Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Oh-My-Word Readathon: 2012 Edition

Hello, readers!

I am participating yet again in Squeaky Books' annual year-end readathon: the Oh-My-Word-The-Year-Is-Over-And-I-Haven't-Reached-My-Goal Readathon. Last year I actually had reached my goal at this time so I was causally readathoning, but this year I have been speeding through books for the last few days to try to reach my goal of 200 books by January 1st.

Although I've been readathoning on my own for a few days, at the official start of this readathon, I have 6 books to go in order to reach my goal, and 5 days in which to read. I'm going to be crazy busy and/or out of town until New Year's Eve, but if I can time it right, I just might be able to make this happen.

Because it is going to be such a close shot to finish enough books in time for New Year's, I am extending the readathon an extra two days, until December 31.

Reading List:
  • Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
  • Iron Hearted Violet by Kelly Barnhill
  • Renegade Magic by Stephanie Burgis (Read 26 Dec)
  • Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli (Read 26 Dec)
  • Instead of Three Wishes by Megan Whalen Turner (Read 27 Dec)
  • Book of Enchantments by Patricia C. Wrede (Read 30-31 Dec)
  • Tales from the Brothers Grimm and Sisters Weird by Vivian Vande Velde
  • Fathomless by Jackson Pearce (Read 28-29 Dec)

I tried to choose a mix of long and short books, and included three short story anthologies because they're both fun and quick. I am especially looking forward to Seraphina, Iron Hearted Violet, and Fathomless.

december 27
Yesterday I read Renegade Magic, which was fun and light and exactly as I expected it to be. I really liked it but preferred Kat, Incorrigible. I still would like to see what comes next for Kat. Then I read Stargirl which was amazing and totally surprised me; I had read it on a friend's recommendation, which next to no idea what I was getting myself into. I absolutely loved it.

Today I could barely keep my eyes open long enough to read, but managed to finish Instead of Three Wishes, which I'd forgotten how much I liked. I really enjoyed it and it certainly made me excited to reread some of MWT's other works. I'll have to revisit Gen next year.

december 28
I meant to read a lot more than I did today. I had time to read during the day but did not have a book with me until the evening, when I read the first 200 pages of Fathomless. I wanted to read much more, but unfortunately didn't have the time. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

december 29
Today was a really good reading day. I finished Fathomless, which ended up being very exciting, and also started two more books. I visited a bookstore and found a fantastic gift for my English teacher: The Annotated Alice. This particular teacher is my favorite English teacher I've ever had, and he taught a semester of Through the Looking Glass two years ago (which I took, and loved) so I thought he would enjoy this annotated edition. And I'm hoping he won't mind if I take a peek at it first, since the annotations are actually quite interesting. I've read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass many times (I have a well-loved copy on my shelves) and the notes in this addition add a whole new layer to a story I already love. I finished Alice in Wonderland tonight, and will read Through the Looking Glass tomorrow. I also read the first two stories in Book of Enchantments, both of which I enjoyed quite a bit. As with Instead of Three Wishes, I'd forgotten how much I liked these stories.

december 30
Today I visited the bookstore where I bought my beloved copy of Howl's Moving Castle, and found a copy of Robot Dreams, a graphic novel that I read nearly two years ago and was never able to find again. I reread it in the store along with Sarah Varon's new book Bake Sale, which brings me so close to finishing my 200-book goal. I also read a few more chapters in The Annotated Alice and a bit in Book of Enchantments, but overall did not read much. Tomorrow I am going to finish my challenge, and it will be New Year's Eve Day!

december 31
Today I finished Book of Enchantments and The Annotated Alice, and finished my challenge. Happy New Year!

Happy reading!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Unravel Me

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week, I am eagerly waiting on...
Unravel Me, by Tahareh Mafi

Summary (from Goodreads):
tick, tick, tick, tick, tick
it's almost
time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life.

Unravel Me will be released February 5th 2013 by HarperCollins.

What are you guys waiting for this week? Leave thoughts and links in the comments!

