034. Dust by Arthur Slade
Publication: Dava Enterprises (February 5, 2011), originally published 2003, ebook, 192pp / ISBN 0385730047
Genre: MG Horror, Historical Fiction
Read: February 19-20, 2012
This was way scarier than I thought it’d be for some reason. It reminds me somewhat of The Boneshaker and how that was scary, how it deals with the power adults have over children physically, emotionally, and so on. I liked the writing in Dust a lot more than I did in The Hunchback Assignments, my first Arthur Slade book, and I liked the story more, too. It’s less of an action, kick-ass, “kid saves the world” kind of a book and more of a magical realism/”weird things happen in small towns” book, which I liked. Plus! There’s stuff about the importance of imagination and reading and thinking outside of the box! Defeating baddies through the power of your mind? Awesome! I love that, especially when it’s in a “boy” book. They don’t seem to get that sort of thing a lot in their books, to be honest.
For people who worry about boys not having enough books available for them (not something I worry about, personally, but I know some people do), Dust would be a great thing to give to a young kid. I think it’s technically MG, but it could easily work for YA as well. I do wish there were more female characters in Dust besides Robert’s mother, but, well. It’s still a very good book, either way!
I really liked it!
035. My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison
Publication: Walker Childrens (August 10, 2010), originally published 2009, ebook, 319pp / ISBN
Genre: YA Fantasy, Romance
Read: February 22, 2012
I decided to buy My Fair Godmother after reading the first chapter. The rest of the book? The bit that comes after the first chapter? Is completely different from that early sample. I was under the impression, from that first chapter, that My Fair Godmother was a romance-drama sort of book, something along the lines of a Sarah Dessen novel, maybe. It’s more like an E.D. Baker book, which isn’t bad but which did throw me off my stride for a while there.
Savannah is actually a really great protagonist, and she gets lots of character development and self-confidence and so on. Love that! I didn’t even mind the romance, although I wasn’t convinced that her Prince Charming was actually the right person for her– for all that he’s presented as a nice guy who sees beneath Savannah’s exterior thingy, he tends to push her away a lot. He doesn’t listen to the things she’s trying to tell him. He doesn’t believe she can stand up for herself in any sort of situation, even the relatively non-dangerous ones, even AFTER she’s proven she can multiple times before. And, while I can understand being pissed off that she sent him to fairytale land, I don’t think calling her a skank is a very gentlemanly thing to do.
But this is a romance, and he’s a beta-turned-alpha hero, and…eh. I guess I can go with it. I’ll just pretend Savannah breaks up with him after the book and finds someone who actually seems to appreciate her. I ALSO think Savannah’s sister and her boyfriend should have gotten more shit for running around behind Savannah’s back together. More than just Savannah giving them the silent treatment– especially since they acted like she was the one doing something wrong! Sheesh.
So: not a perfect book. But if you don’t mind a so-so romantic hero and if you don’t care that cheaters don’t get their comeuppance and if you like slightly twisted fairy tales and snarky fairies and books where the protagonist realizes that they’re actually pretty awesome in ways they hadn’t considered before, then you’d probably like My Fair Godmother.
(This review is now so long I think maybe it’s not a mini-review any longer. Whatever, I’m still sticking it in with the others. Yay laziness!)
I liked it!
036. Wish by Alexandra Bullen
Publication: Point (June 1, 2010), ebook, 336pp / ISBN 0545139058
Genre: YA Romance, Fantasy
Read: February 23, 2012
Wish and My Fair Godmother have kind of similar covers, eh? And, actually, they have somewhat similar plots, too. Only! Instead of a romance-comedy, Wish is more of a romance-drama. Just like what I wanted with My Fair Godmother! Huzzah!
Wish was more emotionally interesting that MFG was, so much so that I found myself almost crying a few times. The romance has some problems (mostly because it’s bland), but at least the hero seems to actually like Olivia. Olivia herself starts out as being kind of boring, and she ends the story still being kind of boring, but at least she’s likable in the way that everyman characters are likable. (Sidenote: I kind of wish there’d be a story where the bland!sibling died and the party!sibling had to deal with it. If it’s done right, it’d be even more emotionally wrenching and so on. Are there any books like that?)
If you want something slightly more “deep” than MFG, Wish might be the book for you. It’s got magic, and romance, and coping with a family member’s death, and it’s even got a lot of fancy dresses in it you can drool over. It’s slightly less reliant on actual fair tales, too, which could be a good or a bad thing depending on what you like. I liked it, bland protagonist and all.
I liked it a lot!