It’s a Very Popular Night to Leave Town – (“Why Is This Night Different From All Other Nights” – A Book Review)

“Why Is This Night Different From All Other Nights?” (All The Wrong Questions ?4)
Author: Lemony Snicket
Published: 2016

On Goodreads

WITN

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt Full bolt

 

Why are the snack so terrible? Why are we stopping? What’s the rest of the story?

A train ride! The big reveal! Librarians! Volunteers! A series finale! Lemony Snicket jumps on the train that run through the town of Stain’d-by-the-Sea where many familiar faces are also leaving town. Usually the train doesn’t stop until it reaches the city, but tonight it did. A murder is afoot and Lemony is hot on Hangfire’s trail. In this epic conclusion, will he finally discover who this villain is? Why is the Bombinating Beast important?

 

Before proceeding with this conclusion, here are a few other questions to consider:

  1. Do you think your curiosity might get you in trouble?

[ ] No.       [ ] What kind of trouble do you mean?

  1. If you are following someone and they go someplace dangerous, are you curious enough to keep following them?

[ ] Yes.     [ ] What do you mean by “dangerous”?

  1. If someone offers you an apple, should you take it?

[ ] That sounds familiar.     [ ] Bad apples are bad news.

  1. A train departs from Stain’d-by-the-Sea late at night and travels at top speed toward the city. When does it arrive?

[ ] Just in time for a crime to be committed.      [ ] Too late.

 

Lemony Snicket is in the thick of it when Hangfire kills somebody important and frames S. Theodora Markson for it. With the help of his allies, Lemony hopes to solve the case and stop Hangfire before the train reaches the city, and more importantly, before somebody else winds up dead.

 

Final books of a series make me sad. It means the end of a story and if it’s a really good one, like this one was for me, then you don’t want it to end. I tried to take my time with this book so that it would last, but there was no chance of that. This book, like the ones before it, moved fast from one moment to the next. It was a wild and unpredictable train ride. I couldn’t put this book down.

Many characters returned for this epic conclusion. From Sharon Haines of book three to Ms. Murphy the actress from book one. Like every great finale, there was nostalgia for the previous books. And that was really emphasized through the characters and their stories. I really enjoy when a finale can slip in things that remind me of its previous books. Its reiterates the journey that got me and the characters to this end game.

I really loved that Lemony wasn’t alone and that his friends: Moxie, Jake, Cleo, and Kellar were with him. However, every move he made toward finding Hangfire risked him losing them and that made me nervous. This series is fantastic for making you jittery with anticipation. I know I was.

The mystifying element that Lemony Snicket usually brings to his stories, like the poisonous fungus of The Grim Grotto, for example, is brought to life. Shocked and stunned, the mythical beast that Lemony has been surrounded by throughout the series isn’t so mythical, putting the people on the train in even further danger. It was actually a little scary. Lots of teeth and rather ugly.

WITN - Villains Wiki

All of the questions ever had are answered in this book. The simple answer is one I didn’t expect. It was heartbreaking and shattered everything I knew from the previous books, putting what I knew about the big cameos and Kit Snicket’s arrest together. I was mindblown.

mindblown

And yes, I imagine Milly Bobby Brown as a young Kit Snicket.

 

The end or is it? While the series ends with this book, it didn’t feel like the end at all. It was left trailing and I took it as only the beginning of something else. After all, this does take place before A Series of Unfortunate Events. This ended phenomenally with Lemony walking into the metaphorical sunset rather depressingly, but left me wondering what happens next. I wish there was more!

This was an epic conclusion to a fantastic series. Truly. I recommend it wholeheartedly for those who enjoy the smart, adventurous, yet perilous story of secrets that leads to questions that leads to an unhappy ending. Because, this story didn’t have that happy ending. Not a single tidbit. In fact, you’re left feeling like you were left out in the rain without an umbrella, but I hear people enjoy a good story like that. So, if you do, this one is for you.

