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Remember what I asked Santa for this Christmas? The one thing that I truly wanted? The thing I've been telling you about a lot lately? Well, Santa delivered. As of yesterday afternoon, I have an agent again.
This time around, I sent out very few queries. Why? I knew who I wanted to represent me. I had my heart set on one agent. But I didn't query that agent first. Part of me was scared she'd reject me and I'd be crushed. But my good friend, Beth Fred, told me that agent would be the perfect fit for me. So I listened to Beth and got in touch with the agent.
I stressed from the moment I pressed send on my query. And the very next day, I got a request for a full from that agent. I jumped up and down—yes, literally. I was so excited. But the moment I sent off the full, I stressed again. And I asked Santa to bring me a very specific gift. I wasn't looking for AN agent. I was looking for THIS agent. My gut told me we were a match.
Yesterday morning, I woke up to an email from this agent, saying she wanted to talk about my manuscript. I spent my day playing Sega (yes, I'm that old) with my daughter to keep my mind off the phone call I was waiting to get.
Then I had a great conversation where I heard the words, "I'm officially offering on this manuscript." I wanted to cry tears of joy. I accepted on the spot because Santa delivered the best Christmas gift ever.
Thank you, Santa, because I can now say I'm represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary Agency.
This little fella might be one of the creepiest pieces of jewellery out there, but hopefully he's sort of charming at the same time. He's made from reclaimed ebony with box wood inlays for the eyes and teeth. He's also hollow so not only light, considering it's ebony, but a nice place to keep things.
Vi transcribed the relevant piece, in which Dini recounts conversations he's had with execs who insist that they don't want any girl fans of their shows, because girls don't buy toys. And to keep girls from watching the shows, they make sure that girls are always presented as sidekicks, "one step behind the boys." It's absolutely infuriating.
Each month, an ALSC member is profiled and we learn a little about their professional life and a bit about their not-so-serious side. Using just a few questions, we try to keep the profiles fun while highlighting the variety of members in our organization. So, without further ado, welcome to our ALSC profile, ten questions with ALSC member, Kristen Sutherland.
1. What do you do, and how long have you been doing it?
Photo courtesy of Kristen Sutherland
I am ALSC’s newProgram Officer for Continuing Education. I’ve been working in educational programming/events since I graduated college in 2007, and have worked on both live, in-person events and virtual events.
2. Why did you join ALSC? Do you belong to any other ALA divisions or roundtables?
I was interested in working at ALA and ALSC because it’s a mission I can get behind and I heard nothing but positive things from the ALA employees. Not to mention, libraries are a big part of my life – I’m at the Chicago Public Library at least once every couple of weeks – I love to read!
3. Do you celebrate any Winter holidays?
I celebrate Christmas! This year, my parents and 3 siblings will be going to Hawaii for a Christmas-time vacation – I couldn’t be happier to get away from Chicago’s freezing temperatures!
4. E-books or Print?
Both! I love my Kindle when I’m on public transportation, but when I’m at home I enjoy having the print books, especially for those books I read over and over again.
5. Bonfire or Campfire?
Definitely a bonfire – nothing beats a night on the beach!
6. Do you have a “guilty pleasure” TV show?
I’m guilty of an obsession with “The Sing-Off” – it’s an acapella version of American Idol that was off the air for a couple of years and just returned this winter. I’ve even seen some of the winners in concert! Consequently, I’m also obsessed with the movie Pitch Perfect.
7. If you could be on a game show, which show would it be?
I would love to be on Cash Cab! When I visited New York City, I was determined to find the Cash Cab, but no such luck.
8. What is your dream vacation?
My dream vacation is to go to South Africa; I’d love to go on a safari, swim in the waterfalls, go zip lining, etc. My friends and I are planning a trip there for 2014!
9. Do you use Pinterest?
That’s a tough one – I do use it and pin things incessantly, but I can’t say that I’m very good about actually making any of the recipes or do-it-yourself projects!
10. Candyland or Chess?
Candyland! I used to love the game as a kid, and my friends and I even dressed up as Candyland characters for Halloween this year!
Thanks, Kristen! What a fun continuation to our monthly profile feature!
Do you know someone who would be a good candidate for our ALSC Monthly Profile? Are YOU brave enough to answer our ten questions? Send your name and email address to email@example.com; we’ll see what we can do.
