MINI-REVIEWS: Fracture, Legend, The Carter Girls’ Mysterious Neighbors

099. Fracture by Megan Miranda
Publication: Walker Childrens (January 17, 2012), ARC, 264pp / ISBN 0802723098
Genre: YA Fiction (slightly paranormal)
Read: June 7, 2012
Source: BEA 2011

Mini-Review

I got this ARC way back in 2011 at BEA, which is slightly embarrassing until I remember that I’d packed away all my books for about six months or so and then it’s alright. There was an intro at the beginning of my copy that said I’d probably read Fracture all at once, and that turned out to be true. (Don’t you love it when that happens?) Fracture is fast-paced, exciting, and just scary enough to keep you on your toes. There’s also a bit of romance, which is nice.

The only thing I didn’t like about Fracture was that I think the paranormal bits weren’t utilized enough. In the beginning it felt like there was a whole big secret behind the paranormal stuff, and that the focus of the book would be on how the characters navigate around it/learn to use it/etc. Instead, it turned out that the focus was on the non-paranormal stuff, which was slightly disappointing for me because the paranormal stuff was SO interesting. The non-paranormal stuff wasn’t bad, but if you’ve got spooky stuff going on I just think you should use it more, that’s all.

Rating


I liked it!

100. Legend by Marie Lu
Publication: Putnam Juvenile (November 29, 2011), ARC, 301pp / ISBN 039925675X
Genre: YA Sci-fi (Dystopian)
Read: June 7, 2012
Source: BEA 2011

Mini-Review

Another BEA 2011 book, this one was much better than I thought it’d be! At first the different font colors threw me off, but the protagonists and the plot won me over and now I can’t wait to read the next book.

I’ll admit that the dystopia isn’t all that new or brilliant, and if you’re tired of stories of teenage renegades fighting back against a totalitarian regime you’d probably not want to read Legend. It’s full of stuff we’ve all seen before– brainwashed kids un-brainwashing themselves, Romeo and Juliet romance, mysterious evil society poisoning its people, etc.– but the writing was fun and (this is important) it’s not just full of white kids running around being heroes. So there’s something for everyone, I suppose.

Rating


I liked it!

(not my picture. Found via Google)

101. The Carter Girls’ Mysterious Neighbors by Nell Speed
Publication: A. L. Burt Company (1921), ebook, 321pp / no isbn
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Read: June 8-9, 2012
Source:Distributed Proofreaders (soon to be on Project Gutenburg)

Mini-Review

Oh god, this book. Okay, so: it’s that campy sort of pre-WWII children’s book somewhat along the lines of Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys. There are way too many dialogue tags, everything’s over-the-top and mostly badly written, and it’s horrifically racist. THE RACISM. Oh god.

It’s not just your more usual early children’s book sort of racism: the bad guy makes a whole big speech about how black people should be equal to white people, and he starts a school for educating poor black people and he actually encourages one of the Carters to be more charitable to non-white people. The BAD GUY does all that. Because! Secretly he’s trying to stir up trouble between blacks and whites? It’s just ridiculous and infuriating and upsetting. Ugh. I don’t mind camp, but omfg I do mind THAT.

Rating


I suppose it’s a pretty good idea of what kids books were like back then. Holy hell.

2 thoughts on “MINI-REVIEWS: Fracture, Legend, The Carter Girls’ Mysterious Neighbors”

  1. Funny, I liked Fracture because it *wasn’t* paranormal! 🙂 I recommend reading Revived by Cat Patrick as an accompanying volume, though–they deal with similar themes.

    And aren’t those old books cringeworthy? I’m glad that at least they show how far we’ve come…

    1. Haha, I suppose it’s more like magical realism than paranormal? There were fantasy ELEMENTS, what with the being able to sense people who were going to die, and all. But that aspect wasn’t played up as much as I wanted, I guess.

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