Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dyslexia Isn't the End of the World: An Insider's Perspective Part 2

As you know from my previous post, I am a professional librarian who also happens to be dyslexic. This is the continuation of my story.

Elementary school is a time of firsts; first classes, first teachers, first grades and, in my case, first "C" on a report card. I was devastated. Throughout my academic career, primary through college, I was an honors student. I worked hard, did my homework, studied and, even though I did not read unless forced, did well in school. Until we got graded for spelling. Spelling was the first "C" I ever made on my report card - and the only one I had on my academic record until college.

Now, at this point, neither my parents nor me knew that I was dyslexic. They knew I did not like reading and found it very difficult and they knew that trying to get me to learn the words for each week's spelling quiz was a hellish experience for all involved. But no one connected the dots since outside of spelling I was an "A" & "B" student. After I actually started reading voluntarily no one even considered testing me for a learning disability even though there were still discrepancies between intelligence and ability.

The Breakthrough

Growing up there was a pack of four girls, including myself, that spent pretty much any time not at school playing, hanging out and having fun. I was the youngest of this group, the other three being a year older and a year ahead of me academically. This turned out to be a great thing.

The year I started 5th Grade my friend, Abby, started middle school and had access to a whole new library with an approachable, involved librarian. In that library she discovered the novels of Tamora Pierce which she lent to me urging me to give them a try. In Ms. Pierce's world of strong heroines, magic and daring-do I found my niche. I began reading. All. The. Time.

It was like someone had flipped a switch in my brain. Suddenly I couldn't get enough. I read every book that Tamora Pierce had written, and then began working my way through the shelves devouring anything that caught my eye. At that time the concept of "YA Literature" was still in its infancy and there was not enough "middle grade" reads in my niche to satisfy my reading hunger. So I started haunting the "Science Fiction/Fantasy" sections of bookstores and basically skipped over "middle grade" reading straight into adult literature.

How I Think It Works

I have a theory, untested, as to how I was able to go from having such difficulty reading to reading 2000 words a minutes (if I'm "into" the book). My theory is this: in my mind, words are not created from a series of letters, but are pictures in specific shapes representing a specific object or idea. When I see the word "cat", I don't process it as "c-a-t" but as an image of the word with an overlay of the face of a cat. I know it sounds strange, but when I'm reading I have no memory of reading words. I've got a mental movie running through my brain that only gets interrupted when I come across a word I'm unfamiliar with (which doesn't happen very often any more). When I finally was tested for a learning disability, in my sophomore year of college, the doctor told me two things: one, that he was shocked I could read at all, let alone at the speed and volume I can; two, my vocabulary was one of the most expansive he'd seen in a college student.

I don't say this to brag, rather to point out something that dyslexics all over can benefit from. Learn vocabulary, but don't focuse on the individual letters. When you're dyslexic letters can't be trusted, they shift and turn and changing into other letters and leave you with a jumbled mess. I believe if a person can think of a word more like a series of shapes put together rather than letters you have a better chance of overcoming your brain's limitations. Flashcards are your friend, but not for learning to spell. Flashcards help you build your vocabulary and aid in visual recognition of words. The combination of seeing the word-shape and hearing the meaning of the word helps build vocabulary without focusing on spelling. Similarly, typing words can aid a dyslexic's spelling. It takes time, but once your hands get used to typing a series of keys in a certain order the correct spelling of a word becomes more muscle memory than conscious thought. (I still have issues spelling words when writing by hand that I don't have problems with when I'm typing.)

I think the biggest part of a dyslexic learning to read is the WILL to do so. I discovered that there were books I wanted to read so badly that I made myself do it; I pushed through the difficulty because I needed to know the characters, needed to see the action.

If a child or teen finds their reading niche they will read.

The Journey still isn't over, so stay tuned!

Review: 'La Corda d'Oro, Volume 1' by Yuki Kure

Every few years Seisou Academy holds an in house music contest involving the best of the musically gifted students. Kahoki is an average student in the General Education department with no musical inclination. But when Kahoki spies an elusive fairy on campus it grants her a magic violin. Now Kahoki has been placed in the competition and she has no idea what to do!

