Beautiful Darkness, and thoughts on summer reading

I’m one book ahead of schedule for my 2013 reading goal…book #6 of this year was Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl.

Beautiful Darkness

Beautiful Darkness is the sequel to Beautiful Creatures, and the second of four books in the Caster Chronicles series. I did mention previously that I got a bit hooked after reading the first book – don’t you hate when you get left with a bit of a cliffhanger? It drew me in, I can’t lie. The plot of this book continues after Lena suffers a loss, and Lena begins pulling away from Ethan. In addition, Ethan is being haunted by more visions, and becomes tangled deeper into his town’s mysterious history as he searches for Lena to bring her back.

I have to say – I think the pacing of this book was a bit off. It slowed down quite a bit in the middle of the story, and picked up again right toward the end. I am wondering if perhaps the plodding nature was merely setting readers up for what will come in books 3 and 4, but I won’t know until I read them, I suppose. I have a feeling I’ll be reading the final two books over the course of the summer to find out. Overall, the Caster Chronicles series is proving to be a fun little Young Adult fiction read for me. And I do believe I’ve seen that the movie version of the first book, Beautiful Creatures, was just released on DVD this week. Perhaps I’ll have to rent it soon to compare!


Annnyway, I’ve been thinking lately about summer reading. Do you remember getting a summer reading list for school at the end of each year? I’ll admit it: I was definitely the nerd who got excited to see which books were on the list for my grade level, and I typically ended up reading more than what was required. Now…years later, I kind of wish I had a list of required reading sometimes. Ok, maybe not required, but “suggested” perhaps…

Were there any books you read on your summer reading lists that were particularly memorable? It’s difficult for me to pick just one, but I remember getting wrapped up in Jane Eyre, Gone With the Wind, The Thornbirds, Rebecca, and The Poisonwood Bible…to name a few. I definitely need to start adding to my personal “suggested reading” list over the next few weeks, so let me hear your favorites!

What is the most memorable book you read from your “required reading” list in school?



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  • I never had one of those a kid from my school but my mom always wanted me to be ahead so she would have me read books she remembered having to read for certain grades and that is the only reason I have read to Kill a Mockingbird since for some reason I never had to for school.

    • Funny! I moved so much as a kid that sometimes different schools had different books on their lists…

      The book that I remember having to read but never actually doing anything with in school was The Catcher in the Rye. Why were we “supposed” to read that book, anyway?

  • Ooo, I’m going on vacation this next week and I’m planning on reading this series! I have the first 2 books with me now!

    Your local library probably has an Adult Summer Reading Program and they likely have a list of staff and patron recommended books. My library usually compiles a list of book recommendations from staff (and it’s a mix of YA/juvenile fiction/adult fiction and nonfiction).

    I never got reading lists from my schools for the summer, but now that I work as a children’s librarian I see a lot of this happening. The schools actually send us lists to keep for the kids to look at in case they lose their lists! I can remember my library having lists that went along with the Summer Reading Program as well.

  • We always had book lists growing up, but I am having the hardest time remembering what my favorites were as a kid! In high school though, my favorites were probably To Kill a Mockingbird and East of Eden.

    • You know, East of Eden never did show up on a list of mine I don’t think! Hmmm…now maybe I should look it up and read it?

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