Charlie Fletcher creates a well thought out of world and characters, though he takes a bit too long to for the plot to begin. I lost interest after ovCharlie Fletcher creates a well thought out of world and characters, though he takes a bit too long to for the plot to begin. I lost interest after over a hundred pages and had yet to sympathize with any characters to read more....more
Darcy Patel’s world is about to change: she has just graduated from high school, sold her first YA book, and is putting off college to move to New YorDarcy Patel’s world is about to change: she has just graduated from high school, sold her first YA book, and is putting off college to move to New York for a career as a writer. She is surrounded by her favorite YA authors and will have to navigate the world of adults: budgets, deadlines, and heartbreak all while finishing rewrites and completing the first draft of her second novel.
Elizabeth (Lizzie) Scofield's world is also changing: the sole survivor of a brutal terrorist attack, she meets a Hindu death god, Yamaraj, and is now able to travel between the worlds of the dead and living.
The book is told through alternating stories: the author, Darcy Patel, and the novel she is editing. By interweaving these stories the reader will get a glimpse of the inner workings of the publishing industry and the decisions that a writer must make in creating a novel and the results of this work in the novel section. The other story about Lizze includes her learning how the underworld works and about her abilities from Yamaraj, a living person that can cross over, who has been around for thousands of years. Lizzie will also discover a family secret that has been haunting her mother for years.
This impressive 600 page book reads quickly as you want to find out about each of these women’s lives, though I did feel that it lost momentum halfway through due to an over abundance of happiness in both of their lives, which can only mean that something tragic is coming your way.
I am conflicted about how I feel about the two sections of the book. On the one hand, I enjoyed Darcy’s story and all her conflicts and learning more about the world of publishers and writers. The novel that Darcy was spinning left me feeling gypped and not fully flushed out, but only giving glimpses of the ability to move to other places, where Yamaraj lived, and to what purpose Lizzie and Yama had to the newly dead. The mystery of her family's secret felt resolved too quickly and neatly and the connection between Lizzie and Yamaraj shallow. Which if I keep in mind this is a debut author’s first novel, I can rectify myself to a novel with a lot of potential. An excellent novel about taking you into the world of a new author in the process of getting published and weaving back and forth between the process and the creation. A very different direction for Westerfeld, but deftly created. ...more
A story told in a form of a college personal essay about the journey of “Harry,” Harbinger Robert Francis Jones, the kid who was almost struck by lighA story told in a form of a college personal essay about the journey of “Harry,” Harbinger Robert Francis Jones, the kid who was almost struck by lighting, his struggles to live with his scars, his trouble finding friendship, and eventually learning to find solace in music. Harry navigates through school being bullied because of his scars and lives a life of solitude. Until the day comes when he is befriended by Johnny, the good looking athlete, who becomes his first friend and teaches him about friendship, betrayal, and acceptance. Even though the idea of starting a band wasn’t his, Harry learns to find salvation and confidence through creating and performing music which changes him forever.
Harry’s story is told through a series of short chapters with song headings providing a theme and a great soundtrack for those who know the music. The story is set in the 1980’s so the music will probably not be familiar to most teens of this generation, given that many are fairly obscure songs to begin with. Those that are interested in music may take the time to look up the music online, but I fear for many they will ignore the references. Though the story has many musical references, the story is about Harry living with his physical and emotional scars from being burned as a child and learning how others react to him, such as his dad calling him a “toaster”. Vlahos peppers his writing with geeky references to Star Wars and Star Trek, decision making lists, and fantasy scenarios that bring a lightheartedness to some of the more serious scenes, such as getting bullied or getting over a broken heart. Overall an engaging story for teens and adults alike that will provide a glimpse of why people form bands and what music can mean for these people. ...more
I was a bit disappointed with this a collection after being a long time fan of the other Crumim novels. This was had to much narrative back pedaling aI was a bit disappointed with this a collection after being a long time fan of the other Crumim novels. This was had to much narrative back pedaling as it filled in some gaps in the Crumin narrative. I think this may be fine for those who are new to the world and are reading the collective books as they come out....more
A family finds themselves stranded on an unusual island after their family sailing trip gets caught in a storm. The family will come to grips with theA family finds themselves stranded on an unusual island after their family sailing trip gets caught in a storm. The family will come to grips with their differences as they unravel the secrets of the island.
The illustrations are engaging and express the comic mishaps of the family well. The story gets a bit convoluted with the origin story of the island as it weaves itself in and out of the main storyline. The story us filled with stereotypical family gags with a fast moving plot. This would be more enjoyable for middle school readers, where older teens may find the plot too obvious....more