Post-Birthday Blog

Yesterday was my birthday and I had such a great day. I spent two hours at the book store, did a bit of writing in a coffee shop, and picked out enough new reads to keep me busy for at least a year—at least when you add them to the already waiting 60+ books on my TBR pile. Here’s a pic of all the books I grabbed, some were regular price and some were bargains:

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I painted a picture with a bunch of friends last night. One of which brought me a ridiculous amount of chocolate (you know who you are). I loved it. Thanks to everyone who came out and to everyone who wished me a happy day.

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One of the best things about yesterday was I discovered the Indigo by my house FINALLY SEPARATED THE FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION SECTIONS! Maybe Science Fiction will finally get all the love it deserves.

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I also got in some other shopping on the weekend, and picked up a few new writing items. As always, they make my heart smile. 🙂

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Tomorrow I’m hoping to post an update on my 365,000 Words in a Year goal. See you then!

JEH

What I’m Reading: Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

Young Adult Book Review: Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

I’m going to admit that this post might be a little biased because I’m a big Brandon Sanderson fan. I love his epic fantasy, both the Mistborn Trilogy and the Stormlight Saga, but this was the first Young Adult work I’d read by him. This is actually his first young adult series, though he has also published some middle grade stuff that I haven’t read yet. But I’m such a big fan that I plan on reading all if it at some point in time.

About a year ago, I read the prologue for Steelheart and felt a little blah about it, and I put the book down for a good while. I finally picked it up again last week, and began on Chapter One, since I’d already read the prologue a long time ago (though I had forgotten a few details). Beginning from Chapter One, I fell right into the book and loved it, which left me wondering if it really needed the prologue. I mean, the prologue was alright but… Well, maybe it’s just me. Did you read the prologue? Did you like it?

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Anyway, moving on. The main character in Steelheart is 18 year-old David, a regular human in a world that’s been invaded by comic-book type bad guys. I loved that. There are no Supermen or Batmen, just bad guys. And the regular folk have to figure out how to take them out. Needless to say this book is full of action. It is also full of that smart, witty humour I love.

“I was like the guy who had brought the spoiled shrimp cocktail to the party, causing everyone to throw up for a week straight.” Yep, our main character David is really bad at metaphors, which I found to be really entertaining.

Like I said, I might be a bit biased, but I give this book 5/5 Stars.

JEH

Books In Strange Places

I have that wonderful spring feeling again! Yesterday it was 7 above, things were melting, and I went out for a walk in weather was finally incapable of freezing me to death in hours. I had books on my mind (of course), and thought, you know, that my upcoming reads would probably like to get some fresh air too, so I decided to do a little book photo shoot for  your enjoyment. Featured books are ones I’m currently reading or am hoping to get to soon. But, of course, there’s never enough time for reading.

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My current “On the Go” Read, What Light by Jay Asher
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Air Awakens by Elise Kova
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Hiding the Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
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A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir
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Reading On The Go, From Great Heights
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A Reader’s Self-Portrait

JEH

Books I’ve Read: Pretties by Scott Westerfeld

Today I’m posting my handwritten review of Pretties by Scott Westerfeld. You’ll see all the books of this four part series blogged about in the next week. You can see from the first review that I read this series back in 2010. That feels like it shouldn’t be that long ago but it was. I’ve always loved Science Fiction and I still feel like there just isn’t enough of it.

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Have you read this book? What did you think?

JEH

Books I’ve Read: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

It’s been a while since I posted and entry from my old book journal, which I kept long before I began blogging about books. Below, you can see my handwritten review of Uglies by Scott Westerfeld.

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Have you read this book? What did you think?

JEH

My Top 5 2017 Young Adult Book Releases I’m Waiting For

There are a lot of series out there, especially in the young adult reading world. I’ve started reading a lot of series in the past couple years, a lot of which aren’t even finished being written yet (or maybe they are, and the publishers just haven’t released them yet!). Hurry up, publishers! Below is a list of the top 5 Young Adult Fantasy books I’m waiting for this year. Only one of these isn’t part of a series I’ve already begun reading, but is instead a new series by an author that I love.