 

Quotables

“We invited villainy aboard, I thought. And now its terrible mess was everywhere I looked.” (Lemony, p. 92)

“There is no point in delaying crying. Sadness is like have a vicious alligator around.” (Lemony, p. 147)

“Even the noblest of volunteers can associate with the wrong people.” (Lemony to Ellington, p. 200)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Demons by Imagine Dragons

 

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A Top Drawer Education – (“Shouldn’t You Be in School?” – A Book Review)

“Shouldn’t You Be in School?” (All The Wrong Questions ?3)
Author: Lemony Snicket
Published: 2014

On Goodreads

SYBIS

 

My Rating: Full boltFull bolt Full boltFull boltFull bolt

 

What are they teaching their students? Where did she hide it? Does anyone else feel sleepy?

Is that smoke? Fires are coming up all over the town of Stain’d-by-the-Sea and apprentice Lemony Snicket is on the case. So is S. Theodora Markson, his chaperone, but she is easily distracted by Sharon Haines, a teacher, who insists on helping. But, is she really helping? Lemony must put his sleuthing to good use and call on his allies if he hopes to figure out who’s been starting these fires. What are the secrets of the Department of Education? Are these fires connected to the academy? Is all of this somehow connected to the notorious villain Hangfire?

 

With fires popping up everywhere and kids disappearing to a new academy brought up by the Department of Education, Lemony Snicket is determined to get to the bottom of it all. Amid this, his worries for his sister, Kit, and her arrest peaks to a whole new level of worry. Ellington Feint comes out of the shadows, having escaped her own arrest and Lemony doesn’t know if he can truly trust her after the many times she’s double-crossed him. Only the promise that he’d help her get her father back from Hangfire keeps him from turning her over. Afraid, of endangering his friends, he must now rely on them if he hopes to end these fires.

SYBIS

Third book in the series, the story has intensified immensely. While Moxie was hurt at the end of the last book, the danger for Lemony and his friends is even higher now. I really loved that Lemony’s friends didn’t give up on him or walk away even though it was dangerous to join him on his mission. I find this to be inspiring because everyone should have friends that will stick with them through the hard parts of life, though they might not always be comprised of dangerous women with knives or trying to put out fires or take down nefarious villains. It’s important to have a person you can rely on and who’ll do anything for you and vice versa. This is a great show of that. It’s completely heartwarming.

SYBIS

The new addition of Wade Academy into the setting of Stain’d-by-the-Sea reminded me so much of Austere Academy, the fifth book of A Series of Unfortunate Events, though much more dangerous since it wasn’t necessarily an educational environment. The place is accessible by train, really showing just how isolated it is from the town, while also leading Lemony to discover more to the big plot Hangfire has. Each time a new setting has been introduced it’s just as surprising to me as it is to Lemony. They’re like monuments to the town—The Black Cat Coffee, Hungry’s, the Library, Lost Arms, and others.

The VFD has its reveal. Sort of. Not really. It’s not a secret at this point, especially with Lemony’s offhand mentions. The deeper understanding of what VFD is about is impressive, but you still don’t know everything about it. If you did it wouldn’t be a secret. So while we understand Lemony’s part, kind-a sort-a, there’s still so much to be in the dark about. That kind of mystery, where it’s more heroic and adventurous and filled with clues is more fun and always capturing my attention.

If I could join this secret society I totally would. To get up the gumption to be so brave and find optimism even in the darkest of moments, it would be amazing. I must say, though, the foreshadowing for ASOUE is heavy and even giggle worthy.

ATWQ

Something I haven’t mentioned yet, is how clever Lemony himself is, not just in his maneuvers, but in how he thinks and talks. I know I’ve talked about the books overall being clever, but Lemony really has all the cards. While looked down upon by adults, he is quite possibly smarter than all of them. He really thinks outside the box and the results are phenomenal. I’m in awe of this character.

 

Need I say what I’ve said for the last two books of this series? Original and dangerous and surprising. There’s never a dull moment. From light humor to moments of sorrow to the great A-Ha! Go read this!