A surprisingly enjoyable manga given that it is based on a video game. Kahoki is likeable and comes across as an average girl dealing with extraordinary circumstances. Secondary characters could use a bit more development, but that is likely to happen as the story progresses. I look forward to the continued adventures of Kahoki and her magic violin.
Book Source: Local Library
Reviewer: Rebecca

Recommended Ages: 12+

Recommended for Readers of:
Hana Kimi
by Misaya Nakajo
Fruits Basket
by Natsuki Takaya
Take a Bow
by Elizabeth Eulberg
Beauty Pop
by Kiyoko Arai

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Review: 'MeruPuri' by Matsuri Hino

High School freshman Airi Hoshina has her life goals all set - meet a wonderful boy, get married by 20, have a wonderful, ordinary family. However, when she meets a prince from another dimension, her well-ordered life turns to chaos.

While MeruPuri is fun and light-hearted, there is more than fluff to this manga. Airi is an engaging heroine and Aram is both intriguing and amusing as the hero. The plot is fast-paced but easy to follow and even the secondary characters are well developed. The artwork is amazing! I’m just sad this manga is only four volumes long. A wonderful fantasy rom-com.

Book Source: Local Library
Reviewer: Rebecca

Recommended Ages: 14+ Some sensuality, romantic love

Recommended for Readers of:
Shattered Souls
by Mary Lindsey
Mars, Volume 1
by Fuyumi Soryo
Hana-Kimi,
Volume 1
Misaya Nakajo
Vampire Knight,
Volume 1
by Matsuri Hino

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Review: 'Her Majesty's Dog, Volume 1' by Mick Takeuchi

Amane Kamori has a secret that may get her killed.  She is a medium who can control anyone with word magic. Hyoue is the guardian demon whose sole purpose is to protect Amane. Now that Amane and Hyoue have left their village to attend school, can she keep her secret? Can Hyoue keep her safe?

This manga intrigues me and I am curious to see where it will lead. Amane is a somewhat oblivious teenage girl who lacks some of the most basic in teen social interaction but who can control spirits and people.  (She seems to be uneasy with her power and only uses it  when given no other choice.)   Hyoue is temperamental and rash with the habit of kissing Amane in public.  These kisses serve the dual purpose of embarrassing Amane and allowing Hyoue to feed from her life force. While the continuing plot seems a little unfocused, the drawings and character development are enough to keep me reading.  This manga will appeal to older teens looking for a darker romantic read.

Book Source: Local Library
Reviewer: Rebecca

Recommended Ages: 16+ Mature content, violence, sensuality

Recommended for Readers of:
Zombie-Loan
by Peach-Pit
City of Fallen Angels
by Cassandra Clare
The Goddess Test
by Aimee Carter
Nightschool
by Svetlana Chmakova

Friday, June 22, 2012

Dyslexia Isn't the End of the World: An Insider's Perspective Part 1

Several weeks ago I had a mother come to the reference desk inquiring about literature for learning strategies for children with dyslexia. When I took her back into the stacks to show her what resources we had she started telling me about her young son who had recently been diagnosed as dyslexic. This mother was almost in tears over the revelation that her child had a learning disability, so I started talking to her about my own experiences as a dyslexic and a professional.

The Early Years

I have vivid memories of hating to read. I loved stories, but the process of reading was so hard and so frustrating that I often refused. Now, my parents are both voracious readers and they made a point of instilling a love of literature in me from the womb. Every night of my childhood (barring the occasional business trip) my father would read me to sleep. I grew up with images of Aslan and Mr. Tumnus, Frodo and Gandalph and Snugglepot and Cuddlepie running rampant through my imagination. And even though I hated reading I did love books and the stories contained within their pages. At my request, my father read the novelization of 'Return to Oz' to me so many times that I memorized it and could recite it back while turning pages at the appropriate time. (This technique later became a trick used at school to fool my teachers.)

But I would NOT read voluntarily.

At her wits end, my mother talked to my first grade teacher, a lovely woman named Mrs. John. Mrs. John told my mother to make sure I did my homework, but not to force reading upon me and not to use reading as a punishment. Mrs. John was a very wise lady. So my parents would set a timer for the fifteen minutes I was to read each night as part of my homework. My response? Wait until my parents left the room and alter the timer slightly. Looking back I have to wonder if my parents knew about this minor deception, but they never called me on the issue.

