God bless my Kindle and the wonderful ability it has given me to read more books. Now that I’m working on firing my 5am coach—again—I should be able to get more reading done on the train commute (vs. the car because I’m late). But, I still have managed to squeeze in three books, and here they be.
MUSEUM OF THIEVES
I believe it was Kati over at Mystic Cooking that first brought this book to my attention. Aside from the totally awesome book cover, this is a great MG, semi-dystopian read by Lian Tanner. It brings up some interesting social ideas too, specifically how much freedom we as a society are willing to trade for perceived security.
The main character is Goldie, a girl who eagerly awaits being set free from always being chained to a guardian or her parents—literally. But when a bomb explodes, the city leaders rethink letting the children off the hook so early. Goldie can’t take the imprisonment anymore, however, and runs away. She encounters the Museum of Thieves—a sanctuary for people like her—and soon learns that the ‘safe’ world she came from is much more nefarious than she ever imagined.
If you love visual-writing that doesn’t go over the top, this is the book for you. At times you almost care more about the museum itself than the story because it’s so fascinating (but don’t worry, the story is still excellent). Characters are well written and arc wonderfully, and for me there never was a dull moment. This book is certainly worth a look to see how the author married description with story so they worked together to hook readers. Great read!
My grade for this book: A+
Ever since I was introduced to Gary from the TV show Alphas, a superhero of sorts with autism, I’ve been fascinated to learn more about it—so Mockingbird immediately intrigued me.
We get the first-person view of Caitlin, a young girl with autism who’s struggling to come to terms with her brother’s tragic death as well as a grieving father who barely understands her. I really appreciate books that allow me to step inside of a character and understand better a certain viewpoint. It really made you think about the difficulties in dealing with having autism and also understanding those who have autism.
Kathryn Erskine really shines with her use of language to make you feel like you’re completely immersed in Caitlin’s world. Caitlin has a certain way of phrasing things, almost like you’re learning her autistic language. Caitlin’s innocence and determination to fix her life will easily win you over. Another great read! Plus, bonus points for To Kill a Mockingbird references. 🙂
My grade for this book: A+
MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN
Totally not what I expected at all, which really proves a point about book covers. Take a look at the cover. Were you expecting a story that starts with 16-year-old spoiled boy who’s trying to deal with parents who don’t understand him, and bemoaning the eventual day he’ll have to take over the corporate empire? Like I said, surprise!
Although after reading the story, I get the book cover, and it is clever in that sense. But from a marketing standpoint it did give me pause to wonder if it was the best choice. After a chapter or two, I got over the “this isn’t the story I thought it would be” shock and finally delved in to caring about what happens to Jacob. It remains a mostly not peculiar story for a good portion of the book, but not to worry, the peculiar does come into play. I did find it fascinating how seamlessly Ransom Riggs slid from contemporary, ordinary to peculiar fantastic over the course of the story.
Lots of suspense, fascinating villains, and plenty of unexpected twists and turns accompany this novel—just know in the beginning you may wonder if you’re reading the right book.
My grade for this book: A
The triple M books did me right, even if I felt a little tricked by one of them. Those of you doing YA or MG must add them to your list. And any of you writing difficult, heart-wrenching pieces should definitely check out Mockingbird—no matter the age you’re writing for. This is quality writing.
Have you read any of these books? Agree or disagree? Any you would add as must-reads for the YA or MG genres?