Over the last year or two, I've backed off from receiving review copies. Between working at the library and attending events like Book Expo America, I have books galore. But I do still get some books, and like to pass them at the holiday season to a family shelter. Here are some books that are finding a new home this December:
999 Frogs Wake Up by Ken Kimura, illustrated by Yasunari Murakami North South, 2013 A whole lot of frogs wake up in the springtime and set out to wake up all sleepyheads, including one who should be left alone!
How Far do You Love Me? by Lulu Delacre Lee & Low Books, 2013 A mother expresses her great love against the terrains of the world, from tops of mountains to depths of caves, from desert sands to blue glaciers.
I Can See Just Fine by Eric Barclay Abrams, 2013 Even though she insists she can see just fine, a little girl gets glasses that make things much clearer.
I Scream, Ice Cream! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Serge Bloch Chronicle Books, 2013 Interesting wordplay as similar sounding words and phrases are illustrated with humor.
Ol’ Mama Squirrel by David Ezra Stein Nancy Paulsen Books, 2013 Ol’ Mama Squirrel takes care of her babies, no matter what it takes!
Peace, Baby! by Linda Ashman, illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff Chronicle Books, 2013 Lessons in letting go of little conflicts and bad times with an attitude of peace.
Rainbow Stew by Cathryn Falwell Lee & Low Books, 2013 A family of color works together at grandpa’s house to make a vegetable stew.
Someone’s Sleepy by Deborah Lee Rose, illustrated by Dan Andreasen Abrams, 2013 A little girl gets ready for bed in all her sleepy sleepiness.
Steam Train, Dream Train by Sherri Duskey Rinker, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld Chronicle Books, 2013 In the nighttime, a train is loaded up by a busy animal crew.
There’s No One I Love Like You by Jutta Langreuter, illustrated by Stefanie Dahle North South, 2013 A little rabbit, annoyed at home and mom, gives another homes a try. But of course, home is where the heart is.
Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.
So, I saw Catching Fire on Sunday and felt pretty much like Chester from the Nostalgia Critic‘s “Bum Reviews” – the latest of which, incidentally, is Catching Fire (beware of spoilers) (P.S. the NC reviews – though not so much the Bum Reviews – tend to include much swearing, just so’s you know) OH MY GOSH this is […]
It comes in Chapter 28 (Wait! It should have been Chapter 18!), "An 18-Minute Plan for Managing Your Day." Bregman suggests:
Spending 5 minutes in the morning planning your day, working with a to-do list and calendar. Dwell on what you can do that will relate to one of your plans for the year.
Then set a timer and at the end of every hour, take 1 minute to assess how you used your last hour and think about the next one.
At the end of the day, spend another 5 minutes evaluating how you spent the day.
Thus you have your 18 minutes spread over the workday.
First off, note that he breaks the day into hour units, though he doesn't discuss the logic behind working in short units of time beyond using it to stay focused. So that relates to time management strategies we've discussed here.
As far as using a time/focus program that requires management ten times a day, once an hour for eight hours and then again morning and evening, I know from my knowledge of myself that that's going to overwhelm me. That's actually a lot of work, even though it doesn't require a lot of time. I prefer planning my week once at the beginning, keeping track of what I've knocked off my daily plans, and adapting as I go along, if I need to. I don't want what I need to do to manage my work to become as much effort as my work.
However, I like very much his point about being careful to make sure your short-term work plans include working on some of your yearly goals. I'll want to include that in my planning next year.
Today marks the 8 year anniversary of the day that I started my blog. Here's what I said in my very first post:
"Hi! I'm Jen Robinson. Here are three things that you should know about me.
I love stories, especially in book form, and most especially mysteries, thrillers, and children's books. To that end, I would like to offer support to the people who produce stories (writers and publishes), and offer ideas to the people who love stories.
I strongly believe that all children should be given the opportunity to learn to love books and reading for pleasure. I'll be on the lookout for suggestions for parents to help raise children who read, inspirational success stories, and literacy news and resources.
I think that many adults could benefit from reading children's books, too. I think that if more adults read children's books they would a) find them enjoyable, b) help to support the children's book industry (thus bolstering item 1 above), and c) offer tremendous validation to children (thus supporting item 2 above).
I'm saddened by the declining rate of reading for pleasure in the our adult population in the U.S. I'm even more saddened when I hear of children growing up illiterate, or literate, but too busy to take time to read. I've started this blog as a tiny step to do something about that. Thanks for reading! More to follow..."
