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Not My Cup of Tea: Halflings by Heather Burch

I read Halflings by Heather Burch as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge.

After being inexplicaHalflings by Heather Burchbly targeted by an evil intent on harming her at any cost, seventeen-year-old Nikki finds herself under the watchful guardianship of three mysterious young men who call themselves halflings. Sworn to defend her, misfits Mace, Raven, and Vine battle to keep Nikki safe while hiding their deepest secret—and the wings that come with.

A growing attraction between Nikki and two of her protectors presents a whole other danger. While she risks a broken heart, Mace and Raven could lose everything, including their souls. As the mysteries behind the boys’ powers, as well as her role in a scientist’s dark plan, unfold, Nikki is faced with choices that will affect the future of an entire race of heavenly beings, as well as the precarious equilibrium of the earthly world.

When it comes to supernatural fiction I’m finding that I’m more interested in angels instead of vampires. I have nothing against vampires or the vampire trend in YA fiction, but I just never got that excited about it (except for Vladimir Tod; he’s pretty cool!). I just think that angels are infinitely more intriguing. That being said, I think this book had a lot of potential.

Anyways, Halflings by Heather Burch is centered around three halfling angels and Nikki, the girl they’re sent to protect. Nikki is a confusing character, sometimes she’s incredibly vulnerable and embracing the whole damsel-in-distress persona and the next minute she’s a stubborn, prideful girl who just can’t let herself be seen as weak. I didn’t dislike Nikki, I just didn’t get a good grasp on who she was as a character. She does however have her own interests (i.e. painting, karate, motorcycles) which is so refreshing to see, even if we only catch glimpses of these other sides to Nikki.

So, there is a love triangle and its very simplified. One boy is the good angel on Nikki’s shoulder and the other is the devil on her other shoulder; one halfling is moral, the other is edgier. Mace and Raven are much too stereotyped to be interesting, although I wanted to be as mystified by them as Nikki was.

The only two characters who I was actually interested in were Vine, the third halfling, and Vessler the sketchy friend of Nikki’s parents. Vine seems like a side character who would actually make a more interesting main character. I was disappointed when he wasn’t in a scene; he was the only one of the halflings who had any real life to him. Also, Vessler. Who is he? What is his story and is he good or bad; you’re still not too sure even at the end of Halflings.

I really wanted to like Halflings but I didn’t. I just wasn’t impressed. But if you’ve been wanting to read this one you should give it a try, just because I’m not a fan of a particular book, doesn’t mean everyone will feel the same way. I just felt like The conversation was a little clichéd and the story ends pretty anticlimactically. However, I do think some of my students would enjoy this book, as they love supernatural fiction. So, all in all I think middle school aged readers would enjoy Halflings, even though it wasn’t my cup of tea.

Author: Heather Burch

Publisher: Zonderkids (January 17, 2012)

Format: E-book (ARC from NetGalley)

Length: 288 pages

Series: First in a series

YA/MG: Middle Grades

Buy the Book: Halflings (A Halflings Novel)

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Currently Reading

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For some reason it’s been taking me some
time to finish these books! Not that there’s anything wrong with them, I’ve just been really busy. So, as of today I’m currently reading/listening to four books:

-13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson. (YA)

-Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, audiobook (YA)

-Halflings by Heather Burch, e-book (YA/MG)

-Tempest by Julie Cross, audiobook (YA)

With the help of my reading buddy, my goal is to finish one of these today!

What are you reading?

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Currently Reading

Oh so many books! Its like I just keep adding and adding to my To Read stack building it higher and higher every day.  I really think that I should get a few hours in my work day allotted specifically reading.  Seriously, then the kids would actually see my reading not just hear me telling them about the books I read.  But alas, I have to get creative with my personal time so that I don’t neglect my relationships with real people, despite the fact that sometimes book relationships are just easier.

