Book Review: Mistborn

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nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

I know it has been a while, but that’s what happens when every single one of your professors thinks it’s a good idea to have all of their projects due in March. For once, I actually can’t wait until April, so that all I have to worry about is studying for exams :)

So, as promised, today’s post is going to be my own personal review of the book Mistborn, the first installment of the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson. I still have a little ways to go until the end, but it is just so amazing that I can’t wait. This is literally a book like no other, with memorable characters, a strong female hero, unexpected twists and turns at every corner, garish creatures from your worst nightmares, and thought provoking philosophic discussions that would make you question even your most devout beliefs about human nature. There really is no book out there like it, at least not among all the ones I’ve read so far.

Mistborn Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

stars-5

This is the story of a man by the name of Kelsier who, after nearly dying in the Pits of Hathsin, has vowed to overthrow the Lord Ruler and the empire he has built upon the backs of the beaten, bloodied and impoverished Skaa. His ambition causes his path to cross with that of a young girl by the name of Vin, who possesses a power she is barely aware of, and who may be the key in mounting the biggest rebellion the Empire has ever seen. Although reluctant at first, Vin eventually agrees to join Kelsier’s crew, although more out of curiosity than anything else. He teaches her the ways of the Mistborn, those who can use different types of metals by means of Allomancy towards different ends, whether it is to increase ones physical strength, to sharpen ones senses, or even to use the metals as a weapon by pushing and pulling on them. If one is lucky enough to find the eleventh metal, they can even predict the movements of another before they happen, which has inspired and motivated to join Kelsier and his cause. However, now that things have been set in motion, what will be the final outcome?

This is one of those books where, no matter how insignificant a character may seem, or how briefly they appear in the story, they are still very memorable. It’s hard to say if it’s thanks to Sanderson’s writing skills or his ability to design realistic and charming characters, but if this were to ever be made into a movie, it would be difficult to replicate their personalities. This is not to say that I wouldn’t want to see it if it were ever to make it onto the big screen. I just keep thinking about this one character, a member of the army Kelsier was putting together, who only said a few words but still managed to make me laugh my butt off. I think it has to do with how Sanderson has the main characters interacting with the less noticeable ones, bringing out personality traits that would have otherwise gone unnoticed.

Another thing I love about this book is that even though it’s a fictional story, it really gets you to question things about humanity that you most likely never would have thought about on your own. Ham, who works closely with Kelsier, is always bringing up ethical and philosophical debates, even though it bugs the heck out of Kelsier every time he does. My first reaction is to laugh at what he says, because it just seems like a really dumb question with an obvious answer, like whether the Lord Ruler, or just the members of royalty in general, were born physically and psychologically different than the Skaa (this is basically their version of slaves). Of course, I would instinctively say no, believing that people are born the same but then grow up differently through social interactions and unique environmental factors. But then he brings up the issue of Allomancy, and how only those of a royal bloodline are born with it. That definitely threw me for a bit of a spin!

Lastly, I want to talk about Vin. Now, I have a read a lot of books with female protagonists, and I’d say there’s about a 5o/5o split between those I did like and those I didn’t. Too many of those female characters were just much too typical; they are either too feminine and rely on a man to save them from imminent danger, or they are too masculine and barely resemble a female character anymore. What I like about Vin is that she is cunning, smart, a bit of a wise-ass, wary of those around her, doing whatever it takes to survive, and above all else, she has a genuine charm. I think the only other female character I might appreciate as much as Vin is Hermione from Harry Potter, and that’s only because she is the real yet unrecognized heroine of the series :)

I could write about this book for hours, but I feel like I might let slip too many spoilers if I do. If you have nothing else planned to read this Summer, I would definitely recommend this book. If you have read it already, and would like to share what you think, post your thoughts in the comments. Even if you didn’t like the book, feel free to share why, for even I am rational enough to know that no book exists in the world which is universally liked. That’s all for today, so until next time, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

Celebrating Canada’s Gold and My 100 BookNerds!!!