As I've grown older my mom has recounted countless stories of my intractability regarding reading in my early educational years. In second grade, the private school I was attending decided to give all second graders a test to evaluate the students' abilities and achievement. Since the class was made up of "advanced" students (myself included even though I hated reading) the administration decided to give us the third grade level test. Testing day arrived and my class was all set to begin testing, pencils sharp and erasers ready. Until I spoke up. About fifteen minutes into the test I decided that the test had more reading on it than a second grader should have to complete and announced that I would NOT be taking this test. My fellow classmates didn't think it was fair for them to have to take the test if I didn't, so they joined me in protest. Needless to say, my mother was called to the principal’s office and the test results for the entire class were scrapped.

My resistance to reading continued, though I did enjoy comics with their bright pictures and limited words. Garfield was, and still is, a favorite of mine. Comics, what have come to be known as graphic novels, were probably my first step to truly becoming a reader.

My journey to reading is not over - stay tuned.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Review: 'The Princess & The Hound' by Mette Ivie Harrison

A prince who possesses forbidden animal magic is set to marry a princess from a rival kingdom to cement peace between the nations. But the princess in question is more than what she seems and the prince must uncover her secret and challenge decades of discrimination in order to win her heart and rule the kingdom.

The Princess and the Hound is well-written, stays true to it's fairytale roots and should please readers who are looking for such a novel.   However, because of the narration and very traditional format of the story the reader never intimately knows either of the main characters.  The author does not allow the reader to really get inside the characters and so the reader is not emotionally invested in the story.   The tale itself is interesting but the narrative format makes the story drag in places.  This novel is interesting, but will not hold much appeal for readers from the broader spectrum - expect only hardcore fairytale buffs to pursue this novel.

Book Source: Local Library
Reviewer: Rebecca

Recommended Ages: 12+

Recommended for Readers of:
Princess of the
Midnight Ball
by Jessica Day
George
Enchantment
by Orson
Scott Card
Entwined
by Heather Dixon
The Gathering
Storm
by Robin Bridges

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Review: 'After School Charisma, Volume 1' by Kumiko Suekane

The premise if this particular manga involves a school for clones of famous historical figures attended by a lone "regular" human, the son of the director, who begins to question the true purpose of the school.  And the humanity of his classmates.


Character development is intriguing and the figures chosen to be represented in the clones are both multicultural and unusual. Who'd have thought that Joan of Arc and Hitler might attend school with Marie Curie and Florence Nightingale? A compelling mix of mystery and questioning of fate make this an interesting read that should hook manga readers looking for a bit more depth to their stories.  Recommended for public libraries and high school libraries.


Book Source: Local Library
Reviewer: Rebecca


Recommended Ages: 16+ Sensuality, Adult Situations, Violence


Recommended for Readers of:


Black Bird
by
Kanoko Sakurakoji
Black Butler
by
Yana Toboso
Zombie-Loan
by
Peach-Pit
Chobits
by
Clamp

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The "Positively-Negative Parenting" Phenomenon: Part 1

I've been a Young Adult Librarian for more than five years now and have noticed a concerning trend that I'm calling the "Positively-Negative Parenting" Phenomenon.

Every parent wants their children to read.  Reading goes hand in hand with education and all parents want their children to succeed in school, get educated and acquire the tools they need to do well in life. To that end, parents encourage children to read.  Which is a wonderful goal.  But what happens when parents sabotage their childrens' literary efforts without realizing the damage being committed.  What happens when the parent is "positively-negative"?

The Wake-Up Call
(Names in this story have been changed to protect customer identities.)
Last week, I had a mother, Rose, and her teenage daughter, Sasha, come to the reference desk.  The first words out of the mother's mouth was about how her daughter didn't like to read.  The mother had tried giving her daughter all kinds of books to read and she didn't like any of them.  Therefore Sasha didn't like to read.  She was a smart girl, her mother assured me, Sasha just didn't like to read.

I started talking to Sasha, asking the normal librarian questions to try and narrow down a genre or title that might appeal to her. (i.e. "What kind of TV shows/movies do you like?  What kind of video games? etc.)  After discovering that Sasha enjoyed the new Teen Wolf show on MTV as well as Vampire Diaries on CW, I took her into our YA Area to see what titles were actually on the shelf that might have appeal.  While I was talking to Sasha, Rose often interjected - she had given Sasha Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, but Sasha didn't read it.

Now, my style of "lets find book suggestions" goes something like this: I walk around my YA Area with the teen pulling books off the shelf for the teen to look over.  By the time we finish walking the area I will have pulled between five and ten possible titles.  I then leave the teen to peruse the selections to see if any have appeal (there is usually at least one title in the stack that the teen picks up).  As we walked around the section I executed my usual process, talking to Sasha, pulling titles off the shelf, giving a brief description and letting her make a split-second decision to take another look at the title or move on to the next.  As we did this, Rose continued to make comments about how she had given her daughter this title or that title that Sasha wouldn't read.