P.S. Signups for the Graphic Novel Readathon are still going on! Join in the fun January 3-6! Click here to sign up.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Top 10 Graphic Novels

In honor of the upcoming Graphic Novel Readathon, I decided to make a list of my 10 favorite graphic novels. This list was not as difficult to make as I thought it would be, as I had room for most of my favorites. Although the list is a "top ten," the books are not strictly in order of how much I like them. The first three definitely deserve their place at the top, but other than that, I love them all.

So, without further ado:

1. Rapunzel's Revenge / Calamity Jack, by Shannon, Dean and Nathan Hale
These are my absolute favorite graphic novels. As I say in my review, these are the books I will turn to again and again. I'll never tire of them, and I recommend them to young and old alike.

2. Bone, by Jeff Smith
A fantastic and epic tale. I have read this at least four times in the last three years, and I love it more every time. It's quite long, but the length simply adds to how much I enjoy it.

3. Amulet, by Kazu Kibuishi
One of my favorite graphic novel series. I look forward to the release of each volume (there are 5 so far) and the story continues to get better with each one.

4. The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick
The Invention of Hugo Cabret is not strictly a graphic novel, but it is absolutely amazing, and I am counting it in this list because the images are just as important as the text. A fantastic read.

5. Robot Dreams, by Sara Varon
A sweet and simple story with a powerful message. I loved this book, and cannot wait to revisit it.

6. Anya's Ghost, by Vera Brosgol
Subtle and enjoyable, Anya's Ghost is a great read for all ages. The illustrations are excellent, and the story is entrancing.

7. Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword / Hereville: How Mirka Met a Meteorite, by Barry Deustch
A great story about "Yet another troll-fighting 11-year-old Orthodox Jewish girl." Deutsch makes the most of the graphic novel format, and teaches the readers a bit too in this lovely coming-of-age tale.

8. Smile, by Raina Telgemeier
A fantastic coming-of-age story with great illustrations, a strong voice, relatable protagonist, and engaging story. I'd happily hand this to any middle school girl.

9. Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales, by Nathan Hale
A fun and fact-filled historical series for middle graders. I loved them and am eagerly awaiting the next volume.

10. The Adventures of Tintin, by Hergé
I haven't yet read all 24 volumes of the Tintin series, but I've loved those I have read. They have a timeless quality and are pure fun. I am excited both to reread my old favorites and to discover the rest of the books.

And there you have it: my ten favorite graphic novels! I could go on and on and on with honorary mentions, but suffice it to say that there are many excellent graphic novels that didn't make it onto this list. I hope to revist them as well during the readathon.

I find it interesting that all of the books on this list are middle grade graphic novel. It's not as if GNs for older readers don't exist - they do, and I've read them - but I prefer my GNs for the younger set. I get more out of the story if I am not cringing from R-rated content. Plus, middle grade graphic novels are awesome, so there's nothing more to say.

Don't forget to sign up for the Graphic Novel readathon, going on right here at Pica Reads, on January 3-6! Read some of the books on this list, or come up with your own list of favorites!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

My Reviews of The False Prince and A Curse Dark as Gold featured on Bookshop Talk

Bookshop Talk, a fantastic blog run by Jessica Day George, Amy Finnegan, and Kim Thacker, features reviews that people send in of their favorite books.

Last week, they posted my review of The False Prince, along with a review from my fellow blogger Debz. Today, they posted my review of A Curse Dark as Gold. Click here to read them!

Check it out! Links lead to my reviews on Bookshop Talk.

P.S. Signups for the Graphic Novel Readathon are still going on! Join in the fun January 3-6! Click here to sign up.

Waiting on Wednesday: Asunder

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week, I am eagerly waiting on...
Asunder, by Jodi Meadows

Summary (from Goodreads):
Ana has always been the only one. Asunder. Apart. But after Templedark, when many residents of Heart were lost forever, some hold Ana responsible for the darksouls–and the newsouls who may be born in their place.

Many are afraid of Ana’s presence, a constant reminder of unstoppable changes and the unknown. When sylph begin behaving differently toward her and people turn violent, Ana must learn to stand up not only for herself but for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

Ana was told that nosouls can’t love. But newsouls? More than anything, she wants to live and love as an equal among the citizens of Heart, but even when Sam professes his deepest feelings, it seems impossible to overcome a lifetime of rejection.

