Hi everyone! I’m excited to share with you this new feature I’m starting called Book Jar Recommendations (recs for short). What exactly does this mean? I was inspired by the idea of a TBR jar – you write down books you want to read on a scrap of paper and put them into a jar. For the Book Jar Recs, I’ll write down random themes or ideas on paper, put it into the jar, and once a week, pull one out and use that idea to recommend three books.
Each idea/thought will only be one or two words so that I can be really flexible with how I interpret those ideas. Examples of ideas/things could be something like “2015”. For “2015” I could talk about a book published in 2015 or one I read in 2015, but not necessarily published that year. With the three books I’ll write a mini review and try to keep each one a paragraph or less. I hope to make this a weekly feature.
What’s this weeks Book Jar Recs?
Duologies! I’ve decided to talk about three books that are part of a duology. I hope you enjoy my recommendations and if you have any ideas I should put into the jar, let me know in the comments below. If you happen to read and enjoy one of my recommendations, I’d love to hear about it!
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Hartman presents us with a world where dragons and humans have been at war with each other for a long time. In the novel, the two have enjoyed 40 years of peace, but some would prefer war. Dragons can take human shape and act as ambassadors in the human court. The protagonist, Seraphina has a very dangerous secret – she is half-human half-dragon, which is something both dragons and humans forbid. I loved Hartman’s take on dragons – very logic-based, mathematical beings who don’t believe in emotions like love. It can actually be very deadly for a dragon to feel love. I also loved that Hartman gave Seraphina a gift for music and had her join the court – probably the worst place for a half-human half-dragon to be. Be sure to check out this fascinating take on dragons and its sequel Shadow Scale.
Avalon by Mindee Arnett
I love sci-fi, particularly the space opera genre where there’s advanced technological devices and space travel is a very real thing. In Avalon, Jeth Seagrave and his group of teenage mercenaries make their living stealing metatech – devices that allow people to travel great distances faster than the speed of light. Jeth is constantly dreaming about that day when he can buy back his parents spaceship, Avalon from his boss and get himself and his sister, Lizzie, out of this crime-riddled world. Arnett gives us an interesting band of characters and I loved the references to the Arthurian legend of Avalon. This was an excellent addition to the YA space genre and great if you’re a fan of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s The League series, but want something in the Young Adult category. The sequel, Polaris is also currently available.
Chanda’s Wars by Allan Stratton
So this is the sequel to Chanda’s Secrets, but I’ve decided to talk about it because in my opinion it can be read as a standalone (which I’ve done). I came across Stratton’s works through the Forest of Reading program and each time I’ve found him to capture very real-life, experiences and bring up deep emotions in the reader. In Chanda’s Wars, Chanda struggles to take care of her little brother and sister while avoiding General Mandiki, who steals children at night to turn into child soldiers. I read this back in high school and the way Stratton wrote about civil war, child soldiers, and hope still has me remembering it to this day.