Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street ~ Lindsay Currie (earc) review [@lindsayncurrie @simonkids]

The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street
Aladdin
October 10, 2017
304 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon


A girl unravels a centuries-old mystery after moving into a haunted house in this deliciously suspenseful mystery.

Tessa Woodward isn’t exactly thrilled to move to rainy, cold Chicago from her home in sunny Florida. But homesickness turns to icy fear when unexplainable things start happening in her new house. Things like flickering lights, mysterious drawings appearing out of nowhere, and a crackling noise she can feel in her bones.

When her little brother’s doll starts crying real tears, Tessa realizes that someone—or something—is trying to communicate with her. A secret that’s been shrouded in mystery for more than one hundred years.

With the help of three new friends, Tessa begins unraveling the mystery of what happened in the house on Shady Street—and more importantly, what it has to do with her!

The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street is a fun ghost story and story of friendship. Tessa has to deal with a mix of both the normal things (new school and new friend anxieties, missing her best friend, cold weather, everything being unfamiliar) and the not so normal (flickering lights, drawings appearing on her sketchpad, strange noises) when her family moves from Florida to Chicago.

Even if everything were normal, with no paranormal happenings, the move would be a lot for the twelve-year-old. Add in the weird occurrences and she's ready to go back to Fort Myers.   If her new friends can help, maybe she can stay - and like it.

I really enjoyed the blend of Tessa's adjustment to a new town, new house and new school with the supernatural elements. The way they worked together from how Tessa's feelings about her house impacted her feelings about Chicago to it all gave her something to talk to her potential new friends about, was done very well.

There were a few inconsistencies or inaccuracies that pulled me out of the story a bit. They were not things that really affected the story but they were distracting.

The relationship Tessa has with her parents was nicely done. Though her character could, at times, feel younger than twelve, I liked how the situation (the move first, then the weird events at the house) allowed us to see different aspects of their relationship than we otherwise would have. The author also did a nice job including different types of parenting while having them all be loving and involved.







digital review copy received thanks to publisher, via NetGalley

Waiting On Wednesday [@epicreads @shhenning]

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

My pick for this week:



SEA WITCH by Sarah Henning

Everyone knows what happens in the end.
A mermaid, a prince, a true love’s kiss.
But before that young siren’s tale, there were three friends.
One feared, one royal, and one already dead.

~~~~~~~~~~

Ever since her best friend, Anna, drowned, Evie has been an outcast in her small fishing town. A freak. A curse. A witch.

A girl with an uncanny resemblance to Anna appears offshore and, though the girl denies it, Evie is convinced that her best friend actually survived. That her own magic wasn’t so powerless after all. And, as the two girls catch the eyes—and hearts—of two charming princes, Evie believes that she might finally have a chance at her own happily ever after.

But her new friend has secrets of her own. She can’t stay in Havnestad, or on two legs, unless Evie finds a way to help her. Now Evie will do anything to save her friend’s humanity, along with her prince’s heart—harnessing the power of her magic, her ocean, and her love until she discovers, too late, the truth of her bargain.

The rise of Hans Christian Andersen’s iconic villainess is a heart-wrenching story of friendship, betrayal, and a girl pushed beyond her limits—to become a monster.



published July 31st by Katherine Tegen Books

add to your Goodreads shelf // pre-order from Book Depo // or Amazon


Why?

I love the idea of an origin story for a villain (as in Marie Lu's The Young Elites). Readers get a character that we know who and what they become, and finally get to see the how.


Most of us already know Ursula from Disney's The Title Mermaid or maybe you know the witch from reading the fairy tales, either way Sea Witchis going to tell the part of her story we don't already know. Since this is a 'villain' that is already familiar to me, I am really intrigued to find out how much works backward from what we know of who she becomes and how much shows us parts about her character that we never knew - past or future.

It can be so much fun to know a character's end point but to, now, get to see the journey to that point, both where the character started, who they were then, and what it was that happened to them or that they did that set their course.



That's my pick for this week, what's yours? Tell me in the comments and/or link me to your own post!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Not Now, Not Ever ~ Lily Anderson (earc) review [@ms_lilyanderson}

Not Now, Not Ever
Wednesday Books
November 21, 2017
320 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

The sequel to The Only Thing Worse than Me Is You, inspired by The Importance of Being Earnest.

Elliot Gabaroche is very clear on what she isn't going to do this summer.

1. She isn't going to stay home in Sacramento, where she'd have to sit through her stepmother's sixth community theater production of The Importance of Being Earnest.
2. She isn't going to mock trial camp at UCLA.
3. And she certainly isn't going to the Air Force summer program on her mother's base in Colorado Springs. As cool as it would be to live-action-role-play Ender's Game, Ellie's seen three generations of her family go through USAF boot camp up close, and she knows that it's much less Luke/Yoda/"feel the force," and much more one hundred push-ups on three days of no sleep. And that just isn't appealing, no matter how many Xenomorphs from Alien she'd be able to defeat afterwards.

What she is going to do is pack up her attitude, her favorite Octavia Butler novels, and her Jordans, and go to summer camp. Specifically, a cutthroat academic-decathlon-like competition for a full scholarship to Rayevich College, the only college with a Science Fiction Literature program. And she's going to start over as Ever Lawrence, on her own terms, without the shadow of all her family’s expectations. Because why do what’s expected of you when you can fight other genius nerds to the death for a shot at the dream you’re sure your family will consider a complete waste of time?

This summer's going to be great.

Just when I was starting Not Now, Not Ever I got a bit of news that felt sort of like .  . .well this:


Which wouldn't matter except that I think it's why I didn't realize how this book and The Only Thing Worse than Me Is You connected. I knew they were supposed to but somehow I did not connect the characters from the first book with those (now older) ones here. That lets me tell you that I did not love these characters simply because of their connection to or presence in the earlier book. 

But I did really, really, really love them and I love the book as a whole more now that I do remember. So, you do not have to read The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You first - this is much more a companion book than a sequel - but I recommend that you do. Actually, read them one right after the other for maximum: 


I have so, so much love for Ever. From her take on time travel and it's issues around language (Then again, I wanted an Oxford linguistics textbook because of something Doctor Who made me look up . . . .) to her math grade ("I knew I was smart, but I'd only pulled a B minus in geometry.") to her desire that science fiction and fantasy not mix (at least on bookshelves).

The mix of familial expectations, personal goals and dreams, a camp of geniuses, and the contrast between the military discipline of parts of Ever's family and the summer at Rayevich College made for a very full, enjoyable, memorable and compelling story.

There was a great collection of characters - both those you may already know from TOTWTMIY and new ones - with a myriad of reasons for attending the summer program. Their personalities, how seriously they took things, their motivation for being there and how they interacted with each other made for a lot of fun but also for believable, realistic relationships and frictions.

Now Now, Not Ever is a fantastic second novel that does a really great job bringing in characters from Anderson's first book but making them older so they can play a different role in this story and so that the focus is really on Ever (and that boy on the cover, too!). Lily Anderson's characters are brilliant and

 I would absolutely read a dozen more books with these characters, or a mix of these and new ones like TOTWTMIS and Not Now, Not Ever.




Oh, and of course Ever can like Firefly but not Buffy but, I do so here's a random Buffy GIF::











digital review copy received via NetGalley thanks to publisher

Top Ten Tuesday: Books to be Thankful For [j@uliebux @ChessieZappia @MyraMcEntire]


This week's Ten:
10 Books for Which I'm Thankful


When I was just starting one of these books (Not Now, Not Ever - review coming in about an hour!) I got some Huh-Who-Wait-What-Hunh?! news that left me both upset and unsure about a lot of things but it made me realize just how thankful I really am for books that can take my mind off of things and make me happy. (There are definitely the emotional, painful, thought provoking ones, too but for this list I chose the happiness inducing ones.)

Oh, it's also technically more than ten books but some are serious/companions/the same author, so . . .


The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You by Lily Anderson

Not Now, Not Ever by Lily Anderson
review (live later this morning)





These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Goodreads


Artemis by Andy Weir

The Martian by Andy Weir




Made You Up by Francesca Zappia




Lola & the Boy Next Door (Anna & the French Kiss #2) by Stephanie Perkins




Timepiece (Hourglass #2) by Myra McEntire




Blackhearts (#1) by Nicole Castroman

Blacksouls (#2) by Nicole Castroman




These Vicious Masks (#1) by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas

These Ruthless Deeds (#2) by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas




Love, Lies & Spies (#1) by Cindy Anstey

Duels & Deception (#2) by Cindy Anstey


What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum
(I really should review this one)




Please leave a comment and let me know some of the books you're thankful for right now!
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