In this second book in the Incarnate trilogy, Ana discovers the truth about reincarnation and will have to find a way to embrace love and make her young life meaningful. Once again, Jodi Meadows explores the extraordinary beauty and shadowed depths of the soul in a story equal parts epic romance and captivating fantasy.

Asunder will be released January 29th 2013 by Katherine Tegen Books.

What are you guys waiting for this week? Leave thoughts and links in the comments!

P.S. Signups for the Graphic Novel Readathon are still going on! Join in the fun January 3-6! Click here to sign up.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Announcing the Graphic Novel Readathon

I am happy to announce an event I've been hoping to host for a while: The Graphic Novel Readathon! This January, I will be hosting four days full of the wonderfulness that is the graphic novel.

I will be hosting mini-challenges and giveaways, and gushing about my favorite graphic novels, AND we will be having a fantastic interview with one of my very favorite author/illustrators. Sound good?

Please fill in this form if you are interested in hosting a mini-challenge or writing a guest post.

To sign up for the readathon (whether or not you want to host), use the linky below:

And don't forget to comment with your favorite graphic novels! I will be posting a list soon of some of my favorites, and I am always excited to learn about new ones.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Prodigy

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week, I am eagerly waiting on...
Prodigy, by Marie Lu

Summary (from Goodreads):
June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—-June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.

But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?

Prodigy will be released January 29th 2013 by Putnam Juvenile.

What are you guys waiting for this week? Leave thoughts and links in the comments!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Judge a Book by Its Cover: Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes

In Judge a Book by Its Cover posts, I compare different covers for the same book, and judge which cover, in my opinion, best fits the book, either because it is the cover I'd be most likely to pick off the shelf or because it fits the style, mood, or plot of the book. I'd love to hear your opinions on these covers.

This edition of Judge a Book by Its Cover will compare the different covers of Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes. I reviewed this great MG last week, and thought that its covers would be fun to compare. See what you think...

Cover No. 1
US (and most other places)

This is my favorite cover because it best captures the whimsy of the novel. I love the image of Peter's silhouette sneaking across the rooftops and the crows in the background. The illustration style is very fitting for this story, and the colors are both eye-cathching and complementary.  I really like the title font, especially that the I in Nimble is a keyhole: very fitting for this story. 

Cover No. 2
Ladrão de Olhos - Portuguese Edition

This cover has most of the same elements as the US cover, but I don't like it nearly as much. Without the small touches such as the keyhole I and the blindfold around Peter's head as he walks across the roof, the cover seems much more stock. It also seems much more a children's book rather than an MG. That said, I still do like this cover:  I just prefer the other. 

Cover No. 3
Питър Нимбъл и неговите фантастични очи - Bulgarian Edition

This image is so different from the other covers. Although the scene is rather perilous, the cover says "fun" to  me. I like that it shows Peter on his actual journey, and features the floating jars. However, I don't think it quite represents the story inside as well, and I wouldn't be nearly as likely to pick it up off the shelf.

My Favorite: I will stick to the good old US cover. As much as I do like the other covers, there's nothing like the original.

Which is your favorite? Judge this book by its cover!

Want to suggest a book for Judge A Book by Its Cover? Click Here for the form!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Shades of Earth

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week, I am eagerly waiting on...
Shades of Earth, by Beth Revis

Summary (from Goodreads):
Amy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceship Godspeed behind. They're ready to start life afresh--to build a home--on Centauri-Earth, the planet that Amy has traveled 25 trillion miles across the universe to experience.

But this new Earth isn't the paradise Amy had been hoping for. There are giant pterodactyl-like birds, purple flowers with mind-numbing toxins, and mysterious, unexplained ruins that hold more secrets than their stone walls first let on. The biggest secret of all? Godspeed's former passengers aren't alone on this planet. And if they're going to stay, they'll have to fight.

Amy and Elder must race to discover who--or what--else is out there if they are to have any hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together. They will have to look inward to the very core of what makes them human on this, their most harrowing journey yet. Because if the colony collapses? Then everything they have sacrificed--friends, family, life on Earth--will have been for nothing.


