What I’m Reading: Amber Fang, The Hunted by Arthur Slade

I’m going to start this off by saying that I got this book as part of a conference “goodie-bag”. I love vampires, and it’s the right time of year, so I decided to give it a go.

Amber Fang The Hunted by Arthur Slade is a nice, quick read. What I liked about it most was the small, unique differences about this vampire world (and yay, no one glitters!). Because there are so many vampire stories, it is so important for there to be something unique in a vampire book. At least in my opinion. What I liked the least about this book, was it’s length. It was good, and a quick read, but more time could have been spent adding a bit more detail and depth to some parts.

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Amber Fang is a 21 year-old future librarian hopeful, a born vampire who knows little about her own kind. This is listed on GoodReads as book #1, though there is not yet a book #2. If there was, I would likely read it, since the mystery was just beginning to out at the end of this book. If you’re a sucker for all things vampire, then you might want to check out this book.

3/5 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.

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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: The Savage Dawn by Melissa Grey

Young Adult Book Review: The Savage Dawn by Melissa Grey

I loved The Girl At Midnight series from the first, and really looked forward to the third book. While I enjoyed the Savage Dawn, I felt like not as much happened as could have, and the characters sat around for a long time thinking about what to do.

But, I did love the way Melissa Grey ended the series. With so many series, I find I’m left unsatisfied, that things could have been done differently (Divergent comes to mind). But this ending I felt was entirely fitting.

For those of you who might have read The Girl At Midnight series yet, maybe because you only read series that are completed, now is a great time to settle down with this story.

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

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: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Young Adult Book Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder by Marissa Meyer had such a fetching cover that I just had to pick it up. The image actually has a striking resemblance to the Twilight Cover, in my opinion, with the same colour palette and the bright red right in the middle. But what does that matter? What I really wanted was to read a Cinderella story set in the future.

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Cinder was probably the most refreshing fairy tale retelling I’ve read in a while. It was still recognizable as the Cinderella story, but it wasn’t weighed down with backstory I didn’t need (like some retelling’s I’ve read in the past year). The funnest part, I thought, was that instead of a glass slipper, Cinder is constantly struggling with her cyber foot, which no longer fits her. I was also very interested in the Lunars, and will read the other books in the chronicles just to find out about them. The other books, however, don’t feature Cinder as a main character, and I’m kind of glad about that, since I feel like Cinder(ella)’s story has come to an end.

4/5 Stars

JEH