My 2017 GoodReads Reading Challenge Update – Halfway There!

I love GoodReads, and I love the Annual Reading Challenge. This year, I’ve set my goal at 60 books. Well, June 30th is approaching and I’ve now completed 31 books, which puts me 2 books ahead of schedule.

So far, my favourite read of 2017 has been The Girl Who Drank The Moon. I seriously love this book and it is now on my absolute favourites list along with books like The Lord of the Rings, Pride and Predjudice, The Princess Bride, Harry Potter, and The Historian. Yeah, I know, my list is a complete mish-mash of genres. I could also go on listing my absolute favourite books, but I think I’ll save that for another time.

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In the past couple weeks, I’ve finished reading a few books I haven’t blogged about, mostly because I try to only blog about middle-grade and Young Adult books, though my reading preference is much more broad than that. I finished Career of Evil on audiobook (loved it!) and And The Birds Rained Down (a 2015 Canada Reads pick). I’m into reading Canadian Fiction as Canada’s 150th birthday is coming up July 1st!

Currently, I’m reading a few different books (I very rarely read one at a time). I have a bunch of half-read books, and I’m hoping that by the end of the year I’ll have surpassed my 60 book goal (70 would be lovely). But I have a lot of hefty picks waiting on my TBR shelf.

Here’s hoping! What are you reading?

JEH

 

What I’m Reading: The Girl Who Drank The Moon by Kelly Barnhill

Young Adult Book Review: The Girl Who Drank The Moon by Kelly Barnhill

First off, I’m going to be honest and specify that I listened to this book on audiobook. But I loved it so much I went out an bought a hardcover copy after I finished. It isn’t often I rave about a book and say that everyone should read it, but I will with this one. The Girl Who Drank The Moon should be on everyone’s reading list, and I do mean everyone, young, old, and those in the middle.

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The Girl Who Drank The Moon is about a mottled assortment of characters (also young, old, and in between), in a fantastical world full of sorrow and magic. The book centers on the character’s inward journey’s and their interactions.

When I went to pick up my hard copy at the bookstore, i found this book shelved in Young Readers (9-12), which I think was a mistake on part of the publisher. I think this is really an all ages tale. It is beautifully written, poetic, and well themed. While there are children in the book, a lot of the story is told from Xan’s point of view, and Xan being an ancient witch, I wasn’t sure the book would have captured my attention as a young child, though Luna, also a protagonist, is 12 at the end of the story.

In all honesty, this book is hard to categorize. But that really doesn’t matter, because it is just a beautiful book. I heard about it from a woman in my writing group who raved about it, and I will say that she was definitely not wrong. If you haven’t hard about The Girl Who Drank The Moon, you should have, and if you haven’t read it yet, you should start. Now.

5/5 Stars

JEH

What I’m Reading: Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

Young Adult Book Review: Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

Like this first two books in this series, I listened to Dreams of Gods and Monsters on audiobook. If you like audiobooks, I highly recommend these ones. Or you could just read the books, because the story is fantastic.

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Dreams of Gods and Monsters begins right where Days of Blood and Starlight ends. Karu is deep in battle with her foes, and her heart is deep in battle with itself. Laini Taylor’s world is so well thought out and rich with detail, and it’s super easy to get lost in it for a while.

I didn’t find the last book of this series as strong as the first two. The end felt a bit protracted, as the main action ended well before the end of the story. It was that kind of slow winding down feel, which I’m not a particular fan of (such as J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Return of the King). The audiobook is over 15 hours long, and it took me a long time to get through it. I think I had to borrow it from the library three or four times, mostly because I didn’t have any long road trips during this period. But if you’ve got in your future, pick up this book to keep you well occupied.

The Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy is now new the top of my favorite Young Adult series. What’s at the top of yours?

JEH

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