Showing posts from May, 2015

Hedgie's Must Reads: May 2015

May was an awesome month! Very busy month, but awesome, and I read a lot of really, really good books!

May 2015 Book Haul

May was a crazy month for books! I had books for my birthday, books from traveling, books from author events - books everywhere!

Review: Just Ella - Margaret Peterson Haddix

Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Series: The Palace Chronicles #1
Genre: YA, fairy tale retelling
Published on August 1, 2001
Published by Simon & Schuster
Pages: 185
Read From: 5.17.15 - 5.21.15

"Princess, nobody can stop those rumors. People would rather believe in fairy godmothers. . . .than think that you took charge of your own destiny."
Like every commoner in the land, Ella dreams of going to the ball and marrying Prince Charming. But after she is chosen to marry the prince, life with the royal family is not the "happily ever after" that Ella imagined. Pitiless and cold, the royals try to mold her into their vision of a princess. Ella's life becomes a meaningless schedule of protocol, which she fears she will never grasp. And Prince Charming's beautiful face hides a vacant soul.
Even as her life turns to misery, the stories persist that Ella's fairy godmother sent her to the ball: How else could the poor girl wear a beautiful gown, arrive …

I'm Flyin' High!

That's right, people: for the second time in one year, I'm heading to the airport to catch another flight out! Destination: New York City! And BookCon!! I and my sister are meeting up with a few friends, crashing at a ritzy hotel, taking in the museums and food and bookstores, nerding out over books at BookCon, and then I come home Monday. It's going to be an awesome five days.
If any of you are going to BookCon, let me know! I will have WiFi, so I can check my blog! Maybe we will bump into each other!
And when I get back, it's going to be insane. I am taking some computer classes at the college to improve my job skills so I can eventually be hired as an assistant at the prosecutor's office. Then I'm taking on two dance classes, a self-defense class (hopefully), getting back into rock climbing, building my kayak, and and and and - well, I just have a lot to do. :)
Keep reading, my friends!

Waiting on Wednesday: The Invasion of the Tearling

The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen (The Tearling: #2) Publication Date: June 9, 2015
From Goodreads:
With each passing day, Kelsey Glynn is growing into her new responsibilities as Queen of the Tearling. By stopping the shipments of slaves to the neighboring kingdom of Mortmesne, she crossed the Red Queen, a brutal ruler whose power derives from dark magic, who is sending her fearsome army into the Tearling to take what is hers. And nothing can stop the invasion.

With each passing day, Kelsea Glynn is growing into her new responsibilities as Queen of the Tearling. By stopping the shipments of slaves to the neighboring kingdom of Mortmesne, she crossed the Red Queen, a brutal ruler whose power derives from dark magic, who is sending her fearsome army into the Tearling to take what is hers. And nothing can stop the invasion.
But as the Mort army draws ever closer, Kelsea develops a mysterious connection to a time before the Crossing, and she finds herself relying on a strange …

Review: An Ember in the Ashes - Sabaa Tahir

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Series: Ember #1
Genre: YA, fantasy
Published on April 28, 2015
Published by Razorbill
Pages: 446
Read From: 5.11.15 - 5.17.15

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.
Under the Martial empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all their hold dear.
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire's impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They've seen what happens to those who do.
But when Laia's brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire's greatest military academy.
There, Laia meets Elias, the school's finest soldier - and sec…

Hedgehog Life: 5/18/15 - 5/24/15

I am only a few days away from leaving for New York City and BOOKCON!!!!!!!! Yay!!!!!! I was surprised at unbusy this past week was, to be honest. Went and saw Pitch Perfect 2. And my story decided to throw me a new one and I'll now be in the process of my 5th complete draft rewrite. But aside from that and filming, I've been pretty lazy.

This Week I Read
- The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells (5/5 strawberries)
- The Field Guide by Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black (4/5 strawberries)
- An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (4/5 strawberries)
- Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix (3/5 strawberries)

This Week I Reviewed - The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson
- Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A. Nielsen
- Candy and the Cankersaur by Jason Sandberg

What's In Store for Next Week
Review of An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Top Ten Books in My Beach Bag
Waiting on Wednesday with The Invasion of the Tearling
Review of Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix
May Book Haul
Hedgie's Must R…

Discussion: Literature in Translation

At a very, very young age, language has held me a captivated prisoner. I marveled at the worlds it created, the characters it made me fall in love with, the stories and dangers and lessons it wove. There isn't a person among us who hasn't been affected by language: the thing that separates humanity from beast. It is how we communicate to each other, tell stories that shape our way of thinking, teach us valuable lessons and compassion. And with a way to translate websites, documents, and stories into a million different languages - we can spread the joy of these stories, further communication, share ideas.

