What I’m Reading: Prodigy by Marie Lu

Young Adult Book Review: Prodigy by Marie Lu

Prodigy is the second book in the Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu. This book has a fairly high rating on Goodreads, and I have some friends that just love this series. I think the books are okay, but I don’t seem to find them as engaging as some people.

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Prodigy once again follows June and Day as they struggle against the government. I think my main reason for disengagement with this story is the lack of detail. I feel more confused about the world it is set in than knowledgeable. I like the story, I like June’s character (more so than Day’s), but I’m sad to say that I just don’t love it. This book is a bit along the lines of The Hunger Games and An Ember in The Ashes, both of which I love. So maybe Prodigy just has too much competition. Still, it is a good read, especially if you are a die-hard fan of dystopian young adult books.

3.5/5 Stars (rounded up to 4 on Goodreads)

JEH

What I’m Reading: Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit

Young Adult Book Review: Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit

I picked up Anna and the Swallow Man from my local library on audiobook when I was browsing for a new listen. The story is about Anna, a young girl orphaned during the second World War, and her subsequent journey through Poland. I loved this book. The audiobook was only five hours long, but excellently narrated. The touch of fantasy in the novel was just right, and all of the characters were well developed.

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Books about the great wars can be depressing, this is heavy stuff, but it’s something I think is important to know about so that it never happens again. My heart ached for Anna through most of this book, but the narrative gave me cause to hope. The prose was lyrical, and the language delightful, I found it very easy to fall into this book and to keep listening.

5/5 Stars

JEH

What I’m Reading: Lost Stars by Claudia Gray

Young Adult Book Review: Lost Stars by Claudia Gray

I’ve mentioned this book before. It was one of the books I listed in My 2017 Reading Roundup but it’s taken me a long time to get around to posting my review of it. And of course the gorgeous picture.

I actually own a hardcopy of this book, but it is on loan to a close friend of mine at the moment. I really liked this book, and as my friend also loves Star Wars, I knew she would enjoy reading reading. So, what’s it about?

Lost Stars is a loose, young adult romance, Science Fiction, of course, since it’s set in the Star Wars universe. The most interesting thing about this book was the timeline, it takes place over the timeline of the original trilogy. Of course, the basic premise is that one of the characters ends up on the rebels side, and the other on the side of the empire. This was a great idea for a romantic novel, and I loved the behind the scenes look at the Death Star.

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Claudia Gray is a great writer. So the book had an excellent pace and two strong lead characters. It kept me reading, which can be a challenge for a romance, since most of the time you know where the story is going.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

4.5/5 Stars

JEH

What I’m Reading: Leia Princess of Alderaan by Claudia Gray

Young Adult book review: Leia Princess of Alderaan, by Claudia Gray.

Not only am I a Star Wars fan, I’m a huge Princess Leia fan. I absolutely adore this book cover, and had to have the book. This book provides a good background to Princess Leia’s character, and was much like I expected.

This book also had a tie-in to the Star Wars: The Last Jedi movie, so I rushed to see it before going out to see the film. I liked that I possessed a bit more background regarding one of the on screen characters. But it wasn’t that interesting of news. Since I don’t want to ruin the book or movie for anyone, I won’t say anymore than that.

Of all the Star Wars reading I’ve been doing lately, I would definitely put Lost Stars at the top, followed by Leia, which wasn’t quite as full of detail but still a fun read.

Have you read it?

4/5 Stars

JEH

What I’m Reading: Murder on The Orient Express by Agatha Christie

I’m behind in posting reviews of books I’ve finished reading, so I’ll start with this one. Since I first saw the preview for the new Murder on the Orient Express movie, I’d wanted to read the book. I saw this copy at a local drugstore and purchased it on a whim. Doesn’t it have a lovely cover?

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When I was younger, my dad would sometimes bring home BBC Agatha Christie movies from the library. My favorite was Death on the Nile, but I’d never seen Murder on the Orient Express (and don’t even know if there was a previous movie, honestly).

I really enjoyed the book, it was a fast paced, and I kept wondering who did it, and of course I tried to solve the mystery before Poirot. I think I finished the book in two days-it is actually pretty short. After I read the book, I went to see the movie a few weeks later. The cinematography was beautiful, it really made me want to take a train ride, but compared the book, the movie felt slow. So, as per usually, I would recommend the book over the movie anyway.

Have you read the book and seen the movie? What did you think?

JEH

What I’m Reading: Amber Fang, The Hunted by Arthur Slade

I’m going to start this off by saying that I got this book as part of a conference “goodie-bag”. I love vampires, and it’s the right time of year, so I decided to give it a go.

Amber Fang The Hunted by Arthur Slade is a nice, quick read. What I liked about it most was the small, unique differences about this vampire world (and yay, no one glitters!). Because there are so many vampire stories, it is so important for there to be something unique in a vampire book. At least in my opinion. What I liked the least about this book, was it’s length. It was good, and a quick read, but more time could have been spent adding a bit more detail and depth to some parts.

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Amber Fang is a 21 year-old future librarian hopeful, a born vampire who knows little about her own kind. This is listed on GoodReads as book #1, though there is not yet a book #2. If there was, I would likely read it, since the mystery was just beginning to out at the end of this book. If you’re a sucker for all things vampire, then you might want to check out this book.

3/5 stars

JEH

What I’m Reading: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Young Adult Book Review: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started this book, but I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. The Darkest Part of the Forest is a beautifully written (and I mean pink-sunset beautiful) novel about a young girl, her brother, a sword, and a forest full of dark faerie folk.

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Probably my favourite part of this book was that it is a standalone novel. After reading a bunch of trilogies or series, sometimes it is so nice to read a book that is just that, a book. Nothing more expected, no more cliff hangers. Hazel, the main character, is strong and headstrong, and contrast nicely to her gifted brother Ben, who is gay. It was really great to see the loves and lives of Hazel and Ben intertwine. The relationship between the two characters is fully explored and deep with complication, just like sibling relationships often are.

The only thing that sometimes wore on me with this book, was the slow, backstory which cropped up here and there. Sometimes it felt like a bit too much of the story took place in the past, but mostly I did see a place for it. And the writing was so good that it made all of the reading worthwhile.

A solid 4.5/5 Stars.

JEH