In fact, no one ever said it better than librarian lover Ryan Gosling:

Okay, so in between having a normal healthy life (and not obsessing with my books…I mean I’d never do that!)  I have a few items on my currently reading list:

The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera HiranandaniThe Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Hiranandani (ebook, ARC)  Very good so far, even though I’m only four chapters in.  Part of the 2012 Debut Authors Challenge.

Sapphique by Catherine FisherSapphique by Catherine Fisher  (audiobook) I’m just as entranced as I was with the first book, Incarceron.

Halflings by Heather BurchHalflings by Heather Burch (ebook ARC)  Liking this supernatural fiction read more and more. Also, part of the 2012 Debut Authors Challenge.

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson (library bound hardcover) I have been waiting to read this one for a while and so far it’s not disappointing!

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Bookish Goals for 2012

It’s always good to have goals, right?

I tend to stay away from making “resolutions” in the new year because I think its silly to resolve to be better or give something up just because its January.  I’d rather make a goal to try to reach.  So I am making some bookish/blogging goals for 2012.

Now, as an educator I know a goal has to be specific, measurable, and realistic.  So, lets see if my goals fit the description.

2012 Debute Author ChallengeGoal #1: Participate in and complete the 2012 Debut Author Challenge

Kristi at The Story Siren hosts this challenge and it sounds like a good way to discover new authors and meet some new book bloggers. All I have to do is read and review a minimum of twelve young adult or middle grade debut novels between the dates of January 1, 2012 – January 31, 2013.  Sounds good!  NetGalley is helping me out with the Advanced Reader Copies  (thank you NetGalley!) so I can get my hands on some of these titles.  Here are the books I have e-book copies of and plan on using in the 2012 DAC:

  • Halflings by Heather Burch
  • Don’t You Wish by Roxanne St. Claire
  • Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
  • The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Hiranandani
  • May B. by Caroline Rose
  • Cross My Heart by Sasha Gould
  • After the Snow by S.D. Crockett
  • The Edumacation of Jay Baker by Jay Clark

So, thats already 8 titles I plan on counting towards my goal. Specific? Yes.  Measurable? Yes. Realistic?  I think so.  That’s 1 book per month or more if I’d like. I can spread them out however I like. Don’t forget I have two and a half months of summer break to look forward to!

Goal #2: Read 90 Books

This sounds pretty big for some people.  However, I read 69 books in 2011 so I think that 90 is a pretty good goal.  I think I could have read that much in 2011 if I had started the year with the same momentum I have now.  At the start of 2011 I was just trying out this YA/MG book blogging thing and wasn’t as purposeful about it.   So, specific? Yes. Measurable? Yes.  I keep track of all the books I’ve read on my Goodreads profile. Realistic?  Possibly.  Can I increase the number of books I read by 21?  Hopefully!!
Goal #3: Host 1 Giveaway

I’ve had the chance this past year to win a few giveaways hosted on other blogs.  I’d like to be able to do something similar and give away books as prizes.  I would have loved to do one to commemorate the one year anniversary of BookTasty, but I don’t think I can get it all set up in three days.  So, I’ll wait until another opportune time this year.  I will need some help with this though, so any other book bloggers out there who have hosted a giveaway before please feel free to send advice!  Specific? Sure!  Measurable? Yes.  Realistic? I think it is.  Remember I have until December 31, 2012 to achieve this goal!

So, there you go!  My goals for the new year!  Will I keep you posted?  Oh most definitely!

It seems that everyone else is making goals for 2012, what are some of your bookish or blogging goals for 2012?

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Currently Reading

I may haven bitten off more than I can chew this week.  I’m currently reading/listening to four (yes four) books.

1. Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar  (Hilarious and may be my favorite boy narrator ever!)

2. Matched by Ally Condie (Loving it and am very intrigued!)

3. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare (Will Herondale?!?! I’ve missed you so, so much you British Shadow Hunter you!!)

4. Haflings by Heather Burch (ARC; am only like one chapter in and its pretty interesting so far!)

So, yes I have no idea how I’m juggling all of these at once…but somehow its working….

What are you currently reading?