My dear friend decided we were going to read this book together, and I don't entirely understand why I agreed to it. OK, it's a bWhat did I just read?
My dear friend decided we were going to read this book together, and I don't entirely understand why I agreed to it. OK, it's a book I've seen passed around with hushed whispers and giggles since elementary school. It's a book I was both urged to read and cautioned away from. I'd ask what it was about and people would get that faraway look in their eye and secret smiles. It's that kind of book. The sort of one you don't want to admit to reading when you're little.
The sort of book you can enjoy discussing with horrified expression and raucous laughter if you have a sick sense of humor when you're my age. The sort of book that prompts the immediate What am I reading and is the author OK
So I repeat.
Virginia. Darling. Are you OK?
The fact this book is semi-autobiographical is horrifying. Although, yeah, some of the melodrama is simply gothic trappings at the same time the author is so not OK. I've read some messed up things. I adore Stephen King, Joe Hill and Garth Ennis. They can write terrible things, but they never come across as unstable as poor V.C. Andrews.
The book is a relatively quick read. It's a trainwreck of drama and deception, melodramatic purple prose and utterly horrific content. Incest, child neglect, emotional and psychological abuse all are abundant mixed with horrible family secrets and narcissism that would put even Sharp Objects to shame. Then again, Sharp Objects and Flowers in the Attic both share a lot of similar attributes. These messed up books are kind of like catnip to me.
So yeah. See you Dollanganger's again, soon. I'll certainly be finishing this series.
I'll need a hug and an adult soon after, though....more
I loved this book when I first read it in middle school, and somehow I seemed to have forgotten that I likely read it around the same age the author wI loved this book when I first read it in middle school, and somehow I seemed to have forgotten that I likely read it around the same age the author was when she wrote it. S.E. Hinton is kind of amazing for having done what she did, and this edition of the book makes her a bit more amazing by adding interviews of hers, submission letters, and other correspondence from both her and many fans who were touched by what they had read.
The Outsiders does have its faults, don't get me wrong. The writing can be a bit sloppy, and the slang can come off as frankly ridiculous reading it this far away from its initial publication. Nevertheless, if what has been said is true, it hit home for the Oklahoma greasers back when it was first published. It shows a remarkable amount of maturity by showing that life is hard for everyone, on either side of the class divide. I think the essence of the book would still resonate with teenagers who read it, even if the content can be a bit hokey at times.
Essentially, it's a decent classist soap opera where people come away from it all having learned a bit of something.
Stay gold on at least some level, even if ultimately you can't....more
When I first began reading this book I was afraid that it would end up being Sharp Objects for kids. Certain aspects of the book are indeed similar.When I first began reading this book I was afraid that it would end up being Sharp Objects for kids. Certain aspects of the book are indeed similar. Both Sharp Objects and The Sky is Everywhere are focused primarily upon how an individual copes with the death of a sibling, both hold few punches when it comes to how negatively death can impact a person. While The Sky is Everywhere shies away from certain more mature topics, it still has some heavier content for a young reader. I respected the book for that deeply. Death is hard, and the death of someone that close to you can really mess you up.
The book shone in its portrayal of grief as a multi-layered, deeply complex emotion. It addressed the poor choices that people can make in that position, how they punish themselves and lose those around them, and just how horrifically it can manifest itself.
Where the book failed was primarily in how one-dimensional other characters could be. The writing felt a bit too simple. While YA books can deftly deal in topics such as this, Matthew Quick has made a career out of it, while still utilizing a smaller vocabulary and more simple style Jandy Nelson seems to paint too one-dimensional characters are her supporting cast. I'd like to see her writing develop further, as I honestly believe she's very capable of it.
This is a good book for a kid in a bad situation. This is a surprisingly good book to start dialogues on difficult subjects. It's just a bit too saccharine for my taste at points and I wish the writing had been more in line with the weight of some of the issue....more
This is the work of Siobhan Dowd, whom Patrick Ness received the illustrations from to write this novel.For a moment pause and take a look at this.
