Saturday, January 20, 2018

Beneath the Sugar Sky, by Seanan McGuire

Beneath the Sugar Sky, the third volume in Seanan McGuire's Wayward Children series picks up shortly after the events in Every Heart A Doorway. And all I can say is, wow!

Rini, a resident of the land of Confection, is in for a surprise when she lands in the turtle pond behind Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children. The visiting teen thinks she's got a simple quest ahead of her: Find her future mother, Sumi, and return with her to Confection so Sumi can fulfill the prophecy and save the land. But Sumi has been dead for several months, murdered by Jill, another resident of the home. Jill committed this, and several other crimes, as a desperate attempt to reopen the door to the sinister world in which she and her sister felt most at home. Now Rini and four other Waywards must travel to the land of the dead and beyond in hopes of finding Sumi, somehow resurrect her, and bring her home. And they better hurry! Otherwise history will rewrite itself completely and Rini, the land of Confection, and maybe other worlds will all doomed.

This series just gets better and better! And Beneath the Sugar Sky is a very satisfying addition to what is shaping up to be a truly excellent fantasy series. It's also quickly becoming one of my favorites. In this book, we readers get a more in-depth look at worlds only alluded to in previous volumes. The world building, the characters, the creativity...it all combines to create a story that's pretty extraordinary.

Absolutely recommended! But....for ultimate enjoyment, read the series in order. 

--AJB 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Foolish Hearts, by Emma Mills

Foolish Hearts was such an enjoyable novel to read!

Prior to reading this novel, I had not read anything or heard of anything written by Emma Mills. Until a friend handed me the book and I started reading it and I'm happy to say that I absolutely loved it!

I could go on endlessly about the author's style of writing. The writing and the story flowed so well, the characters were likable and everything was extremely relatable. Not only was this an extremely accurate "coming of age" story for teenagers but at the same time, some of the event/emotions that the characters are feeling can relate to any age. It definitely is a suitable novel for a variety of ages and I think that many will get enjoyment from it.

Additionally, in attribution to the author's style, the humor within this novel was legitimately laugh-out-loud funny. Believe me, it actually had me laughing out loud and wanting to tell people the jokes that I read. They were unique, creative and a direct representation of the author's personality.

Overall, I just can't get over this novel or the level of the author's writing. The writing style in combination with an incredible story made for the perfect "recipe". I could go as far as comparing the style of writing of this author resembling a female John Green and I mean that in the highest esteem. Definitely recommend this novel and I know for certain that I will be on the look out for more that has been written by Emma Mills. *JK*

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Misfit City, by Kiwi Smith

The tiny coastal town of Cannon Cove is known for two things things: The first is its record abundance of cloudy/rainy days. The second (and by far the biggest) is it was the was where the 1980s cult classic movie, The Gloomies, was filmed. Other than that, nothing exciting ever happens. Which is why Wilder is so anxious to leave for college. In fact, the further away she can get from Cannon Cove, The Gloomies, and the constant stream of (annoying) tourists, the better.

Then Captain Denby, the town recluse, dies and donates a trunk to the local museum. A trunk that just happens to contain an ancient treasure map that, if sources are correct, was created by none other than the legendary (and infamous) pirate, Black Mary. Wilder, along with friends Macy, Dot, Karma and their dog Pip set off to translate the map and see where this adventure might lead. Maybe to treasure! But predictably there are some very bad people after the map as well. Which means Wilder and company find themselves deeply involved in what could be the most exciting (and dangerous) adventure of their lives so far.

The story ends on a pretty big cliffhanger, so we can (hopefully) expect the adventure to continue. And the sooner the better!

Misfit City is the first installment of a fun new graphic novel series by Kiwi Smith. The references to real-life 1980s movie The Goonies are obvious and intentional. I will tell you that I am a HUGE fan of this movie. It's one of my favorites and something I can happily watch again and again. So it goes without saying that I was very excited about this book! But despite the pirate treasure-themed plot, Misfit City is not an exact reboot of the film (but with a female cast). And it is the differences that make it an awesome read. 

I'd recommend this for readers who love series featuring strong female characters, like Lumberjanes and Giant Days. Fans of The Goonies won't want to miss this either. --AJB