Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Review: The Story of Owen

The Story of Owen, Dragon Slayer of Trondheim #1 by E.K. Johnston
A delightful tale about modern day dragon slayers. As told by a bard-in-training.

Set in modern times, but a modern times that includes dragons, this book is told bu Siobhan, Owen the dragon slayer in training's friend and bard. Owen has just moved to Trondheim from the big city. His father and mother are both dragon slayers, although his mother is absent for most of the book as she lives in a different country, and his aunt Lottie is one of the most famous dragon slayers of all time.

Owen and Siobhan meet on Owen's first day at a new school and they are fast friends. Siobhan is a music nerd, and everything she thinks and feels is through music. Owen quickly decides Siobhan is the perfect person to be his bard, sing his praises, and bring back some forgotten or dropped dragon slaying traditions.

As this book is about a dragon slayer and friend, there is of course much dragon slaying and training for dragon slaying. The action takes a back seat to the various relationships in the book: Siobhan and her family, Siobhan and Owen (SPOILER: not a romantic relationship!) Owen and his family, and all the other friend and family dynamics included in the story.

I liked Siobhan and enjoyed her story telling. She often gave the version she fed to the press, and then the more-or-less true version, which made her more believable. Owen was a likeable high school guy who happened to carry a sword at all times and be a trained killer (dragon killer, of course).

Over all, the conflict was minimal, even if it did involve dragons, and everyone in the story was so...nice. Really, there was not a single mean character.

This book will appeal to people who like a bit of action, and people who like human interaction. The story was entertaining and didn't require much thinking. A good book to pick up for an action packed day at the beach or a kick ass plane ride.

Friday, January 2, 2015

What I Learned From My 2014 Reading Challenge

More than a year's a blog post.

In 2014, I joined the Goodreads Reading Challenge for the third year in a row. My goal was to read 80 books. I read 90.

I read fiction, non-fiction, comics, manga, YA, and adult books. Judging from the number of books and the span of categories I covered, You would think I read everything there was to read. However, that isn't necessarily true. Many of the YA books I read were contemporary or fantasy, as were the adult books. The non-ficton was few and far between. The comics and manga provided the most diversity in genre; I read super hero books, fantasy, contemporary, horror, and a little bit of crime-fantasy-ish (whatever you consider Chew to be). It was not until the end of the year when I started reading award nominees that I reached out and read something outside of my range of normal.

What does this tell me? That I need to set new reading goals in 2015. Not just a number of books, but to make what I read more diverse. So here they are, my 2015 reading goals:
  • Read 1 non-fiction book every month. This can be is prose or graphic novel form.
  • Read a horror book (I don't usually read horror because, well, it scares me).
  • Read at least one comic book/ graphic novel every month
  • Read the pile of Manga in my room that a friend lent me.
  • Read a Goosebumps book. I have never read one!
  • Don't just prick from the 'New' shelf. Read some of the book that are more than a year old, too.
  • Begin re-reading the Harry Potter series. It's my favorite and I have not read it in a while.
  • Complege Goodreads reading challenge of 75 books. Five less than last year.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Review: BOMB

BOMB by Steve Sheinkin

“Bomb: The Race to Build -and Steal- The World’s Most Dangerous Weapon” by Steve Sheinkin is a non-fiction book about the events surrounding the development of the atomic bomb. The book goes back and forth between the development of the bomb and the efforts of Russian spies to steal the plans. Intermingled in these two major plots are glimpses of the Norwegian resistance and their efforts to prevent Germany from building their own bomb.

Review: Everyday

Everyday by David Levithan

What would it be like to wake up in a different body everyday? Would you like getting a glimpse into the lives of many different people? Would you long to stay in one place? Moving from one body to another is not a hypothetical question for A. It is A’s life.

A is 16 years old, and therefore only inhabits the bodies of 16 year olds. A is does not identify as being a boy or girl, but takes on the gender of the body s/he is inhabiting for the day. A is fine with this, and through the years has learned how to live inside someone without disrupting that person’s life. Until A meets Rhiannon and falls in love.

Rhiannon is the only person A can think about. Instead of making the day of the person whose body s/he is in habiting as normal as possible, A spend his/her days traveling to see Rhiannon and convince her, and him/herself that a relationship is possible. Soon, though, A loses track of things and messes with the life of the wrong boy. A no longer feels safe, and finds out that s/he might not be alone.

This book is engaging from the first page to the last. I could not put it down, and had to know what happens to A. Does A find a way to make it work with Rhiannon, or get over her? Or maybe A falls in love with someone else. It was easy to identify with A, and I enjoyed reading about the world through this unique lense. The only thing I wanted more of was the other beings that were like A. The plot introduces readers to a “Bad” one, but what about another “good” one? And how did A come into existence, anyway?

I liked Everyday and felt like I couldn’t read fast enough to find out what comes next. At the end, though, I still had many questions that were left unanswered. Sequel, please?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

My First Week of Work

A photographic look at my first week of work.

Just walked in looking awesome

Made sure people knew I was serious and not one to be messed with.

I was feared.

I showed my skillz and demanded respect.

This library don't know what hit it.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Book Expo of America

Standing in front of the book cover for Julianne Moore's
new children's book. I had my poster signed

Have you ever been to a magical land where everyone is happy to walk around for hours while carrying big heavy bags of books? A land where those people are happy to carry the books because they are free and are practically thrown at you? But not actually thrown, because that would hurt and people would not be as happy, but you get what I'm saying. The books are free, and there are a lot of them. And there is a lot of chocolate, too. Books and chocolate and other free stuff, oh my!

I have been to this magical place. It is called Book Expo of America.