Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Book Review Club (April 2014)


Welcome to our April Book Review Club! It's April 2, so you don't have to put up with all kinds of annoying April Fool's Day jokes. Nope. We're simply bringing you a bunch of good book reviews about good books. I think you'll enjoy the lineup: middle grade, young adult, adult and, even, non-fiction. 






TEXTING THE UNDERWORLD by Ellen Booraem

This middle-grade fantasy by our very own Ellen Booraem received a starred Kirkus review. Having read all of Ellen's books, I wasn't surprised.


In a nutshell (stolen from Ellen's website)
Perpetual scaredy-cat Conor O’Neill has the fright of his life when a banshee named Ashling shows up in his bedroom. Ashling is—as all banshees are—a harbinger of death, and she’s sure someone in Conor’s family is about to require her services. But she’s new at this banshee business, and first she insists on going to middle school.
Even as Conor desperately tries to hide her identity from his classmates and teachers, he realizes there’s no way to avoid paying a visit to the underworld if he wants to keep his family safe. 

What I loved:  The tension. It was page-turning incredible. Take a scared-of-his-shadow kid like Conor and give him spiders, a falling out with his best friend, a trip to the Underworld, a banshee who shows up to kill a member of his family, this same banshee who follows him to school, dreams that don't make sense. Give him all that and a little more. And what do you get? A book you can't put down.

What else I loved: The language. Ms. Booraem has quite the way with words. For eg.: "Conor sank down on his bed, legs spaghettified." Spaghettified???? Brilliant!!

What else I loved: The fantasy. That Ms. Booraem has imagination galore. Even jelly beans are useful in the Underworld!

What I didn't like: It ended. The book ended. Sure, it was a great, fulfilling, creative ending. But, still... Hurry up and finish your next book, Ms. Booraem! TEXTING THE UNDERWORLD was amazing!


 To the FCC: Yes, Ellen Booraem is a friend of mine. My goal is to one day meet her in real life. Anyway, I bought her wonderful book and only reviewed it because I loved it. No one paid me or compensated me in any way. Neener. Neener. Mind you, I'd be a happy camper if a certain someone sent me a signed bookplate. :)

And now, people, I present to you the links for the rest of the reviews. Click through and enjoy!


MIDDLE GRADE/YOUNG ADULT BOOK REVIEWS

Alyssa Goodnight of the Writers' Road Less Traveled: THE DIVINERS by Libba Bray (YA)

 Sarah Laurence: GOING OVER by Beth Kephart (YA)

ADULT BOOK REVIEWS

Ellen Booraem of Freelance Ne'er-do-well: THE GOLDFINCH by Donna Tartt

Linda McLaughlin: AMPED by Douglas E. Richards (thriller) 

Patti Abbott:  THE HUSBAND'S SECRET by Liane Moriarty

Stacy Nyikos: THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir (science fiction)


NONFICTION REVIEWS

Jenn Jilks of Cottage Country: THE BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO ECHOLOCATION FOR THE
                                                  BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED by Tim Johnson

Scott Parker: PLOTTING: A NOVELIST'S WORKOUT GUIDE by Aaron Allston



Note to Reviewers: Any errors (broken link, missed review, etc), just shoot me an email or leave a comment. Thank you so much for your reviews!



5 comments:

Sarah Laurence said...

Sounds like a fun and original book for middle schoolers. Congrats to Ellen! Thanks for hosting, Barrie.

Linda McLaughlin said...

Ellen's books sounds delightful and I'll be adding it to the to buy list for my great nephew.

Ellen Booraem said...

Barrie! I'm thrilled you liked the book--thanks so much for the review. And OF COURSE I'll send you a book plate!

Alyssa Goodnight said...

This one fell through the cracks for me! It sounds fabulous and I will be picking it up!

Thanks!

Skyline Spirit said...

pretty nice blog, following :)