Author: Joe Hill
Published: April 30, 2013
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.
Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”
Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.
First Joe Hill book … worth it! As soon as I read the description, I was hooked. And he had me almost the whole time. The only reason I took away a star is because he unfortunately falls into the same flaw as his father, sometimes he just drew out the story when it should have been condensed. However, I still really enjoyed this book! I liked his timeline within the story. I loved the characters! There was a lot of growth and emotions. I didn’t know how it was going to end, but when the end came, I loved it. There were so many scary elements that kept me on edge. The mystical, metaphorical elements, I actually got most of them! I feel like I understood the story and I don’t always say that with these ambiguous plots. I really liked this book a lot. It kept me engaged (most of the time), I cared about the characters, and I understood it! I can’t wait to read more Joe Hill!
All the Impossible Things
Author: Lindsay Lackey
Published: September 3, 2019
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: June 14-17, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars
A middle-grade novel about a young girl navigating the foster care system in search of where she belongs.
Red’s inexplicable power over the wind comes from her mother. Whenever Ruby “Red” Byrd is scared or angry, the wind picks up. And being placed in foster care, moving from family to family, tends to keep her skies stormy. Red knows she has to learn to control it, but can’t figure out how.
This time, the wind blows Red into the home of the Grooves, a quirky couple who run a petting zoo, complete with a dancing donkey and a giant tortoise. With their own curious gifts, Celine and Jackson Groove seem to fit like a puzzle piece into Red’s heart.
But just when Red starts to settle into her new life, a fresh storm rolls in, one she knows all too well: her mother. For so long, Red has longed to have her mom back in her life, and she’s quickly swept up in the vortex of her mother’s chaos. Now Red must discover the possible in the impossible if she wants to overcome her own tornadoes and find the family she needs.
All the Impossible Things just did not work for me. I did not connect with Red, so that was that for me. And I am not a fantasy reader, so I think the magical ability just didn’t work for me. I did know about Red’s ability before reading, and had a couple of friends who read this novel and loved it so I gave it a shot despite knowing it might not be for me.
Red is in foster care and goes from home to home. She is just waiting for her mother to be released from prison so she can be reunited with her: she even has a countdown. Red is moved to another foster family who run a petting zoo, which provides a different sort of environment and adventures all on their own.
The ending is a bit realistic and I enjoyed it. Red finally found where she needed to be.
It may be that the audiobook is not the best format for this novel as one of my friends said she tried the audio and stopped it and ended up reading it and enjoyed it. Maybe this will be a book I give another chance to and pick up and actually read it. Maybe then I will love it. It is a pity as the cover is gorgeous!
**A few days after I wrote this review previously mentioned friend (Beccie) mailed me a copy of this book! She was the one who tried the audiobook and DNF’d is that way, but picked up a physical copy and loved it. Hopefully I will have the same reaction to it with another read!**[Top]
Author: Roald Dahl
Published: October 1, 1988
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
Matilda is a little girl who is far too good to be true. At age five-and-a-half she’s knocking off double-digit multiplication problems and blitz-reading Dickens. Even more remarkably, her classmates love her even though she’s a super-nerd and the teacher’s pet. But everything is not perfect in Matilda’s world. For starters she has two of the most idiotic, self-centered parents who ever lived. Then there’s the large, busty nightmare of a school principal, Miss (“The”) Trunchbull, a former hammer-throwing champion who flings children at will and is approximately as sympathetic as a bulldozer. Fortunately for Matilda, she has the inner resources to deal with such annoyances: astonishing intelligence, saintly patience, and an innate predilection for revenge.
She warms up with some practical jokes aimed at her hapless parents, but the true test comes when she rallies in defense of her teacher, the sweet Miss Honey, against the diabolical Trunchbull. There is never any doubt that Matilda will carry the day. Even so, this wonderful story is far from predictable. Roald Dahl, while keeping the plot moving imaginatively, also has an unerring ear for emotional truth. The reader cares about Matilda because in addition to all her other gifts, she has real feelings.
What a cute book! Obviously, it’s not based in common reality, but it’s told from a kid’s perspective that other imaginative kids would appreciate. It’s a book filled with extremes but done in such a great way. Good always defeats evil, kids are smart and adults are dumb, Miss Trunchbull hates all kids yet runs an elementary school. They all work without being overbearing or annoying. Matilda manages to outsmart most of the adults in her life without being an obnoxious kid. Miss Trunchbull is terrifying! I think this fits in with the Ramona books as being the perfect one for any and all kids. I really loved reading it!