7 Books to Put on Your Reading List in 2017

“Reading is an act of resistance in a landscape of distraction.” That’s how author David L. Ulin put it, and I quite agree. In our culture, distractions hold a tyrannical reign, and unless we learn to resist them, they will devour our time.

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There’s something special about reading—something you can’t achieve by watching a movie or listening to an audiobook. Reading a magic all its own. It draws your mind to focus; challenges your imagination to spin into gear. If you aren’t making time to read, you’re missing a lot of extraordinary benefits.

5 Must-Read Books for Your Summer Reading List

Books are soul-food. Life to the creative spirit. If you want to be inspired daily, reading is a good habit to develop. And what better way to spend hot, summer weekends than by the side of the pool with a good book?

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We live in an era of distraction where time for reading seems scarce. We’re busy and our focus is drawn elsewhere. But the truth is, if you have time to scroll through your Facebook feed, you have time to read a chapter of a book. Maybe even two. So what are you waiting for? Now’s a good time to start building your summer reading list, and I’ve got a few must-read suggestions to get you started!

4 Relationship Myths YA Has Taught Girls to Believe

To be honest, I’ve never been a fan of romance stories—especially YA. Even as a teenager, I rarely took pleasure in excessive shipping and romantic subplots. Sure, thoughts of cute boys and relationships were attractive and all, but I couldn’t help feeling something was missing.

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As I grew up, watched friends start dating, and eventually met my own boyfriend, I realized what it was—that void: truth; realism. Almost every YA novel I’d read had set me up with completely false expectations for what a relationship was really like.

The #1 Book You Need to Read Before Graduating College

What are you going to do?

If you’re a college student, that question is probably as familiar to you as the air you breathe. Even if you’re still in high school, you’ve likely heard the same thing. What direction are you going to take your life?

The Art of Work Review

Maybe you’ve got a clear vision of what you want out of life. But maybe you don’t. Maybe you’re a sophomore or junior and nothing is looking like you hoped it would. Maybe you have no clue what you want for a career, but regardless of what boat you find yourself in, I have something to share with you that will change your life.

Book Review: The Rithmatist

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Joel has always wanted to be a Rithmatist, but the chance has passed him by; however, when Rithmatists begin to disappear, he may be the only one who can save them.

 Author: Brandon Sanderson

Genre: Gearpunk/Mystery

Rating: 5/5

Ages: Best for ages 13 and up

Summary: [from Goodreads] More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles.

As the son of a lowly chalkmaker at Armedius Academy, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students learn the magical art that he would do anything to practice. Then students start disappearing—kidnapped from their rooms at night, leaving trails of blood. Assigned to help the professor who is investigating the crimes, Joel and his friend Melody find themselves on the trail of an unexpected discovery—one that will change Rithmatics—and their world—forever.

This review is spoiler free.

Book Review: Beyond the Reflection’s Edge

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When Nathan Shepard’s parents are found murdered, he is left with only a mirror to solve a mystery that turns out to be about far more than meets the eye.

 Author: Bryan Davis

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Mystery

Rating: 2/5

Ages: Best for 13 and up

Summary: [from Goodreads] Sixteen-year-old Nathan Shepherd has a great life traveling where the careers of his father, an investigator, and mother, a renowned violinist, take him … until his parents are found murdered. Left with only a mirror and notes from his father’s last case, Nathan goes into hiding at the remote country home of Tony, his father’s college buddy, and Tony’s teenage daughter, Kelly. The mysterious mirror must be a clue to what happened to his parents, and when images appear in it—people and things that don’t exist—Nathan and Kelly painstakingly gather evidence. But the killers want the mirror too, and danger threatens the teens at every turn. As it becomes evident that Nathan’s father had stumbled upon dark forces at work in the world, several questions arise. Could it be that the mirror is a portal to a parallel world? Could this technology be used for evil purposes? And could his parents still be alive, trapped in another dimension? Nathan and Kelly struggle to solve the mystery before they too become victims. This chilling, hair-raising adventure is jam-packed with action in a fantastical world where nothing is as it seems, and even mirrors tell lies.