Booklist for 2014 (So Far)

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So I’ve comprised a list of books that I own and plan to read before the end of 2014. I decided to do this because I finished The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer last night.

It was an amazing Bildungsroman twist of Jack and Jill with a journey heavily influenced by Tolkien’s tales. Many of the foes the two main characters had to face were copycats of those from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, such as the Spiders and Shelob, the great eagles and the giant owls in the story, and of course the trolls. I can see where this story could be deemed “hodge-podge” with the Jack and Jill, Tolkien, and Norse and Saxon Mythology all mixed together. But I think it combines beautifully into an epic Bildungsroman tale that children will love. Nothing says growing up like playing chess with Norns and slaying a troll-bear!

I think my next book to read will be The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan just because I’ve had it forever, started it several times, and never been committed enough to finish it.

Or I may read the new dystopian novel, Orleans by Sherri L. Smith that came out in 2013. None of my friends have read it that I know of but I’ve read wonderful reviews on Goodreads about it. And I LOVE New Orleans. I’ve been there many times and fall more and more in love every time I’m there. Places like New York, Florida, and Colorado are awesome to vacation at but nothing is like a step back in time like New Orleans, Louisiana.

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Valentine’s Day Goodies :)

I was surprised he remembered some of the books I’ve been wanting! I’m especially excited about the Ellen Hopkins book smoke. I’ve been obsessed with her verse style of writing since high school. I wish I was talented enough to write in such a beautiful way. She is a true philologist.

I know the soundtrack is for a book and not a movie but it’s based on a story by Hans Christian Anderson,

The Snow Queen.

Frozen is the cutest movie ever. I’m really glad Disney finally went with a strong female lead and didn’t make her completely dependent on a man she had just met. Luckily, her older sister helped her out with that! There are many kinds of love and I’m glad Disney finally showed familial love (even if they did kill off her parents) and not just romantic love. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a sequel.

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Nancy Farmer and The Sea of Trolls

My mom has been poking and prodding me to read this book for a loooooong time. I usually have so many “To Read” books on my own shelf that I have a hard time making it to other people’s recommendations. But I just finished the James Dashner books and I was really craving a children’s fantasy book. I recently had surgery and it was in a pile of my books at home so I picked it up and it took me a few chapters to actually get use to the author’s voice. I love the book, the story, the writing (now that I have gotten use to it), and the characters and setting. The only thing I had some issues with in the beginning was the way she wrote. It is definitely a children’s book, but she writes in lavish detail like Tolkien. It’s not watered down at all like Harry Potter. She is very precise on her details of the culture and the way that the Vikings lived in Scandinavia, their sailing methods, and weaponry. Several times I have had to resort to dictionary.com to find word meanings. At first I thought this was a little much for a children’s book. But the more I think about it I think it is a good idea that she is not dumbing it down too much. She’s teaching kids to use their resources and to ask questions. More writers should do this. I’m 22 years old and I feel like she is expanding my vocabulary. Which little kids may not care about so much but it is making them better readers. Kuddos to Farmer! I can’t put this book down and I look forward to finding more of her novels to read.

Done with The Death Cure

I finally finished it! I really enjoyed this one. I’m beginning to think these James Dashner movies will be a hit. Although, I’m hoping they make the first one a bit more exciting. The last two I read were above and beyond in the action genre. I was on the edge of my seat the entire way. 

However, I was a bit confused at the ending of The Death Cure. It all seemed a little to perfect and planned and they never gave any information regarding Chancellor Paige. I’m assuming there’s more info in The Kill Order. I picked it up at Barnes and Noble the other day and brought it home but was very confused. The plot of The Kill Order  is about a group of people during the time of the sun flares. BUT the opening prologue is by Teresa who died in The Death Cure? I’m sure it all ties together in the end. I’m not sure if it’s next on my reading list though. 

I’ve been more in the mood for children’s fantasy. I know, I know! I’m twenty two years old, why am I still hooked on books like Harry Potter, Narnia, and Charlie Bone?! The truth is, the fantasy is more appealing to me than adult fantasy. Don’t get me wrong! I love Tolkien and Martin, but sometimes I need more happiness in what I’m reading.

So, I have chosen to read The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer. She is a three-time Newbery Honor Author and I’ve read that this book is very Tolkien spirited. I’m only about 30 pages in but I’m loving it so far! I’m loving the main character Jack and how quickly paced it is. 

What also sparked my interest in this particular novel is that it is based on Viking folklore. I found out earlier this year that I am 60% Nordic. (I had NO IDEA) I have gone my whole life thinking I am German and Indian. Turns out I’m 0% German and only 4% Native American. So upon learning this fascinating tidbit about myself I have been looking up all sorts of books based on Vikings. I think my next venture will be Juliet Marillier. I’ve read her Wildwood Dancing and Cybele’s Secret books about Romanian folklore and I they are two of my favorite books!