strong relationship with a child.

Lastly, I would like to say that the ending of this book was very beautiful. All three narratives were tied together quite nicely.

If you are at all interested in reading this, I don’t want to discourage you from picking it up. However, you should know whether or not you are truly interested in the story and be aware that it can get slow at times. Overall, it’s a pretty informative read.

The 12 Days Of Christmas Book Tag

Merry Christmas!

The holidays are always such a festive and nice time. Since I am on break now, I’ve been trying to do all things Christmas to get ready for the holidays. Therefore, this tag is perfect!

I was tagged by Jenna over at Bookmark Your Thoughts. Click on the link to go to her blog and check out all of her great answers for this tag.

I’d also like to give credit to the original creator of this book tag, Ashley at Falling Down The Book Hole.

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On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: a partridge in a pear tree.



I read To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee during my freshman year of high school and I haven’t forgotten about it since.

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On the second day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: two turtle doves.



To be honest, I’m a little confused what this question is asking for, so I’m just going to say Johnny and Owen from A Prayer For Owen Meany because their friendship was unbreakable.

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On the third day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: Three French Hens.



I have to go with The Infernal Devices Trilogy by Cassandra Clare. I first read these books when I was in middle school and I couldn’t put them down.

Also, I heard that she is writing a spinoff series about Will and Tessa’s children and I can’t wait!

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On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: four calling birds.



I know saying Harry Potter may be a cliche answer, but I have to because it’s true.

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On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: five golden rings.



This one is hard because I’ve never really thought about it. I guess I’ll say Captain Hook from Peter Pan because he seems like a classic and I like pirates.

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On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: six geese a laying.



Other than Hogwarts, I would say The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern because everything felt so dark and magical. I felt like I was in the circus while reading this book.

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On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: seven swans a swimming.



Dustfinger’s ferret, Gwin, in Inkheart by Cornelia Funke.

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On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: eight maids a milking.



I have to copy Ashley and Jenna’s answer for this one as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. I can’t think of any other book that puts sweets on such a huge scale.

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On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: nine ladies dancing.



Hermione Granger because of how intelligent, brave, and kind she is. Hermione will always be a strong female role model to me.

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On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: ten lords a leaping.



I think Will Herondale from The Infernal Devices will always be my favorite romantic lead. However, in terms of character development, Owen from A Prayer For Owen Meany is such a good character.

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On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: eleven pipers piping.



This one’s really hard….. but Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell could probably fit the bill. Park gives Eleanor his favorite music on cassette tapes and the bands are what they bond over on the bus. This was a really cute book.

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On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: 12 drummers drumming.



Definitely the Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I could go on and on about how good this book was, but if you want to read my full thoughts, then here is the link to my book review of it.

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Tag, You’re It!

Anyone who wants to do this tag is tagged!

Books About Strong Women For Strong Women

Christmas is coming up very soon and if you are trying to find a last minute gift idea for a strong woman in your life, then why not get her a book? When I think about strong women in my life, I think about my mom and my grandma because they inspire me to work hard. I’m sure whoever you think of in your life, would love to read about inspirational women like themselves.

Here is a list of books with a strong female character that is brave, resilient, and everything in between. This list contains nonfiction and fiction because even fictional women characters can be inspirational. I have read some of these, but not all of them. Some of them are ones I hope to read in the future.

Books I’ve Read

1. I am Malala- Malala Yousafzai


This is a powerful biography about Malala’s life before and after she was shot by the Taliban for speaking out for girls’ education. I got a lot out of this book and learned a lot about Malala’s activism and about the history of Pakistan. Malala was the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate at age sixteen and continues to advocate for the right for girls to get an education. She also has a movie called I am Malala that was very good.

“We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.” ~Malala Yousafzai

2. Americanah- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


This is a story about two Nigerians named Obinze and Ifemelu who are in love. It chronicles each of their journeys as they leave a military dictatorship in Nigeria. Ifemelu heads to America, while Obinze goes to England. In Ifemelu’s part of the story, we are able to see her adjustment to life in America as an immigrant and the adversity that she faces. Ifemelu’s dialogue throughout the story is smart and witty and she is a very lovable character. I love Chimamanda’s writing style and will definitely read more of her books. She has also given some great TedTalks that I will link here…

The Danger of a Single Story

We Should All Be Feminists

“How easy it was to lie to strangers, to create with strangers the versions of our lives we imagined.”~Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

3. Wild- Cheryl Strayed


This is Cheryl Strayed’s story about how she hiked The Pacific Crest Trail alone in order to deal with her mother’s death. This book chronicles all of the challenges that she faced on her hike and how it ultimately healed her. I actually watched the movie before reading this and it made me want to pick the book up so I would definitely recommend the movie as well.

