So, to distract myself, and because I can check books out of Barnes & Noble like it's my own personal public library just without vomit and boogers stuck between the pages, I've been doing a lot of reading. Here's some of the new stuff I've been devouring:
Read this. Set at the same time as Ella Enchanted Levine now takes on Snow White's fairy tale. However, like she did with Cinderella, Levine adds lots of twists. For starters, Snow White is ugly, and she doesn't let you forget it. Since this isn't really a sequel, it can be read before or after Ella.
A tangled wreck of a book. Besides being plain boring, I also found it hard to follow. The science fiction/science fantasy relies on a fair amount of physics that I don't think the average 8-12 year old has been exposed to. I know my school system didn't give you physics until the 11th grade. And the whole using twins as teleportation thing was just a little far-fetched even for my extremely easily suspended disbelief. Even looking past all that, the story itself was uncompelling enough that I didn't care if the characters succeeded or not. I wouldn't have finished the book except that all mine were still packed.
- River Secrets
Beautifully written book. You must read it, but only after you read Goose Girl and Enna Burning. Otherwise, this book might not make much sense to you. I am a huge fan of Shannon Hale, both her books and her blog. I could write volumes on this book, but Fuse #8 did such a fantastic job right after ALA. I had to wait all the way until the release of the book to read it. I begrudge you lucky people who got the ARC.
- Looking Glass Wars
Now there has been a lot of hype surrounding this book. Penguin has offered me free copies multiple times both for me to review and to offer in the form of a contest on this site. I didn't want to commit to reviewing since this would certainly not count as a "real" review, and I was to busy to try to institute another contest. However, any publisher who would like to start sending me prize material say in November, I'll be free to run lots of contests starting then. Just thought I'd mention it. Anyway, so I was curious about this book that Penguin clearly wants to see become a huge seller. Did it live up to the hype? Yes, and no. It is a good book. I would reccomend people reading it. I would even reccomend buying it although I don't plan to do the same. (My space is so limited these days.) However, when I finished the book, I just kind of went, "Oh." It wasn't that I didn't like it because I did, but I sitll felt a little let down. I'm finding myself at a loss for words to describe it. I'd be curious to see how others reacted. The book left an opening for a sequel, and I'd be curious to see what (if anything) the author does with it next.
- The Book of Lost Things
I read this as an ARC, but I thing that it has been released now. Although technically not a children's book, there's no reason why an 11 & up couldn't read it. However, I understand why they chose to market this as an adult book since there are some adult undercurrents such as a key character who may or may not be gay. The character is an 11 (or 12) year-old boy who loses his mother to illness and resents the stepmother and new half-brother that replace her. He gets himself sucked into a secondary world where the fairy tales are real but have strange, ominous twists to them.
- Petite Rouge
I know; I know. This is a picture book. I have to tell you that looking at them 3 days a week has got them growing on me. Nicely done rhymes and Cajun flair and twist on Red Riding Hood. There's even a nice glossary for all of you not marrying someone of Cajun descent. I like most of the illustrations, but I just think it's odd that Petite Rouge is a duck. Nothing in the text implies that she is, so I'm not sure why the illustrator decided to make her a duck. Ah well. Artisitic license I suppose.
- Knuffle Bunny
Yes, I know this has been around forever and has a Caldecott Honor and everything, but I only just discovered it. I like the story, but I love the illustrations. The color drawings on top of the black & white photos are just brilliant. Very, very cool book.
And that's it for now. I work tomorrow at the store, and we'll see what I bring home then.