FORTUNATELY, THE MILK by Neil Gaiman is a hilariously ridiculous story about a dad...moreOriginally posted at Escape Through the Pages with the same rating.
FORTUNATELY, THE MILK by Neil Gaiman is a hilariously ridiculous story about a dad who steps out to buy milk and takes quite a while about it. When he returns and his children ask where he had been (talking to a neighbour, most likely) their father spins an amazing tale of aliens, dinosaur police, a volcano god, pirates, wumpires, ponies, piranhas, and a hot air balloon.
The story of how the father winds up captured by aliens and then time traveling with Professor Steg, a dinosaur of some intelligence, in a hot air balloon all while avoiding nefarious pirates and wumpires and other nasties by aid of the milk (the milk is always there to save the day it seems) is extremely entertaining. Punctuated by remarks from his children that seem to both question and help further the story they’re being told, and accompanied by amazing illustrations that help you visualize the father’s journey, FORTUNATELY, THE MILK is very much a tale of “believe it or not.”
At the end, we’re first immediately aware (through the children’s observations) that the story is completely made up. But than the father produces the milk and the last illustration makes you really think twice about whether the father was actually on this amazing journey. FORTUNATELY, THE MILK by Neil Gaiman is a perfect bedtime or classroom story. Even without the aliens and pirates and everything else, the dinosaurs alone would make this story great. Dinosaurs are always a good choice. This is one book that can definitely be enjoyed by anyone and everyone – I loved it!(less)
I had so much fun reading Amanda Sun’s debut novel INK. Set in Japan, INK follows...moreOriginally posted at Escape Through the Pages with a 4.5 star rating.
I had so much fun reading Amanda Sun’s debut novel INK. Set in Japan, INK follows Katie as she meets and falls for Yuu Tomohiro, finds out kami (gods) are real, and that she has more to do with everything than she thinks.
There are so many aspects of INK that worked for me. I’m going to break it down and talk about a few reasons why. First, characters. I loved Katie. She’s very smart, determined and capable of looking after herself (with a bit of help sometimes, but everyone needs help sometimes). Katie is incredibly curious, a little awkward, sad (understandable, considering the reason she is living with her aunt in Japan is because her mother passed away) and even a little lonely. Throw in Tomohiro who is mysterious, protective, artistic and caring with a dash of angry loner boy thrown in and there is some awesome scenes and interactions between the two. The pacing of the book works very well with a mix of quieter moments and action packed, breath-catching ones. There are some secondary characters that throw quite a wrench in things, and really help flesh out the mystery and mythology of the story.
Which leads me into the love I have for the setting and mythology of INK. I’ve always had a fascination with Japanese history and culture (it’s the history major in me, that I love old cultures, I swear) and I feel that INK delivered a descriptive and engaging, though brief, glimpse into Japanese society. Amanda Sun herself lived in Japan for a time, so I felt comfortable trusting the picture she is showing us. Language is used wonderfully, and there is a glossary in the back for the Japanese words and terms that may be unfamiliar to the reader. The mythology that Amanda Sun created around the kami is very well developed and intricate – and though I’m still a little confused where some of the ink that is a sign of the kami comes from, I still quite enjoyed it!
INK by Amanda Sun is a slow-burn romance that winds its way through Yakuza thugs, gods in human flesh, high school, mysterious pasts, secret societies and family. There is a wider threat to Tomo and Katie that comes because of Tomohiro’s connection to the kami, and this first book only touches the tip of it. The out of control powers and the interest from the Yakuza are only the beginning. I am very excited to see where the sequel takes Katie, Tomohiro and the others involved. Should be an interesting ride!(less)
GRIFFIN'S STORM is book three in author Darby Karchut’s Griffin series – a series w...moreOriginally posted at Escape Through the Pages with the same rating.
GRIFFIN'S STORM is book three in author Darby Karchut’s Griffin series – a series which continues to deliver on all fronts. Showcasing an original, engaging plot, relatable and intriguing characters and some darn good writing, this is a great series.