Shades of Earth will be released January 15th 2013 by Razorbill.

What are you guys waiting for this week? Leave thoughts and links in the comments!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Review: Yearbook

by Ally Condie
Series: Yearbook #1
Paperback, 231 pages
Published September 15th 2006 by Shadow Mountain
Age Recommendation: Young Adult

Summary (from Goodreads):
It was the first day of school at Lakeview High, and everyone was afraid of something. Michaela Choi was afraid that Ethan Back was never going to ask her out on a date. Andrea Beck was afraid that someone would find her weak spot, the chink in her armor. She was afraid of knowing what it was herself. Principal Downing was afraid she was going to die. Julie Reid was afraid that no one would notice her. She was also afraid that someone would. And there was a deeper, unnamed fear inside her that she couldn't escape - a fear that she was nothing and no one . . . Yearbook is a captivating story about relationships and heartaches and fears and ideas and doubts and testimonies and everything that a teenage mind and a backpack can contain. But most important, Yearbook is a novel about how everyone has something to offer and something to learn.

I bought Yearbook at an Ally Condie signing last year with no idea what it was about. I am glad that in this case I dove in blind, because I definitely enjoyed this book that I normally would stay far away from. I didn't know that the book had an LDS element, and as someone with very little exposure to those beliefs, it was a totally new experience for me to read about a belief system new to me and different from my own.

Mostly, I enjoyed the beautiful writing - one of the quotes still sticks in my head even though I read the book more than a year ago:
"The doors to the school swung open once, twice, a thousand times, and all the students came in, bumping into each other and walking down the hall together and passing one another. They brought backpacks and watches and notebooks and ideas and heartbreaks and earphones and aspirin and makeup and mirrors and memories and testimonies and doubts and questions. Stories were everywhere. The bell rang, and the school year begun."
The story switches perspectives between a number of different characters (7, I believe) who all attend the same school and follows the ebb and flow of each of their journeys. In any other book, 7 POVs would be too much (looking at you, Rick Riordan), but in Yearbook, it seemed perfectly balanced. Every character (amazingly) had a distinct voice and no one seemed lost in the jumble.

I really enjoyed stepping out of my comfort zone with this books and reading something very different than the usual. I appreciated that while Yearbooks had a religious element, it was not the ultimate solution to all problems. One character especially found solace in religion, but I was able to read (and enjoy) the story without feeling like the characters' values were being preached or shoved at me. For this gentle touch, I thank you, Ally Condie. (A side note: I personally did not find this element be too much for me, but I bear in mind that everyone has their own comfort level.)

Overall Thoughts:
Even as a person who doesn't read contemporary as a rule, I have to say, Yearbook was a beautifully written story that engaged me with its lovely prose and complex characters. Recommended for anyone willing to take a chance on something new.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mini-Review: Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes

by Jonathan Auxier
Series: none
Hardcover, 381 pages
Published August 1st 2011 by Amulet Books
Age Recommendation: Middle Grade

Summary (from Goodreads):
“Now, for those of you who know anything about blind children, you are aware that they make the very best thieves. As you can well imagine, blind children have incredible senses of smell, and they can tell what lies behind a locked door—be it fine cloth, gold, or peanut brittle—at fifty paces. Moreover, their fingers are so small and nimble that they can slip right through keyholes, and their ears so keen that they can hear the faint clicks and clacks of every moving part inside even the most complicated lock. Of course, the age of great thievery has long since passed; today there are few child-thieves left, blind or otherwise.

At one time, however, the world was simply thick with them. This is the story of the greatest thief who ever lived. His name, as you’ve probably guessed, is Peter Nimble.”

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes was very whimsical; it was the type of book you need a certain mindset to read, but if you can channel your inner child, is so much fun and so rewarding. Peter Nimble felt like a "classic" children's tale. It seemed almost Alice-esque, but with hints of other of my favorite MG and kid's books, like Cornelia Funke's stories, The Phantom Tollbooth, and even a bit of The False Prince. Some parts of the story seemed obviously written for a younger audience (like the prophecy, which would have been a big reveal if I hadn't guessed it the first time I read it) but I enjoyed it very much all the same.

