Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Shimmer by Alyson Noel + Fourth Grade Fairy by Eileen Cook
Shimmer by Alyson Noel
"Having solved the matter of the Radiant Boy, Riley, Buttercup, and Bodhi are enjoying a well-deserved vacation. When Riley comes across a vicious black dog, against Bodhi’s advice, she decides to cross him over. While following the dog, she runs into a young ghost named Rebecca. Despite Rebecca’s sweet appearance, Riley soon learns she’s not at all what she seems. As the daughter of a former plantation owner, she is furious about being murdered during a slave revolt in 1733. Mired in her own anger, Rebecca is lashing out by keeping the ghosts who died along with her trapped in their worst memories. Can Riley help Rebecca forgive and forget without losing herself to her own nightmarish memories?"- summary from Amazon
While I have yet to start the Immortals series featuring Riley's sister Ever, I am loving this middle-grade series that features Riley's adventures in the afterlife. Radiance was a great start, and Shimmer continues the awesomeness. I absolutely love Riley as a character- she's fun but flawed and Noel captures her tween voice so well.
On this mission, we get a bit of a history lesson (there's an author's note at the back that explains Noel's inspiration) which was very cool. I really enjoyed reading about Riley and Bodhi's missions, though this one was unplanned and so they face consequences from the Council, which Noel leaves as a cliffhanger. Curse you, Noel!! *shakes fist in California's general direction*
Overall, these are just some wonderful books and, cliffhanger aside, I'm really excited for the third book in the series, Dreamscape, out this fall! Also, there's a little interview with Noel at the back of this book.
Fourth Grade Fairy by Eileen Cook
"When fairy-godmother-in-training Willow's wish to attend a human school comes true, she finds getting along with humans to be harder than she expected, but her newly-acquired magical talent makes it easy to collaborate with animals."- summary from Target
Yes, I had to go to Target's website to get this summary. It took me like 20 minutes to actually find a summary. There's one for Books 2 and 3 but none for Book 1. Crazyness.
Anyway, I've still only read Cook's YA debut even though she now has an adult book and two more YAs out (one of which I have), but when I saw a new book from her on GalleyGrab, I jumped at the chance to download it. It looked like a cute middle-grade story and it was. I love the idea of a fairy school and really liked Willow's foray into the Humdrum (Human) world as it was littered with humorous bits.
Willow is such a great, well-rounded character and I think a lot of young girls will relate to her and her struggles (well, some of them; the ability to talk to animals generally doesn't happen to tweens. Or, um, anybody.) while navigating elementary school and our world. Cook also does a great job with Willow's family dynamics too- there's some great emotional development between everyone by the end of the book.
Overall, a wonderful middle-grade debut and I can't wait to read more of this series (2nd book in June, 3rd in August) and Cook's other books. This will be released April 19 as a paperback.
FTC: Received ARC and eARC, respectively, from publishers. Links above are Amazon Associate links; any profit goes toward funding contests.