This is the work of Siobhan Dowd, whom Patrick Ness received the illustrations from to write this novel. Dowd didn't live long enough to see the finished product, but I like to believe she would have been in awe of how beautifully the illustrations line up with the story Ness created. It's a testimony to Ness's ability that the story lines up so well with what took Dowd from this world.
The art is stunning, and the writing suits it well.
Within the first few pages we are introduced to a monster. It isn't the monster, though it is quite monstrous. Sometimes the Green Man himself calls walking, when the cause is great enough to warrant it. Conor's cause is great enough, and before the book is done Conor will have to tell his story to the monster and himself.
This book made me cry. It made me think. It stuck in me like a thorn. This is a book I hope I'll never have to recommend to someone who truly needs it, but dear god am I glad it exists for so many reasons....more
Courage and Other Demons, the first book by author Jill Daugherty, was a surprisingly entertaining romp. In spite of falling into many of the common traps of YA novels - old prophecies, reluctant and mildly vapid heroine, it shows a great deal of promise for future installments. Maggie was utterly maddening more often than not, but she realized that she was being such and by the end of the book showed some decent resolve. Simon, the faery love interest, was a terribly charming character whose self-deprecating humor was easy to enjoy. The villains, although little seen, were a fairly frightening bunch. I can imagine reading this at a younger age and being downright frightened by a certain confrontation.
I enjoyed Jill Daugherty's treatment of a more obscure mythology. Her small nods to the old Cycles were handled well, and I enjoyed her new interpretation on the myths. I rather look forward to see how she will handle the rest of the prophecy in upcoming titles, should there be more than one.
The series holds promise, if you bear in mind that this is the first book in it and a first outing as an author. Forgive Maggie her self-conscious maddening behavior and it's a lovely ride. I look forward to seeing her come into her own in the future....more
**spoiler alert** I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The plot was fa**spoiler alert** I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The plot was fascinating, the mystery a joy to unravel, and the characters engaging enough to want to read more of. It reminded me a fair bit of Veronica Mars in its better days, in terms of pacing and tone. The book kept me engaged and thinking about it after I'd set it down. I rushed through it at times to find out the ending.
The books weakness, for me, laid in the pacing. While the breakneck speed did make for an exciting read, I think at times speed sacrificed deeper character development. This lead to some volatile reactions that even with the later explanation in the book felt a bit out of character. If there was a bit more behind her reaction to figuring out she was adopted, then perhaps her freak out would make a bit more sense? Or a bit more offered behind her earlier black outs?
The ending of the book left a great deal open. It left me hankering for a sequel, or at least a bit more set within the world to tie up loose ends. I was wondering how the assassin got into the line of work at such a young age, what was behind Shelley's black outs, how many others were out there, etc... There was quite a lot to delve into, even after this story was done. Hell, I was hoping Shelley might meet up with other's who had survived this cull like her to attempt to bring down whatever shadowy organization was doing this.
But that's another YA trope, isn't it? Either way, the story was a good one that I think could easily grow. Winston was interesting, if unappreciated by the protagonist until the end. Hell, the protagonist was pretty much the only thing that suffered in the book, and that was by virtue of her shaky sense of identity.
Jonas had fond memories of this book trilogy growing up, and upon hearing that I'd never read them, decided to give me the original trilogy for ChristJonas had fond memories of this book trilogy growing up, and upon hearing that I'd never read them, decided to give me the original trilogy for Christmas. :)
The fantasy tropes are back in force.
It's funny how a book that fit so perfectly into the fantasy tropes in general still can be surprising. It's funny how well the trope was played upon, and how unsettling the "something is wrong but we don't know what" concept can be played with when you reveal as little as Ursula K. Le Guin does. Once more, the perspective shifts away from Sparrowhawk and to someone new, in this case a young prince. Together the two travel to discover just what's going on in the world and why magic itself appears to be disappearing in some areas of the world. What's going on?
