What I’m Reading: Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

A few years back I went on an East Coast road trip. During the trip, my husband and I spent a couple days on Prince Edward Island, so of course I had to go see Green Gables. I’d never read the world renowned books written by Lucy Maud Montgomery, even though I’d spent hours of my childhood watching the CBC television movie specials and tuning in every week to watch Road to Avonlea.

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I bought my copy of Anne of Green Gables at the Green Gables gift shop, with the intent of reading it during the trip, but that never happened. Then, the other week, I heard a radio program discussing the 75th anniversary of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s death (what is with all the death anniversaries lately?). This inspired me to pick up the book and I began reading. Once I started, I couldn’t stop.

Anne of Green Gables was written in the early 1900’s, so the style is much different than books today. But I found this refreshing. There is something so charming in Anne’s page long ramblings that just puts a smile on my face. Not only did the book remind me of childhood and make me long for the days of playing outside, it also reminded me of my trip to the island. And let me say, Prince Edward Island is a beautiful place. Reading this book made me want to go back there. Below are a few pictures from my time on the island, if you’ve never gone, or read Anne of Green Gables, I highly recommend both.

JEH

What I’m Reading: Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

Young Adult Book Review: Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

Like this first two books in this series, I listened to Dreams of Gods and Monsters on audiobook. If you like audiobooks, I highly recommend these ones. Or you could just read the books, because the story is fantastic.

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Dreams of Gods and Monsters begins right where Days of Blood and Starlight ends. Karu is deep in battle with her foes, and her heart is deep in battle with itself. Laini Taylor’s world is so well thought out and rich with detail, and it’s super easy to get lost in it for a while.

I didn’t find the last book of this series as strong as the first two. The end felt a bit protracted, as the main action ended well before the end of the story. It was that kind of slow winding down feel, which I’m not a particular fan of (such as J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Return of the King). The audiobook is over 15 hours long, and it took me a long time to get through it. I think I had to borrow it from the library three or four times, mostly because I didn’t have any long road trips during this period. But if you’ve got in your future, pick up this book to keep you well occupied.

The Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy is now new the top of my favorite Young Adult series. What’s at the top of yours?

JEH

What I’m Watching: Th1rteen R3asons Why, by Jay Asher

I’ve mentioned a few times how much I loved Th1rteen R3asons Why by Jay Asher. Well, recently this book has found a new reincarnation in a Netflix streaming series of the same name. So of course I had to watch it. So far, I’m only a few episodes in, but I’m hooked. Because it’s been so long since I read the book, and the series has all of those small little changes, it’s like new to me. I like the dark atmosphere, and the sense of foreboding in the Netflix series, and so far, I’m pretty impressed with the cast. There is just something so loveable about this reincarnation of Hannah, played by Katherine Langford. And I’ve always been a fan of Kate Walsh’s tears (Hannah’s Mom). Below you can watch the official trailer as it’s posted on YouTube.

There’s been a fair bit of controversy about this series, since it does deal with Teen Suicide, which is a very difficult topic to talk about it. But at least this way it is being talked about. And not hidden.

I dug out my handwritten review of the Th1rteen R3asons Why book, and you can read it below. It still breaks my heart that Hannah is dead, because she was so full of life. And that is the most difficult thing about unexpected death, it is so very hard to accept. Have you watched the show? What do you think?

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JEH

What I’ve Read: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Young Adult Book Review: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

As I continue to scroll through my book journals from the years before I used Goodreads, I’m pulling out entries and posting them on this blog. Insurgent by Veronica Roth is the second book in the young adult Divergent trilogy. I read this book in 2012 (man, five years ago already!). I think from the review that I really liked this book, see below for my handwritten review.
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Was this book a quick read for you?

JEH

Under Jupiter Now On Kindle Scout

It’s there! It’s up and shining in the spotlight. Head on over here to check it out, or click on the link on the right, and read the prologue, the first chapter, and take a sneak peek into chapter two. Under Jupiter will be up on Kindle Scout until May 30th, so you can go back and view it again anytime, or share it with a friend. Don’t forgot to nominate the book for a change to get a free copy if the ebook if it’s chosen by Kindle Press!

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Kindle Scout View

Submitting to Kindle Scout

I did it! I pressed submit! And now for a little rundown of what I thought about the whole Kindle Scout submission process.

If you’ve never heard about Kindle Scout, you can read more about it here, and sign up to preview and vote for submitted books. For readers, Kindle Scout is a way to earn free books, because if a book you nominate is chosen by Scout for publishing with Kindle Press, then you get a free copy. For writers, it’s a chance to earn an advance for your book and get a little bit of extra marketing.

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So why did I decide to try Kindle Scout? Mostly because I’m always on the lookout for new things to try, and, well, that advance does sound nice. So far, everything has been simple and straight forward. I opened a Kindle Scout account, prepared my files (cover, manuscript, blurb, a short bio, and answers to some questions. The Kindle Scout Website says you can submit in fifteen minutes, but it took me longer than that to prepare the question answers and the bio, because I wanted them to be good.

The cover had to be submitted in jpg or png format, and the manuscript (yes, you have to submit the entire manuscript even though only the first 5,000 words or so will be used as an except), has to be .doc or .docx format.

I uploaded everything, pressed the button, and now Under Jupiter is under content review (which means Kindle Scout is checking that there isn’t any inappropriate content or trouble with the files). Next, I should receive a confirmation and a campaign launch date, which I will share as soon as I have it. I’m excited to share this preview of Under Jupiter with everyone, and I can’t wait to hear what people think.

So, what does this mean for the release of Under Jupiter? Well, in the case that the book is selected by Scout, the release date will be up to Amazon (usually within a month of selection, so likely July 2017), and in the case that it isn’t selected, I will have Under Jupiter released by the end of June 2017.

Either way, Under Jupiter is set to land soon!

JEH

What I’m Reading: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Young Adult Audiobook Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

I borrowed These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner from my e-library for my most recent road trip. I found the book quickly addicting. This ebook was a change from the others I’d listened to lately, because it had three readers: one for Lilac, one for Tarver, and one for the mysterious General. I thought the actors were well chosen to do the voices, especially Johnathan McClain, who voiced Tarver, because he sounds just like I imagine a young army officer might.

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What I liked best about These Broken Stars was the mystery that permeates the entire novel. There are so many questions that are not answered, and then, when something is answered, there are still remaining questions that don’t have answers. What I didn’t like about the book, and the only reason I’ll give it four stars instead of five, was that sometimes Lilac was just a bit too much of a damsel in distress. There were times when her behaviour was just too weak for my taste, and I longed for her to be a bit more like Celaena Sardothien.

Still, it was a good story, and a great audiobook. I’m not sure I’ll listen to the other two books in the series though, because—and I didn’t realize this when I borrowed book one—the following books feature different characters. That said, I liked the writing enough that the sequels might be worth my time, it will just depend if something else catches my eye first.

4/5 Stars.

JEH