Sunday, September 29, 2013

Latest Reads: September 2013

September Reads (actually on time)

To be honest, I didn’t read these books in September, but they are the highlight of my reading as of late. When I’m not ‘author’ Stephanie Greenhalgh, I’m ‘teacher’, Mrs. Greenhalgh, and both tend to keep me pretty busy.  I am so incredibly fortunate to have a great job! This year, I get to teach writing to approximately 90+ kiddos. It’s is FANTASTIC, but it is A LOT of work. So far, it’s left me with little time to read or, even more importantly, write anything new. I’ve scrapped up around 1,000 words here and there, but nothing of any significance. HOWEVER, I have been spending quite a bit of time editing my first novel with my publisher, so yes, ‘The Twistedly True Tale of Ruby’ will be out next week on Sunday, October 6th! Obviously, I have a ton of things going on, so let’s get to the matter at hand…September Reads!

*** (Here is the link for the online release party, in case you’d like to join in the fun: I’d love to see you there!)      


 Let me start this edition of 'Latest Reads' with: Gillian Flynn and Veronica Roth are both WILDLY talented! I, very seriously, aspire to write with a fraction of their talent one day! All three of the books were  absolutely phenomenal!


Divergent by Veronica Roth: In this YA novel, we jump into a futuristic somewhat dystrophic society where there are five factions of people. Each faction or group of people is responsible for something in the grand scheme of life. The Dauntless are the fearless military. Abnegation are the selfless faction, which runs the government. The Candor are known for their truth and honesty. The Amity are the kind and gentle faction. And the Erudite are known for their intelligence. Everyone is born into the faction of their parents, but at 16 they have the choice to leave their families behind to join a different faction, one more suited to their personality. Then there are those that are ‘divergent’. The divergent are sought out and must hide, sometimes in plain sight. In this first book, we met the main character Beatrice, who soon becomes known as Tris. She is feisty and independent…everything I LOVE in a female heroine! Quickly, she becomes an object of interest to many others, including Four. Four is everything I love in a male hero…strong and fearless (well, almost fearless). This book has everything: mystery, murder, intrigue, and a truly unique plot! After the first few pages, I was hooked and had to download the second book!



Insurgent by Veronica Roth: In this much anticipated sequel of “Divergent”, the plot thickens, so to speak. We learn more about our favorite characters, the factions, and how/why the factions came to be.  We learn more about the Divergent and why they’re are so feared. The price of life, in this book, increases tenfold. The connection between Tris and Four fluctuates as they both learn more about themselves and the world in which they live. Roth writes with amazing intensity. I was on the ‘edge of my sit’ so to speak while reading this book. At the end, I groaned loudly for many reasons. First, there is a GREAT cliffhanger at the end. Second, the third and final book doesn’t come out until October…ARGH!

Final Thought: I’m eagerly awaiting the Oct 22nd release date!


Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn: Oh my goodness! Amy Elliot Dunne and Nick Dunne are a hot, yet highly entertaining mess!  In this story, Amy disappears and Nick quickly becomes the prime suspect!  That’s about all I can say without giving anything away! This book keeps you guessing from the get go! My eyes were glued to the pages. Sights and sounds around me seemed distant and barely noticeable while I was completely engrossed in this dark and twisted love story. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the book, I found the ending to be rather disappointing. Do NOT let that deter you! It’s a great book, but after you read it, you’ll understand what I mean!

Final thought: An edge of your seat suspenseful read with some CRAZY characters!

What am I currently reading?

·         A Feast For Crows by George R.R. Martin (yes, I’m still plowing through this)

·         Last Scene Alive by Charlaine Harris

·         The Magician’s Assistant by Ann Patchet

What comes after that?

