Mini Reviews: A Mish Mash

March 19, 2011

Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore: I really liked this book. The premise is…different: a showgirl is plucked from obscurity to sing with a wealthy magician’s automaton. See, doesn’t that just sound different and interesting? There are some shades of gothic here (nods to Jane Eyre, even), and the main character is fun. My only complaint, really, is the romance, but if I just accept the fairytale aspect of the novel, it’s easier to swallow. The only thing I don’t like is that it has a sequel, and I have to wait to read it. Blast and tarnation.

Support Your Local Library: 6/30; YA Reading Challenge: 6/20: POC Reading Challenge: 5/15

Smile by Raina Telgemeier: This was another fun one. It’s a graphic novel memoir about Raina’s orthodontic adventures after she trips and breaks her two front teeth. Oh, and, of course, her adventures through middle and high school. The illustrations are great, and I love, love the coloring. The dialogue is authentic and, wow, middle school. I mean, it’s painful enough without having extra orthodontia issues, and Telgemeier really gets into the shifting relationships and societal expectations of those in between years. Bonus! The author also did the graphic adaptations of the Baby-Sitters Club, and you can view some of her webcomics on her site.

Support Your Local Library: 7/30; Graphic Novel Challenge: 1/10

Wonder Woman: Who Is Wonder Woman? by Allan Heinberg:  Wonder Woman has an identity crisis after killing a dude, basically. (Don’t worry; he’s a bad guy.) So there are three different Wonder Womans flying around, but the main one (Diana) assumes a secret identity and joins a task force to find herself. Literally. It’s interesting enough. My favorite bit is probably when Circe confronts Diana about being so concerned with mankind that she neglects the very real issues of violence and poverty women face in their day-to-day lives. Easy read, nice graphics. My daughter did complain about the extra-sexiness of the drawings, so.

Support Your Local Library: 8/30; Graphic Novel Challenge: 2/10

The Dream Book: Symbols for Self-Understanding by Betty Bethards: The most useful part of this book for me was the dream dictionary in the back, but that’s only because I already read Jeremy Taylor’s book, and a lot of the same information is covered. Bethards’ book is less dense and faster to read, but it also tends to be kind of foofy in places. (I’m not making light or fun, but she talks about her spirit guide and uses that kind of language, and I find it foofy, for lack of a better word.) So it was a nice, complementary read to Taylor’s book.

Support Your Local Library: 9/30

Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief by Wendelin Van Draanen, narrated by Tara Sands:  Sammy Keyes is awesome, her grandmother is awesome, and her best friend is awesome. She is predictable and unpredictable all at the same time. My daughter and I listened to this one on audiobook, and the narrator is great. Believable as a twelve-year-old, great variation in voices. We missed some stuff because a few of the CDs were scratched (this is what happens sometimes with library audiobooks on CD), but we were able to follow along easily and enjoyed the humor and the conclusion. Also, the characters are great. Did I mention that?

Support Your Local Library: 10/30; Audiobook Challenge: 1/6

Nice Dreads: Hair Care Basics and Inspiration for Colored Girls Who’ve Considered Locking Their Hair by Lonnice Brittenum Bonner: I already have locs and so does my daughter, but I picked this up just to see if there was any information in here that I didn’t already know from message boards, etc. There wasn’t really, but Bonner has a conversational style that made this book a breeze to read. I would totally recommend it for someone considering locs who has questions about maintenance.

Support Your Local Library: 11/30; POC Challenge: 6/15

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