Friday, February 28, 2014

Etiquette & Espionage: An audiobook review

Author: Gail Carriger
Audiobook Narrator: Moira Quirk
Info: Hachette Audio, copyright 2013, 8 discs

Hub Challenge Read - #hubchallenge

A review in 10 words (or thereabouts): A "not-quite-the-usual" type of finishing school.

This is my second go-around with this particular title.  I was distracted by the pretty cover and the idea of steampunkish paranormal activity, making it a perfect selection for my particular reading choices.  But that was last year, and Carriger has a sequel out...a sequel I was in no way ready to read because I had managed to forget everything from book one.  So I audiobooked it this time, and I'm so glad I did!

Why?  You might be asking.  Why, Emily, did you enjoy the audiobook so much?  Let me tell you.  First, (surprise, surprise) the reader has an accent.  Moira Quirk easily flows between a British and Scottish adding personality and life to each of the characters, male and female.  The accent really helped set the stage, put me on the airship with Sophronia and the other young ladies in a way that I did not experience with the print selection.

Secondly, the world is just super exciting to visit again.  Sophronia is a lively young woman full of spunk and verve.  She's unafraid to test the limits of appropriate behavior but doesn't lose sight of the expectations of a young woman during the time.

So much fun!  It was also named one of YALSA's "Amazing Audiobooks" for 2014!


Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Knife of Never Letting Go: A review

Author: Patrick Ness
Info: Walker, copyright 2008, 478 pages

Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee -- whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not -- stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden -- a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.

~Goodreads Description~

This particular book took me entirely too long to get off my "to-read" list.  I have been listening to librarians and patrons rave for years about this series, but for some reason, I just couldn't talk myself into reading.  Maybe because of a talking dog?  Or the uber-hype?  That has come back to bite me before.

The Awesome
The premise is unlike anything I've read before.  I was pretty confused at the beginning, trying to piece together what I thought could be happening with a unique and disturbing setting.  As the pieces of the puzzle came together, I was genuinely impressed with the author's creativity and terrifying storytelling.

The Not So Awesome
A major plot point each character's ability to hear "noise"...the thoughts and inner musings of every single other person and creature around.  While Ness shows the destructive nature of such an ability, it's an overwhelming tool, slowing down the pace of the book and making it difficult to really like any of the characters.

Overall, a successful science fiction tale.  Patrick Ness has created an interesting, exotic setting that, while you would never want to visit, you'd kind of like to know a little more about.  If you're looking for a few thrills, a world re-imagined, and the ability to hear what a dog is thinking, check out  The Knife of Never Letting Go.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Top 10 Fictional BFFs

 Top Ten Characters I'd Like to Be Best Friends With
(Feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish)

Today is a Top Ten Rewind where we get to revisit a previous topic.  Maybe you missed it the first time around, or you've read some killer titles int he meanwhile and want to revisit your pics.  All's fair in love and reading.  So I have decided to share my fictional best friend picks...cause my imagination might just get me so involved in the stories I read that I might occasionally forget these characters aren't real.

 1) Gansey, Adam, Ronan & Blue - The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
Angsty, but awesome.  Adventure, danger, quick dialogue.  Let's hang out you guys!

2) Ron, Harry, & Hermione - Harry Potter  by J.K. Rowling
I really just want to be a Weasley...but I'd settle for part of the crew.

3) Stargirl - Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
I think everyone needs a free-spirited, whimsical dreamer in their life.  I want Stargirl.

4) Augustus, Hazel, & Isaac - The Fault in Our Eyes by John Green
It would be one sad friendfest, but heartfelt and contemplative!

5) Ida Mae Jones - Fly Girl by Sherri L. Smith
Who wouldn't want to hang out with a strong-willed, independent, courageous woman?

6) Maddie & Queenie - Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
See #5.
7) Skulduggery Pleasant - Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy
The dude is a skeleton detective.  In a suit.  And can throw fireballs at people.  Yes!

8) Lucy - The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Full of faith, imagination, and gumption.  We could be best pals.

