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!
Mister B. Gone
Author: Clive Barker
Published: October 30, 2007
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
The Mister B. of the title is Jakabob Botch, a demon whose ghastly past could make even the most merciless sociopath whimper in sympathy. Born in the deepest regions of hell, the spawn of an abusive drunkard and his whorish wife, Jakabob escapes to the world above after suffering fiendish torture. Once topside, he lands conveniently in 15th-century Mainz, the home of printing inventor Johannes Gutenberg. However, Mister B. isn’t interested in merely observing history; like any other self-respecting diabolical being, he’s just searching for a new demonic angle. A ghoulishly good fright fest.
This is my first Clive Barker book. It seems a little on the obscure side, but I liked it so I plan to read more. The whole “burn this book” tag line really drew me in. I’ve never read a book quite like this where the narrator is so commanding of the reader. I legit wondered if I should set fire to this book when I finished! That kinda says a lot!
I think this was one of those mostly metaphorical reads that I was afraid I wasn’t gonna get beacuse I’m definitely not deep enough, but I’m pretty sure I got the main lesson. Jakabok Botch was definitely interesting. A demon kidnapped from hell and set to wander the earth and learning as he went; I grew to like him and hate him all at the same time. I found his simultaneous optimism and cynicism very fascinating. And Barker seems to have a finger on the pulse of any ruling factions in the world. I may not have liked the religious aspect of the metaphor, but the underlying philosophy is on point!! Overall, I really liked this book! I’d recommend this to those who enjoy random philosophizing and metaphorical meanderings!
Today Kim and I bring you a double review of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab! We both gave it 5 stars and so far it is my top read of the year! We will see if anything can top this one for me!
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
Author: V.E. Schwab
Narrator: Julia Whelan
Published: October 6, 2020
A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.
France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.
Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.
But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.
Jessica’s Rating: 5 Stars
Dates Read: January 13-26, 2021
Format Read: Audiobook
Oh My GOSH!!! This one will be tough to beat as my #1 pick of the year so far, and we still have so much of the year to go! Addie gives you so many feelings, wonderful yet bad! I thought I was going to be ugly crying at the end of this one, but no I did not, but my heart was still broken at the end (but in such a good way!)
On the eve of her wedding that she does not want, Addie LaRue prays to a god of some kind for the wedding to not happen. A deal is made and now Addie will now live until she no longer wants to and will become his. Living basically forever, Addie is suddenly forgotten once a person turns away from her. Imagine a life of never having a home and constantly moving and no one remembering you except for a slight memory of seven freckles on her cheeks….. Until one day she is in a bookstore and hears three words she never thought she would hear again: “I remember you”. How does this man named Henry remember her when no one has for over 300 years? This begins a new adventure in Addie’s extended life.
Again, prepare yourself for ALL the feelings you could possibly feel in this novel! The author’s writing is just beautiful with so many worthwhile quotes in it. It can be a slow moving novel that moves in two directions: Addie’s long 300+ year life going from the past to present day, and also Henry’s perspective. The devil/demon himself who goes by the name of Luc, pops up off and on throughout Addie’s extended life, bringing the pain that Addie feels to the surface.
There are some surprises that pop up throughout, and I thought I knew how the novel was going to end, but no, it went in another heartbreaking direction. I can say this: I will remember Addie and her story.
This novel is very highly recommended.
Kim’s Rating: 5 Stars
I’m still dealing with my feelings after reading this book! It was emotional, to say the least!
I went into it not really knowing what to expect, and I’m glad I did. I read the description long before I bought the book, so I knew I was interested, I just wasn’t dependent on the description. And this is definitely one of the more popular reads right now. Jessica gushed over it, so of course I was gonna read it.
It actually had me from the beginning. Some books try to ease you into the story and takes a few chapters. Not Addie! Everything started at the very beginning! I liked Addie right away. She was relatable and human. I think my only real issue with the entire book was the way Addie, despite her many years, still seemed to act like a teenager. But even this was tempered by her extreme cynicism so I’m not even gonna complain about it. The whole theme of the book seemed to be that time should never be taken for granted and I certainly pondered that long after I closed the book. There’s even a part of me that would love a sequel, but I actually liked the open way Schwab ended Addie LaRue.
Overall, this was an awesome read!! I couldn’t put it down and I had all the feels while reading it! The characters were likable and the ending tied everything up! There are some objectionable elements so I wouldn’t call this completely teen safe, but I’d still recommend it to pretty much everybody!