What fun this book was! I'm already quite partial to Kerstin Geir, ever since the Ruby Red trilogy was translated to English. Dream A Little Dream hasWhat fun this book was! I'm already quite partial to Kerstin Geir, ever since the Ruby Red trilogy was translated to English. Dream A Little Dream has everything you need to get lost in a quick read. Adorable family drama, a protagonist with a sharp wit, and some pretty boys who are hard to look away from. Best of all, there's no love triangle! YA abounds with these, and so reading a book where that isn't necessary is essentially the best thing ever.
Let's talk about Liv, our protagonist, first. I absolutely adored her. Liv's character is adorably awkward. She's sweet, has a wit to be reckoned with, and doesn't fold under pressure. In fact, what I loved most about her was how vibrant she was. Even in the face of darkness, because trust me when I say that this book isn't all sunny skies, Liv shines. She's a logical character which doesn't quite stop her from being all swoony over boys, but it does make it much more fun to read.
Even better, is the family relationship in this story. Liv's mother travels constantly for work. As such, Liv and Mia are shipped off all over the globe and never really settle. Their mother is a bit flighty, but her love for them comes through. Still, it's the relationship between Liv and Mia that takes center stage. These sisters are so sweet! Sure, there's the normal banter and bickering. There's also a ton of adoration and support there too. I love sister relationships, and this one was perfection.
Story wise, things move quickly but there's always just enough explanation to make it easy to follow. I'll admit that there are a few plot holes, I definitely had some questions at the end, but I'm heartened by the fact that this is a trilogy! I need more as soon as possible....more
How do you resist a character like Amber Alessandra Leola Kimiko Miyamoto? Easy answer. You don't. I read the synopsis, fell in love with this half-JaHow do you resist a character like Amber Alessandra Leola Kimiko Miyamoto? Easy answer. You don't. I read the synopsis, fell in love with this half-Japanese, half-Italian little girl, and promptly added this to my reading list. I'm a big pusher of Middle Grade stories. Most specifically, I fully endorse any story that deals with diverse characters and real life situations. Dream On Amber hit all those points, and I couldn't wait to read it.
First off, I want to give a high five to Emma Shevah for writing such a wonderfully realistic eleven year old girl. As a person who worked with children for a huge chunk of my life, I always love to see a character who feels real. Amber impressed me to no end. Her love of art, but her fear of sharing that passion with others was spot on. Middle school is a scary place to begin, and setting yourself apart from others is difficult. Plus I absolutely loved the interaction between Amber and her little sister Bella. Anyone who has been a big sister knows that fine line we walk between annoyance and pure love for our little sisters. Amber and Bella felt like a real set of sisters, and I loved it.
In fact, it was Amber's family life that really stole my heart. From her hardworking single mom, to her whimsical little sister, this group of characters came to life on the page. I think stories like this are important for Middle Graders. How many kids are there out there who are suffering from a dad shaped hole, just like Amber? How many of them wish they had someone to identify with? Plenty. Which is why I'm happy Dream On Amber is in existence. This is important stuff.
So why the three star rating? Mostly, and I'm being completely honest, it's because I didn't identify with this story as a whole. There were a lot of parts that I enjoyed, Amber being the main attraction. However I also felt like there could have been a deeper exploration of her feelings. There's a quick look at some bullying, that kind of blends into the background. Amber's art is in the background, but never quite comes to the forefront. This is the perfect story for a young reader, I just didn't feel like it had the oomph to transcend past that age group.
Still, this is a solid story that I'd highly recommend to any young readers. Especially those who might be missing a dad....more
Ah, serial killers. The one thing that I am both completely terrified of, and yet utterly fascinated with. I can think of nothing worse than the evilAh, serial killers. The one thing that I am both completely terrified of, and yet utterly fascinated with. I can think of nothing worse than the evil that you don't see coming. A person who blends seamlessly into society, but is nothing but darkness beneath the surface. It might be a bit macabre, but I rather like throwing back the covers and peering under the bed. Straight into the eyes of what scares me most.
Which is why Nailbiter Volume 1: There Will Be Blood soared to the top of my to-read list the minute I read a review of it on a comic website that I frequent. Imagine a place where these killers are born. A place brimming with an unnaturally high count of blood-soaked murderers. That, my friends, is Buckaroo, Oregon. A town that came to life on the page in all its gritty and rundown glory. I admit, I was hooked from the moment my eyes fell on the first full page spread of this graphic novel. It's dark. It's bloody. It's so well done.
I was introduced to NSA Agent Nicholas Finch, a man with his own dark secrets in the past. Williamson does such a great job of creating a character that, despite any darkness he might have inside him, is just too good of a person to dislike. I was rooting for him the entire time. His need to find his friend, his inability to let any person that he had the chance to save die, all of it made him a character that I could get behind. As the mystery grew around him, I found myself worrying more and more about his well being. Nailbiter isn't a happy story by any means. People die. Violence is normal. I just wanted Finch to survive it all.
The absolute only reason I gave this 4, rather than 5, stars is because I really believe that there could have been a little more tied up at the end. I'm all for clues and cliffhangers. For the most part, Nailbiter excels at laying out just enough to keep you eagerly following along. However the ending made me a little cranky. Yes, I know this is only the first volume. There's more out there. I just wanted a little more resolution. Still, this is a great first volume! You can bet I'll be back for more....more