My Birthday Blog Post: My Reading Journey!

Hi guys! Guess what day it is? My birthday! Woo hoo! And that means a birthday book haul and the end of school… Oh my! As a special post for today, I’m going to tell you a little story about my love for reading. I’ll also give a special announcement at the end.

As an elementary school student, I was a big reader. I remember reading almost every single Magic Tree House and Hardy Boys book I could get my hands on. I kept on reading and reading and taking those AR tests to accumulate points.

AR stands for Accelerated Reading. It is a program where kids have to read books and later take quizzes on them. I read the entire Harry Potter series in 3rd to 5th grade and I could get 250 total points for all the books. Yes, the longer the book the more AR points you can get. That’s why The Order of the Phoenix would be like 50 points.

But as 4th and 5th grade progressed, I was pushed more to read higher level books. I couldn’t read books like the Hunger Games because they were so low level. I could only read 5th grade or higher, and there weren’t that many books that interested me. I couldn’t find myself reading Young Adult because nothing piqued my interest.

And that kind of ruined reading for me. It was like I was restricted with what I could read. The lowest books I could choose were Encyclopedia Brown and that was pretty much it. In middle school, I dropped the act. From reading 30 or 40 books a year, I only touched 5 to 10. Instead of reading, I would be playing video games or watching TV. (Now video games feel like a waste of time for me.)

I was stuck trying to read The Diary of Anne Frank (which I honestly didn’t like… I’m sorry for my unpopular opinion!) and being restricted to only the first book in the Among the Hidden series. I also tried to read during the summer, but it took me almost a month and a half to finish the entire 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which could now take me a week or two.

In 8th grade, I started finding books I liked. I’m going to tell you about Mr. Harris, who is a great teacher. One of the best English teachers you’ll ever find! He introduced me to The Giver (an amazing book but I don’t plan on finishing the Quartet) and Night by Elie Wiesel (very chilling). The books we read in his class were the first sticks in the fire. I also got to read 1984 on my own and I loved it so much that I even turned it into a speech team prose piece. (Sadly, I didn’t break…)

But I attribute the first “turning point” in my reading career to be the Infinity Ring series. Time travel and history? I had to read it. It was the first series that I finished, and it took me only a month to get through all the books. Yes, I admit they were short, but I couldn’t put them down. I remember traveling to World War II in a furniture store with Jennifer A. Nielsen’s Behind Enemy Lines. I did not want it to end.

I gave myself the challenge of reading the entire Maze Runner series, which took me the entire summer but it was worth. At that time, it was hard for me to read fast. Books would take me months at a time.

Soon, as I got to high school, my librarian Mrs. Mason introduced me to reading. After finishing the Kill Order I asked her some recommendations because I wanted to try reading out. The first book that made me go “Hey reading different books is fun” was Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich. Ever since, I always had a book with me.

The books that got me into Young Adult were The Islands at the End of the World duology by Austin Aslan. I remember looking at it and going “It looks so interesting but it looks too long!” At that time, I just wanted to read short books. I decided to try it out, and boy, I was blown away! I could not stop reading and reading. (Now Austin and I are friends, and you can check out his interview here!)

I finally reached the peak of my reading struggles and everything was downhill from there! In Winter of 2016, I went through a memoir phase. In Spring 2016, I got more into YA with These Gentle Wounds, Mosquitoland, and Between Shades of Gray (sadly I didn’t go to SE-YA that year and meet Ruta Sepetys… I will meet her one day!). Then I made my blog with my friend Lilly and launched our first post on May 28th, which is our blog-aversary! Then I surprised myself with reading a total of 64 books last year, which was unprecedented for me.

Now I read mainly YA with the occasional adult book. I’m super thankful for my love of reading because it has helped me connect more with the world around me, fellow readers and bloggers, and amazing authors! Books have opened up opportunities I never thought would be possible, such as this book or book festivals. 

 

The special announcement is the Summer of Authors! Throughout the summer, we will have over a dozen authors come onto the blog with amazing interviews, giveaways, and guest posts you don’t want to miss! I’m going to explain more in my blogoversary post on the 28th, but I won’t give away any secrets…

But it starts off this Monday with J. M. Sullivan, author of Alice: The Wanderland Chronicles, which just released yesterday! Go grab it if you have the chance!

