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review 2017-11-22 23:04
Tackling real-life teen issues...with the power of music.
This Song Will Save Your Life (Audio) - Leila Sales

 

Book Title:  This Song Will Save Your Life

Author:  Leila Sales

Narration:  Rebecca Lowman

Genre:  YA | Realistic Fiction

Setting:  Glendale, Rhode Island

Source:  Audiobook (Library)

 

 

 

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Plot:  4.5/5

Main Characters:  5/5

Secondary Characters:  4.2/5

The Feels:  5+/5

Pacing:  5/5

Addictiveness:  4.5/5

Theme or Tone:  5+/5

Flow (Writing Style):  5/5

Backdrop (World Building):  4/5

Originality:  5/5

Book Cover:  5/5

Narration:  5/5

Ending:  5/5  Cliffhanger:  Nope.

Steam Factor 0-5:  2.5

Total:  4.5/5 STARS - GRADE=A-

 

 

 

A feel-good storyline paired with excellent narration and I couldn't help but love this.  A coming-of-age story about trying to fit in and wanting to just give up on it ever happening.  But…the thing is when you're not looking for something…that's when you'll find it.  

 

Does the storyline always seem plausible…not all the time, but it doesn't really matter.  It's not really the point of the story.  (I mean, seriously, I would never want my 16-year-old daughter walking the streets at night by herself, and I don't care how safe the town is supposed to be.)  But hey, I really liked Elise, her quirky family and most of her adorable friends.  Along with the narrator, they all made this a rather enjoyable listen on Audio.

 

Will I read more from this Author?  Yes.

 

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review 2017-11-06 17:46
Dragonfly Song - Wendy Orr

This was kind of a hard book to review, mostly because it almost falls between genres. It's classed as an upper Middle-Grade historical fantasy, which, that's not wrong . . .

 

I felt like it had more of a classic children's fiction feel to it. It's coming-of-age, and also a sort of epic hero's journey, straddling children's lit and YA in a way that's often done more by adult literary works. It touches on many 'big ideas': deformity, religion/society, acceptance, adoption, trauma, bullying, disability, purpose/identity, fate . . . The format is creative and unique. The story arc stretches from the MC's birth to age 14 and is told in omniscient third person varying with passages in verse.

 

I'm not sure if there was a meaning to the alternating styles; at some points, I thought the dreamlike verse passages were meant to show the MC's perspective in a closer, almost experiential or sensory format as an infant, a toddler, a mute child . . . but then that didn't necessarily carry through, so perhaps it was more to craft an atmosphere for the story.

 

The setting is the ancient Mediterranean, and the story picks up on legends of bull dancing. The world feels distinct, grounded and natural, without heavy-handed world-building. It's a world of gods and priestesses, sacrifice and death and surrender. Humans seem very small within it, and as a children's book, it's challenging rather than comforting. There's death and violence and loss, handled in a very matter-of-fact manner, so I'd recommend it for maybe ages 10+, depending on the child. It's not gratuitously violent or graphic, but it's a raw-edged ancient world where killing a deformed child, having pets eaten by wild animals, beating slaves - including children - and sacrificing people as well as animals to the gods is just part of life. 

 

I was very kindly sent a hardcover edition via the Goodreads Giveaways program, and the book production is lovely. It has a bold, graphic cover with some nice foil accents, a printed board cover (which I prefer for kids books due to the durability), fully illustrated internal section pages, and pleasant, spacious typesetting.

 

Confident, mature young readers will find this an engaging, challenging and meaningful read with an inspiring story arc and some lovely writing. Hesitant readers and very young readers will probably find it a struggle. I'd give it 5/5 as a product, 4/5 as a literary work and 3/5 as kid's entertainment.

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review 2017-11-03 03:42
Review: A Song for Quiet
A Song for Quiet (Persons Non Grata) - C... A Song for Quiet (Persons Non Grata) - Cassandra Khaw

This feels like it starts from the same seed as LaValle's The Ballad of Black Tom, but goes in a completely different direction. Both are lovely, almost complimentary tales.

 

While this is a second Persons Non Grata novella, John Persons' inclusion is more like The Doctor's in Blink than a regular episode. Not a complaint, it works quite well. However, I'm glad I had read the first one first so I knew who he was.

 

Will be delighted to read more of these. 

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review 2017-10-31 06:43
Cuckoo Song
Cuckoo Song - Frances Hardinge

Cuckoos are interesting birds. Several species of cuckoo engage in brood parasitism, meaning they drop their eggs in other birds’ nests so those other birds will raise their young for them. Does the title of Cuckoo Song seem a trifle more disturbing now? Good. The mood is set.

