The Darkest Part of the Forest

Why is it that all of my audiobook holds come in all at once? Grrrr. Anyway…

Holly Black, on audio, FTW!

I don’t think anyone writes faeries as well as Holly Black. Seriously. The Darkest Part of the Forest was as creepy as you’d expect and as good as you’d expect, from a Holly Black YA novel. Hazel might be my favorite of all of Black’s characters. OK maybe not but I liked her. Sir Hazel… awesome.

2 Cybils Non-Fiction/Poetry

These might be the last books I read from this year’s shortlist. The year has run out of days and I’ve run out of interest in reading books that I’m just not THAT interested in. I might pick them up later if the mood strikes me. Or, I might not.

Finishing with these two non-fictions makes me pretty happy, even if I didn’t finish the full challenge. Both were excellent and I’m really glad I read them.

I Will Always Write Back made me yell a lot, about clueless white people. It also caused me to pull out my wallet and make some donations.

House Arrest was pretty darn good but it made me want to break things. It also made me just a little bit weepy.

3 More Cybils

Now, all that’s left are poetry, early readers, some non-fiction and… yea. A whole lot of books. Anyway, on with the tracking of the ones I have read…

Bone Gap was not the book I expected it to be. Which is impossible for me to explain (I’ve tried, TW doesn’t get it, lol) so I didn’t quite love it. I did like it, though. I think.

I did like Inheritance of Ashes but not as much as I expected to. I found both sisters to be a little… annoying, which made it hard for me to really care whether they could sort out their relationship.

Shadowshaper is the one I had heard almost nothing about (shocked, not shocked, sigh) and had no expectations about. I loved it. Even when I was cursing the damn #patriarchy (which was all the way through it.) Loved this one because I loved Sierra (and her grandmother, even if we only got to know her toward the end.)

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.

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B

Again, we were in need of an audiobook and I had to just pick one from the shelf. The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B was an excellent choice.

POOR Adam! Also, what a great kid. All of the characters were well written but Adam especially so. I’m not sure whether the author has written anything else but you can bet I’ll be checking. I really enjoyed this story.

2 Cybils Non-Fiction

There was a time when I never quit a Cybils book but this year, I’ve quit two. The most recent, Symphony for the City of the Dead was… I just couldn’t read it. I tried, I really did. TW read the whole thing, and I give her props for that. I cannot imagine any kid reading this who didn’t have to. (Unless he/she had some great fondness for Russian history or Shostakovich, I guess.) Ugh.

Thankfully, Bayard Rustin: Invisible Activist was better. In fact, it was excellent. Everyone should read this one.

The Mermaid’s Mirror

I needed something easy to read in the days right before everyone came to visit, so I picked up The Mermaid’s Mirror. It was easy to read but it was also a little slow. And, I felt like I might have already read it.

It was pretty good, not great. I wonder if there’s a sequel involving Lena and Nix… it would seem like there should be.

Bewitching: The Kendra Chronicles

I have no idea how Bewitching: The Kendra Chronicles landed in our library stacks but it did. When I realized it was a sequel to a book I hadn’t read, I almost didn’t read it. But, TW said I didn’t need the first one and I believed her. She was right. It was a perfectly fine book to read without having read the first one.

It started a little slowly but I ended up enjoying it. I didn’t absolutely love the insertion of “fairy tales” from Kendra’s life but I didn’t hate it either. I may even some day read another book from this series.

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.