Overall, Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes was an unusual and original story with will delight early middle graders. I can easily see it as a great read-aloud book as it is perfect for all those young at heart.

Waiting on Wednesday: The Archived

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I have decided to try Waiting on Wednesday posts instead of Monday's regular Cover Crazy.

This week, I am eagerly waiting on...
The Archived, by Victoria Schwab

Summary (from Goodreads):
Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often-violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper isn't just dangerous-it's a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da's death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.

In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption.

The Archived will be released January 22nd 2013 by Hyperion.

What are you guys waiting for this week? Leave thoughts and links in the comments!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday Face-Off: Magic Castles

Friday Face-Off is a weekly feature hosted by Misty at The Book Rat

This week's FFO compares two covers that, although illustrated, seem to come from the same scene: Ordinary Magic by Caitlen Rubino-Bradway and Rump: The True Story of Rumplestilskin by Liesl Shurtliff. I could imagine looking through the trees on the left of the Ordinary Magic cover and seeing the castle from Rump. They have smilier color palettes and the titles look very similar as well.

I personally prefer the cover for Rump, since it seems more focused on the central image of the kids and the tower, whereas everything in the Ordinary Magic cover seems to be leaning away from the center. The Rump cover is also really cool when zoomed in (as I would recommend).  

But now it's your turn to choose...
Which cover did it better?

Click on any cover to enlarge.
Leave your thoughts in the comments!

On last week's FFO: Ashes on the Waves won against the older victor of A Beautiful Dark with three votes to zero.

As usual, you are still welcome to comment with your thoughts on old FFOs, and I will update this page accordingly.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mini-Review: Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword

by Barry Deutsch
Series: Hereville #1
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published November 1st 2010 by Amulet Books
Age Recommendation: Middle Grade

Summary (from Goodreads):
Spunky, strong-willed eleven-year-old Mirka Herschberg isn’t interested in knitting lessons from her stepmother, or how-to-find-a-husband advice from her sister, or you-better-not warnings from her brother. There’s only one thing she does want: to fight dragons!

Granted, no dragons have been breathing fire around Hereville, the Orthodox Jewish community where Mirka lives, but that doesn’t stop the plucky girl from honing her skills. She fearlessly stands up to local bullies. She battles a very large, very menacing pig. And she boldly accepts a challenge from a mysterious witch, a challenge that could bring Mirka her heart’s desire: a dragon-slaying sword! All she has to do is find—and outwit—the giant troll who’s got it!

A delightful mix of fantasy, adventure, cultural traditions, and preteen commotion, Hereville will captivate middle-school readers with its exciting visuals and entertaining new heroine.

As creative and unusual middle grade graphic novels go, Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword is an excellent standout. Mirka's story is engaging and different, and readers will be delighted to see her come into her own. The plot is well-written and the illustrations are fantastic. I was especially glad to see that the story was self-contained in a single volume (I have read far too many graphic novels where none of the loose ends are wrapped up for several volumes), and even within the somewhat restrictive graphic novel format, Deutsch was able to show Mirka's growth as a character and connect her journey to itself in a larger way.

The story is very different from everything else I have read in the genre, mostly set apart by Mirka's unique community and family. Everyone in Hereville is orthodox Jewish (as referenced by the awesome subtitle "Yet another troll-fighting 11-year-old Orthodox Jewish girl"), and the graphic novel format is excellent at showing the reader around this fictionalized community that still adheres to very real traditions.

Overall Thoughts: The story was very clever, with great characters, an interesting plot, and engaging illustrations. I would happily hand this to a middle schooler (girl or boy) looking for a good graphic novel. I'd never heard of it outside of the one author interview I found, and it definitely deserves a larger audience. I recommend giving Mirka a try.

I found this trailer on the author's website, and I liked that it gave an example of the illustrations. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Review: A Tale Dark and Grimm & In A Glass Grimmly

by Adam Gidwitz
Series: A Tale Dark and Grimm #1 and #2
Hardcover, 252 pages
Published October 28th 2010 by Dutton Juvenile
Age Recommendation: Middle Grade

Summary (from Goodreads):
In this mischievous and utterly original debut, Hansel and Gretel walk out of their own story and into eight other classic Grimm-inspired tales. As readers follow the siblings through a forest brimming with menacing foes, they learn the true story behind (and beyond) the bread crumbs, edible houses, and outwitted witches.

