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review 2017-12-04 02:15
What-the-Dickens by Gregory Macguire
What-the-Dickens: The Story of a Rogue Tooth Fairy - Sarah Coleman,Gregory Maguire

Synopsis: When a lone, lost, and dangerously naive fairy named What-the-Dickens,
is born out in the world, he must survive and find a home and become the tooth
fairy he was born to be.

Review: What-the-Dickens is actually two stories. One story is of some kids and
their older cousin alone in an empty house in the middle of a dangerous
thunderstorm, who tells them the other story of a rogue tooth fairy lost in the
world. Its a lighthearted story, although I wouldn't call it funny necessarily.

What-the-Dickens is an endearing character who spends most of the first half of
the book trying to make friends with everyone he meets. A large, hungry cat, a
larger bengal tiger, and a motherly bird. Eventually he meets Pepper, another
fairy who reluctantly introduces him to Northwest Sector, Division B, less
formerly known as Undertree Commons.


I liked the character development in this book. Everyone has a lot of
personality (the mama grisset who thinks What-the-Dickens is her child was particularly
endearing), and there are a host of others as well. Including a mouse riding
fairy aristocrat, his butt kissing assistant, and a flighty fairy celebrity.

My gripe with it is, though, it didn't really know where to go with the plot. Or
maybe it did, it just didn't go very far. I'd love to see a sequel where What-
the-Dickens and friends take on some bigger challenges and expand the plot, but
sadly it doesn't look like a sequel is forthcoming anytime soon. Its a shame
because I really liked many of the characters. The other story with the kids is barely even worth mentioning; it's dull, to say the least.

Next up is Ursala le Guin's 'The Tombs of Atuan' a fantasy classic from her
Earthsea Cycle (the 2nd of 4). Its short and I'm trying to get through some of
those before the year's end.

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review 2014-05-17 17:01
Being Sloane Jacobs
Being Sloane Jacobs - Lauren Morrill

I don't think any book that is so steeped in sports can get any more charming than Being Sloane Jacobs! After I closed that book, I was just sitting there with a silly grin on my face. No kidding. I wanted to hug the book to sleep. It was that adorable. And yet I totally got into the sports parts. They were realistic, they were intense, and all the dynamics between team mates and competitors were so on point, I recognised a lot of the situations both Sloane Emily and Sloane Devon found themselves in.


While it sure is difficult to pick up a sport over a summer, I did think it was possible in the case of Sloane E. and Sloane D. Both had strong athletic backgrounds and both were immensely comfortable on ice. I've managed to break into a couple of sports myself in such short time spans too, so I didn't take issue with their camp swaps. In fact, I enjoyed reading about their training, struggles and progress.


Personality-wise, these two Sloanes were vastly different. Sloane E., a figure skater, cared a lot about her appearance. Sloane D., an ice hockey player, barely cared. It was interesting to see how they had to take on not only the sport of the other but also the style. There was a lot at stake for both of them because they each had the future of the other in her hands, so that conflict kept my eyes glued to the pages.


The Parent Trap type stories can become rather trite but somehow I think for Being Sloane Jacobs it did kind of work. I mean, I wasn't entirely convinced by the sequence of events that led to their switch but in the grand scheme, it hardly mattered. The characters were likeable, the friendships were fun, and the romance didn't annoy me. On the contrary, it was uncomplicated but still unfolded naturally for both Sloanes.


Seriously, anyone who loves sports and enjoys light-hearted contemporary fiction should definitely check out Being Sloane Jacobs!


This review is also available at dudettereads.com.

Source: dudettereads.com/2014/05/being-sloane-jacobs-lauren-morrill
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review 2014-04-30 19:56
The Almost Truth
The Almost Truth - Eileen Cook

I think The Almost Truth is a great book for times when nothing but a light-hearted book will do. We all know those days when we want to read but our minds just won't focus on anything that requires us to think all too much for ourselves. Not to knock The Almost Truth for being light-hearted; it's just that the roadmap of a plot was extremely clear for a book that reads like a mystery. I easily predicted almost every turn in events, such that what should have been plot twists hardly surprised me.

Sadie was a likeable character with a believable voice. Despite her lies and con activities, I could relate to her as a reader. She had ambition and never let her goals out of her sight. Her relationship with her best friend, Brendan, was complex and I appreciated the nuances that were brought out between them. Their relationship deviated from the strict camps of pure platonic friendship and full on romance. Eileen Cook's decision to explore the in-between fit well with Sadie as a character who didn't have qualms cheating people out of a few bucks but never more on principle. Sadie knew she wasn't right to cheat people but she also knew what she thought was wrong.

The Almost Truth was a quick read once I got down to it proper. The narrative flowed and the plot didn't slow down at any point. Besides Sadie though, I didn't really feel like I got to know the other characters much. They waltzed in and out of various scenes but beyond their actions and a few words, there wasn't much to them. Then when I came to the last couple of chapters, I felt like these weren't nearly as developed as the preceding chapters. They came across like plot points simply strung up to conclude the book. Instead of seizing the end to create more depth, I felt they were appended in order to come to a resolution. That kind of sucked a bit of my appreciation out of the creativity that The Almost Truth was based on. After all, it's not everyday that I get to peer into the head of a con artist.

This review is also available at dudettereads.com.

Source: dudettereads.com/2014/04/review-the-almost-truth-by-eileen-cook
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