I purposely read this immediately after finishing Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl because I wanted to still be under the influence of comicI purposely read this immediately after finishing Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl because I wanted to still be under the influence of comics-as-novels enthusiasm when I took on the DC side of the coin.
I love Bond's take on the character of Lois Lane. She is an army brat with a quick mind, a quicker tongue, an instinct for news and a nose for trouble. This Lois Lane doesn't need Clark Kent, but if I'm being honest, I really wanted him to make a more significant appearance in this book, which I recognize is unfair to both Lois and Bond.
This is an updated twist on a very old plot line, with today's technology and modern teenage problems. Fallout centers around the issue of bullying, both in cyberspace and in school. Lois is the kind of teenage girl I would want (and endorse) as a female role model. She exemplifies integrity, bravery, and selflessness while still subject to the same worries and pitfalls as any 17-year-old – confusing boy behavior, making (and keeping) friends, etc.
Lois Lane: Fallout can pass as a middle grade book, which is both a strength and a weakness in my eyes. It does not contain any major content issues that might prevent it from being appropriate for the 10+ readers, but its plot is perhaps more juvenile than what a middle school or young adult reader has an appetite for, especially when (unavoidably) compared to Black Widow.
That said, Fallout is a promising start to a contemporary imagining of the coming-of-age tale of Lois Lane, one of the most famous female fictional characters of the 20th century, and I look forward to reading more from Gwenda Bond. ...more
This review refers to the ARC I received from Marvel Press.
First, a couple of caveats:
1. Comic books in general and The Avengers in particular are noThis review refers to the ARC I received from Marvel Press.
First, a couple of caveats:
1. Comic books in general and The Avengers in particular are not typically my "thing." Therefore some of my friends may have very different takes on this book given their individual levels of involvement with Marvel Comics.
2. My 5-star rating is because this book is perfect for what it is and should not be compared to my 5-star rating of Jane Eyre, for example. Consider it scaled.
Black Widow: Forever Red is, in my opinion, just an awesome YA novel. I can't say too much without giving away the plot, but Margaret Stohl did an amazing job taking a well-known character (characters, if you include a major secondary)and bringing her past and present to life in a way I don't think we've seen before. Full of action but thankfully devoid of graphic violence and salacious language, this is my ultimate middle school pick so far for 2015. The cover on the edition I have is not the same as pictured here on GoodReads and is marked as "not final," but if Marvel Press can keep as gender-neutral a cover as possible for the release, I think they've got a real winner for both boys and girls ages 12 and up come fall.
Black Widow maybe, just maybe, could sell me on The Avengers after all......more
More like 3.5 stars, this book falls short of 4 not due to lack of quality but because its primary appeal will be to adults. Artistic in style and witMore like 3.5 stars, this book falls short of 4 not due to lack of quality but because its primary appeal will be to adults. Artistic in style and with a great message, this is the kind of title that could win a Caldecott, but will likely never be the book your child pulls off the shelf night after night. ...more
Mac Barnett easily has one of the best senses of humor among contemporary children's authors, and Telephone does not disappoint. Jen Corace's illustraMac Barnett easily has one of the best senses of humor among contemporary children's authors, and Telephone does not disappoint. Jen Corace's illustrations really make this book, however. The very first page is striking – colorful, bright, and pleasing to the eye with its clean lines, details, and geometric patterns.
A fun and beautiful picture book, Telephone's only shortcoming will be its susceptibility to overshadowing by Barnett's ever-increasing body of other works. Fans of Mo Willems, make sure to check out Mac Barnett if you haven't yet. ...more
This review refers to the ARC I received from the publisher.
Hailed as a book for lovers of Coraline, I did not immediately race to get my hands on thThis review refers to the ARC I received from the publisher.
Hailed as a book for lovers of Coraline, I did not immediately race to get my hands on this title. But Jon Klassen is a name I never choose to pass on, and now here we are.
My rating is closer to a 3.5, as I have mixed feelings about this book. I read it in a single sitting, which speaks to its pace, readability, and engrossing factors - all of which are excellent.
But it's just so CREEPY and dark. Marketed to middle grade readers, I can't wrap my brain around a 10-year-old not suffering nightmares and an almost-irrational fear of wasps after this story.
This is Alfred Hitchcock for kids, my friends. It is extremely well-written and morbidly fascinating, but it is not for the faint of heart. Neil Gaiman fans - rejoice at this offering. The rest of you? Consider yourselves warned. ...more
Perhaps the struggle I went through just to get my hands on a copy of this book colored my expectations, after dealing with the disorganized nightmarePerhaps the struggle I went through just to get my hands on a copy of this book colored my expectations, after dealing with the disorganized nightmare that was Macmillan at BEA 2015 not once but twice. The fanfare-ish "Ocean's Eleven meets Game of Thrones" was effective marketing, but does not pan out in the actual text. It resembles Ocean's Eleven to the extent it is about a group of riff-raff who come together to pull off a heist believed to be impossible. The comparison to Game of Thrones I don't see at all unless the "focalization" or POV narration is the basis, but even then the change of character does nothing to impact the reader's experience.
There is no doubt this story is action-packed and will likely appeal to the target YA audience. Personally, I gave up almost 400 pages in when the plot line of Nina and Matthias annoyed me to the extent where I couldn't continue to care.
One point to note for parents and educators - about 315-316 pages in, Bardugo decides to drop an f-bomb. Just one. The rest of the language is clean, the violence is slightly graphic and the hints at the prostitution industry are less-so. I am dismayed at that single instance, not because I have any issue with adult language, but because it was so unnecessary and will result in this title being passed on (for example from Book Fairs). ...more
Jennifer E Smith is the master of realistic teen romance. Never contrived, not too cheesy, and beautifully reflective of the mixture of maturity and nJennifer E Smith is the master of realistic teen romance. Never contrived, not too cheesy, and beautifully reflective of the mixture of maturity and naïveté characteristic of that age when love comes into play.
Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In-Between is a tender journey through a teen couple's last night together before heading off to opposite sides of the country, as they relive moments and memories special to them. Clare and Aidan waver between optimism, realism, and fear as they ponder what the future has in store for them and they must decide — hang on to something uncertain that means everything, or quit while they're ahead. Their choice may surprise you. ...more
Edgewater hooked me from the first chapter. I have always been a sucker for stories about how the "other half" live, and thus I was drawn in by imaginEdgewater hooked me from the first chapter. I have always been a sucker for stories about how the "other half" live, and thus I was drawn in by imagining a life of huge NY mansions, boarding schools, celebrity boys, and of course – owning a horse to bring to riding camp.
The mysteries and twists Sheinmel includes are bonus material. Certain elements may be predictable to some readers, but many of them I simply did not see coming. I appreciate an author with the ability to still surprise me.
Despite an ending that felt a bit too seamless and my only emotional reactions being tied to a horse, this tale was very well-written and enjoyable. There is no mature content I would find concering, so I recommend it for ages 11-12 and up.
A bit reminiscent of Augusten Burroughs' Running With Scissors, a little like Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep, and with much in common with the horse stories I loved as a preteen, Edgewater is an engaging book about what it's like to find out that not only do you not have it all anymore, but nothing you believe is as it seems. ...more