” The universe, I’d learned, was never, ever kidding. It would take whatever it wanted and it would never give it back.” ~Cheryl Strayed

Books I Want to Read

1. A Thousand Splendid Suns- Khaled Hosseini


This is about two women living in Kabul, Afghanistan who form a close fond. It deals with their struggles with family, war, and loss. I have seen a lot of really good reviews for this, so I’m expecting to like it a lot. I also read Hosseini’s other book, The Kite Runner, and loved it.

“One could not count the moons that shiver on her roofs or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls.” ~Khaled Hosseini

2. The Diary of A Young Girl- Anne Frank


This one is pretty obvious. I think everyone has heard of Anne Frank and at least a little bit of her story with the Holocaust. I feel like it’s about time that I finally read her diary. She was definitely very inspirational.

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”~Anne Frank

3. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings- Maya Angelou


This book follows the life and struggles of a girl named Maya who has to deal with the feeling of abandonment from her mother and an attack from a man much older than her. This is a story of personal growth and how Maya learns to love herself. This would be the perfect gift for any Maya Angelou fans.

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.” ~Maya Angelou

Hopefully, this list gave you some good ideas about what to gift someone in your life who has inspired you!

7 Gripping Historical Fiction Books

Thanksgiving Break is here and that means more free time. If you’re a book nerd like me, then that free time will probably be largely taken up by reading. One of my favorite genres of book is historical fiction, and I think it is the perfect genre to read in autumn. Here are some of my favorites. Hopefully, they will help you find a good story to settle into over break.

1. City of Thieves by David Benioff

This book is set during the siege of Leningrad in World War 2. It follows two boys, Lev and Kolya, as they journey through the lawless and dangerous Leningrad to deliver a dozen eggs to a powerful Soviet colonel in exchange for their lives.

I could not put this one down. I didn’t go into it knowing that much, except that it sounded interesting and odd at the same time (delivering eggs?). The story was intense and eye opening to just how bad the situation in Leningrad was. If you want something quick and engrossing pick this up.

2. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

This book takes place in Nazi-occupied France and follows two completely opposite sisters. They struggle to survive and resist the Germans who have taken over their homes. This book was a good representation of the hardships women during the war had to face. A lot of the time, their stories are overpowered by the stories of men in battle, so it was nice to read about their hardships and how they persevered.

If you like reading about strong and empowered women, then this is the book for you. Also, I don’t have a sister, but I feel like this book would be very relatable to someone who does. I will admit that at the beginning of the story, I was convinced that I wouldn’t like it, but as I got to the end, I changed my mind and ended up really enjoying it. It was quite inspirational in a lot of ways.

Side note: I just learned that this is being turned into a movie, so definitely read the book before watching the film!

3. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

This book also takes place in France during World War II. It follows the journeys of two very different children and a couple of other interesting side characters. One of the main characters is a blind girl name Marie Laure who lives in Paris but flees to Saint Malo with her father. The other character is a boy named Werner who is a Hitler youth. Their paths end up colliding in an intricate and well-planned way.

This book is so detailed and great that I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been to write. The author, Anthony Doerr, won a lot of awards for this novel. You should read it if you want something that will make you think a lot about human nature and technology.

4. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

I would describe this as a historical fiction thriller. It is good to go into this not knowing too much, but I will tell you the very basic plot. It takes place in 1945 Barcelona and follows a boy named Daniel. On Daniel’s eleventh birthday, his dad takes him to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and Daniel picks out a book called the Shadow of the Wind by Julian Carax. Daniel is tasked with protecting this book, but there is someone trying to systematically destroy all of Carax’s work. Strange and dark things continue to happen and the mystery is drawn out in an epic tale.

This is one of my very favorite books. As I was reading this one, I knew it was going to turn into my favorite and it’s very hard to put into words how I feel about something I liked so much. I find it much easier to talk about a book I either hated or kind of liked. The writing was beautiful, the plot was unguessable, and the characters were very real. It was a very dark and epic adventure. This was originally written in Spanish, so if the book was this good translated, then it must be even better in its native language (sometimes things can get lost in translation).

5. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I would be very surprised if you haven’t heard of this wonderful book yet, but if you haven’t, then here is the synopsis. This story takes place in 1939 Nazi Germany and is narrated by death (coolest concept ever). It follows a foster girl named Liesel Meminger as she steals books, learns to love reading, and takes care of a Jewish man in her basement.

This is one of those books that you will never forget. It gives you all of the feels and leaves you gutless. The Book Thief is a classic that everyone should read.

6. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

This book takes place 1941 is about a Lithuanian girl named Lina, who is forced, with her mother and brother, onto a dirty Soviet train car and shipped to the Arctic Circle to work in a labor camp. This book shows what life was like for Lithuanians who were forced by Stalin to toil in extreme cold and cruel conditions.

I cried the first time I read this and chances are, you will too. It is so heartbreaking, but it is a story that needs to be told. I had no idea about this part of history before reading this book. This is a quick read that you won’t be able to put down.

7. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Ruta Sepetys likes to write books about historical events that have been lost to history, and this is another great one of hers. I think I liked this one even better than Between Shades of Gray. It is about the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff during World War II. Most people know about the Titanic, but not so many know about the Wilhelm Gustloff. This is odd considering it was the worst maritime tragedy in history.

Ruta is so good at writing amazing characters. Their stories and personalities seem so real. In this book, we follow four main characters, but there are also great side characters as well. The layout of this book reminds me a lot of All The Light We Cannot See because of how well all of the characters’ stories intertwined. She even brings in characters from Between Shades of Gray.

When I finished this book, I could not stop thinking about what I had read for the longest time. I think that’s a sign of a good book.

Blogger Recognition Award

Thank you so much to Abigail’s Books for nominating me for this award! Go check out her awesome blog!

The Rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Write a post to show your award.
  3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  5. Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  6. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them & provide the link to the post you created.


How it started:

I first started this blog in July this summer. Before I took the leap to start blogging, I had been watching booktube for a really long time (probably about 2 years). Seeing so many people excited about reading and books made me get even more into reading than I already was. I have always been a bookworm, but I definitely think that booktube started making me increase the amount that I read.

During those 2 years, I started a failed bookstagram account as a way to try to join the community without getting on camera and I also debated starting a book blog, but never did. Finally, this summer I decided to just go for it and make a book blog and bookstagram. I had a lot of time on my hands and figured that if I have been watching booktube for so long, then it was probably time I joined in on the fun.

Overall, I’m just so glad that I took a chance and created my platforms to talk about books because I have found a lot of great booklovers and I love writing posts. I feel like I have improved a lot with finding my voice in writing even though I know that I still have a long ways to go. It is honestly so cool to me that I can write my ideas down and there are people out there who care enough to read what I have to say. If that is you, then thank you so much, I really appreciate you!

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My Advice:

  1. My first piece of advice relates to how I felt when I was first debating on even making a blog. It can be very daunting to put yourself out there and express your ideas to the world through your writing. I had never thought about this before I had to actually put it into practice. The best thing that you can do if you are feeling nervous about putting yourself out there is to just be yourself and write whatever it is that you want to write. It may take awhile for you to find your voice (I am still working to improve on this), but if you continue to try to be honest in what you write, then it will gradually get easier to write exactly what you want to say/express.
  2. My second piece of advice is to be creative with what you post because that will make things more fun! If you have a crazy idea for a post that you are really excited about, then write/ post it. Don’t worry about whether or not other blogs write posts similar to it, just write it anyways. It’s important to make you blog unique to you and not a carbon copy of someone else’s. The only way that you are going to want to continue writing on your blog is if you are writing about things that you care a lot about.

I Nominate…

Books Teacup and Reviews

Read Voraciously

Steph- Lost: Purple Quill

Pace Amore Libri

Justine- I Should Read That 

Flavia the Bibliophile

Lemonade and Literature

LiteraryJo Reviews

Holly- Nut Free Nerd

Vrinda- A Bookish Human

The Wanderlust Reader

Krisha- Bookathon Blog

Marianna Reads

Bionic Book Worm

Hadeer Writes

Christy Lau

Olga’s Oddish Obsessions



If you are nominated, I would love to hear your answers, but please don’t feel obligated to do it if you don’t feel like it!




The Best Books About Books

     Sometimes it is really fun, as a book lover, to read about other characters that love books as much as you do. That’s why I thought it would be nice to suggest some of my favorite reads that have a main premise that centers around books and storytelling. So here they are; I hope you enjoy!


The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

My Goodreads Rating: 3.5 stars
    This story is about about a curmudgeonly old man named A.J. Fikry who runs a bookshop on Alice Island after his wife dies. When A.J.’s rare collection of Poe poems is stolen and a mysterious package arrives in its place, he has to figure out what to do. This story follows A.J. as he tries to make his life happy again even if it isn’t how he thought it would turn out.
    I really enjoyed this story for how heartfelt and lovely it was. This story might not be for everyone because of how slowly it seemed to move and how character driven it was, but for the people who do end up enjoying it, I think it packs a big punch. I was one of the readers who did really enjoy it because I like books that have well developed characters who experience personal growth (basically what this story was). A lot of the relationships that form from the characters in this book are so sweet and genuine. It was very easy to relate to A.J. through his love of books even if I didn’t agree with every choice he made or his attitude at times. This book is the perfect book for a book lover that wants to read a heartwarming story about good characters who care for each other.