 

Quotables

“Children are the future of the world, and we must keep them safe from harm.” (Sharon to Lemony, p. 41)

“It is not pleasant to have a number of people glaring and sighing at you at the same time, even if you meant for them to do it.” (Lemony, p. 52)

“The treachery of the world will continue no matter how much you worry about it, L.” (Kit to Lemony, p. 106)

“There’s more to a library than the library.” (Ellington to Lemony, p. 171)

“Everyone tells you it’s all right to cry, but not enough people say it’s all right if you don’t want people to know.” (Lemony, p. 174)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? On Your Side by Thriving Ivory.

 

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Get Scared Later (“When Did You See Her Last?” – A Book Review)

“When Did You See Her Last?” (All The Wrong Questions ?2)
Author: Lemony Snicket
Published: 2013

On Goodreads

WDYSHL

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Did you get the message? Who has the formula? What’s for breakfast?

There is a new mystery in the nearly inkless town of Stain’d-by-the-Sea. Cleo Knight has gone missing and S. Theodora Markson and her apprentice Lemony Snicket are on the case. While Markson believes this to be cut and dry, a term often meaning simple and to the point, Lemony thinks otherwise.

Is she a runaway? Or was she kidnapped? He seems to be asking all of the wrong questions. As he gets closer to figuring out what happened to Cleo, a bigger mystery unfolds, revealing something that could save Stain’d-by-the-sea. One that is dangerous and lead by the villainous Hangfire, who can mimic anyone’s voice.

But, before you go on to read this book and discover what more troubles Lemony is getting into, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Have you seen the missing girl?

                    [ ] No.                  [ ] Why would I tell you?

  1. Why aren’t her parent worried?

                    [ ]  That’s odd.            [ ] Well, some parents are like that.

  1. Can you read a note written in invisible ink?

                    [ ]  I’m not sure.        [ ] “         .”

  1. Is it safe to follow a suspicious woman through the streets of an empty town?

                    [ ] Probably not.                  [ ] Wait, where did she go?

Lemony Snicket is still reeling from Ellington Feint’s double-cross and can’t but wonder where she might be, and with the Bombinating Beast that she stole off with. Now, possibly a part of Hangfire’s scheme, which is still a mystery, a young woman, a chemist, named Cleo Knight has gone missing and S. Theodora Markson insists they go on the case. Along the way he discovers that Cleo was onto something that may just save this town. With the help of old and new allies, Lemony is on the case and determined to find out how a mythical beast ties into this ongoing mystery.

Ever since I read A Series of Unfortunate Events (and out of order, too, though it still made sense and was somehow even better that way), I’ve wanted to read more of Lemony Snicket, hence I’ve gotten my little fingers on All The Wrong Questions. He makes a mystery more than a mystery. It’s a curious, art piece of a puzzle that I wanted to put together. There’s more than just the who dun it. There’s all of the in-between, and there is a lot of that.

This is often the book when readers say, “This is a fragmentary plot.”, which here means that this book is a part of a much bigger plot that has yet to be reached. Ib other words, while you’re left hanging by the end, you’re also satisfied. A strange feeling that is. And freaking amazing. Book series that do this are exemplary. Working like puzzle pieces and creating a good long story, which is the beautiful point of a series! Just amazeballs.

mind blown

Lemony is still a mysterious as ever and leaving fun Easter eggs. While I can’t tell you about them because I hate being spoilery, I will say that there are some amazing mentions, and a cameo that really made me giddy. This series takes place before the Baudelaire orphans were born. A prequel of sorts, yet not at all. A beginning that’s not really a beginning.

This book took me deeper into the town and how it became drained of ink, its main source of income. It’s quite dreadful that the greed of this town lead to the extinction of a sea and its population of octopus, which painfully relates to the world and how greedy people are over similar resources. Delving into the history behind a story is always fun because it shows you more than what you’ve seen so far and just pulls you in that much deeper, making the imagery that much stronger. In the process of following every small lead Lemony gets to this mystery, he discovers Ellington Feint, and she’s got her own plan. A plan that he just can’t stay out of, proving he is a loyal and kind person, who’s almost thirteen.

