3.5 stars. This was a cute book about a girl who goes ice fishing and catches a fish that says it will grant her a wish if she lets it go, so she does. When it comes true in a way that is not at all what she expected, she goes back again and again, trying to make more specific and better wishes. Meanwhile, her older sister deals with a drug problem. This book is a decent comp title for mine (mostly contemporary but with a dash of fantasy, which deals with more serious issues), and I felt like it didn’t quite wow me all the way. One thing that did wow me was the atmosphere of it, the uniqueness of the character, the details of her world that made everything seem real to me. I was taking notes the whole time.
One of my favorite books of the year. What I found interesting is that this is written in 3rd omniscient, which everyone tells modern authors to avoid, yet it’s absolutely the right thing for the book. It’s a fantasy that felt a little bit Coraline, a little bit ’80s fantasy movie, a little bit fairy tale. Beautifully written. It does start a little slow, but stick with it. My oldest son read it and liked it as well.
This is book 5 in the John Cleaver series, which I’ve already said I LOVE. So much of this book felt like one thing happening, then another, then another, rather than a cohesive plot arc. That was necessary to make the twist work, but I wasn’t really surprised by the twist, since nothing else in the book had seemed important. Then things got really twisty, but it just felt like chaos. I still really like the characters and the ethical conundrums they face, so it wasn’t a total loss, but this definitely is the low point of the series for me.
Arguably my favorite book of 2017. This is a weird little sf story that starts off not feeling like science fiction so much as contemporary or mystery. The main character is having friend troubles, making new friends, adjusting to her mom having a serious boyfriend and preparing for a game show, etc. Meanwhile, she’s getting weird messages from someone. The chapters are short and the titles funny. And then the sf lands, and holy cow. It’s surprising and perfect and sad and I don’t want to spoil anything. It’s a great story about how confusing growing up can be, about friendship and regret and how assumptions can be wrong. No wonder so many agents have this on their favorites list.