REVIEW: The Sylvia Game by Vivian Alcock

One of my favorite creepy books! Vivian Alcock is very good at atmospheric stories, the kind that hover on the border of fantasy/paranormal/magical realism without actually falling over into it. The Sylvia Game, for example, is creepy because there’s the presence of a dead girl hovering over everything– but there aren’t actually any ghosts. (Well, MAYBE.) It’s mostly about friendship and standing up for yourself with your parents. It’s SO GOOD, one of those short Read More …

REVIEW: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

Caspian is way less boring in Voyage of the Dawn Treader than he was in his own book, possibly because he’s on a trip and not a quest for manhood kind of thing. Also he’s all petty and stuff! Which is a lot more interesting to read about than some perfect prince dude, I can tell you that. It was nice only having Lucy and Edmund this time around– no boring Susan and no overbearing Read More …

REVIEW: Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

I haven’t read Ella Enchanted for a while, but it remains one of my favorite fantasy books nonetheless. Every time I read it, I fall more and more in love with the characters and the setting and the writing! The best part is, I think, the fact that Ella saves herself. She isn’t a damsel in distress; she has a prince, but she doesn’t need him to come rushing in with sword drawn. Multiple times Read More …

REVIEW: Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis

I wanted to like Prince Caspian more than I did, but unfortunately Caspian himself is just a super boring person. Like, big whoop he’s the Arthur character who must become a king while he’s still barely a boy. It’s been done before– it’s been done before IN the Narnia series!– and without anything else to make him interesting besides a love of history, I just can’t get behind Prince C. as a protagonist. However, once Read More …

REVIEW: The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis

The Horse and His Boy is probably the most problematic books in the Narnia series, mainly because of the racism. But! It’s also one of my favorites, and that’s because of the characters. I love that Aravis is so different from most of the other Narnian heroines. She reminds me a bit of older!Lucy– she’s tough and capable and isn’t namby-pamby like Susan. However, unlike Lucy, Aravis is a total brat. She’s the most flawed Read More …

REVIEW: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

This is more like a discussion/thoughts sort of thing than a proper review. If you haven’t read this book already, you may be in trouble. Sorry! I mentioned somewhere else that I put off rereading this series– and this book in particular– because I’d been wounded by the sneaky Christianity stuff as a youngun. Nowadays I don’t care about that: in fact, I enjoyed picking out the different Biblical references! I also found something else Read More …

The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis

The last time I read this book was years ago, and I liked it SO much that I decided it was my favorite Narnia book ever. Nowadays I can’t remember why that was, but I think it was because I really like Digory and Polly. They’re not as drippy as some of the other Narnia characters, and I particularly like how street-smart they are. Also, Jadis is a very fierce baddie, all the more so Read More …

Waiting: The True Confessions of a Waitress by Debra Ginsberg

Things I learned from (re)reading this book: restaurants are full of people having sex (hopefully not on your food); waitresses don’t get enough public affection for all the work they do; waiting requires lots of skills I don’t possess (nor care to, really), including what’s basically telepathy; once you’re a server you’re a server for life, apparently. As a memoir this book is all over the place. It’s not JUST about Debra Ginsberg’s life as Read More …

REVIEW: Half Magic by Edward Eager

This isn’t my favorite Edward Eager book, but it’s the only one I have so far. So! Half Magic is a cute book, though not without its 1950s problems of light racism/sexism. The girls are all preteen housewives, and there’s a semi-uncomfortable scene with the kids and an Arabian villain. However! There’s ALSO another scene where Katherine turns herself into a knight and kicks Lancelot1 in the rear during a tournament.2 So it kinda balances Read More …

REVIEW: Dust and Shadow by Lyndsay Faye

I still haven’t finished reading the original Holmes stories, but that won’t stop me from reading pastiches! Pastiches, for those who don’t know, are basically professional fanfics of things. They usually refer to Sherlock Holmes pastiches, of which there are many. Lately there have been quite a few good Sherlock Holmes pastiches coming out, and most of them seem to be Holmes vs. something. So Dust and Shadow, for instance, is Holmes vs. Jack the Read More …