You know a book is good when you're already excited to read the sequel and you're only one-third of the way through the first in the series.
Lev Grossman's The Magicians takes readers on a realistic journey through the fantastic. Imagine a grown-up version of Harry Potter and Narnia where the characters drink, have sex, swear and act like...well, the young adults they are. And through it all you're following Quentin Coldwater, a young man who dreams of finding something like the magical land of Fillory.
Quentin goes through life thinking there's something more. Even after he learns he has magical powers and is sent to a private school for burgeoning magicians, he can't help but wish for more. That desire leads him to ruin...until he discovers that Fillory is real. He and his friends set off on a journey that will help define the rest of their lives.
I truly enjoyed this book. Yes, it's magical, and you share Quentin's sense of wonderment regarding it all. Quentin is flawed but believable - who doesn't wish there was more to the world he/she already knows? Grossman's writing is realistic, drawing in readers and leaving them inspired, which is why I give this five out of five wishes come true.
#7: A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Hostile Hospital - Lemony Snicket (2001, 255 pages)
A little less than a decade ago I picked up the first in a series of books that would entertain my Baudelairean tendencies. What followed was an enjoyment that would leave me 31 years old and still curious to see how the series ends. So naturally, I borrowed the book from my 11-year-old niece.
In the eighth book in the series, the Baudelaire siblings - Violet, Klaus and Sunny - are on the run from the inhabitants of the Vile Village. The children find themselves in the company of the VFD, Volunteers Fighting Disease, only to learn it's not the VFD they're looking for. But the group takes them to a place that could help them: The Hostile Hospital.
As always, the siblings find themselves at the mercy of gullible people and the evil Count Olaf and his henchmen. And as always, their adventures leave you excited to see where the next book takes you. Thank goodness my niece owns the ninth book as well. I love this series for how dark, yet educating, it is - that through the siblings' adventures readers can improve their language skills and work on solving mysteries. That's why I give this book a fun four out of five seriously sinister situations.
Total Books Read: 7 / 50 (14 percent)
Total Pages Read: 2,580 / 15,000 (17 percent)