Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Mini-reviews // Jackaby, Four, and Under the Egg
This is my first time trying out mini-reviews! They did come out rather long. I need to work on writing concisely, obviously. Today, we have three books, from three different genres:
Jackaby by William Ritter
I don't usually read paranormal/supernatural stuff, so Jackaby was a first for me in that genre. (And now I want more of it - give me ALL THE RECOMMENDATIONS please!) The blurb said that Jackaby was Sherlock mixed with Doctor Who, and that's a pretty good description of this book. (Though I've never seen Doctor Who, so frankly I'm not one to judge.)
The whole book was quite lighthearted and fun. With this combination of mystery and paranormal, there is possibility of it going into deep freaky stuff, but Jackaby doesn't. It's too fantastical to get into the seriousness of a Sherlock mystery, and it's too playful to get into the seriousness of a paranormal horror thing.
Our character Jackaby is definitely based on Sherlock Holmes. He's got the self-centeredness, the antisocialness, all that "good" stuff that makes Holmes who he is. However, he's different enough for it not to be an issue, and anyway, I like Sherlock enough to not mind when the similarities got too large.
Our narrator is young Abigail Rook, who embodies what we all look for in a strong female character. Seriously, this girl is awesome. She's independent, but without being a know-it-all. She acknowledges that she's still young and learning, but is confident in herself. She's feminine, but not in a submissive way, and she solves her own problems. I love her!
And finally - the variety of paranormal creatures was spectacula. I really need to read more paranormal stuff, because really, all I know about are the mainstream ghosts, vampires, and werewolves.
Recommended highly! Rating it somewhere around 4.25 stars? (You know I hate star ratings.)
(OH MY GOODNESSS I just discovered there's going to be a sequel YESSS)
Four by Veronica Roth
It was definitely pleasant to get back into the Divergent world, but this book was definitely for just the fans - no one else would care enough, frankly. I found it mildly unnecessary.
Frankly, I didn't like reading the Tris parts from his perspective. It felt repetitive and redundant. Been there, done that. My favorite bits were the parts about Four's backstory that hadn't been told before, the stuff I absolutely didn't know.
Also, his first date ever was awkward and hilarious and I loved it. It was the best.
Ultimately, this book was a nice addendum, but really, in my opinion, not necessary. I just didn't care.
Recommended for Divergent fans. (Though probably if you are a fan, you've read it already.)
My rating is somewhere around 4 stars.
Hahahahah four stars hahahah get it hahaha
Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald
The fact that the blurb compared it to Chasing Vermeer and From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler made me desperately want to read it. I loved those two MG books as a kid, so I was excited to relive my childhood in this MG art-heist book.
Though it was quite good (with a neat little twist at the end), it didn't live up to expectations. There was a lot of diversity BUT it felt forced and somewhat stereotypical, like the author was trying to fulfill a "diversity quota." There were a lot of twists and turns BUT they smelled a bit of deus ex machina a lot of times. The author clearly knew her art and her history BUT her religious knowledge was minuscule, and made multiple errors in that department.
This book didn't have the innocent spirit and the pure goodness and the childish intrigue of those two titles it was compared to above. It was good, but somehow missed that luminescence that defines those two books, and which makes an excellent MG book differ from one that's just okay. And this one was just okay.
(If you want to read a more in-depth review of this one, you can see my guest post at Of Specatcles and Books.)
My rating is somewhere around 3.5 stars.
Have you read any of these? And any paranormal recommendations for me? I want them ALL.