I’m not sure, but I wish you all…

JHappy ReadingJ



Sunday, September 1, 2013

Latest Reads: August 2013 (late...again)

I know it’s not actually August anymore…and this is the second month in a row I’m late with my monthly “READS” post, but here are my thoughts about the books I READ in August, so that’s how I’m going to rationalize that one! No point in dwelling on something I can’t change. Onward…

I am very pleased to say that I was a MUCH better reader in August! I read SEVEN this past month…much better than the TWO I read in July, plus I’m still plowing through the fourth “Game of Thrones”. (On a Game of Thrones tangent: I usually hit a door stop when he introduces a brand new character followed by 20 pages of details…sometimes my eyes glaze over, but I’m plowing through. In fact, I’m ready to start a “Jamie” chapter, and I will say Jamie is easily becoming one of my favorite characters!)

ANYWAY…August was a much more productive month! Check it out!


JHappy ReadingJ


The Awakening of Agnostos by Jennifer Paquette and Nicholas Perrotti

Greek Mythology, take NEW (instead of two…play on words…)! This story features twelve of the main Greek gods and goddesses as we have never seen them, working together to save their own existence! For centuries Greeks have used legends surrounding the gods and goddesses to explain daily mysteries, and “The Awakening of Agnostos” is no different, EXCEPT this is a brand new tale created by a mother and son duo! As a fan of Greek Mythology, I found the authors’ attention to detail and accuracy extraordinary.

Final Thought: It’s the first in a series and I can’t wait for the next one!


Thou Shalt Not Kill by Theresa Oliver

In this present day thriller, we follow teenagers after they’ve escaped a brutal terror attack on their town and school. The main character Casey is a great heroine for young girls! She is strong and focused, plus she faces her fears and takes a leadership role. It’s easy to relate to the rest of the colorful characters. The author, Theresa Oliver, did a great job with an intriguing storyline. She made sure there were plenty of twists and turns for this band of determined kids…determined to get their town back and rescue as many people as possible!

Final Thought: I’m excited to see where this series goes!


All In by Molly Bryant

As a resident of Las Vegas and a fan of Molly Bryant’s work, I just had to check out this book. First off, I flew through this book in a matter of hours. Second, this is NOT one for the kiddies (18+). It’s loaded with adult themes and mature content. Lastly, it has Vice Jackson…hard NOT to crush on the tatted badass with a heart of gold…even if he is a fictional character, and his female counterpart, Harlow Jean, is likable and fun.

I really enjoyed this story. Bryant did a great job of mixing up the storyline (in a good way) to keep the reader guessing. Plus, the Vegas setting is one of my favorites!

Final Thought: I can’t wait to read some of Bryant’s other work!

(Want to know more? Check out my blog for the “All In” blog tour:


Mortal Instruments: City of Bones by Cassandra Claire

I had to get the book and read it BEFORE I had a chance to watch the newly released movie. I also wanted to get it read before the movie trailers ruined the story in my head. It’s another problem with being a nerd girl, but I can dig it!

I liked this story. I really like the main characters, Jace and Clary. I enjoyed Claire’s depiction of this supernatural other world that takes place all around us, a world in which only a few can see or be seen. Needless to say, that is right up my alley and I was drawn in immediately! As Claire begins the tale, she leads the reader on an interesting road of discovery; the reader must sift through the ‘good’ guys and the ‘bad’ guys. After an intricate plot, the reader is left with some serious surprises to think about!

Final Thought: I am anxiously waiting to read the next book to ‘see’ if some of my predictions will come to fruition or if I am WAY off!


The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

I LOVED this book so much! In fact, it has its very OWN blog. I couldn’t help it. It had such a profound effect on me; I had to write about it. Please check out that blog if you missed it the first time:

Final Thought: A truly extraordinary story. READ IT NOW!


Divergent and Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Both of these books were fantastic!!! I’m holding on to my thoughts for now. I’m still processing how book two ended while eagerly waiting for the third and final installment, Allegiant, which isn’t set to release until October 2013.

Final Thought: Stay tuned for my thoughts on the Divergent Series!