Thursday, October 28, 2010
Definately for an older readership than Inkheart, Funke takes you into "MirrorWorld", a fascinating fairy tale gone wrong. Jacob Reckless stumbles upon the entrance to Mirrorworld in his estranged father's study. He spends years becoming an infamous treasure hunter for fairytale items that you may recognize like glass slippers (Cinderella) or a golden ball (Frog Prince). One day his younger brother Will finds the entrance and is cursed by the Dark Fairy. He begins a transformation into a Goyl, a creature that is stone inside and out. If Jacob cannot stop the spell, Will will turn evil. With a ragtag bunch of helpers, Jacob traverses Mirrorworld risking life and limb before his brother turns completely to stone. Although Funke seems to leave alot of details of this world out, I enjoyed not having lengthy descriptions. It left much up to my imagination. This world is full of fairies, dwarfs, dragons, unicorns, orgres and many other fantasy archetypes. With danger at every turn, it begs the question why does Jacob keeping going back? The ending leaves room for a sequel, and I look forward to it.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Last year Judith Blundell won the National Book Award for "What I Saw and How I Lied", an amazing tale of tough choices. I was not disappointed with her upcoming novel "Strings Attached". Not only does the setting, which takes place in RI and NY, give special appeal to local teen readers, the character of Kit is very relatable. After a disturbing summer of losing her brother and her boyfriend to the army, Kit escapes to New York City to pursue her dream of being a dancer. Kit struggles living on her own. Luckily her ex-boyfriend's dad, a man with lots of dangerous connections, shows up when she needs it most. All Nate needs is a favor here and there in return but is it right? This novel is another one of tough choices and surprising twists. The author's style is a subtle drama that is straight to the point. I would highly recommend.