This book has massive ramifications for the world of Earthsea, and becomes a major plot point for the remaining books - including Tehanu in my opinion. It's a perfect ending for the original trilogy, and a prefect beginning point for the next one. ...more
I don't think anyone who read this far in the series would be particularly surprised by the ending. The hints of where things were headed were strongI don't think anyone who read this far in the series would be particularly surprised by the ending. The hints of where things were headed were strong in The Farthest Shore, overt in Tehanu, and embellished mildly in Tales from Earthsea though in a more veiled manner. The Other Wind is simply a natural extension of that, though a beautiful one it is. It pleased me immensely to see the conclusion of The Farthest Shore here, and I can forgive the ending, if only out of hope for there to be more to rebuild.
Earthesea is a magnificent world, and I adore all the people within it. To have come from the gorgeously crafted A Wizard of Earthsea in all its traditional beauty to the subversive and surprising Tehanu to this - it's perfect. I adored this book, and felt it a proper send-off to the series as a whole. Still, of course, I hope for more.
I loved living in this world, and the care given to it. I loved the dragons, the magical system, the way that the stakes were all too real and felt too keenly. I loved how unforgiving Urusula K. Le Guin was. What's dead is dead, what's gone is gone. We all make our choices and suffer for it. Hell, I loved Ged dearly in Tehanu and even more in The Other Wind. He's all the stronger for what he went through.
It's a beautiful, staggering series. More authors should learn from it and try to let go....more
The stories expanded upon Ursula K. Le Guin's world of Earthsea in a beautiful way, adding a richness of culture and history that wasn't there previously. She helped differentiate between the wild earthly magic of women and the more academic magic of men. She dealt in both familiar characters and unfamiliar ones. She even expanded upon legend.
While everyone wants more stories of Sparrowhawk in his prime, I'm quite happy with anything that takes place in her world. It's rich, it's beautiful, and it's stunningly well developed. The essay at the end that actually detailed the world from an anthropological perspective was gorgeous. I wish all fantasy was so well developed as this in a logical way....more
Remember Tenar from The Tombs of Atuan? Ever wonder what happened to her after? Remember Ogion and Gont? Remember that you've been hearing about how Ursula K. Le Guin is a strident feminist author but not really seen any evidence of that? Here it all comes rushing forth. There is no quest, there is no real magic or things of that nature. This is a book more grounded in reality, for what it is, and it bucks the very concept of a fantasy novel for the bulk of its pages.
This is an uncomfortable foray into gender studies and why things on Earthsea are the way they are. Why are there no women wizards? What exactly are the dragons? Why are women hated to the extent they are? It's an interesting situation, so long as you aren't expecting a straight up fantasy novel....more
Remember how I said the first book read like it was written by an anthropologist? This is where that distinction becomes all the more pertinent. SerioRemember how I said the first book read like it was written by an anthropologist? This is where that distinction becomes all the more pertinent. Seriously. In The Tombs of Atuan the focus shifts away from Sparrowhawk to a young priestess in the Karged lands. The entire culture is explored, as well as the concept of religion, in a way that is startling now for when it was written. I'm sure it'd startle the life out of a new young reader for sure, but hopefully in a good way.
Reading reviews prior to reading it myself, it seems that this book had a very polarizing affect on readers. I can understand why. Not everyone wants to sit down and explore the concept of religious power vs. political power in a country where the reins are changing. Not everyone wants to study how being viewed as a high priestess affect a young girl. Personally, I was riveted by it and genuinely uneasy as they worked their way through the labyrinth underground. I enjoyed the sly nod to Akkadian artwork and the way the story expanded upon a brief sentence in the book prior.
Jonas had fond memories of reading these while growing up, and upon hearing I hadn't read them, took it upon himself to get me the originally trilogyJonas had fond memories of reading these while growing up, and upon hearing I hadn't read them, took it upon himself to get me the originally trilogy for Christmas. He bought them at the Church bazaar, a charming set of old library books complete with the filing card in the back noting who checked them out when. I happily filled my name in, and the date, each time I started reading them. Whenever I lend them out I'll likely ask the person to do the same. I love old library books. :)
A Wizard of Earthsea is a worthy classic. It reads like what it is, a fantasy book written by an anthropologist who isn't afraid to show that specialty. This is a world that makes sense, and a magical system that's drawn logically from what to many cultures is sacred. There's an explanation and logic behind everything that's beautiful to see and the very monster being fought in the first book is the Jungian concept of the Shadow. It's a heavy book, but a beautiful one. Hell, Sparrowhawk did in one book what it took Harry Potter seven to do. That has to count for something, right?