My wake-up call came when I pulled Andrea Cremer's Nightshade off the shelf for Sasha to consider.  Sasha showed intense interest as I described the plot and actually reached out to take the book, when her mother grabbed the book out of my hand and told me that there was no way her daughter would read that book.  It was too long.  Now, Nightshade is a little over 450 pages in length, so it isn't a skinny read, but Sasha had showed interest.  Inside, I was outraged; how dare Rose take away a book that her daughter actually expressed interest in!  I managed to keep an outer cool and simply took the book back from Rose and handed to Sasha saying, "If she likes it, she will read it." After pulling several more titles I left Sasha (and her mother) in the YA Area to take a look through the books we'd pulled as possible titles of interest.

Several minutes later I noticed Sasha walking out with a book tucked under her arm.  Nightshade was the book she picked.

The Realization
As I thought over my encounter with Sasha and Rose, I realized that Rose's behavior, which I have dubbed "positively-negative parenting" was something that I'd seen over and over again.  This phenomenon is when a parent, with the best intentions, tries to encourage their teen to read, but in the process constantly references failed former attempts at reading.  One minute the parent is encouraging reading then, the next minute, the parent is bringing to mind failure, humiliation and disappointment in their teen.  While I am not a psychologist, I cannot help but wonder what kind of negative impact this kind of parenting has on teen readers.  It is an issue I plan to explore.

Now, I don't know if Sasha will make it through that book.  She may decide it isn't for her.  I told her that she couldn't hurt my feelings by telling me she didn't like a book.  If I know what she doesn't like I have a better chance of finding something she does like.  All I asked of her was that she make a real effort to read the book.  (That's one of the main purposes of YA Librarianship, to foster a love of reading in teens.)  I don't care what a teen reads as long as they are reading.

Has anyone else noticed this phenomenon?  I'd love to hear how you address it. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Review: 'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl' by Jesse Andrews

“No, you don’t have to live inside my head.
For every, just, insanely stupid thing
I do or say, there are like fifty even worse
ones that I just barely avoid
 doing or saying, just out of dumb luck.”
Greg Gaines has perfected the art of social invisibility. He knows everyone in all the typical high school social groups, but isn’t a part of any of them. He and Earl, his one and only friend, spend their days making obscure, terrible movies they refuse to let anyone watch.  Greg likes his life standing on the periphery and is looking forward to coasting through his senior year. But when Rachel, an old friend from Hebrew school, is diagnosed with leukemia, Greg’s mom convinces him that he needs to step up and befriend her.  As Greg is pulled further and further into a friendship with Rachel, and he and Earl agree to make a movie for her, Greg learns that invisibility might be an impossible life choice.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is one of those rare novels that mixes stylistic choices and tones, yet still manages to come together and form a cohesive, exceptional whole. Greg, our socially awkward, reluctant
narrator, is so hilarious (both intentionally and accidentally) that I was afraid to read the book in public for fear I would have to explain my stifled laughter.  But in between the comedy, there are moments of brutal honesty and self-doubt that elevate Greg beyond the superficial.  Greg is far from perfect, generally wrapped up in his own problems and unwilling to step outside his carefully constructed box, but likeable nonetheless.

I particularly loved the writing styles Andrews uses. The novel is written in a mix of styles, incorporating straightforward prose, scripts (fitting, since Greg and Earl are amateur filmmakers), and bulleted lists. The writing doesn’t mince words and is often brash, but then, so is Greg.  Reading this book felt like I was taking a peek inside Greg’s head: Abrasive, chaotic and sometimes (often) inconsiderate, yet haphazardly insightful and desperate to please.

What I most appreciated about this novel is that it is a cancer book that doesn’t revolve completely around cancer.  In fact, the cancer plot line takes a back seat to Greg’s struggle to accept the death of his social invisibility.  Andrews doesn’t force you to feel all the typical emotions wrapped up in kids dying of cancer.  There is sadness, yes, but it’s tempered by Greg’s inability to grasp the big cancer picture.  Even when he finally does understand what cancer means for Rachel, the reader isn’t forced into gut-wrenching, all-encompassing misery. Nor is the book sappy and melodramatic, because let’s be honest: Brash, self-centered Greg is immune to sappiness.