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nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

I have never EVER liked watching hockey. For those of you I have managed to offend with that simple little sentence, I apologize, but I have just never had any interest in watching televised sports. I had a ball when I saw my first live Blue Jays game (pun intended), but that’s about the extent of it. However, I went so far as to set my alarm for 6:30 in the morning, just to make sure I was awake and alert for when the big game between Canada and Sweden started, and that’s saying something from a girl who rarely wakes up before 8 in the morning for anything! That game had me on the edge of my seat, and now that it’s over, I’m tempted to see what’s happening on the other sports channels :) A big shout out to both the women’s and men’s Canadian hockey teams; you have made us very proud today!

Men's Hockey 2014 Winners   Women's Hockey 2014 Winners

I would also like to give a big shout out to all of my wonderful, amazing, super-fantastic, epitome-of-awesome followers! My blog has reached 100 followers, and the reason this makes me so happy is because this is the first blog I have ever started and stuck with, and I never expected to get more than maybe a dozen or so people to read it. Now, I have over 10,000 views and 100 fabulous BookNerds! A big thank you to each and every one of you, and should you ever have suggestions of things you would like to see on my blog, or if you have your own book news and reviews you would like to share, you can leave a message on my blog’s facebook page or in the comments of this post. 

100follower

I’ll be heading back to Ottawa tomorrow, and hopefully my return to Canada’s Capital will provide me with inspirations for many more posts to come. Until next time, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

 

The Fault In Our Stars Movie Trailer

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nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

I never truly appreciate the arrival of spring reading week until I have spent the week prior doing nothing except studying for midterms, struggling to complete last minute assignments, and then finally writing those midterms right before my brain has turned to mush. It is a much needed reprieve from the stressful academic environment, and hopefully one day it will become incorporated into every University.

Since my return home, I have finally had the chance to view all of the trailers for upcoming movies and television series, of which there are many. There was really only one I was looking for, and given the title of this post, it shouldn’t be too difficult to guess which one it is. It was in 2012 that the book was published, and now, a mere 2 years later, The Fault In Our Stars by John Green is coming ever closer to the big screen. The movie is set to appear in theaters on June 6th of this year, and although that may feel like a lifetime away, that just means more time to give the book a few more reads through. If that’s not enough to tide you over, then you can follow John Green and his brother Hank on their Vlogbrothers channel in the hopes that they reveal a little bit more of what we can expect in June. John also has several videos that will take you behind the scenes of the TFIOS movie, providing a glimpse of what actually goes into making a movie.

In the meantime, and if you haven’t seen it already, here is the official TFIOS movie trailer, which was released back in January, but it’s the closest thing to seeing the movie at this point so it won’t hurt to watch it a few more times :)

Shailene Woodley (Hazel) and Ansel Elgort (Augustus) are the stars of this heart warming love story that will tug at your heart strings from beginning to end. This movie really will be one of a kind, and if you haven’t read the book yet, then you are missing out on an amazing experience that will never come around again.

Adapting books into movies is like a coin toss; you either succeed or you fail, with very little wiggle room in between. Still, when done right, they can be some of the most amazing films you have ever seen. What books would you like to see turned into movies? If you have any in mind, I’d like to know. Leave the names of those books in the comments, and if there are some book-to-movie adaptations that already exist that you feel very strongly about – positive or negative – you can throw in a comment about that as well. By my next post, I’m hoping to have finished the first book in the Mistborn series, and will be able to provide a first hand review for all of you wonderful BookNerds. Until then, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

This Star Won’t Go Out: Esther Earl’s Story

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nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

Tomorrow is going to be a very special day in the world of literature, because a book is being published which I have a feeling is going to be one of the most touching, heart warming and inspirational books of the year.

In 2010, this world lost a very special, lovable and inspiring girl to cancer, and 4 years later, the story of her life is going to be told. Esther Grace Earl was only 16 years old when she died from thyroid cancer, 4 years after she had been diagnosed, and instead of spending those 4 years in despair, she spent them making memories and building a legacy which would live on long after she is gone. This Star Won’t Go Out is a foundation which was established in memory of Esther, dedicated to supporting families with children who have been diagnosed with terminal or life threatening cancers by offering them financial assistance. It is a non-profit foundation, which means that every single donation goes directly towards those who need it.

