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review 2015-07-31 02:21
Nothing Dry about the read!!

As with most of my recent reads, I saw some buzz about The Dry on Twitter, so I checked it out. The blurb was intriguing, and I picked it up. Good choice!

Synopsis (from the author): West Virginia, 1895
A deadly dry spell has left the earth parched and souls desperate. Crops are failing. Cities are starving. A missing newspaper man doesn't account for much in times so terrible, except to the twelve-year-old son he left behind. When Elliot Sweeney discovers the search for his father has been called off, he boards a train alone to find him.
His quest leads Elliot into the depths of an abandoned mine, with a peculiar pocket watch, a blind burro, and a gutsy girl at his side. He finds a world he never dreamed of, even in his worst nightmares, and lands smack in the middle of a war between two kingdoms. Monstrous insects, smiling villains, and dark riddles are everywhere.
˃˃˃ Greed! Drought! Child-slavery!
Elliot must decide who to trust, the horrible Prince LeVane who is turning the entire world to dust, has enslaved hundreds of children, and is working his father to death? (If Elliot doesn't go to the water lands to retrieve the mysterious knife that LeVane demands, his father will die.) Or should Elliot trust the fascinating water nymph, Queen Tosia, who says she will help him rescue his father? But then he overhears her making plans to kill him.
˃˃˃ A page turner!
Will loyalty, family, and love prevail over greed and exploitation? Deciding who to trust may prove to be Elliot's greatest challenge, while the fate of the world above hangs on his choice.

What I liked: Rebecca Nolen created a horrific scenario of a deadly drought that is devastating the country, and a missing father trying to discover why children are disappearing. Elliot, the missing newspaper reporter’s son, sets off to find his father, and the adventure begins. The boy meets Lefty, a young girl searching for her brother, is sucked into a fantastic underground world, fights bugs, wasps, and other creatures, including Prince LeVane, the evil ruler of the dry world underground. Good story, great characters, sacrifices for family and friends, and an innocent look at the world make this an amazing read. It made me want to be a part of the adventure! The interesting facts about the wasps added a nice little touch, too.

What I didn’t like: The flow of the story was a little rambling, and some parts were disconnected to me, and took me out of the story occasionally.

Overall impression: I enjoyed the book. I connected with Elliot’s character and appreciated the actions of the wasps. And, I learned cool things about wasps! Overall, it was an excellent read for MG and above!

My rating: 4.5 Stars (rounded to 5 Stars)

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review 2015-03-31 21:30
The Dry by Rebecca Nolen
The Dry - Rebecca Nolen

The Dry is a historical fantasy or fairytale set in the late 1890’s of Virginia when children were used to work in the coal mines. A desperate drought has taken place in the area and Elliot has been left with his Uncle Nat while his newspaperman father searches out the story of missing children. He doesn't return when he's supposed to and so three months past his expected return date, Elliot, feeling his uncle's disgruntlement at his continued presence, sets out to find his father.


Elliot travels to a coal mine where the children are forced to work and ends up in a strange world called Penumbra. Penumbra is filled with creatures of all sorts that can talk and do all kinds of amazing things.


There are interesting facts about wasps at the beginning of each chapter that have nothing to do with the book, although there are wasps in the story. The author makes a note at the beginning of the book that the facts are there simply so that readers can learn 42 fascinating facts about wasps that they didn't know before (all without knowing they were learning something). I think that's a wonderful idea!


The Dry is rich with fun language: palindromes as well as uniquely and brilliantly descriptive word choices - "noodley grass tufted across the far bank", " trees stretched across like a crowd of old men warming their skinny limbs".


The Dry is a book that makes the reader think along with Elliot, for the words can have a double meanings. That's part of the twisting and turning in the plot of the story. There's plenty of that and it all happens fairly quickly too.


If you enjoy fantasy and fairytales, I suggest you give The Dry a read.  I think you'll enjoy it. I rated it 4 stars out of 5.



Thank you to the author for providing a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.