This actually makes me think about all of the books I've read that were originally written in a different language, and probably would not have been made available to me if it weren't for translation. Cornelia Funke, author of Inkheart and Reckless, is originally from Germany and she writes her books in her native tongue before they are translated and published in En…

Review: Candy and the Cankersaur - Jason Sandberg

Candy and the Cankersaur by Jason Sandberg
Genre: children's picture book
Published on June 17, 2012
Published by Jason Sandberg eBooks
Pages: 32
Read From: 5.16.15 - 5.16.15

This is the sweet and funny tale of a young girl named Candy and a Cankersaurus Rex! Candy receives a dinosaur as a gift and is determined to train him to be a good pet.
I don't normally review picture books because they are, quite frankly, very difficult to write reviews for. But Jason Sandberg contacted me and asked, and I thought, Why not?
Candy and the Cankersaur is a delightful, quick read with colorful, captivating illustrations. Not usually my preferred style, but kids will love it. Woven into Candy's tale of a workaholic dad and a mythical dinosaur that may or not may not be the best kind of pet, is also a lesson on jealousy, sharing, kindness, and spending quality time with your kid (or friend, too; the lesson can be applied to that as well). The "message" is obvious, but als…

Review: Mark of the Thief - Jennifer A. Nielsen

Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Series: The Praetor War #1
Genre: Middle Grade, historical fantasy
Published on February 24, 2015
Published by Scholastic Press
Pages: 352
Read From: 5.9.15 - 5.11.15

When Nic, a slave in the mines outside of Rome, is forced to enter a sealed cavern containing the lost treasures of Julius Caesar, he finds much more than gold and gemstones: He discovers an ancient bulla, an amulet that belonged to the great Caesar, filled with a magic once reserved for the gods - magic some Romans would kill for.
Now, with the deadly power of the bulla pulsing through his veins, Nic is determined to become free. But instead, he finds himself at the center of a ruthless conspiracy to overthrow the emperor and spark the Praetor War, a battle to destroy Rome from within. Traitors and spies lurk at every turn, each more desperate than the next to use Nic's newfound powers for their own dark purposes.
In a quest to stop the rebellion, save Rome, and secure his own…

Waiting on Wednesday: The Cage

The Cage by Megan Shepherd (The Cage: #1) Publication Date: May 26, 2015
From Goodreads:
When Cora Mason wakes in a desert, she doesn't know where she is or who put her there. As she explores, she finds an impossible mix of environments - tundra next to desert, farm next to jungle, and a strangely empty town cobbled together from different cultures - all watched over by eerie black windows. And she isn't alone.
Four other teenagers have also been taken: a beautiful model, a tattooed smuggler, a secretive genius, and an army brat who seems to know too much about Cora's past. None of them have a clue as to what happened, and all of them have secrets. As the unlikely group struggles for leadership, they slowly start to trust each other. But when their mysterious jailer - a handsome young guard called Cassian - appears, they realize that their captivity is more terrifying than they could ever imagine: Their captors aren't from Earth. And they have taken the five teenagers f…

Top Ten Tuesday #82 + Teaser Tuesday #43

It's a freebie week! And I choose: Top Ten Fairy Tale Retellings. I've read a lot fairy tale retellings - most of them good. But I still have my "Top 10" that I will forever and always love.

I hid the boots behind a tree and stood there for a moment, watching luxurious carriages pull up to the castle gates and discharge girls like me, most of them obviously unaccustomed to finery. They were all in giggly bunches: "Coo! Get a load of me in a ball gown!" "Aye, Jane, you're a fine sight. You gonna think you're too good to slop the hogs now?" Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix (pg. 72)

Review: The Bitter Kingdom - Rae Carson

The Bitter Kingdomby Rae Carson
Series: Bitter Kingdom Trilogy #3
Genre: YA, fantasy
Published on August 27, 2013
Published by Greenwillow Books
Pages: 433
Read From: 5.4.15 - 5.9.15