  1. “You know everything you need to know about a person from the answer to the question, What is your favorite book?”
  2. “Sometimes books don’t find us until the right time” 
  3. “We are not quite novels. We are not quite short stories. In the end, we are collected works.”

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

My Goodreads Rating: 5 stars
     This a world war 2 historical fiction about a young girl who learns to love books and words. I kind of wish I had included this book in my post, “World War 2 Historical Fiction Recommendations“, however if I make a part 2, then this will definitely be featured. I know that this book is pretty well known, but that is definitely for good reason.
    The main character is a girl named Liesel who is a foster child outside of Munich. She lives with an accordion playing father, an outspoken mother, and a Jewish man that they hide in their basement. As Liesel learns to read from a book she stole, she realizes how much she loves words and continues to steal books and learn as much as she can. As things in her life become more and more difficult, she learns to rely on words to get her through things.
    I have read this book many times (ever since I was in elementary school) and it truly is a timeless story. I think the most interesting part of this story is that it is narrated by death and this gives it a more encompassing view over every situation than if it were to be narrated from just Liesel’s perspective. It is very well written and the way that Liesel loves books will make you love them even more. I love the fact that almost any aged person (3rd grade and up) can read this, enjoy it, and feel its emotional impact. This book is one that will stay with me forever. I just love Liesel, Rudy, Hans, Max, and even Rosa. There is a movie out that was based on the book, but please read the book before watching the film! I thought the movie was very good, but I still enjoyed the book much better.


  1. “I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.”
  2. “A snowball in the face is surely the perfect beginning to a lasting friendship.”
  3. “A small but noteworthy note. I have seen so many young men over the years who think they’re running at other young men. They are not. They are running at me.” 

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

My Goodreads Rating: 5 stars
    This book takes place in Barcelona in 1945 and is about a boy named Daniel whose father takes him to a secret place called the Cemetery of Forgotten Books when he is a kid. Daniel picks out a book called the Shadow of the Wind and is tasked with keeping it safe from harm. He falls in love with the story and seeks to find out more about the author, Julian Carax. However, on his journey of investigation, he discovers that a mysterious person is attempting to burn all of Carax’s books. As Daniel’s life begins to resemble The Shadow of the Wind, he realizes that everything is more mysterious than he first thought and he has to decide who to trust.
    This story is hands down one of my favorite books ever. I first read it very recently, but I was so excited about how good it was and now I can’t stop thinking about it. The writing is so beautiful (great bookish quotes), the plot is intricate, and the characters have so much depth. Not to mention the fact that this whole story gives you goosebumps and would be the perfect Halloween read. However, I won’t go into too much detail about it because I have already written a full length review on it. If you want to check it out, here is the link- Book Review: The Shadow of the Wind


  1. “Books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have in you.”
  2. “Fools talk, cowards are silent, wise men listen.”
  3.  “The moment you stop to think about whether you love someone, you’ve already stopped loving them forever.”

The Inkheart Trilogy by Cornelia Funke

My Goodreads Rating: 3 stars
     The first book in this trilogy, Inkheart, is about a girl named Meggie who finds out that her father, Mo, can read book characters out of their books. When Meggie was three, Mo read from a book called Inkheart and accidentally made Meggie’s mother go into the book while characters from the book came into the real world. Mo and Meggie are determined to rescue Meggie’s mom and find that in order to do this, they must face the Inkheart villain, Capricorn and many other characters that came out of the story.
    I have to be honest, I haven’t read the third book in this trilogy called Inkdeath, but I have read Inkheart and the second book, Inkspell. When I was little, I was obsessed with Inkheart and the copy that I owned was very well loved. I wanted to be Meggie so badly and I thought it would be the coolest thing in the world if characters from a book could come into the real world (I still do). I also loved Dustfinger, his ferret, and his fiery talent. Inkheart is such an imaginative and fun story that is perfect to help a child fall in love with books. I haven’t read this series in a long time, but I remember that I really really loved it as a kid. I definitely want to read it again soon. I think the series is suited well for younger children (maybe 10+), but any age can still read and enjoy how creative and wonderful it is. Also, there was a movie made off of it that I thought was pretty good. Once again though, I would recommend reading the book before you watch the movie because it is nice to create your own imagery in your head before watching it on a screen.


  1. “Books have to be heavy because the whole world’s inside them.”
  2.  “It’s a good idea to have your own books with you in a strange place.”
  3. “Books loved anyone who opened them, they gave you security and friendship and didn’t ask for anything in return; they never went away, never, not even when you treated them badly.”