What I’m Reading: Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

A few years back I went on an East Coast road trip. During the trip, my husband and I spent a couple days on Prince Edward Island, so of course I had to go see Green Gables. I’d never read the world renowned books written by Lucy Maud Montgomery, even though I’d spent hours of my childhood watching the CBC television movie specials and tuning in every week to watch Road to Avonlea.

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I bought my copy of Anne of Green Gables at the Green Gables gift shop, with the intent of reading it during the trip, but that never happened. Then, the other week, I heard a radio program discussing the 75th anniversary of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s death (what is with all the death anniversaries lately?). This inspired me to pick up the book and I began reading. Once I started, I couldn’t stop.

Anne of Green Gables was written in the early 1900’s, so the style is much different than books today. But I found this refreshing. There is something so charming in Anne’s page long ramblings that just puts a smile on my face. Not only did the book remind me of childhood and make me long for the days of playing outside, it also reminded me of my trip to the island. And let me say, Prince Edward Island is a beautiful place. Reading this book made me want to go back there. Below are a few pictures from my time on the island, if you’ve never gone, or read Anne of Green Gables, I highly recommend both.

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

What I’m Watching: Th1rteen R3asons Why, by Jay Asher

I’ve mentioned a few times how much I loved Th1rteen R3asons Why by Jay Asher. Well, recently this book has found a new reincarnation in a Netflix streaming series of the same name. So of course I had to watch it. So far, I’m only a few episodes in, but I’m hooked. Because it’s been so long since I read the book, and the series has all of those small little changes, it’s like new to me. I like the dark atmosphere, and the sense of foreboding in the Netflix series, and so far, I’m pretty impressed with the cast. There is just something so loveable about this reincarnation of Hannah, played by Katherine Langford. And I’ve always been a fan of Kate Walsh’s tears (Hannah’s Mom). Below you can watch the official trailer as it’s posted on YouTube.

There’s been a fair bit of controversy about this series, since it does deal with Teen Suicide, which is a very difficult topic to talk about it. But at least this way it is being talked about. And not hidden.

I dug out my handwritten review of the Th1rteen R3asons Why book, and you can read it below. It still breaks my heart that Hannah is dead, because she was so full of life. And that is the most difficult thing about unexpected death, it is so very hard to accept. Have you watched the show? What do you think?

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JEH

Star Wars Books that Changed My Life

May the 4th be with you!

This year, in order to celebrate ‘Star Wars Day’, I’m going to share with you some of my own history with what I consider to be one of the best fantastical worlds ever! As a child, I remember watching the Star Wars Movies every chance I got. My favourite was Return of the Jedi (it is now Empire Strikes Back), and I borrowed it every chance I got on VHS from my public library. I borrowed it so many times that my father banned me from borrowing it for six months! I was crushed.

I always dreamed of new Star Wars movies, but they never arrived in my childhood. Instead, I turned to the books. By the time I turned 10, there was an entire Star Wars Universe waiting to be explored on the page. I began with Heir to the Empire, by Timothy Zahn, and read everything I could get my hands on. I still have some of these books, as I’ve never been able to part with them.

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One of my favs was the Young Jedi Knights Series, by Kevin J. Anderson with Robecca Moesta. This series was about Leia and Han’s twins, Jaina and Jacen. I wanted to be them, go to school with them, learn how to be a Jedi Knight too. So I consumed these books with a vengeance. I credit the strong character of Jaina and her mechanical aptitude for my own interest in science and my the much later degree in Engineering that I received in 2004. I was disappointed with Disney when they kaiboshed everything that was Star Wars, making it legend, and coming up with their own cannon. But there are a lot of similarities between Rey and Jaina, and after I watched Star Wars, The Force Awakens, I found I could accept this new story and love Rey as I loved Jaina (to me, they are really the same girl by a different name. I’m positive that Rey belongs to Leia and Han, and that Kylo Ren is her long-lost twin brother, just like in the books).

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Another of my favorite characters from the book world, Mara Jade, in Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire series, and pictured fighting Luke, above, is also now legend. Mara Jade was an apprentice to the Emperor, and takes it upon herself to battle Luke. But Mara Jade isn’t all bad, and she’s also my favorite Sith ever.

While my Star Wars book collection is not what it once was, I still treasure it, and it is still growing. With the Disney takeover, more material is being released now than ever. I’ve previously blogged about reading some of the new comic books, and I’ve also finished the first book in Chuck Wendig’s new Trilogy, beginning with Aftermath, about the time between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. When it comes to my love of Science Fiction and space travel, Star Wars will always have a very large place in my heart. So happy May the 4th, and may the Force be with you.

Oh, and if you haven’t seen it yet, or if you just want to watch it again because it is May 4th, be sure to check out The Last Jedi Trailer below.

JEH

What I’ve Read: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Young Adult Book Review: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Allegiant, by Veronica Roth, is the last book in the Divergent trilogy. I read it back in 2014, and well… I had my issues with this book. However, if you HAVE NOT READ IT, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, read my book journal entry below, as it contains major, major spoilers. If you’ve finished the series, then go ahead and scroll down.

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What did you think of the conclusion?

JEH

What I’ve Read: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Young Adult Book Review: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

As I continue to scroll through my book journals from the years before I used Goodreads, I’m pulling out entries and posting them on this blog. Insurgent by Veronica Roth is the second book in the young adult Divergent trilogy. I read this book in 2012 (man, five years ago already!). I think from the review that I really liked this book, see below for my handwritten review.
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Was this book a quick read for you?

JEH

Under Jupiter Now On Kindle Scout

It’s there! It’s up and shining in the spotlight. Head on over here to check it out, or click on the link on the right, and read the prologue, the first chapter, and take a sneak peek into chapter two. Under Jupiter will be up on Kindle Scout until May 30th, so you can go back and view it again anytime, or share it with a friend. Don’t forgot to nominate the book for a change to get a free copy if the ebook if it’s chosen by Kindle Press!

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Kindle Scout View