Fairy tales have never been more irreverent or subversive as Hansel and Gretel learn to take charge of their destinies and become the clever architects of their own happily ever after.

These books were fantastic and fun middle grade reads. I picked up A Tale Dark and Grimm during the Fairy Tale Readathon, and it was the perfect book to get me excited about reading during an extended readathon. When I finished A Tale Dark and Grimm, I immediately ran out for In A Glass Grimmly, because I wanted to continue with such a fun book.

In each chapter, Gidwitz modifies an original Grimm tale (or sometimes another fairy tale) to create a flowing narrative which, in A Tale Dark and Grimm, follows Hansel and Gretel, and which, in In a Glass Grimmly, follows Jack and Jill. He uses both well-known and lesser-known tales, ranging from Faithful Johannes to Hansel and Gretel.

As much as I liked the fairy tales (and I did like them very much), the best part of these stories is the constant narrator commentary. The narrator inserts his (or her, but I'll assume his as the author is a man) thoughts every few pages, speaking directly to and even playing tricks on the reader. It reminded my a little bit of the Bartimaeus books, but without the footnotes. This narrator doesn't both with footnotes. He sticks his thoughts right into the middle of the text. And it totally worked - it was hilarious.

In A Tale Dark and Grimm, I loved Hansel and Gretel, the main characters. They were excellent middle grade protagonists: clever, interesting, and proactive. In In a Glass Grimmly, Jack and Jill were not quite as fun. Although I enjoyed the narratorial comments just as much if not more in In a Glass Grimmly, I found the characters not quite as easy to connect to or sympathize with.

Overall Thoughts: I would happily recommend this to any middle grader who came my way, especially a middle grade boy who was in a reading slump. I enjoyed it quite a bit, and I am proud to add these volumes to my collection of fairy tale retellings.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Cover Crazy: Towering

Cover Crazy is a weekly meme hosted by The Book Worms on Mondays. The idea is to showcase a beautiful book cover each week.

This week, I'm crazy about...
Towering, by Alex Flinn

For a change, I am not a fan of the girl-in-a-dress part of this cover. I definitely preferred when Alex Flinn's books all had the red, white, and black flowers and the matching thorny font. The flowers connected the different books in my (and I'm sure other readers') mind(s) with the author and the other books.

However, I do really like the other elements of the cover. It is very clearly a Rapunzel retelling, especially combined with the title, Towering (which does keep the thorny font that I like so much). I like the way the colors play off each other. With the dark sky, the snow, the tower, and the white dress, her hair seems to be nearly the only color in the cover, and certainly pops against all the other elements. I also really like the way that the snow is placed on the cover. I can't quite put my finger on why but it is my favorite part. The tower is also really cool.

All in all, even though I am not such a fan of the girl or the dress, this cover makes me very excited to pick up Alex Flinn's new release.

Want to know more about Towering?
At first, I merely saw his face, his hands on the window ledge. Then, his whole body as he swung himself through the window. Only I could not see what he swung on.
Until, one day, I told my dream self to look down. And it was then that I saw. He had climbed on a rope. I knew without asking that the rope had been one of my own tying.

Rachel is trapped in a tower, held hostage by a woman she’s always called Mama. Her golden hair is growing rapidly, and to pass the time, she watches the snow fall and sings songs from her childhood, hoping someone, anyone, will hear her.

Wyatt needs time to reflect or, better yet, forget about what happened to his best friend, Tyler. That’s why he’s been shipped off to the Adirondacks in the dead of winter to live with the oldest lady in town. Either that, or no one he knows ever wants to see him again.

Dani disappeared seventeen years ago without a trace, but she left behind a journal that’s never been read, not even by her overbearing mother…until now.

A #1 New York Times bestselling author, Alex Flinn knows her fairy tales, and Towering is her most mind-bending interpretation yet. Dark and mysterious, this reimagining of Rapunzel will have readers on the edge of their seats wondering where Alex will take them next!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...