This Star Won't Go Out

 

“This Star Won’t Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl” is a collection of Esther’s writings, as well as essays and letters written by her friends and family in order to provide a well rounded picture of her life. John Green, internet vlogger and author of The Fault in Our Stars, wrote the introduction for this book, for it was Esther who had inspired him to write TFIOS, which is currently a #1 bestseller. Esther was also an active member of the Nerdfighter internet community, which was started by John Green and his brother Hank (link).

Esther’s book hits bookstores tomorrow – Tuesday January 28th – and is also available to order online.

Happy reading everyone!

Cheers,

BookNerd

 

Drawn Forth Publishing – An Inside Look

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nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

I hope everyone has been able to brave the cold weather we’ve been seeing this past month. I know I can’t even walk to class without losing most of the feeling in my toes. If you ask me, this kind of weather is only ideal for curling up in bed with a hot cup of your favorite beverage – in my case, lemon & ginger tea or hot chocolate – and a good book open in your lap :)

This week, I had the greatest pleasure of being able to interview Mr. Don Lucas, one of the founders of the up-and-coming publishing company, Drawn Forth Publishing, which I mentioned briefly in my last post (link). I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like starting ones own business, although after talking with Mr. Lucas, it’s definitely something I might want to consider doing one day.

Drawn Forth Publishing – An Inside Look

Q & A with Don Lucas

BookNerd: What Inspired you to begin this business in the first place?

Don: Well it kind of started in two different places. For me, I was looking to eventually find meaningful yet financially gainful employment. Since I wasn’t finding a lot of options out there for jobs for when my year of service ends I became more interested in starting my own business. For Emma, she had written a number of children’s stories over the years while working with children’s classes in Toronto and was now looking for ways to share them with the world. Ultimately we ended up talking and then put 2 and 2 together and after some reflection and prayer we knew that we had to start a publishing company because we also knew a lot of people who are in the same positions.Yeah, looking back we really feel like we were both like…being prepared individually so that we could come together for this because everything just aligned so well when we did.

BookNerd: What have you accomplished thus far, since starting your company?

Don: Well… we learned how to start and run a company! To begin with anyway. I think for us, just breaking out of the mould and starting something new gave us such a feeling of accomplishment. Right now we’re working with 5 authors whose books will make up our launch line-up! We’ll be announcing those names and titles publicly on February 1st. We’ve also raised 1000$ through donations on our website. Our most important long term accomplishment though, is probably developing our ability to consult and communicate effectively as an organization- something that if we aren’t able to develop than we might as well not start something new, we might as well just work with the systems that are already established. Consultation is so important for the progress of society. It has honestly happened so much faster than we had expected… it’s not overwhelming yet, but Emma works full time and I’m on my year of service. The confirmations just keep showing themselves though.

BookNerd: It’s just the two of you running things?

Don: Yeah. We’ve sub-contracted out some work to some wonderfully talented individuals who, thus far, have volunteered their time. Web Design and Graphic design and we are so grateful. But yeah, for the most part, Emma and I do everything.

BookNerd: What kind of tasks are involved in running a publishing company?

Don: Well initially it was mostly developing our business model and vision. Consulting about our logo design, our web design. Now that we have all of that setup and regular donations coming in, it’s become more about our authors. So we had an initial round of submissions that we looked at, and once we had our line-up of authors and books, its been steady communication with them; sorting our things like the publication details(copyright, titles, artwork, etc), doing rounds of editing which…is no quick task. I spend a lot of time reading and researching…things like formatting, printing and binding techniques, marketing strategies, book design, etc. And then beyond that networking, and just reading all kinds of books whether we like them or not because it helps us understand and see patterns and just really live literature.

BookNerd: What books does your company specialize in, and do they have to meet any specific criteria?

Don: Genre-wise we’re not looking for anything specific. We look at three main things when we review a submission. 1) Does this books recognize the inherent nobility of humanity 2) Does it recognize and respond to our inherent attraction to beauty and 3) Does it demonstrate and contribute to the ever-advancement of society. It also helps if it’s well-written. Right now, we have 4 children’s books and 2 novels that we’re working on.

If you would like to learn more about Drawn Forth Publishing, or would like to make a donation to help them reach their goals, you can visit their website at www.drawnforth.org, or you can also find them on Facebook and Twitter. Until next time, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd