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

What I’m Reading: Lost Stars by Claudia Gray

Young Adult Book Review: Lost Stars by Claudia Gray

I’ve mentioned this book before. It was one of the books I listed in My 2017 Reading Roundup but it’s taken me a long time to get around to posting my review of it. And of course the gorgeous picture.

I actually own a hardcopy of this book, but it is on loan to a close friend of mine at the moment. I really liked this book, and as my friend also loves Star Wars, I knew she would enjoy reading reading. So, what’s it about?

Lost Stars is a loose, young adult romance, Science Fiction, of course, since it’s set in the Star Wars universe. The most interesting thing about this book was the timeline, it takes place over the timeline of the original trilogy. Of course, the basic premise is that one of the characters ends up on the rebels side, and the other on the side of the empire. This was a great idea for a romantic novel, and I loved the behind the scenes look at the Death Star.

IMG_5168

Claudia Gray is a great writer. So the book had an excellent pace and two strong lead characters. It kept me reading, which can be a challenge for a romance, since most of the time you know where the story is going.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

4.5/5 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

‘Tis The Season

This past month has been rather awful for me. I lost someone I love and have been a bit of a whirlpool, at a loss when it comes to a few things, especially this blog. But, I’m trying to slowly get back to it, though mostly I’ve been spending a lot of time reading.

Now that I’ve releases The Torc into the world, I’m hoping to take a bit of a break from stress (which to me means no deadlines), and just read. I have two books left  before I reach my 2017 Goodreads goal of 60 books, which sometimes feels stressful even though I know I’ll finish those two books.

Currently my reading pile looks like this:

IMG_6290

And actually, I just finished Rupi Kaur’s, the sun and her flowers before posting this. I’m about halfway through the massive, OATHBRINGER, by Brandon Sanderson (I think that title deserves all caps), and almost done Leia, Princess of Alderaan, by Claudia Gray. I’ve also got Spirit Animals Book 4, Fire and Ice on Audiobook right now, which keeps me mellow on my way to work.

Speaking of Leia, Princess of Alderaan, I have tickets to the new Star Wars for four o’clock today. I’m so excited I can hardly wait! Have you seen it yet? My fingers are tingling with anticipation!

JEH Continue reading

Happy December Reading

I’m a wee bit behind, but happy December reading everyone! This month I’ve set aside a ton of time to read. I’m currently working my way through the over 1200 page long Oathbringer, and so far it is fabulous. December has been cold, and it’s only going to get colder and frostier. It’s a good thing I have three advent calendars to keep me busy: tea, stories, and chocolate! This month, I hope to have a few posts for you, book reviews, book purchases, and holiday goodness. Do you have special book related plans this month?

JEH

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.

IMG_5989

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.

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