9) Grover - The Monster at the end of this Book by Jon Stone
'Cause it's Grover.  At the end of a book.  Not a scary monster....and it's Grover :)

10) Sarah, Hoggle, Sir Didymus, & Ludo - Labyrinth
This should not have to be explained.  "If you should need us..."



Monday, February 24, 2014

Q & A: Library Breakups


Have you ever tried something in your library that just didn't work?  Or realized your space was in desperate need of change?  Today we're talking Library "Breakups"!  For more library fun, check out TheLibrarianWay.com!

Friday, February 21, 2014

MeruPuri: A manga review

Author: Matsuri Hino
Info: VIZ Media, copyright 2005, 192 pages
Volumes: 1-4

On the way to school one morning, Airi loses her mirror - one that had been passed down to her through generations - and suddenly finds herself in a bizarre situation. Never in her wildest dreams did she expect Aram, a little boy from a magical kingdom, to have emerged from the mirror in the short time it took her to track it down!

~Goodreads Description~

So if a strange kid emerged from a mirror, I don't think I'd be taking him home with me.  Just saying.  As manga goes, this wasn't anything original.  There's a love triangle between Aram and his "evilish" brother Jeile, the hero is a bit flawed in that he can't stay in one form too long, and a Airi, our damsel, has a tendency for over dramatics and is rather helpless.  Oh...and what's up with Japanese parents being absent?  Who just leaves their high school student to live on their own without any real supervision?  And, not to give anything away, but once Airi has, herself, traveled by mirror, no one really seams to mind.  Interesting.

Even though it's pretty typical, it's still worth the read (and it's only 4 volumes, so it won't take long :)

My library's teen manga club has been given the task of deciding what series I will tackle each month.  So far so good!  MeruPuri has a bit of fantasy, a bit of romance, but just not enough action to make it fantabulous.  I'm kind of excitied to see what they pick out for me next, and I have to admit that I like not having to make this particular reading decision!

  

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

William Shakespeare's Star Wars

Author: Ian Doescher
Info: Quirk Books, copyright 2013, 174 pages

Inspired by one of the greatest creative minds in the English language-and William Shakespeare-here is an officially licensed retelling of George Lucas's epic Star Wars in the style of the immortal Bard of Avon. The saga of a wise (Jedi) knight and an evil (Sith) lord, of a beautiful princess held captive and a young hero coming of age, Star Wars abounds with all the valor and villainy of Shakespeare’s greatest plays. ’Tis a tale told by fretful droids, full of faithful Wookiees and fearstome Stormtroopers, signifying...pretty much everything.

Reimagined in glorious iambic pentameter—and complete with twenty gorgeous Elizabethan illustrations--William Shakespeare’s Star Wars will astound and edify Rebels and Imperials alike. Zounds! This is the book you’re looking for.


~Goodreads Description~

So this might be one of the most brilliant literary "reimaginings" ever created.  Doescher has take the beloved Star Wars: A New Hope and infused it with Shakespearean flair.  If you're a fan of the classic scifi movie series, and you can stomach Shakespeare, definitely give this a read.

What is so brilliant about the adaptation is that it remained true to form on both fronts.  The Shakespearean language doesn't overwhelm the reader, and the story line doesn't suffer under the new form.  They blend together rather brilliantly for a fun, new retelling.

Case in point:

(In the trash compactor)

HAN - "I cannot hold them back forever, sure!"
LEIA - 'Tis quite a rescue thou has plann'd for me.  Thou has come in, but how shalt thou go out?  Hath folly been thy guide?"
HAN - "--He hath the plan, Not I, thou sweetheart of ingratitude!"



Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Top Ten Reasons I Love Being A Blogger & Reader

Top Ten Reasons I Love Being a Blogger & Reader
(Feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish)

5 Reasons I Love Blogging

Blogging is awesome because:

1) I don't have to be formal!  If you're familiar with my reviews, you have probably noticed that a lot of inner dialogue and enthusiasms come out within each paragraph.  There's no need to be proper and precise.  I just get to say exactly what I feel and geek out as often as possible!