1.The Savage Dawn (The Girl At Midnight #3), Melissa Grey, July 11th, 2017

I’ve loves this series since I first read The Girl at Midnight. Melissa Grey’s lively characters really bring this world alive for me. Especially Jasper, lovely funny Jasper. I also love the world building and the unique mythology in this trilogy. The Savage Dawn in the last book of the series. So if you’re the kind of person who likes to read a series all in one go, you’ll be able to do that come July 2017.

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2.  Throne of Glass 5.1 Chaol Novel, Sarah J. Maas, September 5th, 2017

If you’re a Throne of Glass fan, then you’ve probably already heard that book #6 has been bumped to a 2018 release date because Sarah J. Mass instead wrote a 100K novel regarding Chaol’s exploits, currently titled Throne of Glass 5.1. I’m acutally pretty pumped for this because Chaol is one of my favorite characters and he wasn’t in book 5 at all. Where did Chaol go? What is happening to Chaol? Maas has advised fans to read The Assasin’s Blade before TOG 5.1 is released, which I’m currently doing. I think I know how the novellas are going to fit into the Chaol novel. It’s going to be a good one!

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3. Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands #2), Alwyn Hamilton, March 7th, 2017

I loved Rebel of the Sands when I read it in 2017. I loved the world and the characters and the mythical beasts. I can’t wait to discover what happens next in Alwyn Hamilton’s world, and it looks like I’ll be able to do this right away with the March 7th release date.

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4.Strange the Dreamer, (Strange the Dreamer #1) Laini Taylor, March 28th, 2017

I still haven’t completed Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone series (I’m almost done audiobook #2), and I have to say, I love these audiobooks! Daughter of Smoke and Bone actually won Best Fantasy Audiobook in 2011, which does not surprise me. The Daughter of Smoke and Bone series is one of those that are classified as Young Adult, but I think that’s pretty iffy. Barely any of the characters are teens (I think most of them are like, 50-200 years old, and there is enough gore and violence to make me cringe). Anyway, Laini Taylor is such a great writer that I’m sure Strange the Dreamer will be just as fantastic as Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Also, a bonus fact, this book is scheduled to be released on my birthday! I think I might pick this one up in hardcover. Happy Birthday to me!

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Waiting for those birthday cupcakes…and Strange the Dreamer!

5. The Ship Beyond Time (The Girl From Everywhere #2), Heidi Heilig, February 28th, 2017

This entry is a bit different, as I haven’t even finished reading The Girl From Everywhere. You see, what happened is that I borrowed the book from my e-library and began reading it, but got really busy, and my loan expired before I got all that far into the book. This happens with a lot of books that I borrow to try. Most of the time I forget about those books, and never borrow them again. But I keep thinking about The Girl From Everywhere, and I keep wanting to know what happens. i need to know how this time traveling ship and these maps work. I need to know what happens to these characters! So I’ve waitlisted myself for this book again, and this time I’ll finish it. The sequel is out next week, so maybe I’ll even be able to read them back to back.

What books are you looking forward to this year?

JEH

What I’m Reading: The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman

Earlier in the year I mentioned that I’d be blogging more about the books I read that aren’t Young Adult, so long as I think they are a reasonable match to the YA books I know and love. I think Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman fits this bill.

Dovekeepers is an historical fiction about the persecution of the Jewish people by the Romans. I hadn’t ever read anything about this period of time before and Hoffman did a great job at inspiring my interest in both her characters and this specific piece of history. One of my favorite pieces of the novel was the touch of magic. The magic was never written about as ‘real’ magic, but it was written as real as the people of the time would have believed. Or maybe it was real, who knows? Sometimes I think that magic are the little things that happen that are overlooked by our modern sensibilities.  There was a strong romantic element in this book, and also quite a bit of violence, as it is depicting a true and brutal time, but it is never over the top.

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This book is written in four parts instead of chapters, and it took me until the second part to get into the book, but I was glad I did. Each part features a different character. This was really refreshing to me, reading something that didn’t follow the usual novel conventions.

If you enjoy historical fiction, especially about strong women, then I recommend checking out this book.

4/5 Stars

JEH