And more has followed. This is post #2697 at Jen Robinson's Book Page. Typepad says that I have >800,000 page views and >10,000 comments (including my own responses to other people's comments). I now have my own snazzy logo, designed by the talented Sarah Stevenson.
I'm still reviewing children's and young adult books, and sharing literacy news and tips. In many ways, my blog hasn't changed much over the years. I think the two biggest changes are:
Now that I have a child, my literacy tips and musings, as well as some of my reviews, include a more personal component. I've been sharing my daughter's literacy milestone, for example, and the books that she loves (even when I don't love them myself). This may make the blog a bit less "professional" (if it ever was), but I think it adds something, too.
When I run across blog posts or news articles about literacy, I no longer post about them directly on my blog. These days I share those things out on Twitter (and, to a lesser extent, Facebook) right away. Then I round up the links once a week in a single blog post, without any commentary. I'm not sure whether this is a good change. I don't discuss these stories as much as I would like these days. On the other hand, I'm able to share more of them, and with a broader audience. So there are pros and cons. But really, it doesn't matter whether it's good or not, because this is what I can manage right now. And if there's one thing I've learned in 8 years of blogging, it's that you have to do what you can, and not let the things that you can't do stress you out.
As I said in my first post, I am a person who loves books, and who believes strongly that kids should have the chance to love them, too. But I'm also a person who chose to go into engineering and start a software firm (from which I make my living). Even though I chose a different career path, this blog allows me to do something constructive with my love for books and literacy. For that, I am very grateful. And I expect that I'll be here blogging for a long time. Whether you've been with me for the whole 8 years, or are just popping in today for the first time, or anywhere in between, thanks so much for reading.
If you are looking for books to give as holiday gifts that are appropriate for middle grade readers, I have some suggestions: historical fiction and narrative nonfiction. Check out my list of Award-Winning Historical Fiction for MIddle Grade Readers. You'll find books covering a wide range of time periods and events. Authors of nonfiction who use a narrative style create stories that engage readers' interest because they not only contain many of the elements of fiction, such as drama, mystery, intrigue, humor, and adventure, they are also carefully researched and true. If your child enjoys nonfiction, check out the Best 10 Narrative Nonfiction Books for Middle Graders for some excellent books to give as gifts.
While hunting for papers last week, I ran across several small watercolors I painted last year and forgot about. All total, there's four pieces (one 4 x 6, the others 5 x 7), all graphite and watercolor on bristol board. I like them, but I'm trying to pare down here and am quite certain they'd be better off in a good home, rather than tucked away in a filing cabinet.
I'll be posting everything tomorrow on Etsy by noon (hopefully, that'll work for people on both the East and West coast). I'm making post office trips both Thursday and Friday, so if you're shopping for Christmas, this should get to you just under the wire. And if you have any questions about expedited shipping, logistics, etc., feel free to shoot me a line.
And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.
Mia Quinn is on the phone with her friend and co-worker, Colleen Miller, when she hears a gunshot, and Colleen goes silent. In investigating Colleen’s murder, Mia and homicide detective Charlie Carlson begin to suspect that Colleen’s death could be linked to another prosecuting attorney’s murder five years ago.
In addition to this murder investigation, Mia and Charlie are looking into a cyber-bullying case involving a teen boy’s suicide. Mia’s personal life is a mess, as she struggles to make it as a working single mom, buried in debt. And now it looks as if Colleen’s murder investigation is putting Mia’s life at risk.
A Matter of Trust is a fast-paced murder mystery, pulling the reader in from the first page. Mia is someone women can look up to, as she attempts to raise her kids with honesty and integrity. She looks out for the underdog and tries to make sure justice is served. I highly recommend this well-written and engaging mystery.
There's a moment in Kazuo Ishiguro's novel Never Let Me Go where two of the characters go looking for a cassette tape in a coastal town in England. One of the characters had lost a tape in her childhood and she hadn't heard it in years. They go hunting through second hand shops until, magically, there it is. She found it.
It occurred to me as I was reading this passage that we'll never again have experiences like this, at least not in the same way.
The other night, a random comedy sketch popped into my head, something one of my college RAs played for me on a road trip, The Vestibules' "Boulbous Bouffant." It's a really surreal bit of sound. I had searched for it on the Internet in the early 2000s and had, laboriously, unearthed it somewhere on a random site.
In Never Let Me Go, with today's Internet the character would never have had to hope it was waiting for her in a second-hand shop. She could have listened to it on Spotify or found the mp3s on iTunes or, if she really craved the tape, she probably could have found it on eBay.