This is the sort of book I'd happily recommend to any kid growing up, and one I wish had been set into my hands when I was younger. I might get a copy for my nephews for the holidays. :)...more
This book was far more entertaining to me than the first The Bad Beginning but that still isn't saying much. Most of the humor of this was lost on me.This book was far more entertaining to me than the first The Bad Beginning but that still isn't saying much. Most of the humor of this was lost on me. I'd recommend it to a kid easily, but reading it as an adult it just feels rather dull and predictable. Good vocabulary, though. Quick plot and pacing. Just a bit too lacking to hold my focus in the end....more
This was a rather surprising short story, available for free on Tor.com
I have a bit of trouble reading fantasy most of the time. Certain books, suchThis was a rather surprising short story, available for free on Tor.com
I have a bit of trouble reading fantasy most of the time. Certain books, such as The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making tend to rub me the wrong way. An overabundance of magic, a slightly irreverent tone and quirky characters... it just doesn't do it for me anymore. Largely I think this is because I read a bit too much fantasy growing up. All of that having been said... this short story hit none of those marks. It was utterly delightful.
I thoroughly adored the world that was created. While a little girl wanting a pony for her birthday is rather old news and overused now, subverting it by having her get a demon instead? Pretty darn amusing. Watching her go from hating her little hornless Dark Lord to adoring him, the trouble of having a first pet... I loved it all.
I'd like to read more in this universe, truly. It was such a well developed world for how short the story was....more
This story was more pleasing to me than the book it technically precedes was. That having been said, Sasha hits the nail on the head when she says thiThis story was more pleasing to me than the book it technically precedes was. That having been said, Sasha hits the nail on the head when she says this story isn't for children. The themes are continuing to get darker and more adult, which altogether is much more pleasurable than the feigned kid-friendliness that permeated in small degrees the first book.
This story was good. A quick read. A rather sad read after you know what's going to happen.
I won this book through the GoodReads First-Read program.
I... really didn't like this book, unfortunately.
It was very clear that the book was writtenI won this book through the GoodReads First-Read program.
I... really didn't like this book, unfortunately.
It was very clear that the book was written with great passion. It was also obvious that the author had put a great deal of work into fleshing out the universe that the characters inhabited. She worked out various hierarchies and built upon a good deal of old mythology to do so. She knew her history (nice shout out to medieval German beliefs!) but that wasn't quite enough to save the book in my eyes.
I can't understand the weakness of female characters. Yes, she was strong in that she was willing to sacrifice herself to save the man she loved. But... she also was killing a lot of other people to save that man when he was her mortal enemy... and when she was a trained soldier and had put all that behind her... and she kept forgiving him for unforgivable acts. I've a problem with this.
Furthermore, why exactly wasn't there more urgency felt in the book itself? You have an army being raised to destroy all of creation more or less. You also have a "seer" going unaccounted for and both poorly hunted and poorly protected.
I just... wasn't feeling this very much. The kicker was the switching of first person perspectives and a failure to differentiate the voices very clearly.
The premise itself holds promise, and the worldbuilding holds promise too. It just needs better execution....more
I was able to get this book for an advance review for Netgalley.
I've always had a bit of a fascination with the Louisiana Bayou and the vanishing waysI was able to get this book for an advance review for Netgalley.
I've always had a bit of a fascination with the Louisiana Bayou and the vanishing ways of life attached to it. The hoodoo tradition is one that is misinterpreted about as often as it is referred to in popular culture - fortunately, Will O'the Wisp did a rather good job of showcasing both the traditions themselves and how people tend to view them nowadays.
