The Fog Diver

My expectations for The Fog Diver were low. Another post-apocalyptic/middlegrade/ya/adventure book. Ho hum? OK not ho hum, because I LIKE this genre but still… turns out, this was one of the better ones.

Really clever cultural references gone wrong, gone very very wrong. Likable characters. A plot that moved fairly quickly. Mostly it was the cultural references that got me.

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Off-topic but not really: I’m considering not doing the Cybils Challenge next year. Or ever again. It’s not that I don’t love these books, I do. But, so many of them are series’ books and I just can’t keep up with the series’ while also reading a bunch of newly introduced series. When I try, I find myself reading nothing but YA and Middle Grade fiction/scifi/fantasy. I need to find some sort of balance. So… stay tuned, this may be the last full shortlist challenge I attempt. Figures, since odds are high that I’m not going to successfully complete it, for the first time – ever.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

I suspect I’m in the minority here but I liked Harry Pottery and the Cursed Child. I did. I really did.

It’s not a perfect book. There are a lot of things that left me shaking my head. But, all things considered, I wasn’t really disappointed. I do suspect it’s better as a play than it is a book but either way. I’m not sorry I read it. I’d read another.

Four Graphic Novels

Lion of Rora was the graphic novel that I expected to like the least. Turns out, it was pretty darn good. Well drawn and well written.

I also really enjoyed Secret Coders #1 but was so annoyed when it ended. I understand cliffhangers but geez, really? You couldn’t give us just a tiny bit more??? Oy. (Also, those birds are kind of creepy.)

Ms Marvel was excellent, as expected.

And, the big winner for me was The Marvels. This was really well done. All graphic novel in the beginning and then text at the end. Beautiful. Also, sad.

Cuckoo Song

I’ve read some pretty weird books because of the Cybils Shortlist but this might have been one of the weirdest.

Cuckoo Song is dark, complex, deeply troubling in places and downright weird in others. TW didn’t finish it because it weirded her out. And, it’s middle grade. I would love to find some middle grade kids who have read this so that I can hear their take.

7 Cybil Picture Books

I reserved these with the intention of reading at least some of them to JMP and SquishyFace when they were here and… I didn’t read them a single book. Not one. Gasp. What is the world coming too? Boo!

Oh well, some of them were really really great and they were all good.

My favorites:

Mango, Abuela, and Me – loved it. Such a great story. I’ll read this to the boys, some day.
Last Stop on Market Street – perfection.
Sidwalk Flowers – awwwww. How cute was that?

Really liked these:

Blizzard – though I wouldn’t want to give JMP any ideas about heading out for food after a blizzard, lol.
Bug in a Vacuum – hah. Totally amusing.
In a Village By the Sea – I loved the illustrations.

Good ones:

Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise – loved the illustrations, the story not quite as much.

Three Graphic Novels

Let’s see… which graphic novels (all Cybils shortlisters) did I read? Oh yea…

Courtney Crumrin: Volume 7 … hated it. Didn’t finish it. At first, I thought it was because I’m way behind on this series, (I think the last one I read was 4), but based on the reviews — a whole lot of series fans just didn’t like this one. I’m glad it wasn’t just me.

Next, Dragons Beware!. I love Claudette and her friends. Absolutely love them.

Last, but not least, Baba Yaga’s Assistant was really good. I didn’t expect much from it, I’m not a very big Baba Yaga fan, so this really exceeded expectations.

The Six

The Six was a good Cybils choice. Computers scary. Computers taking over the world. Computers saving the world. People becoming computers.

Should it ever be an option, I do not want my brain transferred to a really big (though really kind of cool) computerized/brain-driven robot, kthnxbai.

Also, I need to read the sequel. Sooner rather than later.

Four Graphic Novels

Readathons, even #fakereadathons, mean I get to spend some time catching up on graphic novels and these four were excellent. All four of them.

Roller Girl was awesome. I loved everything about it. I hope there are more Roller Girl books.

Next, I read March Book 2 and it was good, obviously, because John Lewis, y’all.

After that, Sunny Side Up. Poor kid. This was well written and well drawn. I didn’t expect much from it and was very pleasantly surprised.

Last, but not least, Honor Girl. Loved it. And, shockingly, I loved the ending. Some people probably didn’t – those “I want a happy endinggggg.” kinds of people. Nope. It ended exactly as it should have.

Serafina and the Black Cloak

Serafina and the Black Cloak is another book I have a love/hate thing with.

It was on my TBR list FOREVER and TW ended up getting it during one of our recent library visits, which is good since my list is long and I may never have managed to check it out. I liked it a lot but I didn’t want Serafina to be a magical creature. I wanted her to just be a little girl. (which is probably a spoiler? maybe? oops!)

Bayou Magic

I absolutely loved Bayou Magic. It’s beautifully written with amazing characters. It’s also got a great message and that message isn’t delivered in a preachy way that will turn off the middle schoolers who are reading this book. It’s also got just enough magic to make anyone smile. Also, mermaids!