Of course precious physical objects will still exist in the future, but these small mysteries are disappearing quickly. More and more of the world is constantly at our fingertips, wherever we are. And what's more, there's very little that disappears into the past.
It used to be that electronics seemed ephemeral. Now, if you want something to be permanent, put it on the Internet.
Etched in Digital Stone Whenever I talk about e-books, there are still some people who will chime in and say they can't imagine putting their library at the risk of a glitch and losing everything.
This is a serious misunderstanding. My e-book library is far more secure than anything on paper. My e-books live on multiple devices, they're backed up to my local backup drive and both Amazon's and Apple's clouds. If I ever lost one device I could instantaneously download the e-books onto another.
My apartment could burn down or flood and I'd lose all my paper books, but in order to permanently lose my e-books there would have to be some sort of electron catastrophe that simultaneously destroyed all of the world's computer servers (and presumably everything else with a computer chip), in which case we would have much more to fear from planes falling from the sky and cars careening through the streets than we would from whatever happened to our e-books.
There's something about digital files that still feel so impermanent to people, and yet barring an unimaginable apocalypse they're more permanent than anything etched in stone.
People are now coming around to the unsettling reality that everything you say on social media lasts forever, but it cuts even deeper than that. This week we learned that Facebook may even be keeping track of the status updates you started to write but deleted before posting. Google knows every search you've ever made (and so, perhaps, does the NSA). There's very little you can do online that won't be stored, somewhere, forever.
Our photos don't fade and curl their edges and get lost in basements or left behind when we move, they live on perfectly preserved in Flickr accounts and Facebook and iPhoto. Purging yourself after a breakup doesn't mean collecting a few things and putting them in a box to the left, there is an entire digital trail that is nearly impossible to erase. And reputations can be destroyed in seconds, whether you deserve it or not.
We all know this is rapidly changing our lives. Are we aware of just how much?
To Forget is Human
What happens when you can't forget?
There have been people who have been reputed to have "perfect" memories, and they endlessly fascinate us, even if the supposed perfection of their memories can be overblown. One woman particularly noted for her memory calls it "agonizing," and remembers slights as intensely as she did when she experienced them.
Whether there are true consequences for remembering everything, it is certainly uncharted territory for humanity. Photographs didn't even exist two hundred years ago, now there are 208,000 of them uploaded to Facebook every minute. Where before only the lives of kings and emperors were recorded for posterity, now all of us have digital trails that would put those kings to shame.
All your digital mistakes, all your e-mails, all your photos, many of your darkest thoughts... they're preserved for eternity. You may now have the comfort of living your life mainly offline and may even be a social media recluse, but so much of your life is still out there.
Earlier in the year I was on a BBC Radio 4 show about Estrangement in the Social Media era, and there was an expert on the show who specializes in erasing people from the Internet. The unbelievable lengths people have to go to achieve that end serves only to illustrate how completely impossible it really is for most everyone.
There are now debates taking place in Europe and Australia about the "right to be forgotten" on the Internet, trying to preserve some sort of analog analogy into the digital era, but this seems to me to be a case where the genie is out of the bottle.
We're going to have to get used to permanence in a world that used to forget.
Never Let Me Go We no longer live in a world where it's hard to find a cassette you once had and you have to go hunting through dusty bins to find it again. We no longer live in a world where two loved ones will fall completely out of touch and are unable to find one another.
Humanity will never be permanent, at least on a cosmic timeline, but as long as our computer servers persist none of us will truly be forgotten. Long after our bodies have been turned to dust our digital footprints will live on, our searches and our e-mails and our online existence preserved as 1s and 0s in some chips in some computers in some server farms scattered around the world.
Sure, in some sense this newfound immortality is academic since we won't be around to experience it. But how is this affecting us now?
How many people are staying in relationships because they fear how starkly public breakups can be in the Facebook era? How many people have had their reputations destroyed online by one youthful indiscretion or even a colossal misunderstanding? How many people are confronted every day by the digital ghosts of their exes or loved ones who have passed away?
And what about those small moments that depended on the impermanence of our possessions and memories, the thrill of finding something we thought we had lost forever or had spent years and miles trying to find?
Now that we have access to nearly every book and movie and piece of music ever made, I wouldn't give it up. I wouldn't go back to a world that forgets. But I hope we'll still have some small miracles in the Internet era, like a cassette in a dusty bin we couldn't have possibly found anywhere else.
