Archive for March, 2017

The Adventures of Superhero Girl, by Faith Erin Hicks

March 25, 2017

[Lesley] Awesome take on the superhero genre from the perspective of an ordinary person who just happens to have superpowers and who wants to fight crime. Loved the sense of humor and the sense of sincerity in this and definitely want to read more by Faith Erin Hicks! Passed it on to my husband and he loved it too. Thanks for the recommendation Lucia!

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Scar Island, by Dan Gemeinhart

March 23, 2017

[Lucia] Dan Gemeinhart’s third novel continues his streak of gripping middle-grade adventures.

Jonathan Grisby is the newest “student” at Slabhenge Reformatory School for Troubled Boys. The crumbling fortress is located on a remote island, pounded by surf and weather, and cut off from every comfort. The boys spend nights locked in dark cells exposed to the icy wind, and survive on mere scraps of food. The staff is cruel and abusive, and it’s exactly what Jonathan deserves. You see, Jonathan is not innocent. He has a terrible secret, a past that earned him his spot at Slabhenge, and he’s ready to take whatever punishment comes his way to try and atone. But, just as Jonathan is learning the ways of his new life, a disaster leaves the boys alone on the island without any adults. When their newfound freedom turns to anarchy and a new wave of cruelty, Jonathan must come to terms with his past, or leave every boy on the island to a watery doom.

Gemeinhart’s first two books, “The Honest Truth,” and “Some Kind of Courage,” were both on the Great Stone Face Award list, and I expect “Scar Island” to make it a hat trick. This book is recommended for anyone who enjoys adventure, disasters, self-discovery, and solid, fast-paced writing.

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The Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton

March 2, 2017

[Lesley] Catton somehow manages to take a large cast of characters (alive and dead), a wild and untested place and time, and a very tangled plot and create a fabulously crafted story. Mystery piles on top of mystery amidst lies, betrayals, innocent mistakes, and plans-gone-awry and it all unfolds with lush descriptions and intimate details. I especially loved how painstakingly the story is revealed in the first 3/4 of the book only to careen almost off the rails to the ultimate explanation in the end. Masterfully written. I can’t say I ever really came to understand the structure of the constellations/zodiac but it didn’t distract from everything else that is wonderful about this book.