AUGUST 2017


Frost like Night by Sara Raasch
So happy to finally finish this. Not because it was satisfying but just because of closure.It was only about 500 pages but I had to draaaaag myself to the finish. I would have quit but the plot line pulled me in to see how it would end. But there was so much relationship miasma to slog through. And self-evaluation-Why am I like this? our heroine continually torments herself. bleh. But it did finally finish. I'll give it that. YA for sex (yes it happened and then there was good-natured ribbing.) It still OK for middle school. And someone will like it. Not me.

The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding: a Fiendish Arrangement by Alexandra Bracken
netgalley prepub. I chose it for the author who wrote Passenger and Wayfarer which I haven't finished yet. Prosper is from a long line of successful New Englanders going back to witch burning days. And he has a fiend dwelling in him. His own family seems to be out get him and he is rescued by an uncle he doesn't know and his daughter, a miniwitch. Very complicated with chapters thrown in from the fiend's voice. Pretty dark and creepy. but it hangs together well and concludes with an obvious open door for the sequel. Meant for middle grades, but not for sensitive souls. 5th+ OK.

One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus
Five students end up in detention. They only know each other because they have interacted randomly in school. But one of them dies and the other four become murder suspects. Obviously this is a murder mystery, but also stands as a romance, and a look at high school interactions. None of the twists really surprised me, but I enjoyed the story anyway. The fickleness of the press was a sidelight that was interesting. One of the characters does have sex but it's an integral part of the story and not described. YA and for more mature readers. Occasional and appropriate swearing.

Mrs. Smith's Spy School for Girls by Beth McMullen
This was a lot like the Gallagher Girls spy school but more intermediate leveled. Lots of intrigue and action. Lots. It was a fun read and took some thought about what was real, etc. Abigail is at a prep boarding school and suddenly finds herself sucked into a spy plot. She's the bait for finding her mother. She's a strong and resourceful girl. I liked this one. 4th+

Jane Unlimited by Kristin Cashore
Well this one was different. Jane's aunt died but told Jane that should she ever be invited to the island of Tu Reviens, she must go. And there we meet an unusual cast of characters. The island's owner who iss mourning his wife after she disappears. Twins who are tours de force. A staff who appear to be running something altogether different from just the mansion. And mysterious children who appear, and disappear. Jane is mourning, and also creating art--umbrellas. At the end of each long segment, Jane chooses to follow something else which leads her on a totally different experience. Multiple universes. Time portals. Art theft. a ring of spies. Wow this is complicated.and not for the faint of heart. YA for some language and mention of sex. And mature thinking about reality etc.