At its heart, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is about a self-absorbed, awkward teenager reacting to difficult situations. Often, we are touched by unexpected challenges and our lives our forever changed. But, sometimes, we are like Greg, unable to process and unwilling to see how our lives could change or, more likely, have already changed.  And, you know what?  That’s okay, too.

Book Source: Purchased
Reviewer: Kimberly

Recommended Ages: 16+ for profuse swearing, drug references and accidental drug use, lots of crude humor


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Review: 'Forest of Hands and Teeth' by Carrie Ryan

After the Return the Unconsecrated roam the world looking for live people to feed on and infect. Mary’s people live in a village surrounded by the ‘Forest of Hands and Teeth’ protected by the fences and the Sisterhood, a quasi-religious organization dedicated to the preservation of human kind. But Mary dreams of more; stories have been passed through her family of a time before the Return; of an endless body of water called the ocean and of cities where man’s buildings once brushed the sky. However, in a strict world controlled by commitment to the common good, survival, and the Sisterhood, individual dreams are not encouraged and can bring punishment on the one foolish enough to imagine. When the village’s defenses are breached, Mary and a small group of fugitives manage to escape only to end up unprotected and in the Forest. Mary must find strength she did not know she possessed to survive and escape the Forest because it is not just herself she is trying to save but the very future of humanity.

Mary is somewhat naive in the beginning of the novel, but is a likable character and her development over the course of the novel is believable and well-crafted.  Wonderfully written and vividly descriptive, this novel has the reader breathing faster and tensing muscles for every mad dash to through zombie-infested woods. Ryan has given a great deal of thought to the realities of a zombie apocalypse and uses a great deal of detail to make her world believable and realistic.  Readers experience first hand the claustrophobia and terror of running down a tunnel with only a chain link fence standing between you and the undead.  Expect several very tense moments while reading Forest of Hands and Teeth.  This novel will have the reader thinking about the importance of dreams, the realities of mortality and the possibility of life after a zombie apocalypse long after the last page.

Library Source: Local Library
Reviewer: Rebecca

Recommended Ages: 14+ zombie violence

Recommended for Readers of:
Anna Dressed
in Blood
by Kendare Blake
Undead
by
Kirsty McKay
Dearly,
Departed
by Lia Habel
Hold Me Closer,
Necromancer
by Lish McBride

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Review: 'A Certain Slant of Light' by Laura Whitcomb

Helen has been dead for more than a hundred years and has passed the time haunting individuals – most recently Mr. Brown, a high school English teacher. While accompanying Mr. Brown to school one day, Helen notices a boy, James, noticing her; something that should be impossible. But there is more to this boy than there seems and he and Helen soon embark on an incredible journey of self discovery, second chances and redemption.

Helen's personality blends innocence and worldliness in an intriguing combination while James balances her innocence with passion and emotion.  This novel is about more than just redemption, it is about accepting yourself and making a conscious choice to live the life you choose.  Emotion is this novel's strength as Whitcomb puts the reader inside the head and heart of Helen and James.  Somehow this novel balances aspects of a star-crossed lover tale as well as a heartwarming romance without giving in to the sappy language often found in YA literature.    Poignant, bittersweet and beautifully crafted, “A Certain Slant of Light” is incredibly touching novel that will impact readers long after the book is finished.

Book Source: Local Library
Reviewer: Rebecca

Recommended Ages: 16+ Drug use, sexual situations

Recommended for Readers of:
The Goddess Test
by Aimee Carter
If I Stay
by Gayle Forman
Impulse
by Ellen Hopkins
I Heart You,
You Haunt Me
by Lisa Schroeder







Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Review: 'Mr. Stuffins' by Johanna Stokes, Andrew Cosby

When a normal little boy buys a toy containing a top secret disc is world will never be the same. Now agents are after him and all that stands between him and capture is one teddy bear.

James Bond meets Teddy Ruxpin in this action-packed graphic novel.  Mr. Stuffins stars with a bang and sprints to the conclusion with lots of fights and teddy daring-do along the way.  The art is easy on the eyes and beautifully colored.  This novel should be a hit with the middle school crowed, though some parents may be concerned about Mr. Stuffins language.  This graphic novel is pure fun!