Peace, love, tolerance, understanding, kindness, and acceptance
Happy Holidays, everyone! I can't believe it's almost Christmas!
This is my brain right now:
But seriously! I can't focus on anything!
On Friday, a car is coming at 7am to take me to Newark Airport. I've got a 10:15am flight to the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, California. Only one stop in Phoenix.
I'm SO excited! It's my first time in CA!
After I hop off the plane at LAX with a dream and my cardigan . . . just PRETEND I'm going to LAX. ;)
I'm staying with friends who have become family--my "Cali Barn Mafia" that consists of Joey, Suzie, Lex, and Gracie. I've only met Joey in person a few times, but it feels as though I know everyone. Maybe the FaceTime chats help. :) I won't miss the cold, but it will be weird to wear a t-shirt and not a sweater on Christmas. Weird in a way that I'm excited to try.
I hired Petaholics to come every day to visit Bella, Bliss, and Khaleesi. I would not be able to enjoy myself if I had to wonder every day if they were okay or if something had happened. I really like our sitter--she's a student who's majoring in creative writing, so that was a very cool match!
I finished writing Unicorn Magic #3! After that, I started watching a ton of Christmas movies. Although it's NOT Christmas themed, I highly recommend CHALET GIRL.
It stars GOSSIP GIRLS'S Ed Westwick who's phenomenal. I loved this movie!
Also, CHRISTMAS CUPID with PRETTY LITTLE LIARS'S Ashley Benson was fun!
I watched SNOW GLOBE; it was the second holiday movie that I saw starring Christina Milian.
Speaking of snow, some is coming down right now!
Back to movies . . .
My fave Christmas movies are:
Charlie Brown Christmas (If I do NOT watch this and THE GRINCH (animated not Jim Carrey) it doesn't feel like Xmas)
The Grinch (animated, as I said :))
Home Alone 1 and 2
The Family Stone
The Santa Clause
Jingle All the Way
What are your fave Xmas movies? Share! Total Film did a list of the "top 50 Christmas movies" if you're looking to try new ones.
So, as I'm packing for a warm climate, I'll have a fireplace DVD on loop on my TV. :)
Happiest of holidays to everyone! I can't wait to ring in 2014!
Now, now, don't flip your wigs just yet; this is not yet the return of the illustrious Mr. G -- this is merely prelude, possibly prophecy (if he doesn't make a liar of me) by I, your humble web goblin.
For far too long we have gone without word here from Mr. G. He tweets, he whosays, he releases triple albums with his lovely wife and puts more girdles 'round the earth than has an elderly burlesque troupe, yet no blog has he posted in two months. But he has not abandoned us! I tell you that he will return! And I tell you this because he told me this, and told me to tell you this. In his words, he will be "doing a proper blog post" in the near future.
At the point when Google presided over the shotgun wedding of Blogger and Google+, apparently all blog posts by Mr. G became attributed to "Unknown". Why did no one tell me this? I have now fixed things.
Since the first of November, and continuing on through the end of the year, a contest has been running among independent U.S. book stores. The prize is a visit from Mr. G, and to win a store has simply to sell the most copies of THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE during the contest period.
Below you may find a list of all participating stores, along with where to find them online. Christmas is a week away, so if you act quickly there may yet be time to get in some holiday shopping and help push your local store into the lead!
On the 7th day of Christmas the USPS gave to me... 2 winners to the Goodreads giveaway. Soon copies of 'Mouse's Christmas Cookie' will be jetting off at Santa-Speed to West Virginia and North Carolina.
Meanwhile I have accomplished near biblical miracles of shopping, thanks to modern online technology. I have barely set foot in a mall. Whew!
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Summary: Eight-year-old Robert is eager to share his wish list with Santa at the mall on Christmas Eve. When he meets Glenn, who only has one request for Santa, Robert is confused about what he should do. Can he cast aside what he wants and ask Santa to bring his new friend a special gift?
Bio: Cheryl Malandrinos is a freelance writer, children’s author and editor. Her first children’s book, Little Shepherd, was released in August 2010 by Guardian Angel Publishing. She is a member of the SCBWI, a book reviewer, and blogger. Cheryl also writes under the name of C. C. Gevry. Ms. Malandrinos lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two children. She also has a son who is married.
As I've said earlier this month, I love reading Christmas stories. So the anthologies that pop up a lot around this subject are totally right up my alley. That's why I love the Christmas in My Heart books. There's always a lot of good, warm fuzzies type stories in there. Today's prize is the first book in the collection, which is called Christmas in My Heart by Joe Wheeler.