So that’s it for my birthday post. I might post my haul soon, so be on the lookout! 😉


Happy Reading!

+ J.M.J.

~ Kester

(P.S. And I will be doing my best to do a quote of the week! It’s just been really hard lately, but I will try to get to one! 😉 )

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Release Day Blitz: When Planets Fall by Abby J. Reed

Hi guys! I am so excited that WHEN PLANETS FALL by Abby J. Reed is available now and that I get to share the news! I am actually in the middle of writing my review for Abby’s book, so be on the lookout for that!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Abby J. Reed, be sure to check out all the details below. This blitz also includes a giveaway for a finished copy of the book and swag, US Only, courtesy of Abby and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

WHEN PLANETS FALL RDB.jpg


About the Book:30801623

Title: WHEN PLANETS FALL (Stars Fall Circle #1)
Author: Abby J. Reed
Pub. Date: May 10, 2017
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Pages: 420
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Find it: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, TBD, Goodreads

On a planet where the only difference between three tribes is their blood color, war is on the horizon. Breaker, an amputee, wants peace for his family and home. Malani, a kidnapped POW, wants to return home. Luka wants justice for his home. All three teens come together when Breaker is given seven days to fix a wrecked enemy starship or their home, and peace, is forfeit..

“In this richly imagined start to a new sci-fi series, Reed brings optimism to the goal of solving entrenched violence in a galaxy far, far away . . . A propulsive, sharply crafted tale about a planetary war.” -Kirkus Reviews

Excerpt:

I cupped my hands around my mouth. “Brody! Brody!”

Nobody was allowed to break boundary unless you were on hunting rounds and wanted a shot at the deercorns—three-horns, good meat—or on boundary duty. The land between here and the Heron Mountains in the west was technically neutral territory and belonged to no one. Too many good game trails passed through and everyone needed good protein. You’d think this meant a peace card for any who marched through the area. Then a handful of cycles back, attacks started becoming more frequent. Now, neutral territory meant open hunting season on everyone.

And if you were in trouble . . . the compound wouldn’t help.

I couldn’t leave him out there. I had to go over the fence. Beyond the compound’s boundary.

I was going to murder that kid.

The tree branches on the opposite side created a tunnel. Ravines on either side had been dug deep for a grave ditch in case of a future blood bath. Water filled them now. No need to waste time or tears while shoveling, just dump the bodies in the pre-dug ditch. Time and pain in the past saved time and pain in the future.

I set my foot on the lowest rail. The wood jiggled. Bangit. I couldn’t climb over the stupid thing. I pocketed the pick, got back on my bike, reversed, and aimed it at the fence. Even though the bike ran on solatech energy, the magnetic polarity of mineral deposits in the ground kept it afloat. In theory, the bike should pass right over the fence, since the fence wasn’t quite solid, so the bike would never lose complete contact with the ground.

I revved the bike. A surge of solaenergy sent me flying toward the fence. I shoved on the handles right before I hit the broken rail, bouncing and soaring right over the fence. The bike didn’t even bounce on the ground on the other side.

My chest tightened a notch.

I just broke boundary.

I hadn’t broke boundary in eight cycles.

I swear there was still a faint smell of cinnamon, though the gun smoke couldn’t have hung in the air this long. Lining the ravine were the twelve gravecrosses. Rainwater ran like thinned-out blood off the names carved into the bars. The letters were slowly being erased by weather and time, as though the people were being slowly erased from our memory until they never existed.


About Abby:Abby

Abby J. Reed writes young adult science fiction and fantasy novels that ask what if. She has a degree in English Writing and is drawn to characters with physical limitations due to her own neurological disorder called Chronic Migraine. Her debut novel, WHEN PLANETS FALL, will be published in April 2017 by Soul Mate Publishing.

Abby lives in Colorado with her husband and two fluffy pups. If her hands aren’t on the keyboard, they are stained purple and blue with paint.

Website | Facebook | Twitter |Pinterest | Instagram | Tumblr |  Goodreads


Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a finished copy of WHEN PLANETS FALL & Swag, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Don’t forget we still have a giveaway for Kym Brunner’s Flip the Bird which you can enter here!

Happy Reading!

+ J.M.J.

~ Kester