Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Book Reviews - Sept 2015 - You're Never Weird on the Internet, Never Said, Heart-Shaped Box, The Imaginary

I didn't read any books in July and August. Seriously. Weird huh? I've decided it was a symptom.

Here is what I read in September.

You're Never Weird on the Internet (almost) by Felicia Day

So Felicia Day came to Changing Hands in Tempe in August. My girls, who are avid Supernatural fans, begged me to attend the event. Even though it was a school night. Even though we didn't have extra money to buy books. Even though I had to drive an hour to get there. I said yes. What kind of writer tells her kids that they can't attend an author signing, especially when they reeeeeaaaally want to go? Seriously.

So we went. The store was HOT. I mean, a hundred degrees hot. There was no difference in the temperature between being outside (in Phoenix, in August) and being inside and the line was EXTREMELY long. But the girls were enthusiastic. And Felicia was delightful. She was patient, kind, and glamorous. Calista almost hyperventilated.

PLUS Felicia's book is also delightful. It's charming and funny and brutally honest and I think the perfect read for anyone who finds themselves a square peg in a round hole.

Warnings on: language, etc.

The Imaginary by A.F. Harrold

Calista recommended this book, and while it took me a while to get around to it, I must say that I'm glad I read it. The Imaginary follows the adventures of Rudger, an imaginary friend who gets separated from his human and finds himself hunted by someone who eats imaginary friends.

This is a wonderfully creepy book for middle-grade readers, with lovely illustrations by Emily Gravett. I particularly love the end papers.

Appropriate for readers of all ages.

Never Said by Carol Lynch Williams

Carol's newest book. She read part of it at WIFYR and it made me cry. Told in the alternating POVs of twin sisters, it gets to the heart of why one has had drastic changes in her physical appearance in a very short amount of time, and why no one knows the reason. Written in verse from one POV and standard prose from the other. It's a quick read, about anxiety, relationships, and the sometimes toxic power of secrets.

It's a good book. Sisters. Love. Finding our way back to each other. I hope Carol keeps giving us true human stories in her accessible teen voice for years to come.

Warnings on: mature themes, but no questionable material.

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

I first discovered Joe Hill when I ran across his collection of short stories, 20th Century Ghosts. (I looked for a link to my review of this book, only to realize I haven't reviewed it yet.) I loved 20th Century Ghosts so much that I knew I would try a few of his novels. If you don't know about Joe Hill, he is Stephen King's son. He began his writing career under the shortened version of his name (Joseph Hillstrom King) because he wanted to succeed based on the merits of his writing. I admire that.

Heart-Shaped Box is Hill's debut novel. It's told from the perspective of Jude Coyne, a retired rock star who inadvertently purchases a ghost online. Jude finds out that this ghost is holding a grudge, and that it won't stop following him until Jude is dead. What follows is a harrowing race against time as he and his girlfriend try to escape their inevitable demise.

This is an atmospheric read. I had to make sure my closet door was closed when I read it late at night. It has a few missteps, as any debut novel does, but horror fans will like it.

Warnings on: language, violence, sexual situations, disturbing imagery.

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