Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Emily the Strange: Stranger and Stranger by Rob Reger

Emily is an evilish, gothish, punkish scientific genius who main goals in life seem to be constructing elaborate pranks to pull on unsuspecting people, painting large murals, skateboarding, guitar playing, and snuggling with her cats. Emily thinks it will be a FABULOUS idea to make a duplicating machine and duplicate herself but, gasp, things don’t work out as planed!

Not going to lie. I didn’t finish it. I didn’t have to though. I flipped around enough to confirm what I knew was going to happen happened. But really, should I expect more from a book based on a character from a sticker that promotes a skateboarding clothing line? I don’t think I should.

Ready? I’m going to spoil the book for you. If you don’t want it spoiled, stop reading now. I’m about to give it away. This is your last chance! ::SPOILER:: It turns out Emily didn’t duplicate herself at all! She split herself! So each part got some parts of her personality! One half of her is super evil and trying to destroy the world and kill the other half of her, which is not evil but just loves her cats and pranking and skateboarding! Now the not evil Emily has to figure out what zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Oh, I’m sorry. I drifted off. That’s enough for the spoiler. ::END OF SPOILER::

Right. So. Not Evil Emily was super dumb. How did she not figure this out? Maybe the Evil Emily got all the brains in the split. I don’t know. There’s nothing really redeeming about this book, aside from the fact that if you have reluctant readers who are familiar with the character, they might be into this

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

After Will Henry’s parents die in a fire, he, like his father before him, becomes the assistant to Monstrumologist Pellinore Warthrop. Will Henry has to do horrifying things in the assistance of Dr. Warthrop, dealing with creatures he had no idea were even real. When a grave robber brings to Dr. Warthrop attention a particularly deadly species of monster, the horror really begins.

So…I don’t know what to tell you. The book flap describes this book as a “gothic tour de force,” but this is not a Gothic horror book. Gothic horror is like Dracula. Everything is done in the shadows, there’s no real blood and gore. This was full out, detailed, blood and gore. For example, after the monster has attacked and killed a family of six, we get a detailed description of the scene, down to the scooped out brains and flesh and bone scattered around the room.

I do not like horror. So I did not enjoy this book. I was too grossed out the whole time. Because of this, I don’t feel like I can accurately judge whether this was a good book or not. I just don’t know. I did like what Yancey was doing with the “when does a man become a monster?” psychological aspect.

What I am sure of is that my theory that the committee in charge of the Printz Awards this year was trying to be hip and edgy is holding true. I will continue to make my way through the Printz winners I haven't read (and had never heard of until they won).

In conclusion. Ew. If you don’t like horror, DON’T READ THIS BOOK. If you do like horror, well, have I ever got a book for you!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Grimm Legacy

So I finished The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman about a week ago. Enter Elizabeth, our heroine, whose life somewhat reflects the fairy tales that she loves so much: distant father, horrible stepmother and stepsisters, and not a friend in the world. Enter Mr. Mauskopf (who I couldn't help visualizing as having a mouse on his head) who recommends that Elizabeth gets a job at the Circulating Material Repository. This is a library like no other, instead of specializing in books it loans out things! Rugs, wigs, tools, music, and things only whispered about that come from the Grimm Collection. Just as Elizabeth is figuring things out, making friends, and gaining the trust of those she works with disaster strikes when items are being stolen and friends are being threatened. The horror! Elizabeth must rise to the occasion or lose everything that she has worked for.

I have to admit that I didn't love it. The premise is great, who doesn't love the idea of an outsider finding her place at a quirky magical library? But what should really have been a more plot driven tale, I felt was bogged down by unlikable characters and a fractured storyline. I can't help but wonder if Ms. Shulman can either fix the book before publishing or grab enough attention to create a better sequel? I didn't hate it, but honestly I had such high hopes that I ended just being disappointed.

Introducing three librarians bent on making their way to the ALA conference

Hello! We are three librarians, who met in library school and discovered that our passion for young adult literature, Eddie Izzard, and general nerdiness would forever bind us in chains of professional development and friendship. We hope to make it to the ALA Annual conference in Washington D.C. this year, and are hoping to gain enough attention from anyone to motivate us to plan our trip. Keep a watch out for book reviews, technology recommendations, and general life question like: Did dinosaurs go to church?
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