What I’m Reading: Blood Ties by Garth Nix & Sean Williams

When I knew I had to go on another long, solo road trip, my first thought was about what audiobook I should listen to. I browsed the virtual shelves, and then remembered my previous experience with the Spirit Animals series. As I enjoyed the first two books in the series, so I figured why not just continue on with the third book.

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Blood Ties takes the four main characters on yet another journey to find another legendary talisman before the bad guys do!

As I’ve said with the previous audiobooks, these are quick listens and full of action, so they work well to keep me listening on the road (though perhaps not as awake as a good murder-mystery does). I still want a spirit animal, and I want to be a Green Cloak about as much as I want to go to Hogwarts (though Hogwarts is still top of the list by far). If you know young readers, let them know about these books, and if you’re young at heart, maybe you’ll enjoy them too.

4/5 Stars

JEH

Books I’ve Read: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Young Adult Book Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

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As I continue to look through my old book journal, I’m posting about books I read a number of years ago. This week, I’ll be posting my initial “review”, on Divergent by Veronica Roth. It isn’t so much a review as my opinion of the book, and boy was it opinionated. See below:

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This write-up is pretty harsh. It sounds like I hated the book yet I gave it 4.5 stars. I guess that says a lot about a books ambiance, which to me means the general feeling the book generates and my ability to ‘suspend disbelief’. Divergent was a book that I really had to not try to reason out. I mean, the entire population of the city is forced into four groups—FOUR! People are so much more diverse than that. And there are so many more job functions than that. Anyway… Even if I had a difficult time falling for the premise and the choices some of the characters made, I liked the FEELING of the book. The tone. I guess that’s what won me over.

Come back later in the week to see what I thought about Insurgent.

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

What I’m Watching: Moana by Disney

So I finally watched Moana this past weekend and I just had to blog about it, because it really felt a bit like Moana was a sea-witch. This is probably the closest I will ever come to seeing my books made into a movie, and the plot is very, very different (really not like my books at all) but I just loved it!

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Moana is ‘chosen’ by the sea. And the sea is like this actual living body that picks her up and puts her back on the boat. It put a big smile on my face. When Disney’s Moana was released, all I heard were bad, gossipy things about the movie, like how Maui was a fat guy, and for some reason this was a bad thing? I loved Maui, and why can’t someone be fat, right? Anyway, I thought Moana was really well done. And, of course, given my love of sea-faring fiction, this was totally my style. Probably more so than Frozen, although The Snow Queen always has been one of my favorite fairy tales (that’s probably the snowy Canadian in me).

My favorite parts were the coconut pirates and the ending, but I’m not going to ruin that for you here. And the animation was gorgeous. It definitely made me want to take a trip somewhere tropical.

If you haven’t checked out Moana yet, do so. It’s a treat (especially if you have little kids to watch it with, but even if you don’t). Have you seen it? What did you think?

JEH

What I’m Reading: Hexed by Michelle Krys

I picked this book up for my e-reader a month ago, and I have to say, I wasn’t disappointed. Hexed was the perfect read for pre-Halloween. Hexed is a classic “Teenaged girl discovers she’s a witch, story,” but the voice of the main character, Indigo, is unique and easy to fall in love with. Indigo’s more than a little bit self-centred and naive at the beginning of the book, but I love the progression and growth of a character who learns some hard lessons.

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Hexed(associate link) is a quick read with lots of action, which takes the leader on a journey into a simple magical world of “good guys” vs “bad guys”. The story is set in LA, which I found fresh, because doesn’t it seem like everything is set in New York or London these days (and not just books but TV and Movies too)? I mean, there are so many other places in the world to see (side note: This was part of why I really enjoyed Daughter of Smoke and Bone, because it was set in Prague and I’ve always wanted to go there).

Once I finished Hexed, I picked up the sequel, Charmed, right away. It’s that good.

5/5 Stars.

JEH