Saturday, February 21, 2015

Lent 2015

Ash Wednesday has come and gone (although due to a snowstorm, I was unable to attend services) and we're now into our Lenten season. I wanted to quickly share my sacrifices for this year. Not because I think you care, or to keep me accountable, but because I like to be able to look back at what I did and how well I did it.

This year, I gave up the same things I gave up last year: chocolate, pop, and eating out. And even though I've been giving up chocolate and pop every year since I became Catholic, it's still a struggle. More so for the chocolate than the pop. I usually only have pop once a week typically. I'm proud to say that's a habit that developed after giving up pop during a previous Lent.

Here's hoping I can develop some new habits this Lenten season.

Are you giving up anything for Lent?


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Young Adult Book Series I Enjoy

You may have noticed my Goodreads Reading Challenge widget over there on the side of my blog. It's no secret that I love to read, and I love being able to keep track of what I read through Goodreads. I also love challenging myself to see how many books I can read in a year.

Last year, I initially challenged myself to read 50 books, but it quickly became apparent that that particular goal was a bit low. I ended up raising it to 75 books and by the end of the year, I had surpassed my goal. In 2014, I was able to read 82 books. And that's only the books that were new to me. I did not count any books I reread.

One way that I am able to read so many books is that I love to read book series. All too often, I reach the end of a book and am sad that there is no more to read. I want to spend more time with the main characters or read more about other characters from the book. Book series fulfill that need.

So, I thought I'd share with you some of my favorite book series that I've read over the past year or two.  Perhaps you'll find a series or two to interest you.

Today, I'm focusing on Young Adult book series that I enjoyed. Yes, I confess that I still sometimes wander over to the Young Adult section of the library during my weekly trips. And why not when I frequently find books like these?

The Woodcutter Sisters

This young adult fantasy series by Alethea Kontis is full of references to fairy tales, but don't let that fool you into thinking these are fluffy romances. These books about sisters are full of adventure, action, humor, and yes, romance.

I've only read the first two books, Enchanted and Hero. Dearest was released earlier this month and I'm waiting for my library to get it.

The Agency

This is a historical mystery series by Y.S. Lee. I could not resist when I found out it took place in Victorian London. The series is about Mary Quinn, an orphan who escapes the hangman's noose and is recruited for The Agency where she is trained in the art of espionage. The series is full of mystery, adventure, and a little romance.

I've read the first three books, A Spy in the House, The Body at the Tower, and The Traitor in the Tunnel. The fourth book, Rivals in the City is due to be released next month. I can't wait to read it!

Finishing School

This steampunk fantasy series is by Gail Carriger. I previously read Gail Carriger's adult steampunk fantasy series (which I'll cover in a later post), so there was no question I was going to read her young adult series as well. There are some character overlaps between the two series, but I think that you could read either one first.

The series revolves around a finishing school that teaches espionage.  And you should know that vampires & werewolves exist.

Currently, there are three books in the series, Etiquette & Espionage, Curtsies & Conspiracies, and Waistcoats & Weaponry. The fourth book, Manners & Mutiny, is coming later this year.

The Lunar Chronicles

This is a science-fiction series by Marissa Meyer. While these stories are based on fairy tales, they are unlike any fairy tales you've read before.

It's the future and the world is nothing like it is now. There are androids and cyborgs. There are people living on the moon. And a plague is running rampant all around the world.

I know, it sounds weird, but these are great stories about strong young women who don't wait around to be rescued.

There are three books in the series so far - Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress. Fairest, a book about the villain of the series was recently released. The fourth book in the series, Winter, will be released later this year.

The Ruby Red Trilogy

This is a science-fiction series by Kerstin Gier.

Without giving too much away, the series involves time travel, mystery, adventure, and yes, romance.

The three book in the series are Ruby Red, Sapphire Blue, and Emerald Green. They were originally written in German and have been translated into many languages.

I hope you've enjoyed this look at the young adult book series I've enjoyed. Stay tuned for posts about other genre series I've enjoyed over the past year.

Do you have a young adult book series recommendation for me? Let me know in the comments! I'm always looking for new books to read!

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