The artwork for this book was highly reminiscent of the style used in Locke and Key, which is one that I'm especially fond of. There's a fluidity to the landscapes, the swamps, the fire, that is both beautiful and eerie. The bugs and the bones as well are beautifully rendered, and I would say that the book is worth looking at for the artwork alone.
While I'd like to rate the book more than three stars, I'm not entirely certain I could. While the book lends itself to reading for the hoodoo traditions and the artwork, and the story was a traditional tale of vengeance from beyond the grave and uneasy isolation, I felt that overall it was missing something. There was constantly more to the story that I wanted to uncover, but couldn't. I would say that this is the fault of the medium itself and the age of the audience it's intended for, but I've read a great deal of graphic novels and know the medium to be virtually unlimited in the scope it could cover storywise and the YA genre itself is fast accepting more and more titles that delve into what previously may be considered questionable content.
My disappointment with the depth of the story being told could easily be remedied by telling more stories of Aurora's time with Silver in Ossuary Isle, and is offset slightly by the attention paid to the spells of Nonnie, the begrudging respect paid to the hoodoo traditions by Silver, and the beauty of the artwork in the piece itself. It's certainly a title that I know friends of mine would enjoy, and by no means was it a bad read at all. I enjoyed it, and I'm certain a great many others will as well.
Couldn't be happier that traditional Louisiana hoodoo culture is getting treated to some good storytelling for a new generation!...more
My previous introduction to Matthew Quick was through his book Sorta Like a Rockstar, which was an extremely charming and overall sweet book that leMy previous introduction to Matthew Quick was through his book Sorta Like a Rockstar, which was an extremely charming and overall sweet book that left me feeling quite good when I finished it. It touched me and made me smile. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock was the polar opposite of that. It's rare for a book to actually make me cry, but this one managed to on several different occasions.
I read this book with a friend, which only heightened the overall discomfort of the experience. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is not a happy book. It isn't a pleasant book. It's littered with characters that will infuriate you to no end, and situations that will make you scream. As quickly as I read it, I still had to put it down now and then to fume before picking it back up. The book made me cringe. Having said all of that, this book is still an extraordinarily important one.
I honestly wish I'd had this book when I was in high school. I think it would have improved my life exponentially.
For a certain sort of person, Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is going to be a panacea. It's going to open up their eyes to the fact that help can, and does exist. It's going to make them realize that life is worth living, even though it's incredibly hard. It's going to give them a view of what the future, for many, truly is. It's a long, hard haul that will only give you what you want and make you happy if you work your ass off for it. It's only going to get better if you put your back into it, and constantly remind yourself of what you're working for. Often times very few people are going to help you - and some people who you think would stick around are absolutely not going to do so. You need to actively look for the right people in your life, and you need to realize that for many you're going to be toxic.
This book is what Catcher in the Rye should have been, and what Tales of the Madman Underground could have been if it had taken place in the modern day. I honestly hope this book finds its way into the hands of everyone who needs it. Even having found it a bit too late for some of its core lessons to be novel it still had a big impact on me....more
I think this book would serve far better as a standalone than as a proper part of the Wrinkle in Time movement. Aside from Sandy and Denny, the otherI think this book would serve far better as a standalone than as a proper part of the Wrinkle in Time movement. Aside from Sandy and Denny, the other characters are pretty much only mentioned. It isn't as involved with Meg and the family as A Swiftly Tilting Planet managed to be, and really only tangentially dealt with the science aspects that dominated the other three books. The idea of something only existing when it is observed, however, is one that's fascinating and worth a bit of a think.
So, Many Waters basically has Sandy and Denny travel back in time to hang out with Noah and his family in antedivulian times and deal with Seraphim and Nephilim. Yeah, it is overtly Biblical fiction, and although the author butchers Neanderthals a bit in her depictions of them all in all the ideas of how people survived in that time aren't terrible. It would do to interest people in prehistoric times, perhaps?
I didn't like it as much as I enjoyed the other books. I did enjoy the fact that as a coming of age story it dealt more directly with ideas of budding sexuality and how sometimes what you want isn't necessarily what you should have. The importance of family is emphasized, as well as the importance of following one's instincts and in general doing the right thing even if it isn't the easy thing to do. The ending felt a bit rushed, and I think the book would have done better to not be written for a YA audience, but that might just be the fact that I'm older now.
