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review 2018-12-15 13:17
The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone - Jaclyn Moriarty 
The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of... The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone - Jaclyn Moriarty

So much win.  It's kind of amazing how much I love Moriarty's books. I really liked how it all came together. Interesting universe with so many pirates and dragons and water sprites, but also committees and dull trips and people being late to pick one up at the station. I only had two tiny quibbles: it's weird to read about a girl living in a more-or-less-contemporaneous setting who wears dresses or skirts all the time. It's just a slight thing, but it pulls me just the tiniest bit out of the story every time a dress or skirt is mentioned because I so rarely see girls or women in them anymore. And also, this is a very white world. Not that everyone is explicitly called white, but because no one isn't. The illustrations reinforce the white-is-default impression. It's a good thing that I've become so accustomed to reading books with a diverse cast that I can't stop noticing when there aren't any other characters.

 

Despite those two issues, I loved the book. It's my favorite middle grade in I don't know how long. Highly recommended for white readers.

 

Library copy

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review 2018-12-13 00:02
Which would you choose: Mortal or magic?
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Vol. 1 - Jack Morelli,Robert Hack,Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Vol. 1 by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa came onto my radar because I saw the super edgy trailer for the Netflix show and of course I felt I needed to at least read the first volume (containing the first 6 issues) before I started in on the show. :-P [A/N: For those unaware, this alternate reality version of Sabrina exists in the same realm as Archie and his pals over in Riverdale and you can keep your eyes peeled for my review of that too.] This is a comic book series that takes the familiar character of Sabrina Spellman (Remember that cute show about witchy magic with that super sarcastic talking cat named Salem?) and turns it onto its head. This is Dark Stuff and trust me the capitalization is warranted. The story starts out with Sabrina's parents, Warlock Dad and Mortal Mom, who disagree on how to raise their newborn daughter. According to coven law, Sabrina should be blessed by Satan so that when she comes of age she can formally sign Satan's book and give her soul over to him. (Did I mention this was dark?) These parental disagreements result in the mother being driven insane and Sabrina being entrusted to her witchy aunts to be raised 'properly'. So now Sabrina walks in two worlds (witch at home and mortal at school) and by the time she is 16 (present day in the comics where it's the 1960s) she is thoroughly confused about where she fits in which is par for the course with most teenagers if we're completely honest. Gore, violence, Satanism, cannibalism, necromancy, first love...your standard high school experience. The artwork was unlike anything I'd ever consumed in a comic or graphic novel medium before with bold colors and almost grotesque characterizations. I dug it. Horror fans and those that like re-imaginings of familiar tales will enjoy the world that Aguirre-Sacasa has crafted immensely. Yes, it's Dark Stuff but it's also boldly imaginative and well-formed. He's not only crafted this but another series called Afterlife with Archie (not to mention the tv series Riverdale). This is an author to watch! 10/10

 

PS Salem the cat is in this version as well!

 

PPS I started the series and I'm digging that too!

 

Not too spoiler-y since it's from the beginning. [Source: The Mary Sue]

 

What's Up Next: Star Trek Destiny #2: Mere Mortals by David Mack

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond and The Science of Supervillains by Lois H. Gresh & Robert Weinberg

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2018-12-11 02:00
Ornaments of Death
Ornaments of Death: A Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery (Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries) - Jane K. Cleland

Josie is having her annual Christmas party and her cousin, Ian, has arrived from England and she is beyond delighted to have him arrive. When he goes missing, she tries to find him and when he is missing for more than a day, a body is found and when she identifies it as her cousin, she finds out that his daughter is now missing. 

 

This story had many twists and turns and looked at ancestry and antiques and provenance. I had found it last year when my girls started getting braces and borrowed it, but ran out of time to read it, so I just would borrow and read a bit more, finally reading it now. 

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review 2018-12-09 06:39
rising from the ashes
Riding Towards Shadows - Nellie Merthe Erkenbach

Riding Towards Shadows really impressed me more than most books I've read in recent months.

A self-discovery novel that exudes strength and vulnerability at the same time, is personal and also help (almost instructions) for women in a similar situation. Nellie Merthe Erkenbach takes us on her journey through the pain of loss, a journey into her past, which she undertakes to heal in the present.

The Glasgow of the 1990s is an unknown world but opens up through Erkenbach’s vivid descriptions and flashbacks.

Riding Towards Shadows is a "road movie" and that's why the vehicle plays a special role; her motorcycle, a Harley-Davidson Sportster, is almost mythical, a symbol of masculinity that helps this woman to emancipate from male stereotypes. The actual journey thus becomes an inner development, a maturing process.

Because these are real people, some characters remain a little unclear but this gives the story a certain kick.

Riding Towards Shadows is suffering from love lost and growing through dealing with the pain, it is not a humorous book but one that stays with the reader for a long time after the last page is turned.  

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review 2018-12-09 01:38
The Koala of Death
The Koala of Death - Betty Webb

Book 2 of the Gunn Zoo Mystery

 

Teddy is awoken to the sound of something bumping her houseboat. When she goes out she finds a fellow zookeeper floating dead in the water. When another keeper is accused she feels that she needs to help him and get to the truth...for several reasons. She is being forced to be the tv presence of the zoo, the PR person and the blog writer, and all she wants to do is be a keeper, taking care of her animals. When the murderer starts aiming at her, she really feels the need to find the truth. She wants to return to her home and not live in her mother's place. 

 

This book was requested on the trip and we finished it and my family was laughing at some of the things that happened and were "said." My husband even asked, "How did I find these books?" 

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