Review of Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

Title: Walk on Earth a Stranger 
Author: Rae Carson 
Series: The Gold Seer Book 1 
Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Gold is in my blood, in my breath, even in the flecks in my eyes.

Lee Westfall has a strong, loving family. She has a home she loves and a loyal steed. She has a best friend—who might want to be something more.

She also has a secret.

Lee can sense gold in the world around her. Veins deep in the earth. Small nuggets in a stream. Even gold dust caught underneath a fingernail. She has kept her family safe and able to buy provisions, even through the harshest winters. But what would someone do to control a girl with that kind of power? A person might murder for it.

When everything Lee holds dear is ripped away, she flees west to California—where gold has just been discovered. Perhaps this will be the one place a magical girl can be herself. If she survives the journey.

The acclaimed Rae Carson begins a sweeping new trilogy set in Gold Rush-era America, about a young woman with a powerful and dangerous gift.

Rating: I will be giving this book a 4 out of 5 stars. I really enjoyed reading this and I was so glad to have a main character like Lee. This book wraps its readers in the time of the Gold Rush- era that happened many years ago, but when I was reading it felt so realistic. Between the hardships that Lee faced with her family as well as her internal struggle with her best friend, what really pulled me in with this book was the friendships that were formed during Lee’s journey to California as well as the hardships that she went through to reach her destination. If you are looking for something with a little American History but something that will also make you stop and appreciate the friendships that you have then I would highly recommend this book to you. The struggles are real and the challenges that are faced throughout make a reader stop and appreciate the pioneers during this time for the risks that they took to better themselves. 

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Review Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay

Title: Of Beast and Beauty 
Author: Stacey Jay 
Publisher: Delacorte Press

In the beginning was the darkness, and in the darkness was a girl, and in the girl was a secret…

In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city’s vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to both their worlds.

Isra wants to help the city’s Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, she begins to care for him, and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.

As secrets are revealed and Isra’s sight, which vanished during her childhood, returned, Isra will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love.

Rating: I will be giving this book a 5 out of 5 stars. This book really was a roller coaster of emotions. Throughout the book you are placed in several different characters points of views. My personal favorite character was Isra. I was so intrigued by how even though she started off with such strong beliefs of what she thought was right and in turn becoming close minded to what anyone else has to say she really opened up and throughout the book you see her blossom into a beautiful person. As for Gem, he broke my heart several times throughout this book. His dynamics with Isra and her people as well as his kept me at the edge of my seat while reading this book. If you are looking for a book that will keep you guessing what will happen next then this is the book for you. I was swept away in this book and if you like something that has fantasy, romance, magic, and is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast then this is the book for you. 

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How to Overcome the Reading Slumps

The reading slumps hit everyone, and I mean everyone. A reading slump is where someone has a hard time picking up a book due to certain reasons or they just are not in the mood to read. In this post I will help you get out of your current or future reading slumps since I am currently going through one of my own.

A good way to get motivated to read is by joining a reading marathon. A reading marathon or a read-a-thon is a set period of time that is meant to be dedicated to reading. This can be a weekend, a month, or just a few hours.

Change the genre of the books you are reading. I personally love dystopian books, but sometimes they can wear me out. To help prevent a reading slump I usually have a few books that are outside my norm. Since I am going to be a teacher I do have a pile of books that I need to read for my future class, just to make sure they are grade appropriate. The real reason I read the books that are in my library for the future students I will have is so that if a child really liked a certain type of book but doesn’t know what to pick next I can recommend something to them so that way they always have something to read.

Stepping out of your comfort zone with books is another great way to help prevent those reading slumps. Sometimes by stepping out of your comfort zone with a book can really open your eyes to other things that are out there that you originally didn’t think you would like. I know this might seem hard to do but once you take the first step into widening your horizons you will be so happy that you did.

Re-read your favorite book. This is something I do a lot. I have a selected pile of books that if I just don’t want to pick anything up, I will revisit these books. As weird as this might sound, I find comfort in reading something that I have already read because it gives me a chance to really look at the book more closely and just take it all in. There might be something that is going on in my life that has caused me to see this book in a different way then when I originally read it for the first time.

Watch BookTube! This is a great way to really get you inspired to read again. If you are like me, you probably look up the reviews of other people before really commit to a book. A lot of people on BookTube have ways to help you get out of the reading slumps just incase none of these tips work for you. It is also a good place to discover new books. I have found so many new books to read just by watching BookTube.

Visit your favorite bookstore or local library. By surrounding yourself with books and possibly a coffee, there really isn’t anything better than that in my opinion. You can also ask the people who work either in the bookstore or the library what are some books that they recommend. My go to is Books-A-Million. I have this one girl who works there who is my go to person. She knows little facts about the books I am looking for to add in my classroom but she also knows different types of books for me that I can read on my personal time.

Remember reading is suppose to be for fun and not work. If something you love to do becomes like a job, you will end up not wanting to do it anymore. It is important to read what you like and find what makes you happy.

To reacap,
1.  Join a reading marathon or a read-a-thon
2. Change the genre of books you are reading
3. Step out of your comfort zone with books
4. Re-read your favorite book
5. Watch BookTube
6. Visit the bookstore or library
7. Remember reading is suppose to be for fun not work