Book Bites

My Recipe for: Books to Brace for Beryl

I know I promised beachy reads this week, but let’s just say plans change when tropical storm Beryl severely ruins your memorial day. So, these book choices are for the reader who wants to escape to a different world for a while.


Insurgent by Veronica Roth

The Divergent series in general is about a teen girl living in a city that is divided into factions. The factions are very much isolated, but each faction supplies crucial elements to all the rest. Each year in a Choosing Ceremony, all 16-year-olds decide upon one of the five factions (Candor, Amity, Abnegation, Erudite, and Dauntless) to seek admission into. To help them decide which faction to enter into, the teens undergo an aptitude test. Tris’s test goes a bit wonky, and the plot thickens.

Without spoiling details from Divergent, (haven’t you read that yet? You haven’t?? Go read it, crazy!) Insurgent is about a teenage girl grappling with her decision to take on a leadership role, remain loyal and deal with utter grief. It’s a dystopian novel, but there is plenty of difference in this one to not have you thinking, “Haven’t I read something like this before?”

I like that this book deals with the element of grief in Tris without making her an insufferable character.  Her relationships are believable, and the story is plotted well enough to still surprise you. Also, let’s just put it out there that the author is only 23. So, this clearly makes me wonder what the heck I’m doing with my life.

You’ll like this if: you’re a Hunger Games fan and you’re up for something a little different with equally dark twists.

Quote: “Cruelty does not make a person dishonest, the same way bravery does not make a person kind.”


Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire Book #1) by George R. R. Martin

I cannot describe how much I love this series. It’s definitely a more “mature” choice in terms of fantasy literature, but I think it does it an injustice to say that it’s like Harry Potter for adults. (Don’t get me wrong, though – I love Harry Potter). As an avid reader, I truly appreciate Martin’s approach to the fantasy genre. You are never sure who is good or evil, if those in danger will actually make it out alive (they frequently don’t), and when a “bad guy” will do something redemptive or a “good guy” something terrible.  I hadn’t really heard of this series until I watched the HBO show. On a whim only a book reader can appreciate, I purchased the entire series in an ebook deal. So, I read the first book and kept reading (and reading and reading) until I had caught up to A Dance With Dragons.  I’m talking over 4,000 pages of commitment here.

These books pull you in and keep you in the magical Westeros for days. Martin is fantastic with detail (so much so that when I watch the series it’s like watching my own imagination). There are dragons, witches, zombie-like creatures fighting it out in a world filled with lust, power, greed, incest, and all sorts of adult themes. I would highly recommend you pick up the books. I don’t believe I’ve successfully convinced anyone to take the plunge yet, but if you do I think you’ll love it! (P.S. Avoid googling character names before reading. MAJOR spoilers are out there)

You’ll like this if: you’re not afraid of long books, you enjoy the show, and you’re in the mood to get swept away into a fantasy world like no other.

Quote: “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies… the man who never reads lives only one.'” (A Dance with Dragons)

Images via Goodreads 1 and 2

  • Anne Byskov

    Yay! You just read my adult-fantasy craving mind (that sounded wrong – hope, you know what I mean!) Will immediately get a hold of both series. Thank you SO much (stormy summer, lay it on me, I’m ready now!)

    • Rebecca Kuitems

      Hey, that sounds perfectly all right to me! Hopefully you’ll have some great fantasy to keep your mind off the storms!

  • Ashley Wood

    Had been debating buying the thrones series since last yr and you’ve inspired me to bite the bullet! (kiss the hearteater) – thank you!

    • Rebecca Kuitems

      Glad to hear you’re taking the plunge! Let me know how you like them :)

  • Chelsea Rourke

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I don’t think obsessed really fully covers how I feel about the Song series. I read all five book between November and February and cannot wait for him to put out the next which is more than likely going to take years. So far, I’ve convinced my mother to read them, she’s on the third and is really quite worried about getting to the part in that book where the whole damn series changes. Ugh. Thank you, someone else who loves these books.

    • Rebecca Kuitems

      You’re welcome! I’m glad to hear of another superfan :) (I’m seriously hoping it won’t take another decade to get to the end of the series). I get flack because they’re obviously not the “girliest” of books, but there are some kickass women in the series!! Tell your mom to hold on, because I think number 5 is the best so far!

  • Ashley Lynn Cook

    I just finished the two Divergent books last week, LOVED THEM! 😀

    • Rebecca Kuitems

      I’m DYING for number 3! I can’t believe we have to wait a year.

  • Maria A. Hernandez-Venegas

    I’m on A Clash of Kings right now. It just sucks you right in. I’m planning on getting through the rest of the series this summer.

    • Rebecca Kuitems

      Just wait until you get to Dance with Dragons!! And avoid the internet. I almost completely spoiled things for myself by looking around.

  • Brittany Rausch

    I loved Divergent and have put some many people onto it I should be getting royalties from the publisher lol. You have no idea how happy you have made me by putting Insurgent on your list! As far as the Hunger Games comparison, I completly agree. In fact, I may get problems for saying this, but I prefer Divergent to Hunger Games. Especially with the way both books bring up the emotional and psychological aftermath of such events. I believe that Insurgent does it without taking the reader down a depression spiral, and I believe it does a better job on this front then Mockingjay, IMHO. Keep picking great books! (For a fun YA read I rec. Anna and the French Kiss!)

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