I'm not entirely certain that John Green is a good author for me.
The book fell a bit too firmly into the various tropes the teen books tend to. The ovI'm not entirely certain that John Green is a good author for me.
The book fell a bit too firmly into the various tropes the teen books tend to. The overweight funny best friend who's squandering his potential, the shy geek of a protagonist who's looking for love but can't find it, the sassy independent girl... etc. It all falls a bit to neatly into place and at the end of the day fails to feel real, instead feeling like it's been scripted and will be showing a theater near you next summer. Too false.
It's also a problem when John Green's neat silly facts are largely facts you already know or have been debunked. Oops.
By the end of the book I was frustrated. It was left open-ended with nothing really solved or even nearing it. Too much On the Road in a romantic sense, failing to realize that On the Road itself was a criticism of that aimless wondering and a call to grow up....more
Absolutely lovely collection. Kelly Link has a deft hand at weaving imaginative, rather surreal, scenarios into coherent stories that offer more thanAbsolutely lovely collection. Kelly Link has a deft hand at weaving imaginative, rather surreal, scenarios into coherent stories that offer more than just what meets the eye. While Aimee Bender's stories offer a greater level of surrealism, and Jonathan Carroll greater complexity, Kelly Link manages a humor that both somewhat miss. Her characters are memorable, and her short story "Magic For Beginners" something not to be missed.
I'd recommend this collection happily. While perhaps three of the stories are incredibly memorable, the rest of them are quite good, and only one a story I genuinely disliked. Not bad for a collection, really....more
This used to be my favorite installation in the Wrinkle in Time series. I adored Charles Wallace, enjoyed the trip through history and seeing differenThis used to be my favorite installation in the Wrinkle in Time series. I adored Charles Wallace, enjoyed the trip through history and seeing different time periods... Rereading it, some of the twists were rather obvious and a bit insulting. The repetition of the rune got trying. Realizing when it was written, what was happening... well, it gave the book a context that made its message rather clear. It would have been interesting to see what kids thought of it at the time it was released with the very real threat of nuclear annihilation looming.
Good to see some Welsh mythology creeping in, as it doesn't tend to get looked at nearly often enough. The witch hunt was a bit annoying, but so it goes....more
Out of what I read of the Time Quintet originally this was the book I had the scantiest recollection of. I reread A Wrinkle in Time and A Swiftly TiltOut of what I read of the Time Quintet originally this was the book I had the scantiest recollection of. I reread A Wrinkle in Time and A Swiftly Tilting Planet many many times, but this one? Not so much. My memory of it was very shaky and I think it got mixed somewhere over the years with some Magic School Bus episodes.
Nevertheless, rereading the book I found a lot of charming parts of it. I don't feel that it was nearly as strong as A Wrinkle in Time, but poking around I discovered that for a great many people this book was really their favorite. The author's speculative biology was both misinformed and predictive, interesting and thematic. It's a bit heavy, but all of her books are. I think my main problem was that the book came off as more rushed than the others for me.
Progonoskies is a fantastic character, but Blajeny and Sporos both didn't seem fully developed. Calvin could have been emphasized a bit more, too, considering what part he and his family play in A Wrinkle in Time and A Swiftly Tilting Planet but that might just be my own bias speaking.
Man, I wish this universe had been more fully fleshed out....more
It's odd reading this book years after I first did. I remember reading this book on my own, and I remember this book being read to me. I remember watcIt's odd reading this book years after I first did. I remember reading this book on my own, and I remember this book being read to me. I remember watching the movie and crying, and dreaming of red hound dogs of my own. I remember lending it to a friend and my dismay when I realized she'd never read it. It's a book with many, many mixed feelings.
All in all, the book retains a special place in my heart due to such memories and nostalgia. It remains important to me because the overall message of it is important, however dated at times it may seem. It's important to earn things, to work for things - things mean more when we do them ourselves, and it's important to learn a certain amount of self-reliance. Yeah, it's old fashioned, but old fashioned sometimes can be important.