2) It gives me an excuse to write!  I've always enjoyed writing  And while I share the dream of one day becoming a published author (I am under no illusions this will ever happen:), this little blog lets me get my write-on a few times a week.

3) Who wouldn't want to be a part of such a spectacular community of like-minded individuals?!  Sure, I don't always agree with other blogger's reviews, but I respect their point of view and truly appreciate getting to experience stories from other perspectives.

4) I have a one stop shop to see exactly what I've written and what I felt about what I've read!  I can track work ideas, and I can relay crazy gnome stories from the safety of my own site.

5) Give me something to do while I'm watching TV in the evenings!  College kind of ruined me.  I have trouble just sitting.  So blogging helps keep my hands and mind busy.

5 Reasons I Love Being a Reader

Reading allows me to:

6) Travel across space and time from the comfort of my own arm chair.

7) Meet new and exciting people.  Fall in and out of love.  Go on adventures that would otherwise be impossible without fear or judgement.

8) Stretch the limits of my imagination.  There's nothing quite like losing yourself completely in a fabulous story.

9) Empathize and sympathize without having to actually go through struggles or grief.  I love a good cry.  I love it even more when the thing that's happening isn't happening to me, when it's secured in the pages of a book.

10) Have fascinating conversations with people about the books I love and could do without.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Q & A: Getting Graphic


Novels that is...  Love 'em or hate 'em, graphic novels and manga play an important part in our collections whether you're in a school or public library.  So today we're discussing our methods (marketing, collection development, programming) on this popular format.

Friday, February 14, 2014

A sonnet for Tim Curry on this Valentine's Day


Oh, Tim Curry, how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.
I love thee from the goofy humor of Mr. Wadsworth
to the rakish thief of Rooster Hannigan.
My soul is endeared to you from your work with the Muppets
and your marvelous audiobook narrations that make me smile.
I love thee, freely, every time you are on my television
I love thee, purely, when I hear you sing
I love thee with a love that does not age
but grows in appreciation with every single view.

Okay.  So maybe this is a bit much.  But I do, in fact, have great affection for Mr. Tim Curry, and I felt Valentine's Day was an appropriate time to express my endearment :)

It's no secret that I struggle with audiobooks.  I prefer my readers to speak with an accent to transport me to another place and time.  On a whim I Googled celebrities who read audiobooks, and lo and behold, Mr. Tim Curry narrates none other than Lemony Snicket's darling Series of Unfortunate Events.  This particular book series brought me back to the joys of reading after my passion was demolished during undergrad.

I popped in the audiobook on my two minute drive to work and was immediately captivated. I adore this man.  The way he pronounces and enunciates words is fabulaous, and he is firmly entrenched in some of my favorite childhood pop culture memories.  Here are just a few of the moments that make Tim Curry awesome:

1) Rooster Hannigan in Annie.  This was my movie when I was little.  I watched it and re-watched and then watched it again just for good measure.  Mrs. Hannigan terrified me, but I loved her mischievous, devious brother Rooster and his rather trampy female sidekick. Don't know why.  The whims of a child I suppose, but watching again, Curry was absolutely perfect for the part.  Seemingly self-assured looking for a shortcut in life.  Genius.

2)  Superhuman Samurai Syber Squad  & Mighty Max.  My younger brother and I (and reluctantly my mother) watched these two shows religiously every morning before school. The first was a really ridiculous life action about a cyber-villain and a group of teenagers who could transport themselves into a computer for epic battles, while the latter was an exciting animated feature and subsequent toy line.  Found it on YouTube not too long ago.  Awesome day.

3) Dr. Thornton Poole in Oscar.  What?  You haven't seen this one?  Um, perhaps you should get right on that.  This jewel of a comedy stars Sylvester Stallone when he still looked human and, of course, Mr. Tim Curry as a proper professor who finds himself mixed into the lives of a crazy mob family.

4) As my ode proclaims, this wonderful man is also in a Muppets movie.  There's nothing really to add, and this pretty much puts him on the top of so many of my favorites lists.