To enter, use the Rafflecopter widget below (sometimes it takes a bit to load!). Open to US and Canada only.
Good luck to all who enter!
About the Book: "The riches of master storytellers such as Pearl S. Buck, Madelein L'Engle, O. Henry, and Taylor Caldwell are combined with stirring tales by unknown authors and fascinating folktales to form a priceless treasury of holiday classics. Destined to become part of every family's celebrations, this precious treasury of Christmas stories is a gift from the heart. 20 woodcuts throughout."
Psalm 33:25--He fashions their hearts individually.
I got to thinking about our individuality today. Snowflakes, leaves, human voices. It started when a friend of mine, an intelligent, multi-talented model whose image graces the covers of several of my books, texted me about passing her GED. She’d never been able to graduate from high school due to extenuating family challenges, though you’d never know this, since she’s so well-read, self-educated, and accomplished.
Our texts went like this:
Her: I passed my GED with flying colors!
Me: Of course you did. You’re smart.
Her: I am an overachiever with low self esteem. So I surprised myself! Lol
Me: You have no reason, on any level, for having low self esteem. You’re gifted and exceptional. But it’s often the people like that who have low self-esteem, simply because they’re different. Normal people don’t do special things.
Me: Dang. That was good. I should blog it.
Her: Thank you!
Her: Blog it!
So here I am, blogging it. ‘Cause face it; you’re abnormal, right? Don’t look at me in that tone of voice. Of course you are, because you’re an original creation of God.
Snowflakes. Leaves. Human voices…
You were born with your own unique face, personality, and set of talents. Yet you feel inadequate when you compare your own unique characteristics with others’. “She’s taller than me, more petite; better at math, better at English, skinnier, more shapely,” whatever.
…but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise (2 Corinthians )
It’s impossible to compare the quality of two original paintings created by the same artist. Though Monet painted both Water Lilies and Sunrise, they can never be measured against each other for superlatives. One’s not better than the other; they’re just different. Like you and me.
God, the master Artist, created each of us individually.
For you formed my inward parts; you covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in secret and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed, and in your book they all were written; the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. (Psalm 139: 13-16)
But God not only created us individually, He also created us as individuals. So you’re not normal, and neither am I. There is no normal, there’s only you, me, and all those other weirdos, each of us with his or her own special beauty, significance and purpose. So be yourself and be proud of it. You’re God’s original.
Today’s prayer: God, today I’m gonna be me. I won’t try to imitate anyone else, for you gave me my own, beautiful individuality. I’ll walk tall in it and be proud of who I am: a unique creation of God.
Disclaimer: I received no compensation from the author or publisher for this honest review.
About the Book
Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics.
But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his will.
Nobody fights the Epics . . . nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.
And David wants in. He wants Steelheart—the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father. For years, like the Reckoners, David's been studying, and planning—and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.
I've been reading quite a lot lately and giving everything from 2 stars to 4 stars for the books that have crossed my path. It's very hard for me to give out 5 stars because there's always something that is a deal breaker for me when I'm reading. I did not have that problem with Steelheart.
I want to point out before I get going on my review that this is a YA novel. I noticed that when I saw other reviews that many were complaining about the style of writing. Sanderson's style is consistent and similar to other YA writers and stories. I just wanted to throw that out there so that other potential readers understand this.
It was the super powered human angle that hooked me. I love comic books and superheroes. This story made me think of X-men and how you have mutants that either want to get along with humanity and use their powers for good or you have mutants who believe they are superior and don't mind running over and destroying humanity to achieve that dominance.
Now imagine that the latter type of mutant suddenly appeared on the scene. They are arrogant, powerful and have a decided lack of interest in getting along with anyone. What will you, a mere human be able to do?
The main character, David, is faced with that choice after watching one of those super powered beings (called Epics) kill someone he loves. David's obsession (I wouldn't call it tenacity because that's too tame a word to describe this young man's drive) with killing that Epic and getting revenge is the major plot driving the story.
The reader is also introduced to a group called The Reckoners who fight to liberate humanity from the Epics.
There is lots of action, adventure and a small romance. The dialogue in this novel is rather, unique, but not a deal breaker for me. I've known many a fellow nerd who was so socially awkward that every time we open our mouths to be witty or try to fit in, we insert our foot or don't make sense to the world at large.
I would recommend this book for guys and girls. It was a page turner til the end and I would reread it in a heartbeat.