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home : opinion : opinion February 28, 2020

11/24/2019 12:01:00 AM
Books Books Galore

Ashley Dellinger Maddox
Teen Blogger

An ideal day for me is sitting in my favorite chair with a good book and an endless supply of hot cocoa, so whether you're like me and just enjoy reading or if you're looking for something to give as a gift this season I've composed a list of great series and books that I love to get you through this winter.

We’ll kick off with Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Yong. This novel is a great work of fiction filled with a budding romance, age-old feuds, and a brother brought back from the dead. In Adrienne Young’s novel, Sky in the Deep the main character Eelyn fights in a blood feud with her clansmen the Aska against their generations-old enemy the Riki. Eelyn is captured after seeing her brother, who she had seen die five years earlier. Forced to spend the winter with the Riki, Eelyn sees that her lifelong foes are not that different from herself, but when a dark clan many thought to be a myth returns from hiding Eelyn must ally herself with her enemy and unite the feuding clans of the Aska and the Riki to face the new arising threat before they all are slaughtered. I absolutely love this book and even though it’s not filled with magic it still captivates its audience with extraordinary events and characters. This Viking inspired book will be a great addition to your bookshelf or a wonderful present for your loved ones.

Next up is The Valiant by Lesley Livingston. This novel is based on a female gladiator, contains love, friendship, rivalries, and plenty of action. In Lesley Livingston's book, The Valiant, the main character Fallon is the daughter of a Celtic King living in the shadow of her dead older sister: Sorcha. On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon hopes to follow her older sister's footsteps and join her father’s war band, but her father has a different idea and betroths her to her best friend's brother. That night Fallon flees and is captured by slavers who take her to Rome and sell her to a training school for female gladiators. Fallon must now forge new friendships, overcome old rivalries, and fight to become the best gladiatrix Rome has ever seen, all to win freedom for herself and her fellow gladiatrix’s. This novel and its accompanying series will sweep you off your feet with death-defying feats and powerful imagery you are sure to love the story of Fallon and her fellow gladiatrix’s.

If you didn’t like the other two then number three is a charm, the Zodiac series by Romina Russell will knock the breath straight out of your lungs. This is one of my all-time favorites it has mystery, adventure, action, a crazy daisy love triangle, and so much more. In the series, Zodiac Romina Russell spins the tale of Rhoma Grace is a 16-year-old from House Cancer with a gift for reading the stars. When her home is hit by what seems to be a massive natural disaster that kills thousands including House Cancer’s guardian Rho is more surprised than anyone to be named the House’s new leader and like a true Cancerian, she accepts. But when other Houses experience similar disasters Rho begins to believe it’s the work of the fabled exiled guardian of the thirteenth house-Ophiucus. Now Rho along with an envoy from House Libra named Hysan Dax and Mathias, her guide and a member of her Royal Guard must unravel Ophiucus’ plans while warning other House leaders of the danger to their solar system. Will Rho defeat Ophiucus? Can she really unite twelve separate houses into a single Zodiac? You’ll have to read to find out but trust me it is definitely worth it. This series is an absolute wonder It truly made an impression on me.

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Next up we have Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim. This book is filled with magic, love, danger, action, and adventure. In this book, the main character Maia Tamarin works as a seamstress in her father's shop. One day a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, to save her father from illness and embarrassment Maia poses as his son and goes in his place, she takes with her a gift of beautiful old scissors. While at court Maia learns she is one of twelve tailors vying for the job as the imperial tailor. The tailors compete in challenges to test their artistry and skill along the way she unwillingly catches the eye of the royal enchanter, Edan who always seems to see her for who she really is. When the final challenge arrives Maia realizes nothing could prepare her for the tasks ahead to sew three magic gowns for the emperor's reluctant bride-to-be: from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. Maia’s quest will take her to the far reaches of the kingdom and challenge her in ways no one could imagine. Elizabeth Lim weaves a fascinating tale that is sure to take you on a journey you'll never forget.

Our Final novel is Panic by Lauren Oliver. This story may have some pretty quirky characters but it will capture your attention in the first few chapters. In Lauren Oliver's novel, Panic is a game played by the teens of Carp, a dead-end town in the middle of nowhere, during the summer when there was nothing to do. Heather is sick of her life with her drug addict mom and her life that seems to lead nowhere. She never thought she would be playing Panic a dangerous game the seniors of Carp compete in where the stakes are high but the payoff is even higher. With the pot equaling almost $70,000 Heather finds that she has nothing left to lose she’s never stood out and she never thought she was fearless, but when she finds out she has something to fight for she’ll risk it all and discover she’s braver than she ever knew. Meet Doge a loner who’s got a secret and will do anything to reach the end of Panic. When he and Heather team up in Panic things will change for him and he will discover that being lonely might not be all it’s stacked up to be. Panic will change things for Heather and Doge they’ll gain the possibility of love and the knowledge that sometimes the things your most afraid of are the things you need the most. Oliver's story will get your heart racing a bit with some close calls and a few interesting twists and turns but don’t panic she knows what she’s doing and her novel will take you for a ride that you will want to read again and again.

These are only a few of my favorite books that I believe you and your family will enjoy reading over and over. I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving and I hope you enjoy my book suggestions for your holiday season. Until next time.

--- Meet Ashley Dellinger Maddox: Our newest teen blogger is a Junior at East Lincoln High School, and will be blogging once a month on topics that her peers and herself find interesting. Ashley participates in theater productions at her school, and is a member of the Beta, National Science Honors Society, iGEM, and Battle of the Books clubs at East Lincoln. In her free time, she loves reading novels, hiking with her dogs, painting, twist balloons, and going horseback riding. She is interested in pursuing the career path of a Zoo Veterinarian or an English Teacher. This is her first-time composing journalism pieces that will allow her to experience writing in a challenging new environment.

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