This review was published on my blog Shelf Full of Books at http://kathrynsshelffullofbooks.blogspot.com/2015/03/book-review-dry-by-rebecca-nolen.html

Source: kathrynsshelffullofbooks.blogspot.com/2015/03/book-review-dry-by-rebecca-nolen.html
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text 2014-10-13 15:07
A (mostly) clean slate
Self-Reference ENGINE - Toh Enjoe
Blood+ Volume 1: First Kiss (Novel) (v. 1) - Ryo Ikehata
Quiet. The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking - Susan Cain
The Dry - Rebecca Nolen

I leave in three days, and there's no way I'm going to finish my library books before then and get all the stuff on my To Do list done. I've also decided to clean off most of the other stuff on my "currently reading" list. That just leaves The Last Firewall.


Self-Reference ENGINE - Toh Enjoe - I made it to page 49 out of 341. I never got far enough in to say whether it's weird-good or weird-bad, so I'd like to give it another go later.


Blood+ Volume 1: First Kiss (Novel) (v. 1) - Ryo Ikehata - I made it to page 78 out of 354. This book was...not good. And yet, I'd still like to finish it as some point, if only because it's in my Japanese light novel collection.


Quiet. The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking - Susan Cain - I made it to page 104 out of 333 (271, if you don't count the index and notes). It's very readable, but I'm not a nonfiction person. I haven't actually touched it in weeks.


The Dry - Rebecca Nolen - I made it to the 15% point. I feel bad about this one, because I won it in a BookLikes giveaway. This is the second time I've started it, and the second time I quit. I've never gotten far enough in to say whether it's good or bad. I just need to read it at the right time, I guess. This was not the right time.

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text 2014-08-13 19:08
Currently reading
You've Got Murder - Donna Andrews
The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Travel - 'Joshua Piven', 'David Borgenicht'
Cleopatra's Moon - Vicky Alvear Shecter,Kirsten Potter
Be With You - Terry Gallagher,Takuji Ichikawa
Quiet. The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking - Susan Cain
Blood+ Volume 1: First Kiss (Novel) (v. 1) - Ryo Ikehata
The Dry - Rebecca Nolen
Herb-Wife - Elizabeth McCoy

Clearly my "currently reading" list is out of control. My attention span kind of sucks at the moment. Here's how things have been going so far:


You've Got Murder - Donna Andrews - I started rereading this last night, inspired by Elizabeth McCoy's Queen of Roses. I got it via Open Library - this time around, instead of checking out an error-riddled EPUB version, I'm going with PDF. Getting the book to open took several minutes, and the initial page turns were slow, but things improved. As far as the book goes: it's a cozy mystery starring an artificial intelligence named Turing Hopper. Although Andrews' approach to Turing makes for a smoother story, I kind of prefer McCoy's more clearly "not human" Sarafina.


The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Travel - 'Joshua Piven', 'David Borgenicht' - I actually started to panic a little, while reading the chapter on how to crash land a small plane on water. Thankfully, most of this stuff will likely never happen to me.


Cleopatra's Moon - Vicky Alvear Shecter,Kirsten Potter - So boring. And Selene doesn't sound the slightest bit like a 9-11 year old - not just the narrator, but the writing itself. Yesterday I listened to music so as to avoid this book, so I should probably DNF it. I feel a little guilty about that, though, because I think I might have been the one who asked that my library buy it.


Be With You - Takuji Ichikawa,Terry Gallagher - The translation is smooth - such a relief. I would describe the story and its narrator as being quiet, timid, and a little odd.


Quiet. The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking - Susan Cain - I'm so bad with nonfiction. I finished the first chapter or two really quickly and haven't picked up the book since. I should probably try the book again later.


Blood+ Volume 1: First Kiss (Novel) (v. 1) - Ryo Ikehata - I could open this book up to any random point and find horrible writing/translation. It's gotten to where I've stopped writing down oddly worded sentences, because there are just too many of them. Still, it's interesting to see Okinawa and the U.S. military presence there entirely from the perspective of Okinawans.


The Dry - Rebecca Nolen - I've been stalled on this for a while, too. It's not a bad book so far, but I don't seem to be in quite the right mood for it.




Herb-Wife - Elizabeth McCoy - Whoops, forgot one. I got sidetracked while reading this and haven't managed to turn my attention back to it. Like I said, attention span issues.

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text 2014-06-04 00:41
I won another BookLikes giveaway!
The Dry - Rebecca Nolen

I actually won this a couple days ago, but forgot to post about it. It's in my queue, although I probably won't get to it until after Christopher Hinz's Paratwa books. It's a MOBI file and will therefore have to be tablet read.


I love the cover. Freaky and gorgeous at the same time.

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