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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Graveyard Book

I had never read a Neil Gaiman book before, so I figured one of his most talked about children's book would be a good place to start. 
The Graveyard Book starts with the murder of a young boy's family. When the man Jack went to kill the boy, he was not in his crib and was no where to be found. But Jack could still smell him... The smell led the man Jack to a graveyard. The boy's recently deceased mother is frantically screaming at the ghosts of the graveyard to protect her son! Mister and Mistress Owens agree that they need to protect this boy. The man Jack doesn't succeed in killing the baby, but will one day get his revenge. The Owen's name the baby Nobody Owens, Bod for short. They give him the freedom of the graveyard. He can speak to them, walk through walls, and learn from all walks of life, right there in the gates of the graveyard. When his guardian, Silas leaves him for a few days, Bod begins getting into trouble, trouble that could only get worse. The graveyard has secrets of their own, good and bad. We watch Bod grow up learning how to read and write from the words on tombstones. We watch him learn compassion for others by befriending a dead witch. We watch him learn of his fears and weaknesses when confronted by ghouls. We watch him interact with people and ghosts as if there is nothing different between the two. 
I must say, the ending was so predictable and I was wishing so so very much that it wouldn't have ended that way. Overall, The Graveyard Book was definitely something that turned me on to Neil Gaiman. A tad strange, but it was still a quick and wonderful read. This was exactly what I needed!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Checkout: A Life on the Tills

After working retail for 8 years, Anna Sam decided to write a book about retail customers. Going on 6 years in retail myself, I knew this was something I needed to read. Anna Sam explains the different types of customers in the most hilarious way. We've all had those customers that stand at the doors waiting for us to open. Can't forget the last customers to leave, 15 minutes after we've closed. And the drunk customers? Oh boy, you hate to love them and love to hate them. She talks management, colleagues, and lunch breaks. Don't forget about the running specials every week. But the worst of the worst is the Christmas Rush. Nothing will make you as tired as working the week of Christmas, even if your hours are shortened. 
Anyone who works retail or has before, will absolutely love reading this short novel about the worst jobs of our lives. 
Thanks NetGalley for providing me with this hilarious memoir as the life of a checkout girl!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Truth

Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire, I was given an Advanced Reader's Copy of The Truth. 
Chris wakes up duct taped to a chair with a boy he hardly recognizes holding a pair of garden shears. What could Derek possibly want from him? Then it all comes flooding back to him; mom working late, someone breaking in, Devon calling for Chris, then BANG gunshot, blood all over the kitchen.... Everyone at school keeps calling Chris a hero. What is did saved the town from more break-ins. But the guy he shot was just a kid, a runaway even. How can people praise you for shooting a kid a few years older than Devon? Told in alternating past and present tense, we learn the truth. We learn why Chris feels the way he does. We learn why Derek wants vengeance. We learn why Devon is so upset with Chris. What would you do to protect your family? What would you do for the ones you love? That is how we learn The Truth.

Mark your calenders, The Truth hits shelves February 2nd!

Check out SPOTLIGHT: The Truth for an exclusive excerpt!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Afterworlds

Darcy Patel has finally written her first novel. Becoming a debut author is tough, especially when moving to New York knowing absolutely no one but the other debut authors. At YA Drinks night, Darcy meets Kiralee Taylor, her favorite author in the world; as well as her new girlfriend, Imogen. Imogen helps Darcy find Apartment 4C and teaches her the way of the city, just eat your way through it and you'll know the city. Two debut authors living together can get extremely messy, especially when your girlfriend is 5 years old and sometimes makes typos. Darcy learns so much about life, relationships, and writing within the first year of living in New York. Imogen keeps her distracted, so will she ever finish her sequel, Untitled Patel?

Darcy's debut novel is Afterworlds, where 3000 year old Hindu Death God, Yamarji, helps Lizzie during a terrorist attack. The 911 operator says, "Well, honey, maybe you should just act dead." Which activates Lizzie's switch to the flipside. Yama is there to guide all the souls to the underworld, to his and Yami's kingdom. That's when he realizes, Lizzie needs him because she's not dead. She thought her way into the flipside. Lizzie begins to see ghosts everywhere she goes. 11 year old Mindy pops up in her house and begins talking about how she's known Lizzie her entire life. But how, why? Mindy was murdered by the bad man. Lizzie's mom was her childhood friend and remembers her more than anyone. Her soul resides in Lizzie's house. But the bad man is there, he still lurks. But could there be more bad men? Lizzie needs the answers and she knows Yama can help. In the mean time, Lizzie has to decide what she wants to be. A soul guide? An angel of death? A psychopomp? Time stands still on the flipside. She still has time to find her shine. 

I love the concept behind this book. It's literally two novel in one. Scott Westerfeld did a magnificent job separating the two and showing us everything Darcy wanted us to see. When I first started, I only wanted Lizzie's story. I couldn't care less about Darcy and her love life. But suddenly, I couldn't wait to see what Darcy and Imogen had gotten themselves into. Personally, I would love to see Scott Westerfeld write the sequel to Afterworlds. Untitled Patel would be a wonderful addition to this novel!  

Looking for other books by Scott Westerfeld?

Try the Uglies Saga: