I love to read. I love to read so much that I run out of books. Just me? Thankfully I have a Kate to find good books at our public library and let me take them to work with me!
It started out innocently enough. I had downtime while on desk duty, and the librarians said I could read. Kate had brought home a stack of middle-grade books to try, so I slipped the newest Haddix book into my backpack one morning.
Then it grew into an obsession.
I read 4 novels…
in 4 work days.
I read while crossing campus to the library building, I read between helping people at the desk, and I read when I ran outside for my fifteen minute lunch break.
This first book was almost guaranteed to be a fascinating read considering I’ve enjoyed every Haddix book I’ve read! But then it turned out to be my favorite one of all time. 😀
Mysterious, small-town, and a hint of fantasy… there are hard backstories, strong family relationships, and just enough fun to pick up the mood again. I can’t say much more without giving gigantic spoilers. Read it!!!
Remarkables by Margaret Peterson Haddix
One minute they’re there: laughing and having fun at the house next door. The next minute, the teens are gone. Like magic. Marin can’t believe her eyes. Who are they? Can anyone else see them? What makes them so happy?
Marin is lonely in this new town of hers and eager to figure out more. Then she meets Charley, who reveals that he knows about them, too.
He calls them the “Remarkables.” Charley warns her to stay away from the Remarkables—and him. Charley and Marin both have painful secrets they’re holding on to, but could solving the mystery of the Remarkables help them both?
Okay so I wasn’t expecting the messages to be so deep in this next one. To be honest the fantasy aspects were a little outside my taste, but WOW was it good overall!! Um and I need a club house dug under a tree’s roots!
So many quotable bits… ” You can tell a lot about a person by the stories they tell,” he said. “What type of stories are they? Are they full of wonder? Are they hopeful?” << *cries* Her dad. Such a brave man. Really good job writing him Ms Blakemore. “They were tales to make the world seem more beautiful, less awful.”
The Story Web by Megan Frazer Blakemore
In this heartfelt, magical instant classic, Megan Frazer Blakemore shows how the truths we tell can change the world.
When Alice was little, she found a gigantic spider web deep in the forest. Her dad called it the Story Web and told her how its strands were woven from the stories that hold our world together.
Years later, Alice’s dad has gone away for reasons Alice is sure are her fault. Now she won’t even talk about her dad and definitely no longer believes his farfetched stories. But when animals in town start acting strangely, she can’t ignore them. The Story Web is in danger–and the fabric of our world is breaking. The only way to mend it is to tell honest tales from the heart, even if they are difficult to share.
I previewed this Nutcracker retelling for my younger sis and unfortunately it got too dark and just odd, but I love the concept! Steampunk, inventors, unknown worlds, bravery. I enjoyed Stefan’s quest, the mouse spies were pretty cool, and the Clara/Marie character was perfect. And the bird he made was epic!!
Altogether I don’t think it’s a re-read, but it was a fun try.
The Toymaker’s Apprentice by Sherri L. Smith
Stefan Drosselmeyer is a reluctant apprentice to his toymaker father until the day his world is turned upside down. His father is kidnapped and Stefan is enlisted by his mysterious cousin, Christian Drosselmeyer, to find a mythical nut to save a princess who has been turned into a wooden doll.
Embarking on a wild adventure through Germany, Stefan must save Boldavia’s princess and his own father from the fanatical Mouse Queen and her seven-headed Mouse Prince, both of whom have sworn to destroy the Drosselmeyer family.
Based on the original inspiration for the Nutcracker ballet, the author brings the Nutcracker Prince to life in this fascinating journey into a world of toymaking, magical curses, clockmaking guilds, talking mice and erudite squirrels.
Leah’s family was so cool. Jasper was quirky, fun, and brave. I need a door and ivy painted on my bedroom wall. Not a kids book to me, but the hard topics/tragedies were ultimately handled well. Ugly real-life problems BUT also dreamy carefree summer evenings. The second half definitely made the characters and plot much more endearing. 😉
Well written. I felt it all.
Read this if you’re up for a lump in your throat and only a brief happy ending. ❤
My Jasper June by Laurel Snyder
The school year is over, and it is summer in Atlanta. The sky is blue, the sun is blazing, and the days brim with possibility. But Leah feels. . . lost. She has been this way since one terrible afternoon a year ago, when everything changed. Since that day, her parents have become distant, her friends have fallen away, and Leah’s been adrift and alone.
Then she meets Jasper, a girl unlike anyone she has ever known. There’s something mysterious about Jasper, almost magical. And Jasper, Leah discovers, is also lost.
Together, the two girls carve out a place for themselves, a hideaway in the overgrown spaces of Atlanta, away from their parents and their hardships, somewhere only they can find.
But as the days of this magical June start to draw to a close, and the darker realities of their lives intrude once more, Leah and Jasper have to decide how real their friendship is, and whether it can be enough to save them both.
So there you have it! Four books I read in four days. 😀
I finally got a Goodreads account btw and am terrible at actually reviewing books, but y’all can follow me anyway if you want. I joined in August and set my reading challenge to 90 books thinking it’d be hard to reach so late through the year… and then I accidentally read 100. 🙈😂
Who else did the Goodreads challenge this year? Which of these books sounds most interesting to you? ~Anna