Reading List 2017, Part 3

Figure I’d better get this posted before I end up with two of them needing to be posted.

21. End of Days—Susan Ee

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The final book in the Penryn and the End of Days trilogy. There were a couple of moments where it felt like it was going to go into the Twilight-ish “I love you, but I shouldn’t” mess. But she avoided that. It was a very satisfying end. You don’t know until the very end if the whole story will end well, or if everything will go sideways. And it’s so well done that it could be the perfect ending whether it’s good or bad.
I hate it when the final book in a series feels rushed or dull. But this one delivers just as much as the first two. If you like apocolyptic and supernatural type books, give this trilogy a go.

22. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child—J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne

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I love Harry Potter. This one, not so much. A lot of that had to do with it being written in play format. But that wasn’t it. There were some good parts, but there was a ridiculous amount of angst. And have you ever noticed that usually, when there’s a sequel where the original characters are parents, they’re super over-the-top protective parents? Think the 2nd Lion King Movie…
In all, I’m saying that Harry Potter ended with The Deathly Hallows…But that’s just me.

23. House Calls and Hitching Posts—Dorcas Sharp Hoover

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True stories from the life of Dr Elton Lehman, who worked in a predominately Amish community. The book talks about some of his struggles (such as the women who refused to give birth in hospitals), and lessons he learned. He was voted Best Country Doctor of the year in 1998.
Really interesting book, though I did lose a lot of respect for the Dr when he talked about his first self-taught “anatomy lesson” which consisted of cutting open a living chick to see what made it chirp when he was a child. I do take issue with things like that…

24. Thornyhold—Mary Stewart

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This was interesting. It’s my first Mary Stewart book, and it was good. The main character, Gilly, inherits a house from her Mother’s cousin (who she is named after), and has no idea what is waiting for her when she arrives. Some of the neighbours are a little crazy, but you have to love the little guy who comes over to have Gilly help him care for his ferrets :~). You’re not sure as you go through the book if the things that are happening are simply the result of being in a new place with odd neighbours, or if magic is real.
The relationships in this book are realistic, and Gilly’s cat is awesome. Thornyhold is a suspenseful book, but not really scary.
It’s hard to write too much about this book without giving anything away, but if you like books that combine reality and fantasy, check it out.

25. The Annihilation of Foreverland—Tony Bertauski

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A young man wakes up on an island, told that he is “at camp”. Each boy there has a sponsor, who is an older man, and they are allowed to do pretty much anything they want to do. As long as they stay on their area of the island, and go into “the haystack” when they’re told to. In the haystack, they enter into a virtual reality game where they can win points for their team.
But all is not as it seems. What’s up with their sponsors? How about the one kid who refuses to enter the virtual world?
This was an ebook that would have benefited a lot from some editing. Scenes changed without any kind of break between paragraphs, so it took a minute to switch in your mind. But the story was interesting enough to make up for that.

26. Eclipse—Stephanie Myers

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I kind of went out of order with these, because the end of the New Moon audiobook didn’t work. So I switched to Eclipse instead.
This is the book with the most negativity in the relationship, where Edward tried to control Bella. And pretty much manages it, because “he just loves her”. I never really found those parts of the stories to be romantic, but reading them now, I can see even more how damaging they may be to young girls who are reading them and are under the impression that it is true romance.

27. New Moon—Stephanie Myers

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Whiny Bella, but Jake is a lot better in this book than the others. And you get to see real vampires who actually kill people. Which is a refreshing change from the Cullens :~)

28. Dealing with Dragons—Patricia C. Wrede

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One of my favourite books since I was quite young. It’s also where I got the name for my bearded dragon (look at #kazulthefierce on instagram to see pictures of her. She is a cutie). I got the audiobook from the library, and listened to it while working on some jewelry pieces.
The book is the story of Princess Cimorene, who doesn’t really like to do the things proper princesses are expected to do. When she is faced with marrying a very traditional, proper prince, she decides that she would rather be eaten by dragons.
She isn’t eaten, but ends up the princess of the dragon, Kazul. This is one of the few book series that actually has dragons who are good (aside from Chinese dragon stories…), and if you want a princess that is really a good role model for your daughter, Cimorene is one of the best. She knows how to act like a princess, but she also knows how to go against the grain and do what makes her and those she loves happy.
This audiobook was pretty fun, because it is a full-cast production. It isn’t radio theatre, it’s the whole book, but each character has a different voice. Some of them weren’t cast so well, but I really enjoyed it.
This is one of those books that I can read over and over and over, and I stinking love it every single time. And…it’s a fantasy book that is clean, so people of any age can read it, and you don’t have to worry about scenes younger kids shouldn’t read.

29. The Shining—Stephen King

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I think I was expecting to be more scared by this book.
Have you ever seen the episode of Friends where Joey is reading The Shining, and he has to make sure there’s room in the freezer so that he can put the book in there when it gets too scary? Yeah…
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I was expecting that.
I kept waiting for it to get scary, and it just didn’t. The creepiest part was the topiaries, when they start to act like weeping angels.
To be honest, the main thought I had during the book was how much I want to be a caretaker for an old hotel during the off-season, and work on my book. But that’s just me…
I do think that I liked the book. The lead-up was a little long, but once it got into the suspense part, it was pretty good. Not one that I’ll probably read again, partly because there’s just so much language, but I’m glad I read it.

30. Breaking Dawn—Stephanie Myers

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Finished the series. Listened to this one as well. I’ve been doing a lot of audiobooks lately, in case you didn’t notice.
I do think that this one is the best of the series. There’s a lot less angst, and a lot less of the love triangle, especially as the book progresses. Everyone has more to think of than their petty teenage issues, and it’s actually a good book. It makes me wish that the other books were more like this. You also meet a lot of new characters in this book, who are much more intriguing than the Cullens, and it’s too bad you don’t get a chance to get to know them more.

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