What I’m Reading: Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep

Young Adult Book Review: Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep (Mythos Academy #1)

I recently had the privilege of attending a writing conference, where Jennifer Estep was one of the Key Notes. I had never read anything from her before, and I wanted to be familiar with her work before the conference, so I picked up Touch of Frost, the first book in Estep’s Paranormal Young Adult series, Mythos Academy.

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Now, the Mythos Academy name tells you almost everything you need to know to get started reading Touch of Frost. First, it relies heavily on world mythology; Second, the Gods are back (bad and good), and Third, you’re in for a whole lot of fun. The main character in Touch of Frost is Gwen, who’s a gypsy newly arrived to a school full of warriors, most of which are also blessed with some sort of bonus magical power. Of course, as always happens, things go wrong and Gwen ends up attempting to sort things out.

Touch of Frost was a quick, easy read, set in a world that I would love to live in. There were a few weak elements with the plot, but I could overlook them because the pace was quick, and there was never a slow moment. There are currently six books in the series (apparently #7 is currently only going to be release in Germany. But six books is plenty to keep me reading for a while.

4/5 Stars

JEH

What I’m Reading: Seven Dead Pirates by Linda Bailey

If you know me, then you know I love pirates. So when I saw Seven Dead Pirates by Linda Bailey on the shelves, I had to pick it up. This middle-grade book is a quick read, and follows a boy who suddenly finds himself with seven pirate ghosts for roommates.

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Now, there are two types of middle grade fiction: the kind written for kids, and the kind that is shelved as middle grade because of the age of the characters. I recently read The Girl Who Drank The Moon, which is shelved as middle-grade but I would argue is definitely all ages. Seven Dead Pirates is the opposite, and it is a great book for young readers. I look forward to reading this book to my kids in a few years, when they old enough to sit still and LISTEN for at least five minutes straight. They both love pirates and ghosts, so I’m sure it will be a win for them.

As an adult reading this book, I found it to be well written and engaging, but not that exciting since the problems in the book were the problems of a twelve-year-old boy and easily solvable (to me, anyway). There were some great lessons in this book for young readers, like sticking up for yourself and finding friends where you least expect them. A solid story.

4/5 Stars

JEH

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: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

I’m almost ashamed of admitting how long it took me to finish reading Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I made a pact with myself a while back to read more classics. I know and love Pride and Predjudice very well, but I haven’t read all that many classics other than everything by Jane Austen. Since I’ve begun reading more of the old famous books, I’ve found a few that I love, Dracula and Frankenstein, and a few that I’ve hated, Lolita and Madame Bovary. Jane Eyre fit somewhere in between those two ends.

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Jane Eyre wasn’t quite as romantic as Pride and Predjudice, and it wasn’t quite as gothic as Frankenstein and Dracula. I’ve noticed the obvious pattern that even amongst the classics I mostly prefer those with a fantastical twist. Part of the reason I picked up this particular copy of Jane Eyre was because of the cover. Isn’t it gorgeous? Here’s a better look.

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Previous to reading the novel, I’d seen a couple different remakes of Jane Eyre in cinema format, and I’ve never particularly loved any of those either. Part of the reason, I think, is that the pieces of the novel I found more interesting always seemed to be wiped out of the movie. For instance, i really enjoyed the beginning of Jane Eyre when Jane’s at school. This took up at least a good quarter of the book, but I’ve never seen a movie dedicate that much time to it.

All in all, reading Jane Eyre was a pleasant experience, so pleasant in fact that I kept falling asleep when reading it, which is part of why it took me over six months to get around to finishing it. But I’m glad I’m done, and that I can now add it to my GoodReads count.

4/5 Stars.

JEH

 

Books I’ve Read: Castle Waiting Volume 2 by Linda Medley

I stayed up late last night finishing the second volume of Castle Waiting. It was good. Once I finished I Googled whether or not there would be a third volume, and read that the author is working on it. Supposedly the third volume would be in colour, and I’m not sure I’d like that. I love that volumes 1 and 2 are in black and white, I honestly think black and white is underrated. And yes, I also have a thing for black and white movies.

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Castle Waiting Volume 2 continues where volume one left off, and follows the inhabitants of the castle during they regular day, which is never regular. There are over four hundred pages of beautiful drawings and lovely story in this hardcover volume. It’s a lovely view of a fairy tale life, and definitely a castle I wish I could visit.

5/5 Stars

JEH

 

What I’m Reading: Firefight by Brandon Sanderson

The second book in the Young Adult Reckoners series by Brandon Sanderson moves the action from a futuristic Chicago (Newcago) to a futuristic, dystopian Manhattan (New Babylon). I loved this second book and I found New Babylon (also called Babilar) to be very interesting, but part of what I loved about the first book, Steelheart, was the setting: a city that had been completely morphed into steel, and I missed that setting in Firefight. Not that I didn’t love Babilar, I just love Newcago more.

The action of the second book, Firefight, is just as fast and heart-pounding as in the first book. The stakes get higher, and we discover more about the world and Epics (the bad guys), in general.

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Like the first book, Firefight is 75% action, 20% romance, and 5% bad metaphors (which are often hilarious). That isn’t an exact breakdown, so don’t quote me on it. The main point is that this book is mostly the kind of action you would see in a Marvel movie.

Loved it.

5/5 Stars

JEH

What I’m Reading: Mitosis by Brandon Sanderson

In case you missed it, I posted a review of the first book in Brandon Sanderson’s Reckoners Series, Steelheart, last Saturday. I picked up Book 2, Firefight, and began reading but kept coming across this mention of a battle with Mitosis, which sounded familiar, so I checked, and sure enough, Mitosis is a standalone story that falls between Steelheart and Firefight.

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Mitosis was fairly short and I finished reading it in under an hour. It was a good piece of action between the two main novels. I wouldn’t say it’s a must read. I think one could just go from Steelheart to Firefight and not feel like they’re missing much, but it did add a nice bit of backstory during the passage of time between Steelheart and Firefight, which is a few months.

If you’re a Sanderson fan, or just need to read every piece of lore in a universe, then you probably won’t want to skip Mitosis.

4/5 Stars

JEH