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.

IMG_5161

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

My 2017 Reading Roundup

Today is the last day of the year! That means it’s time to take a look at how I’ve done over the past year, and to look at my plans for next year.

I set my Goodreads goal to 60 books for 2017, and reached that goal last week. I’m currently sitting sitting at 62 books finished, and may finish the gigantic Oathbringer before the end of the night (my New Year’s Eve plans consist of dinner with wonderful friends and their families, and coming home early to read), which would put me at 63 books!

My most favourite read of the year was The Girl Who Drank The Moon. I seriously love this book. One of my all time favourites.

My second favourite read was An Ember in The Ashes. I’m hoping to start A Torch Against The Night, and to finish this series when the final book is released in 2018.

My third favourite read was Lost Stars. This book, set in the Star Wars universe really surprised me. But it’s also stuck with me, and I’m actually kind of hoping Disney turns this one into a movie. And no, I never did get around to posting about this book, and this is the only picture I took of this read.

I am, of course, loving Oathbringer, but as I have 75 pages left, it wouldn’t quite be fair to place it in my list of favourites yet, though I’m sure it would be.

My favourite cover and book picture was of Jane Eyre. I also loved my day trip out to Crooked Bush, and just had to share this picture again.

What were your favorite reads of 2017?

Tomorrow I’ll update on my goals and plans for 2018. Happy New Year everyone!

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: 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.

IMG_5988

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

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.

FullSizeRender-32

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: Star Wars Aftermath Life Debt by Chuck Wendig

Okay, first off I’m going to admit that it’s been a while, a long while, since I’ve blogged about anything. Somehow, I fell into a blogging summer vacation. I imagine it was all the sun and the hot weather that pulled me away. The good news is I have a lot of catching up to do, and I’ll start with a review of a book I finished reading just yesterday: Star Wars Aftermath Life Debt by Chuck Wendig.

Prior to the new Star Wars reboots, I had almost all of the old Star Wars fiction, which is now Legend. Between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, there is a large gap of time, and I’m the kind of Star Wars fan that needs to know what happened, and this new trilogy, written by Chuck Wendig is how to find out. Life Debt is the second book of the trilogy, and while the first book was fairly slow and a bit too meandering, the plot of the second book is much tighter, and has more of a purpose, so it seems. It also has much more Han, Leia, and Chewy.

The ending was a bit of a cliffhanger, so I’m hoping to get the third book sooner rather than later, but I have a few books that I need to get through first for an upcoming writing conference.

Overall, this trilogy has been satisfactory. Can’t wait to see what’s next.

4/5 Stars

JEH