 

 

This book is strange and wonderful and creepy and delightful. It makes me wish I had a time machine so I could send a copy back to the ‘80s for ten-year-old me. While it’s meant for a Middle Grade audience, it’s got plenty of appeal for older readers. Early 1920’s England comes alive in the vivid prose. It might be premature to crown Frances Hardinge the Queen of Metaphor after reading one book, but I’d say she’s definitely in the running.

 

But this isn’t just a good, creepy, dark fairy tale. It’s a good, creepy, dark fairy tale with substance. It deals with issues of family love, loss, identity, and acceptance in kind of amazing ways. My hat’s off to Hardinge. This was a delicious book that I wanted to devour but just had to savor.

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text 2017-10-23 18:54
5 spooky books you're reading right now
Cuckoo Song - Frances Hardinge
Deadline - Mira Grant
Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods: Twenty Chilling Tales from the Wilderness - Hal Johnson,Tom Mead
What the Hell Did I Just Read - David Wong
The Turn of the Screw - Henry James,Richard Armitage,Emma Thompson

9 days to Halloween. If you're wondering what to read to feel the spirit of the upcoming night, check out what BookLikes bloggers are reading right now.

 

A blogger at Darth Pony is reading Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge  

Cuckoo Song - Frances Hardinge

When Triss wakes up after an accident, she knows that something is very wrong. She is insatiably hungry; her sister seems scared of her and her parents whisper behind closed doors. She looks through her diary to try to remember, but the pages have been ripped out.

Soon Triss discovers that what happened to her is more strange and terrible than she could ever have imagined, and that she is quite literally not herself. In a quest to find the truth she must travel into the terrifying Underbelly of the city to meet a twisted architect who has dark designs on her family - before it's too late.

 

A blogger at isanythingopen is reading Deadline by Mira Grant 

Deadline - Mira Grant

Shaun Mason is a man without a mission. Not even running the news organization he built with his sister has the same urgency as it used to. Playing with dead things just doesn't seem as fun when you've lost as much as he has.
But when a CDC researcher fakes her own death and appears on his doorstep with a ravenous pack of zombies in tow, Shaun has a newfound interest in life. Because she brings news-he may have put down the monster who attacked them, but the conspiracy is far from dead.
Now, Shaun hits the road to find what truth can be found at the end of a shotgun.

 

A blogger at Reading For The Heck Of It is reading Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods: Twenty Chilling Tales from the Wilderness by Hal Johnson

Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods: Twenty Chilling Tales from the Wilderness - Hal Johnson,Tom Mead

Meet the snoligoster, who feeds on the shadows of its victims. The whirling whimpus, who once laid low an entire Boy Scout troop. And the hoop snake, who can chase prey at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour and then, with one sting of its venomous tail, cause it to turn purple, swell up, and—alas—die.
These and 17 other fearsome creatures are among the most fantastical beasts in American folklore. Their stories, as narrated by one of the last surviving cryptozoologists, are best enjoyed while sitting around a campfire. If you dare.

 

A blogger at What I am reading is reading What the Hell Did I Just Read - David Wong

What the Hell Did I Just Read - David Wong

From the writer of the cult sensation John Dies at the End comes another terrifying and hilarious tale of almost Armageddon at the hands of two hopeless heroes.

It’s the story “They” don’t want you to read. Though, to be fair, “They” are probably right about this one. No, don’t put the book back on the shelf – it is now your duty to purchase it to prevent others from reading it. Yes, it works with ebooks, too; I don’t have time to explain how.

While investigating a fairly straightforward case of a shape-shifting interdimensional child predator, Dave, John, and Amy realized there might actually be something weird going on. Together, they navigate a diabolically convoluted maze of illusions, lies, and their own incompetence in an attempt to uncover a terrible truth that they - like you - would be better off not knowing. Your first impulse will be to think that a story this gruesome – and, to be frank, stupid – cannot possibly be true. That is precisely the reaction “They” are hoping for.

 

A blogger behind Ani's Book Abyss is reading The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

The Turn of the Screw - Henry James,Richard Armitage,Emma Thompson

Henry James's classic ghost story The Turn of the Screwhas been enthralling readers for over a century and shows no sign of losing popularity as new generations continue to discover this chilling masterpiece.
The novella's anonymous narrator is a young woman, a parson’s daughter, who is engaged as governess to two seemingly innocent children at a remote English country house. What initially seems a idyllic soon turns nightmarish, as she becomes convinced that the children are consorting with a pair of malevolent spirits. These are the ghosts of former employees at Bly: a valet and a previous governess. In life, scandalously, the two of them had been discharged as illicit lovers, and their spectral visitations with the children hint at Satanism and possible sexual abuse. The book amply fulfills its pledge, laid down in the first few pages, that nothing can touch it in terms of sheer “dreadful—dreadfulness.”

 

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