Here There Be Books (BL)

I love books with great characters who go on adventures and/or solve mysteries re: invading aliens/vampires/etc. I blog about those books at Here There Be Books!


This is the BookLikes thingy for HTBB.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot Mysteries)

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd - Agatha Christie I knew the solution before I started the book, and though I thought I could get over that and still enjoy the unraveling of the mystery...well, it turned out I was wrong. Oh well!

Interview with Courtney Eldridge, author of GHOST TIME! + Giveaway

Ghost Time - Courtney Eldridge

Ghost Time developed out of a multimedia collaboration with various teenage artists. Can you tell us a bit more about that writing process?
When I first began, even before I began writing a single word, the one thing I knew about Thea Denny was that she was a brilliant fifteen-year-old artist. Then again, what does that mean, really? In terms of her artwork, I didn’t have any particular style or medium or artist in mind, so I had to look around and start gathering ideas, hunt for clues in bits and pieces and jpegs. So I started looking all over the internet for young artists whose work really floored me, teens producing work way beyond their years, and in the process, I realized there was no better way to create this character and make her truly genuine than to work with actual teen artists.


(Click the link to read the rest of the interview and/or enter to win a signed copy of GHOST TIME.)

False Colours

False Colours - Georgette Heyer -- Originally reviewed at Here There Be Books. --Yes, another Georgette Heyer book! There's just something about them that makes me feel like I'm surrounded by a snuggly blanket. They're clever and funny but they ALSO have some really great characters who get into trouble that somehow never seems cliched. Even False Colours, which is a feat considering it deals with Twin Switch, possibly one of the MOST cliched plot devices ever.However! It works out really great, maybe because the book is from Christopher's POV (a dude! somewhat unusual for a Heyer book) and he is adorable for reals. His mother is fantastic, too: she's flighty and a bit stupid, but not in an insulting way (if you know what I mean?). If she were a guy she'd be a kind of absentminded professor sort-- anyway, the two of them get into a real tangled mess, and much of the book is them trying to work their way out of it.This is both hilarious and heart-warming! The romance is, of course, very sweet and lovely and I adore the heroine, who should definitely win a medal for putting up with Christopher and his family. I also really liked how she was somewhat atypical for Regency times: she's on the edge of becoming a spinster but she doesn't seem THAT worried about it, and for most of the book she's playing an active role in maintaining the hero's cover. Yay, active heroines!On the whole, though it uses a super played-out plot device, False Colours was a wonderful read. The romance is sweet, the characters are fully-fleshed out people, and the situations they put themselves in are HILARIOUS. Woohoo!

This is W.A.R.

This is W.A.R. - 'Lisa Roecker',  'Laura Roecker' -- Originally reviewed at Here There Be Books. --You know when you have SO MANY HOPES for something to be amazing because LOOK AT IT and then it just goes in the pooper and everything is terrible and you want to stick your head under the covers and pretend nothing happened? That's this book for me. Let's start with the good stuff first: Realistically messed-up teenagers and their parents. Haven't seen so many messed up families in YA fiction since the 1970s! Each member of W.A.R. (including the victim) got their own section in the book, which is great because it gives them room to show what sort of people they are. The characters have layers and that's great! I like layers. Having multiple POVs also did that cool thing where you may THINK you know a character/person, but really you don't and here's why. Like, everyone thinks that one chick is super dumb, but really she's probably the smartest. If she never got her own POV, we'd never know that! And that'd be sad. Sort of reminded me of Veronica Mars (but only in the beginning/some of the plot points). Good group of diverse teens (PoC and GLBTQ, not so much economically though). Better writing overall than The Liar Society except for the parts of which I'm gonna talk about below (most of which are plot problems). So! Great characters, interesting plot, pretty good writing. What went wrong?The UGH:W.A.R.'s revenge plan is stupid. One "revenge" idea is to give the target man boobs. Seriously? You think he murdered someone, and the proper punishment for that is a bit of extra flab? The stupidity of the characters, while kinda accurate in that they're spoiled teenagers, makes for some really bad reading. The disconnect between the enormity of what happened and their ideas of what to do about it gave me a headache. It's not really a murder mystery, since they "know" who did it, and it's not really a thriller because, well, giving a dude man boobs isn't all that thrilling. So what is it, then? Regular contemporary fiction with a murdered kid? I can hang with that, but when I was promised revenge and mayhem and, y'know, thrills and chills, not having any of that is super disappointing. The actual bad guy comes out of nowhere. WTF is his motivation? Like, one line in the whole book explained it, maybe. Plus I didn't understand the whole "he killed his parents" thing; did I miss that in my reading or was it just nonexistent in the ARC? How is he to blame for a car crash, exactly? I suppose he could just be a sociopath (a la Killing Mr. Griffin) but some more explanation would have been nice. Really unsatisfying ending. Just. Ugh. And, this is kinda minor, but: nobody in this book knows that much about computers/websites-- you don't get websites taken down by hacking their firewalls (WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN), you send their host letters threatening to sue, sheesh. (This is The Liar Society's "nobody else could have sent that email" all over again.)So basically, in conclusion, this was a total disappointment. I liked the characters (outside of the ridiculous revenge thing) and I liked the IDEA of the book. If it were an actual thriller instead of a contemporary pretending to be a thriller we'd have gotten along way better. As it is, disappointing.Lesson learned: unless you're Batman, vigilante justice is NOT THE WAY TO GO. Seriously, just tell the cops.

Andromeda Klein

Andromeda Klein - Frank Portman Originally posted September 7, 2009 at Here There Be Books.I found this on the New Books shelf at my library on Friday, and after checking to see what sort of book it was I decided to grab it before anyone else could get it and read it immediately. I finished on Saturday and WOW! I love it. It's long, but it's totally worth it.The book as a whole is sweetly awkward, quirky, and fun-in-a-slightly-dark way (like a clown crying while telling jokes, for example). Some parts remind me a lot of my own high school (and middle school) experiences, which is probably why I identified with Andromeda so much-- she could be an alternate me, and Daisy could be an alternate version of my best friend from that time. It was a little bit spooky, but mostly it was very cool.I really liked Andromeda (not just because she's an alternate me). Even when she's acting crazy and ridiculous, mostly regarding boys and how she lets people treat her (read: like a doormat), I was interested in her life and what she was going to do next. I loved how she treated books like sacred things, and how she wanted to save the best books from being discarded from the library where she works. I also was really interested in how she preferred the more traditional sorts of occultism and shunned the more New Age, fluffier magic; it was very refreshing since so many new books seem to have only the Buffy-the-Vampire-Slayer-Wicca-magic-thing and I hate that. It's nice to see a character actually do something different for once, and as a bonus Andromeda doesn't even call herself a witch (she's an "occultist"), nor does she cut herself and recite depressing poems to the moon (um, for example).Andromeda is refreshing in a non-occult way as well. Many times did I giggle when she misheard someone: "vacuum" for "bathroom," "Sylvester Mouse" for "some extra hours," and so on. And I liked how she'd say that the person meant to say "pagan" but said "bacon" instead, like it was their fault and not her hearing. She's quirky and funny while not being over the top and, yeah, I really liked her. The other characters were sort of negligible, and I still don't have any idea what the heck is up with her parents and I have no idea how Andromeda managed to stay with them for so long when they're NUTS. Some of the secondary characters are better than others, but the book is really about Andromeda and so I tended only to care about them in relation to her life.The book itself does move sort of slow, I suppose, but I didn't mind as I was too busy being proud that Andromeda knew so much about the occult when she was so young, enough to rattle off names and dates and numbers and so on when I can't even remember what I ate for lunch last Monday. It was much like watching my kid brother in a quiz bowl beating out the competition because he knew who the 15th President of the US was, or something. And since I was interested in the occult as a kid I actually recognized and understood most of it (though I never managed to make it through any of the actual books Andromeda talks about. Too boring for a 12 year old.) but I don't think you need to be an occultist yourself to get it. Pretty much everything is explained, so I'm sure no one would be left behind or get frustrated, and then, instead of focusing on the little stuff (like Hebrew letters) you can focus on the plot and how it ends up working out so satisfyingly! I love satisfying endings.The events in Andromeda Klein can be interpreted in two ways: either she really is doing magic or she's projecting things out of her psyche in some Freudian, psychological way that I don't care to learn about because it's boring (no offense to psychologists). I choose to go with she really was doing magic and she wasn't projecting, though I admit it's a little interesting to consider it the other way-- it gives the book a whole different feeling, as well. But, yeah, I like the urban-bordering-on-fantasy way best. It's more fun.Read: September 2009I did an interview with Frank Portman! Check it out here.

Ella Enchanted

Ella Enchanted - Gail Carson Levine -- Originally reviewed at Here There Be Books. (Goes live 7/19/13.) --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 throughout the book, Ella figures out a way to get herself out of danger using her wits and her talents. She's heroic and wonderful and yay for Ella! Besides Ella, I also love how different traditional fairy tale elements are woven effortlessly into the story. Fairy godmothers, glass slippers, trolls and curses and princes! It's not so much like in Enchanted, where the stories are stuck into the main plot. More like story elements, instead. The whole book, then, feels very familiar and magical without ever ending up on the "boring" side of things. Reading books like Ella Enchanted reminds me of how AMAZING fairy tale retellings can be! I like how the retellings give voices to people who might not otherwise be heard, and how they can "fix" (nowadays) problematic plot points. The best ones, though, keep the magic and charm of the original stories while letting the characters become more and more real. Ella Enchanted does just that, and you really need to read it SOON if you haven't already done so.

Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains)

Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains) - Laurie Boyle Crompton -- Originally reviewed at Here There Be Books (goes live July 17, 2013). --I wanted to read Blaze mostly because of the comic book angle; also, I really loved the cover. Loving certain aspects of a book, as I should have remembered, does not mean I'll love the WHOLE book, however, and that's what happened here. I like bits and pieces of Blaze, but when you stick them all together what comes out is this:Okay, so, it had a really good start. Blaze (the character) is a flawed and naive person and she REALLY needs to spend more time reading things like Rookie alongside her comics. Mark, the "love interest," is super creepy and manipulative but not in a way that screamed FAKE to me, if that makes sense? Like, I can totally see this sort of thing happening in real life, and it DOES, and so that part of the book is no problem. Somewhere in the second half, though, it went awry. I think my main problem was that there was SO MUCH STUFF to get through: trying to win Mark back, revenge on Mark, new job, new love interest, dealing with the deadbeat dad, PREGNANCY SCARE, dealing with mom, dealing with brother, dealing with deadbeat best friend, etc. I never knew which was the focus and which was the subplot-- it was like the main story (which was...Mark? Blaze's dad?) got subsumed under all the other stories, which is not good.AND all that stuff had to be solved in a reasonably final way in a very short amount of time, and it was like going on a roller coaster where the climax is falling off during the loop-de-loop. Though everything tied up pretty neatly, I didn't feel any emotional satisfaction. Blaze didn't really grow as a person-- she just went from one problem to another and things magically worked out. Even the ending sequence, where she gets her revenge on her deadbeat dad, didn't feel as emotionally satisfying as it should have been. Maybe because it didn't really solve anything. It was like putting a bandaid over an ax wound. Right idea, wrong application.Also I could NOT get behind Blaze's new boyfriend, for a couple reasons. First, it's almost like Blaze gets a reward at the end for going through all that bad stuff EVEN THOUGH she basically didn't learn anything and she didn't change as a person. The point of a reward is to acknowledge the effort you put into something! Right? Not as a consolation prize.Secondly, her new boyfriend? Is a total jerk! WTF, what sort of employee goes around insulting customers and doesn't get fired? And he was ESPECIALLY insulting towards female customers-- including Blaze!!-- even doing the whole Fake Geek Girl test thing. And he never got called on it and it was never brought up as a problem, and ugh, so gross.So the ending was a total disappointment, basically. While Blaze had a lot of true to life situations in it, and while it has some very good advice for its readers (especially teens), I don't think it was executed as well as it could have been. With this kind of story I think less is more. The focus should have been on either Mark or Blaze's dad, with the other stuff as subplots. By shoving everything into the spotlight all at once, all the important "lessons" (like sticking up for yourself) got lost. If you want something LIKE Blaze but less messy, check out Lauren Myracle's ttyl series.

The Witches of Worm

The Witches of Worm - Zilpha Keatley Snyder Originally posted at Here There Be Books (goes live 7/12/13).I think this is the darkest [a:Zilpha Keatley Snyder|27|Zilpha Keatley Snyder|] book I've read yet. It's got the standard 1970s bad parent(s), a very mixed up kid, and a really creepy cat. I felt bad for everyone in this book, but especially for Jessica.She doesn't really have any positive role models and everyone ignores her, so much so that she has to resort to something drastic to get people to pay attention to her. If this were a Stephen King book, Jessica would have probably slaughtered the entire apartment complex, but The Witches of Worm is a little more subtle and sadder than that. Zilpha Keatley Snyder is really good at making things less obvious than you'd expect them to be, including the paranormal/fantasy elements. Is Jessica a witch, or is she just a messed up kid? Or both! The worst part about the book, though, is how desolate most of it is. Jessica doesn't have any friends, she hates everybody, and there's a cat who's (maybe) making her do things. (Or possibly she's making HERSELF do things; it's very vague.) The scene where she writes a "fake" story for her school counselor almost made me cry: it's about a baby abandoned in a park and, just, SO SAD, because the baby is totally Jessica and she didn't even see that. Hopefully the school counselor DID see it, and did something about it after the book ends-- SOMEONE has to help her! I mean, yeah, she gets her friend back which is nice, but that's not going to be enough in the long run.Sooooo, The Witches of Worm: creepy, depressing, empty of happy things like friendship and family and love. Maybe don't read it if you're feeling sad-- it'll probably make you sadder. However! If you like those sorts of books, you'd definitely like Witches.Quick note: don't read the forward first because it ruins the rest of the book by telling you exactly what's going to happen and why. So annoying! It's good for background stuff (ZKS took real life events and put them into the book), but it totally messes up the experience of figuring parts of the plot out for yourself.

Ghost Time

Ghost Time - Courtney Eldridge Originally posted at Here There Be Books (goes live 7/11/13).Amazon's previous publishing endeavors have left me feeling mostly "meh." Not that I've read a TON of their books. I haven't been interested before now! However, now they're starting up a YA imprint (Skyscape) and WE SHOULD ALL BE AFRAID.At Book Expo America they gave away most of the Skyscape books coming out in the next few months-- this is the first one I've read, and WOW. If this is what we have to look forward to then Amazon really will take over the world. THROUGH THE POWER OF YA AWESOMENESS. This is one of those experimental books that people either love or hate. I happen to (mostly) love experimental fiction ([a:Patrick Ness|370361|Patrick Ness|], [a:William Faulkner|3535|William Faulkner|], [a:Virginia Woolf|6765|Virginia Woolf|]), so I was totally on board for the unusual narrative style. It skips around in time, it doesn't have any quotation marks, and Thea's voice really does sound like what you'd expect a real teenager to sound like. She says "like" a lot, she skips around in her sentences, thoughts meander from one topic to the next without much of a connection. It takes a bit of getting used to, but if you can make it through it becomes an AMAZING book.The story itself is just as fascinating as the format. On the surface, it's a missing person story. Underneath that, though, is a super creepy conspiracies story with possible scifi/fantasy elements and it's AMAZING. JUST AMAZING. I haven't been this excited about a book for a while! Even if you took away the scifi stuff, it'd still be an excellent YA contemporary story. Thea and Cam's relationship is a little more adult than what you see in some YA, but it's presented in a very positive way (at least until the end, anyway). The romance is sweet and they help each other become better people and it's great! (Except for the end, anyway.)BUT that in no way means that the scifi/conspiracy/thriller part isn't important, too. Because it is-- it's why Cam disappears and why Thea is having such a hard time once he's gone. It's a very cool plot, very creepy and almost X-Files-y, and I JUST LOVE THIS BOOK OKAY.Except for the end. I hate the end! It is a cliffhanger ending and it tore my heart out and then gave it to a creepy FBI guy. Luckily there's going to be a sequel, but it can't come out fast enough for me. Until then, though, I'm gonna push this on anyone who loves scifi and unusual books and protagonists who're as real as any kid you'd find in an American high school. READ ITTTTTT.


Enchanted - Alethea Kontis Originally posted at Here There Be Books (goes live 7/9/13).This got off to a good start! I really liked the first few chapters. I liked the world, I liked the characters, I liked the fairy tale stuff sprinkled throughout. And then! It took a turn. Sunday and the frog fell in love, the world exploded, and idk what was going on. I mean, okay, in fairy tales it's not too unusual for people to fall in love in three days (even if one of those people is a frog). I could understand that! But then it turned out that EVERYONE was magical and EVERYONE had a special gift and MAGICAL DESTINY and, based on the previous mostly-normal chapters...I don't think the forshadowing/hints about that were strong enough to support the 180* I felt I went through in that single chapter. It was like slow buildup, slow buildup-- BAM! MAGICAL EVERYTHING AND THINGS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME! And it was really weird!Eventually, though, I got over that too. And then I started to enjoy the book again! Here's what I liked:The romance. It was a little melodramatic and WOE IS ME but that got balanced out by the adorableness of the prince trying to win back Sunday. The creepy faeries. So cool! More creepy faeries, please. I love it when magical creatures go slightly askew from how you'd usually think of them-- so, for instance, in Enchanted the fairy godmothers are, uh. Not cuddly and plump and nice. Creepy! Yay!The mixing in of different faerie tales. For example, here's some of what I figured out: Jack the Giant Killer, those shoes that dance you to death, the shoe house, the swan princess, and the frog prince (of course). So cool! Especially since it was all, like the faeries, just a little bit dark and creepy.Sunday's sisters are amazing! I want to read books from their POVs, too-- especially Thursday, who is a pirate queen. Luckily, I have Hero, the companion book which is coming out in October. It's Saturday's book! Saturday the Amazon woodcutter warrior lady. Yay!All in all, Enchanted was a wonderful fairy tale retelling/re-imagining/whatever! I mean, yeah, I had a few issues with the pacing in the beginning, there. But the rest of it was so good that I don't really mind about that. If you, like me, are a fan of fairy tales, you HAVE to read Enchanted. It's creepy, it's slightly gothic, a fabulously magical plot, great characters and enough romance to satisfy anyone.

The Universe Versus Alex Woods

The Universe Versus Alex Woods - Gavin Extence Originally published at Here There Be Books. (Goes live 7/8/13)I picked this up from BEA 2013 mostly because of the cover-- also I thought it might have some sci-fi elements to it, which turned out to be wrong. However, despite the lack of scifi, I'm still glad I picked up The Universe Versus Alex Woods. PROS:1. It has an unusual protagonist! Alex was struck on the head by a meteorite, and it's affected his personality in interesting ways. (Or maybe he was like that before the meteorite?)2. It has unusual (and interesting) secondary characters! Alex has a lovely, supportive, slightly hippy-dippy mother. She runs a Wiccan magic shop and she's really awesome. Alex's friends, including the doctor who studied his meteorite, his grumpy, elderly next door neighbor, and a emo-goth schoolmate, also bring a lot of color to an already pretty colorful book.3. The story, while slightly annoying in that it's almost entirely a flashback, kept me eagerly reading. I kept wondering "what's next? How did THAT happen? etc."4. Potentially a crossover for YA/adult! That's always a pro, right? Right.5. Deals with difficult subjects (assisted suicide, for example) in a sensitive way, though there's a LOT of details so I don't think it's for everyone.CONS:1. As mentioned above, it does that thing where the first chapter is "now" and the rest of the book is "then." And then the ending goes back to "now." I find that really irritating, personally, but I know other people have no problem with it. 2. Alex, because of his unusual personality, sometimes comes across as really weird and/or unsympathetic. 3. A book full of unusual people can be "too weird" sometimes? I didn't really mind, though. I'd rather have a bunch of unusual people in my book than a bunch of boring ones.Overall, I very much enjoyed reading The Universe Versus Alex Woods. It's being published by Hachette's new fiction imprint which focuses on amazing new writers, and I can see why Alex Woods was chosen. It's an unique voice in a world filled with way too many vampires and not enough non-stalker/non-creepy weirdos.

The Well-Wishers

The Well-Wishers - Edward Eager;N. M. Bodecker (Illustrator) Originally posted at Here There Be Books on June 24, 2013.Guess what The Well-Wishers is! It is the sequel to Magic or Not! AND I REALLY LOVE IT.It's kind of the perfect sequel: similar enough to Magic or Not to give me the warm squishy feelings of reading a really awesome book, but different enough so it's not just the same story over again. For example! It's written in first person POV, and each kid gets their own chapter to tell their part of the story. The great thing is that they all sound different from one another-- and just like how you'd expect them to sound, too! (Admittedly through the lens of a 1960s kids book.) Even the pre-teen greaser (he's a bully but he gets better) gets a chapter, and he sounds like what you'd expect, too. Neat!Plot-wise, the emphasis was more on the kids themselves, their character development and working through friendship issues and whatnot. Yes, they still helped people out, but the emphasis was even MORE on personal relationships and FEELINGS and also magic because, after all, this is a kidlit fantasy book. (Though it still had the same maybe-it's-magic-maybe-not kind of feel to it as in the first book.)I actually think The Well-Wishers could stand on its own well enough, if you haven't read Magic or Not? yet. But I think it's best read on the wings of the awesomeness of the first book, just because I'm picky like that.


Embroideries - Originally posted at Here There Be Books on June 21, 2013.This is my second Marjane Satrapi book, and it is VERY different from Persepolis. Persepolis had a wider angled lens (life before and after the 1979 revolution); Embroideries ostensibly takes place during a single conversation between M. Satrapi's friends and family, though of course it spreads out a bit through those conversations. They talk about love and life (in concrete details/stories), about "embroideries,"[1. "reconstructive" surgery on your lady bits.] about what it means to be a woman in Iran, about LOTS of great stuff that, on the surface, doesn't seem to add up to as solid a storyline as in Persepolis.However, that's totally untrue! Okay, maybe it's not as historically interesting (as a revolution) that M. Satrapi's aunt married multiple times. BUT it's an insight into the lives of people who have lived (and do live?) through extraordinary events, and even the "mundane" stuff is interesting when told by that sort of person. Plus, Marjane Satrapi has the BEST FAMILY EVER. It's like every person in it has done 6x more awesome stuff than any other person. Embroideries also talks about people who weren't really in Persepolis, like some of her cousins and a really cool aunt. It was very neat meeting new "characters," especially when they're kickass.So, okay, maybe you won't learn much about the wider history of Iran. But you'll learn a lot about (some of) the people living there, and what their lives are like. You'll learn about what they worry about, what they hope for, their dreams and disappointments. I really liked that it was entirely a conversation between women, too, because I don't think there's enough coverage about women's lives in Iran outside of how it intersects with the government. (Not that I'm well-up on current events in Iran.)Art-wise, Embroideries felt more like a zine than a "proper" comic. It's a little rough, more light pages/empty spaces. It feels handmade and very cool. I liked it! (I've always like comic zines, though I haven't read nearly enough.) Again, it's a whole different feel from Persepolis, which has a lot of dark pages/spaces filled up with black. I'm sure that's significant in some way, don't you think? I enjoyed reading Embroideries, and I'd love to read more books like it!

Island of the Aunts

Island of the Aunts - Eva Ibbotson, Kevin Hawkes On the Eva Ibbotson scale of cuteness, this is somewhere between Which Witch? and Journey to the River Sea. There are some really horrible adults, but there are also some really lovely ones. The kids go on a journey of self-discovery, but it's mostly the kind that tells you that you CAN do useful things and you're a good person, etc. And while most of the story is focused on the kids and their time on the island, a good chunk of it is spent on an adorable sea creature who has feelings and whatever. It's cute! It's mostly fluffy! And there's some great "lessons" woven throughout (if you care about that sort of thing).Read the rest of my review at my blog!


Portlandtown: A Tale of the Oregon Wyldes - Rob DeBorde It's the first book in the series, and unfortunately it does that thing where ALL the characters, backstories, worldbuilding, and main conflict are set up all at once. There's a LOT going on in this book, with the end result being that I don't entirely understand wtf is going on. The story itself is fairly simple but the details surrounding it are confusing, especially since I assume the main plotline is going to continue onward in the next book if not the entire series.For example: the bad guy is scary, but I don't know what his deal is besides just wanting his stuff back. So much time is spent setting up everyone ELSE'S histories/conflicts/etc., that the bad guy becomes "vaguely disturbing back-from-the-dead" guy who seems to almost hover in the background rather than hang out in the front, where he belongs. That said, despite the overabundance of STUFF, I had a really good time reading Portlandtown. It was FUN! I love genre mash-ups, and though I haven't read many regular Westerns I definitely want to read more paranormal/sci-fi/whatever Westerns now. The world of Portlandtown is very interesting, too: it's a lot like what you'd expect a regular historically-accurate late 1800s Western town to be, but with the added bonus of supernatural intrigue.Read the rest of my review at Here There Be Books!

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood - I put off reading Persepolis for the longest time because I thought it’d be depressing and I’m a big emotional scaredy-cat. While Persepolis DOES have its darker moments, what I ended up reading wasn’t a story of unrelenting sadness. Instead, there’s humor, lots of love, and a big fat epiphany that I’m a dunderhead.I’m stupid for being scared off a book, but I’m ALSO stupid because of this: intellectually, I know that not everyone in Iran is a religious fanatic out to destroy everything I love. Emotionally, as I said before, I’m a big scaredy-cat. Reading Persepolis helped me shift my emotional whatsits more towards my intellectual things. Yay for growing more empathetic and less stupid overall!Read the rest of my review at Here There Be Books.

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