Book Source: Local Library
Reviewer: Rebecca

Recommended Ages: 13+ Action violence, mild profanity

Recommended for Readers of:
Oddkins
by Dean R. Koontz
Scorpia
by Anthony Horowitz
SilverFin
by Charles Higson

Monday, June 11, 2012

Review: 'Hana Kimi, Volume 1' by Hisaya Nakajo

Mizuki is a Japanese-American track-and-field star who transfers to a high school in Japan. To be close to her idol, high jumper Izumi Sano, she's going to an all-guys' high school disguised as a boy... As fate would have it, Sano and Mizuki are more than classmates, they're roommates! Now, Mizuki must keep her secret in the classroom, the locker room, and her own bedroom. And her classmates, and the weird school nurse, must react to the new transfer student who looks like a very pretty boy.

The Hana-Kimi series is one of the more entertaining and well drawn mangas I’ve read. There is plenty of humorous tension as Mizuki tries to maintain her male fa├žade.  Mizuki is a fun character to follow, even if she has let her obsession with Sano go a bit too far.  (Of course, what works in manga would be downright creepy in real life.)  Nakatsu, one of Mizuki's fellow students, feels drawn to Mizuki and, not realizing she is a girl, begins to wonder about his sexual orientation.  This leads to more hilarity, gender bending and farse.  While this is a shojo manga and will have mass appeal for teenage girls, there is plenty of guy humor and male characters to draw in your boys as well.  Over all a fun manga that any public or high school library should carry.

Book Source: Public Library
Reviewed by: Rebecca

Recommended Ages: 16+ Some sensuality, adult situations

Recommended for Readers of:
Vampire Knight
by Matsuri Hino
Kamisama Kiss
by Julietta Suzuki
Soulless
by Gail Carriger
Art by Rem
The Statistical
Probability of Love
at First Sight
by Jennifer E. Smith

Upcoming YA Signings: Houston, TX

Here's a consolodated list of YA Author Events in the
 Houston, TX area between June and August 2012.

June 13, 2012 @ 7:00pm - Fierce Reads Tour will be at Blue Willow Bookshop (5 Authors!)
June 19, 2012 @ 7:00pm - Richelle Mead will be at Blue Willow Bookshop
June 30, 2012 @ 4:30pm - Rachel Vincent will be at Murder by the Book

July 6, 2012 @ 7:00pm - Tera Lynn Childs will be at Blue Willow Bookshop
July 8, 2012 @ 2:00pm - Dan Wells will be at Murder by the Book

August 11, 2012 @ 2:00pm - Joy Preble will be at Blue Willow Bookshop

Contact the Bookstore Directly for Signing Event Details.

Blue Willow Bookshop
281.497.8675
Twitter: @BlueWillowBooks

Murder by the Book
713-524-8597 or 888-424-2842
Twitter: @murderbooks

Friday, June 8, 2012

It's Classic for a Reason!

When suggesting reads for teens don't forget to mention the classics!  There are plenty of older reads that are great - after all, they're classics for a reason.

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Siddhartha by Heman Hesse
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest by Ken Kesey
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
1984 by George Orwell
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
The Mysterious Stranger by Mark Twain
Slaughterhouse-5 by Kurt Vonnegut
The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Review: 'Hold Me Closer, Necromancer' by Lish McBride

Sam LaCroix has always felt as though something was missing. He doesn’t know what the something is, or why he knows it is gone, but this feeling has influenced all of his decisions. After dropping out of college Sam is drifting, working as a fry cook at a Seattle fast food restaurant and trying to figure out what he is supposed to do with his life. Sam may be drifting but the forces around him are moving with purpose and lead to an encounter with the mysterious and sinister Mr. Douglas Montgomery. Suddenly Sam is fighting for his life and the lives of his friends in a world populated by things that go bump in the night.

Lish McBride burst onto the YA scene last year with a unique urban fantasy.  Sam is likable, though somewhat lost, and completely believable as an unwilling protagonist.  The paranormal elements in this story are balanced by real emotion and attention to detail that brings this alternate reality to life.  Lish McBride has penned a novel that perfectly balances elements of horror and humor that will enchant readers and leave them burning for more. Highly recommended.

Pre-order the next Sam LaCroix novel 'Necromancing the Stone'! Due out September 2012.

Book Source: Local Library
Reviewer: Rebecca

Recommended Ages: 16+ Violence, gore and sexual situations.

Recommended for Readers of:
Delirium
by Lauren Oliver
I Am Not A
Serial Killer
by Dan Wells
Anna Dressed
in Blood
by Kendare Blake
Dearly, Departed
by Lia Habel