5) Most of my favorite movies are from the 80s and this includes the hilarious murder mystery fun fest known as Clue.  Curry steals the show as the emotional, hyper, occasionally psychotic butler Wadsworth.  Sigh. Love this movie.

Then there is always Legend, Home Alone 2, The Three Musketeers, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, The Cat Returns, an episode of Psych (!!!!), and, of course The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

So on this day of red hearts and roses, I send my love to Mr. Tim Curry as a thank you for all the laughs!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Somebody Up There Hates You: A review

Author: Hollis Seamon
Info: Algonquin Young Readers, copyright 2013, 239 pages

Chemo, radiation, a zillion surgeries, watching my mom age twenty years in twenty months: if that’s part of the Big Dude’s plan, then it’s pretty obvious, isn’t it? Somebody Up There Hates You.

SUTHY has landed me here in this hospice, where we—that’s me and Sylvie—are the only people under 30 in the whole place, sweartogod. But I’m not dead yet. I still need to keep things interesting. Sylvie, too. I mean, we’re kids, hospice-hostages or not. We freak out visitors; I get my uncle to sneak me out for one insane Halloween night. Stuff like that. And Sylvie wants to make things even more interesting. That girl’s got big plans.

Only Sylvie’s father is so nuclear-blasted by what’s happened to his little girl, he glows orange, I swear. That’s one scary man, and he’s not real fond of me. So we got a major family feud going on, right here in hospice. DO NOT CROSS line running down the middle of the hall, me on one side, her on the other. It’s crazy.

In the middle of all of this, really, there’s just me and Sylvie, a guy and a girl. And we want to live, in our way, by our own rules, in whatever time we’ve got. We will pack in some living before we go, trust me.


~Goodreads Description~

The Awesome

So...this is a book about sick kids.  Nothing new there.  In fact it often feels like this story has been told enough.  But Seamon's sick kids seemed real.  The story seemed truthful and not just for the teens.  The parents are heartbroken, frustrated, and angry.  Oh are they angry.  Their anger is infuriating and terrifying, but it's raw and so close to the surface.  The teens don't have witty dialogue to make lite of a tough situation. They're annoying and thoughtless.  They're stubborn and fierce.  They're teenagers.

The Not So Awesome

I don't have anything against the book really.  There weren't any moments when I felt the not-so-awesome beast rearing it's awful head.  I wasn't too fond of the extremely long paragraphs, but that's a minor issue.  And I think there could have been a bit more with the character development.  I got a good feel for Richard (probably because the book is living in his head) but for playing such an important part in the story, I never felt like I got to know Sylvie a all, just from Richard's limited view.  Nothing she said and nothing she did showed too much personality. 

Overall, not the best book I've read, but definitely not the worst.  Sure, people are going to compare this to The Fault in Our Stars.  I didn't.  They were alike in that a young boy and girl are facing death, but the story lines aren't really similar.  


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

10 Books That Will Make You Swoon

Ten Books That Will Make You Swoon
(Feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish)

Well the swoon-themed topic must mean that Valentine's Day is just around the corner.  A random day in the week filled with chocolate and lllooovvveee.  While red hearts and roses isn't really my thing, I am most definitely a sucker for swoon-worthy stories.  Here's a few of my favorites:

1) The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
In print, as an audiobook, I adore this book in all it's forms.

2) Where She Went by Gayle Forman
The first in the "series" had some swoon-worthy moments,
but Forman hits it out of the park with her follow up!

3) Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
A little bit of the supernatural to go along with a sweet romance.  Awesome!

4) The Selection by Kiera Cass (and The Elite...)
I didn't want to like these books.  But I do.  SO MUCH.  Oh, so much swoon.

5) The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
Hello Griffin King...would you like to be my fictional boyfriend?

6) My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
A look at family, friendship, and love...with Jase Garrett :)

7) Splintered by A.G. Howard
Jeb or Morpheus?  Morpheus or Jeb?  Oh Alyssa, I hope you go to the dark side!

8) The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa
Maybe a cheat considering this is actually 4 books, but it poses the ultimate question,
Ash or Puck?

9) Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
My love for this book and it's swoon-worthiness has no bounds.

10) Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Saving the best for last...I'm talking about you Etienne and Anna!

But don't forget Amy & Roger's Epic Detour, The Fault in Our Stars, The Truth About Forever, Just One Day, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, Perfect You, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Through the Ever Night, and...

I should probably stop.

Happy reading!!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Unhinged: A review

Author: A. G. Howard
On Goodreads
Info: Amulet, copyright 2014, 400 pages

Alyssa Gardner has been down the rabbit hole and faced the bandersnatch. She saved the life of Jeb, the guy she loves, and escaped the machinations of the disturbingly seductive Morpheus and the vindictive Queen Red. Now all she has to do is graduate high school and make it through prom so she can attend the prestigious art school in London she's always dreamed of.


That would be easier without her mother, freshly released from an asylum, acting overly protective and suspicious. And it would be much simpler if the mysterious Morpheus didn’t show up for school one day to tempt her with another dangerous quest in the dark, challenging Wonderland—where she (partly) belongs.


~Goodreads Description~


"I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then." ~Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


Alyssa Gardner is most definitely not the person she was yesterday.  She survived a rather harrowing escapade in Wonderland, finding herself Queen of this mysterious and tripped out lnd, but all she really wants to be is normal.  Human.  Anything but the half-netherling who still talks to bugs and creates terrifying mosaics made from blood.

The Awesome
The most awesome is the witty, sarcastic, seductive Morpheus who is trying to lure Alyssa back to the kingdom she reluctantly reigns over.  He's beautiful and terrifying, mysterious and multidimensional.  He's awesome.  Howard has also created a story rich with history and back story that isn't distracting as back story can sometimes be.  Alyssa's past is much like an ogre...it has layers :)

The Not So Awesome
 Oh Alyssa, you poor angsty girl.  I know that you love your human companion and you dream of a normal life, but it's time you get over yourself, stop whining, and cease being an annoying teenager.  And where's Wonderland!  I'm ready to go back to Wonderland! (I know we have more story coming, and now we have some fun teasers to keep things exciting, but I was just really hoping for some Wonderland...)

Overall, and excellent series continuation.  The characters are original, the story is complex, and the pacing keeps you firmly entrenched in the book.  I will justify my "not so awesome" responses with the fact that we are dealing with exceptionally angsty teens in the teen room at my library, and I'm exhausted.  And it's to be understood.  Alyssa is battling who she is versus who she wants to be...trying to plan an entire future as a young teenage girl.  It's hard!  Despite the angsty-ness, I love Alyssa and her wacky style.  I love Morpheus and his seductive personality.  And I love Jeb for his loyalty.  So I will wait (not-so-patiently :) for the next installment!

If you're a fan of Alice in Wonderland, classic re-tellings, and well-written contemporary fantasy novels, check out Unhinged by A.G. Howard.







Saturday, February 8, 2014

Random Post :)

So...I felt the need for a random post!

If you're not following Book Riot on Facebook, you absolutely should!  On their About Us link they proclaim "Always books, never boring, Book Riot is a community dedicated to the idea that writing about books and reading should be just as diverse as books and readers are. We think you can like both J.K. Rowling and J.M. Coetzee, that there are smart, funny, and informative things to say about both, and that you shouldn’t have to choose."

And to top it off, I just saw this very cool subscription service which means books in the mail!  Check it out at https://quarterly.co/products/book-riot

Happy reading!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Library GrabBag: Duh!

So yesterday I discovered Outofprintclothing.com.  Something tells me I should have already been familiar with this particular site, but better late than never.  On the "Book Club" link I stumbled upon an awesome, free, awesome idea for reader's advisory.

If you're anything like me, you can't be in your teen room during all of your library's open hours.  Staffing and general business just don't allow for that luxury.  Often times teen and adult patrons are left to their own devices to find the next read that will leave them enamored.  I so want to be there...to give them my suggestions...find out what they love and pair them with the perfect title!  To fill the hole of my absence :) we create A LOT of reader's advisory tools: book displays, brochures, bookmarks, posters.  Reading lists and ideas abound throughout the room, but can often be time consuming to create.