In this third book, we are once again flying high with Griffin and his mentor Basil as the two perform their jobs as guardian angels amidst recovering from his stint as a mortal, navigating Griffin’s love life with mortal girl, and neighbour, Katie and the threat posed by Griffin’s old mentor Nicopolis. Griffin is still awesome; tough, kind, funny and sweet. There’s a bit of trouble in paradise with Griffin and Katie in this book, and we actually don’t get to see a lot of Katie. This part of the series sees more of the angelic side of things, with Griffin and Basil on the run from Nicopolis who is worse than ever and targeting not just Griffin anymore, but all Earth and Fire Terrae Angeli. Sergei returns for protection detail, and his and Griffin’s relationship is as snarky as ever! I did enjoy seeing the growth in their not-quite friendship. Though still competitive they are slowly learning a grudging respect for each other and Sergei definitely lends a hand when Nicopolis comes calling. As do the new angels that are assigned to help protect Griffin.
There are some teary moments in this book, one unexpected at the beginning and a few slightly more expected ones resulting from some pretty kick-butt battles with Nicopolis and his recruited group of Wind and Water Terrae Angeli. So much interaction with Nicopolis has forced Griffin to kind of come to terms with how Nicopolis treated him – you can definitely see how Griffin is slowly healing old wounds, and the crazy moment at the ending will go a long way to helping him completely move forward from that time (I think anyway! And wow, hard to do no spoilers. Let’s just say I don’t think Nicopolis saw it coming).
GRIFFIN'S STORM by Darby Karchut sees a lot of changes and growth for Griffin and company, and some interesting new plot developments that I am anxiously waiting to see culminate in a book 4 (I hope so!). This book does a wonderful job in bringing events from books one and two together in a clash of the angels and the intense moments are very well done. Griffin and Basil face their hardest challenge yet in this one, and though they weather the storm, they don’t come out unscathed. This series has continuously entertained and enthralled me – you just can’t help but cheer for Griffin!(less)
EVERY DAY by David Levithan is so beautiful. I was unsure how he would pull off the...moreOriginally posted at Escape Through the Pages with the same rating.
EVERY DAY by David Levithan is so beautiful. I was unsure how he would pull off the idea of a soul that has no body of its own but instead spends every day since its conception in a different body, borrowing a persons life for a day and then moving on, but I loved it and David Levithan did such an amazing job with this book.
Before I get into the review, I want to note that I will be using the pronoun ‘he’ for the main character A, purely because the love interest Rhiannon prefers males, and so is more comfortable with A when A is in a male body.
A is such an complex and interesting character. Growing up without a body of his own, A has the refreshing whole hearted belief that gender, race, orientation, abilities, etc. don’t matter – and he is so right. A has been in the bodies of men and women who have all kinds of unique characteristics, from blindness, crippling depression, all encompassing faith and more. A has seen is all, and been it all. And yet at times I still found A to be stubborn, a bit naive when it comes to relationships (understandable, since he has had no permanent relationships) and intense. But A is a good person. Just think of the damage he could do to a persons life if he was any less a good, honest, caring individual. The two main supporting characters, Rhiannon, A’s love interest and Nathan, a boy who A was for a day and who comes forward about his experience, are wonderfully fleshed out and relatable even with less screen time and being seen through A’s eyes.
Though it would have been nice to see more about how A is the way he is, and if there are many others out there like him, the story was about A’s revelations about his life after meeting and falling in love with Rhiannon. By the end of the book, I had been in tears two different times thanks to Levithan’s lyrical writing and the ideas that were being portrayed. To know that only one person in the world knows who you really are and that you even exist is heartbreaking. It has to be such a lonely existence, and yet this is A’s life – never forming attachments, having belongings or a family of his own. All he has are memories. While I think it would be amazing to experience so many aspects of human life, I see it being incredibly difficult and tiring.
EVERY DAY by David Levithan is one of those books that make you appreciate what you have, and makes you really think about the way you experience life around you and view the people you interact with. Would you be as strong as A in his convictions to not harm the lives of the people he inhabits for a day? Would you be as open to all realms of human life and love as A? I was completely swept away in EVERY DAY, and it is easily my favorite book so far this year. If you want poetic, gorgeous writing in a character focused book with just a hint of mystery and a love story? Than pick up EVERY DAY. It’s beautiful.
“I no longer think she’s just being nice. She’s being kind. Which is much more a sign of character than mere niceness. Kindness connects to who you are, while niceness connects to how you want to be seen.” - page 56, ARC(less)