Do I think it's important to ask for help when you can't do it on your own? Yeah, of course. But sometimes tough lessons are important to learn.
The turning point that pulled two more stars out for my rating was close to the end. It was too steam punk for me. Trying too hard and creating these awkward moments when I asked myself whether or not I was going to have to read the word "widdershins" yet again. Whether or not the color orange (how quirky) would be drawn upon. Whether or not another mention of the wyvern's limited alphabetical knowledge would hinder them. It was near the end, with more explanation of Mallow and tragedy taking place that it actually hit me in the right way.
I don't know if I'll ever finish this series, but the ending did make it a possibility that the beginning and middle didn't. I know I'm meant to be the proper audience for this book. It just didn't do it. ...more
I had no idea this book existed until quite recently when Alan reviewed it. It being the Christmas season, I looked it up on Project Gutenberg (www.guI had no idea this book existed until quite recently when Alan reviewed it. It being the Christmas season, I looked it up on Project Gutenberg (www.gutenberg.org) and read it for myself.
This book is quite like the Oz books that L. Frank Baum is better known for. The same whimsical nature of those books is conveyed, and the world is rife with folklore and certain bits of magic.
Reading this story, I could imagine it being told to children and trying to answer their questions... hence a lot of mythos without a lot of backstory, a lot of explanation of the more mundane things (cat toys won't hiss and scratch you!) without explanation of how the reindeer can, say, fly over water.
Nonetheless, this book is rather adorable and one I'd love to share with my nephews if given the chance. :)...more
I received this book for free from the author through the GoodReads first-reads program in exchange for an honest review.
Matt Archer: Monster HunterI received this book for free from the author through the GoodReads first-reads program in exchange for an honest review.
Matt Archer: Monster Hunter was a true delight. Kendra C. Highley has written a fantastically funny and quick-paced YA novel that never loses sight of its plot. The main character, from which this series derives its name, is a surprisingly forthright hero. He accepts his fate with open eyes, and dives into his destiny with a refreshing abandon that is commonly lacking in books of this genre. This makes for a grin-inducing ride, full of action and suspense (and appropriately grotesque monsters) that reminded me of all the excitement I used to get from Goosebumps, though minus a fair bit of the now groan-inducing cheese.
This book would be an excellent purchase for any young teen, and stands a very high chance of being just the thing that would encourage a reluctant boy to read. After finishing it, I happily handed it over to my nephew in hopes he'd enjoy it as much as I did. I certainly would like to see it in school libraries. A book this fun and exciting would be shame to miss....more
I won this book through the Good Reads First Reads program.
Imagine you're going about your everyday business as a high school student. You've a boyfriI won this book through the Good Reads First Reads program.
Imagine you're going about your everyday business as a high school student. You've a boyfriend, a decent plan for life ahead of you, good family and friends. One minute you're coming home from school, the next minute you're under the subway and dead. Well, "the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray..."
The Dead Girls Detective Agency begins with that death, something that could easily be chalked up to a slip of the foot but turns out to be something far more sinister. Murder. So, in order for Charlotte to move on she's got to solve her own murder - with the help of a few other dead teenagers in similar straits.
For me, The Dead Girls Detective Agency was a pretty solid three. It was entertaining enough to keep me reading and enjoying the ride, but glib enough for me to be wincing now and again as one too many references were made to current or past trends. It would have been served by being a bit more mature, following trends in YA fiction, but as it was? It was still a fun, if predictable and groan worthy read. It would speak to the younger YA crowd, maybe middle school rather than high?
The book wasn't bad, and had some rather good moments tossed into the mix. In particular, the reasoning behind why certain characters chose to - or not to - go through the Big Red Door to whatever is beyond. Similarly, the concept was amusing and there were a few good questions posited to make a series a distinct possibility. The world is entertaining, and a bit more depth would make it even better ride. If you feel like a silly read to snack to, or a book to maybe get a middle school girl reading? This would be a decent bet....more