What Outofprintclothing.com showed me is that it doesn't have to be time expensive!  Why had I never thought of word cloud reviews?!  Oh Wordle, one of my favorite creative online tools, you will be so useful in my teen room in the future!  Pair a book cover with a word cloud describing why a patron MUST check it out and voila! you have yourself a quick and easy reader's advisory tool.

And while you're on the site checking, make sure to check out all the awesome gift ideas!  Um...they have A Wrinkle in Time t-shirts.  Yes please!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Q & A: The Librarian Way - Cupid's Arrow


It's time to start gearing up for Valentine's Day!  Oh the season of love, or not so much... whether  you celebrate relationships or friendships, it's time to start planning !Are you planning something special?  Join us for our Valentine's edition of The Librarian Way.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Top 10 Tearjerkers

Top Ten Books Tearjerkers
(Feature Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish)

I'm a blubber-er.  Full out sobber.  I cry at the drop of the hat and often get emotional involved in everything I'm reading or watching.  Hallmark commercials are like kryptonite, and if a story has an underdog it's over before it began.  There have been more than a few books that have left me red-eyed and puffy faced.

1) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
It was ugly.  Really ugly.  But such a beautiful, funny ugly.  Nothing quite like hiccuping with laughter while you're beside yourself with sadness.

2) Second Summer by Morgan Matson
So my brother (roommate) thought there was something seriously wrong with me about half way through.  Matson was absolutely brilliant, showing the slow, painful agony of loss and sickness.

3) Me Before You by JoJo Moyes
Oh this book made me so mad.  And that in turn made me cry like a fool.

4)  The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The chapter title foreshadowings were my downfall in such a wonderful way.

5) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
When I lost a Weasley, I was inconsolable.

6) Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
This was a hard cry.  A real cry knowing that the story was based on real people who loved and struggled and were put in an impossible situation.

7) If I Stay by Gayle Forman
I can't imagine loss like Mia experienced.  And I know I never, ever want to.

8) Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Probably shouldn't have listened to the audiobook while driving in my car.

9) The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
I might maybe have shed a tear with every Dessen book...but this one more than the rest.

10) Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
I often put up a wall when books remind me too much of the teens that frequent my library, but this one stayed with me and hit me right in the gut.

So here's to snotty, heartbreaking reads (and the looks you get while reading them in public :)

Happy Reading!


Monday, February 3, 2014

Plain Kate: A review

Author: Erin Bow
Info: Scholastic, copyright 2010, 314 pages
Audiobook Narrator: Cassandra Campbell

A review in 10 words (or thereabouts): A young girl thought to be plain finds she's quite extraordinary inside and out.


Plain Kate lives in a world of superstitions and curses, where a song can heal a wound and a shadow can work deep magic. As the wood-carver's daughter, Kate held a carving knife before a spoon, and her wooden charms are so fine that some even call her "witch-blade" -- a dangerous nickname in a town where witches are hunted and burned in the square.

~Goodreads Description~

For a book with such a terrible cover, within the covers is a pretty excellent fantasy story.  There are no love connections.  There is a talking cat.  And there are a lot of words that I don't know how to spell (an audiobook pet peeve...I like to know how things are spelled and audiobooks do not lend themselves to this habit :)  Despite all of this, I really enjoyed Erin Bow's debut.

The Awesome

Plain Kate is a strong, independent, courageous female heroine who has been dealt a rather nasty lot in life but never gives in to despair.  The setting is dark, bleak, and frustrating.  You get the feeling of the middle ages, one of my favorite time periods to explore, and yet the superstition makes the world unique.  Then there's the villain.  The "villain" is sympathetic and terrible all at the same time.

All of these elements come together for a heart wrenching tale of family and shadows.  If you're in the mood for an audiobook, Cassandra Campbell does an excellent job bringing the world to life.  She's one of my favorite readers, so at first I thought I was just enjoying her delivery and not the story.  But then I got to know Kate and her talking cat Taggle, and I fell in love with the story too.



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