Elisa is a fugitive.
Her enemies have stolen the man she loves, and they await her at the gate of darkness. Her country is on the brink of civil war, with her own soldiers ordered to kill her on sight.
Her Royal Majesty, Queen Lucero-Elisa ne Riqueza de Vega, bearer of the Godstone, will lead her three loyal companions deep into the enemy's kingdom, a land of ice and snow and brutal magic, to rescue Hector and win back her throne. Her power grows with every step, and the shocking secrets she will uncover on this, her final journey, could change the course of history.
But that's not all. She has a larger destiny. She must become the champion the world has been waiting for.
Even of those who hate her most.
Dear The Bitter Kingdom,
With the conclusion of Crown of Embers, I was very eager to see wh…

Hedgehog Life: 5/11/15 - 5/17/15

I'm back from Nashville! Can't believe that happened; it all went by in a blur. Probably because I had a stupid cold most of the time, but setting that aside - five days goes by quickly!

This Week I Read:
- Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A. Nielsen (4/5 strawberries)
- Candy and the Cankersaur by Jason Sandberg (5/5 strawberries)

This Week I Reviewed: - Tunnel Vision by Susan Adrian
- Rook by Sharon Cameron
- Beastly Bones by William Ritter

What's In Store for Next Week:
Review of The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson
Top Ten Fairy Tale Retellings
Waiting on Wednesday with The Cage
Review of Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Review of Candy and the Cankersaur by Jason Sandberg

This week hasn't been all that crazy, though it feels like it has been. Probably because I've been a bit lazy and not getting everything done that I need to - hey, sometimes a person needs to be a bit lazy. Wednesday I went and saw Avengers: Age of Ultron with friends; very entertaining. No, I…

ARC Review: Beastly Bones - William Ritter

Beastly Bones by William Ritter
Series: Jackaby #2
Genre: YA, historical fantasy, mystery
Published on September 22, 2015
Published by Algonquin
Pages: 304
Read From: 5.1.15 - 5.3.15

In 1892, New Fiddleham, New England, things are never quite what they seem, especially when Abigail Rook and her eccentric employer, R. F. Jackaby, are called upon to investigate the supernatural.
First, shape-shifters from a particularly vicious species disguise themselves as a litter of kittens, and a day later, their owner is found murdered with a single mysterious puncture wound. Then, in nearby Gad's Valley, now home to the exiled New Fiddleham police detective Charlie Cane, dinosaur bones from a recent dig mysteriously go missing, and an unidentifiable beast starts attacking animals and people, leaving their mangled bodies behind. Charlie calls on Abigail for help, and soon Abigail and Jackaby are on the hunt for a thief, a monster, and a murderer.
Dear Beastly Bones,
Perhaps I was biased wh…

Review: Rook - Sharon Cameron

Rook by Sharon Cameron
Genre:YA, classic retelling, futuristic
Published on April 28, 2015
Published by Scholastic Press
Pages: 464
Read From: 4.27.15 - 4.30.15

History has a way of repeating itself. In the Sunken City that was once Paris, all who oppose the new revolution are being put to the blade. Except for those who disappear from their prison cells, a single, red-tipped rook feather left in their place. The mysterious Red Rook is a savior of the innocent, and a criminal in the eyes of the government.
Meanwhile, across the sea in the Commonwealth, Sophia Bellamy's arranged marriage to the wealthy Rene Hasard is the last chance to save her family from financial ruin. But when the search for the Red Rook comes straight to the doors of Bellamy House, Sophia discovers that her fiance is not all he seems. Which is only fair, because neither is she.
As the Red Rook grows bolder and the stakes grow ever higher, Sophia and Rene find themselves locked in a tantalizing game of cat and …

Waiting on Wednesday: Illusionarium

Illusionarium by Heather Dixon Publication Date: May 19, 2015
From Goodreads:
Jonathan is perfectly ordinary. But then - as every good adventure begins - the king swoops into port, and Jonathan and his father are enlisted to find the cure to a deadly plague. Jonathan discovers that he's a prodigy at working with a new chemical called fantillium, which creates shared hallucinations - or illusions. And just like that, Jonathan is knocked off his path. Through richly developed parallel worlds, vivid action, a healthy dose of humor, and gorgeous writing, Heather Dixon spins a story that calls to mind The Night Circus and Pixar movies, but is wholly its own.
Why I'm Excited - Heather Dixon has finally written a new book! I loved her other book Entwined so much. - It looks steampunk-ish. - And sounds whimsical.