Lemony meets Jake Hix, the young man who works at Hungry’s Diner and is in lover with the missing chemist, Cleo. This new ally, much like the Bellerophon brothers, the taxi drivers, and Moxie, the journalist, help him with this new mystery. Each character really encompasses something unique and so creative, that it makes you laugh out loud. I read this and thought, people don’t work like this and they certainly exist. They don’t hand out helping hands like this, and it leaves me hoping and wishing that they did. I just find these characters to be fascinating and filled with the extraordinary abilities of true heroes.

The artwork of this novel is something to behold. All done in the shade of one color-purple in this book-is both goofy while it edges on sophisticated and loud, capturing scenes perfectly. They’re crowded and truly give off the lighthearted feel for the book to show that it’s enjoyable on a level that isn’t overly frightening. Dangerous and humorous more than anything.

WDYLSH

After reading this, I was left wanting more. I’m so glad I bought the entire series before starting them. Clever plots and heroic allies within these pages kept me from putting this down until I’d finished it. There’s always something surprising around the corner and by the end you realize you’re left with more questions so you have to read the next one.

Quotables

“How could someone who was missing be in two places at once?” (Lemony Snicket, p. 1)

“Boredom is not black licorice, Snicket. There’s no reason to share it with me.” (Moxie to Lemony, p. 119)

“You’re chasing mysteries, Snicket, but you’ve been a mystery yourself since you arrived in town.” (Moxie to Lemony, p. 198)

“No reality has the power to dispel a dream.” (Associate to Lemony, p. 274)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Here’s To The Night by Eve 6.

 

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What Does the S Stand For? (“Who Could That Be at This Hour?” – A Book Review)

“Who Could That Be at This Hour?” (All The Wrong Questions ?1)
Author: Lemony Snicket
Published: 2012

On Goodreads

WCTBH

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

What happened to his parents? Where is that screaming coming from? Is it too late?

In Stain’d-by-the-Sea, a town boarded up and faded. Young Lemony Snicket, almost thirteen to be exact, begins his apprenticeship for a secret organization shrouded in mystery and secrecy. There was a girl and there was a theft. He’s determined to figure the real reason behind the theft of a statue, how this town lost its way, and who is really behind the sinister villainy.

But first things first, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do you find sinister mysteries interesting?

[ ]   Yes.          [ ] Why do you ask?

  1. Have you ever received a secret note and followed its very dangerous instruction?

[ ]   No.           [ ]   “No.”

  1. Are you too young to be the sort of detective who retrieves a mysterious stolen item that may or may not have been stolen?

[ ]   None of your business     [ ]   Besides, I’m told I look young for my age.

  1. Who is that standing behind you?

[ ]   I’m not going to fall for that old trick.      [ ]   Eek.

 

Lemony Snicket has a mystery to solve and it’s not as easy as his chaperone, S. Theodora Markson (who is 52/52) thinks it is. With the help of Moxie, a journalist, the Bellerophon brothers, taxi drivers, and Ellington Feint, a girl who is just trying to rescue her father, Lemony discovers a much bigger and nefarious plot at hand, but what is it? It has something to do with a statue of a mythical beast called the Bombinating Beast and a villain nobody’s ever laid eyes on named Hangfire, and let me tell you, he’s seems worse than Count Olaf.

WCTH

I’m not a fan of mysteries. I’ve said that a few times, I think. They just make me sleepy and that’s no fun. Then there’s Lemony Snicket. While what he writes is certainly mysterious, he also weaves intrigue and curiosity into his stories. He’s well-known for his A Series of Unfortunate Events series. While the story of the Baudelaires had gothic theme, his own personal adventures in this series has a strong Noir feel. I. Love. Noir.

It only took me a day to get through this book. It was fast, not because it was simple, but because that was how fast the pace. I was clinging on trying to catch all of the Easter eggs and decode all of the hidden meanings. The word peril, which here means danger serious and immediate danger, is threaded throughout this entire book and that left me on the edge of my seat, bouncing, needing to get to end to discover who the culprit was and I wasn’t shocked, but I was desperate to start the next book. There wasn’t just some mystery. There were parts in between that if you weren’t careful, you’d miss them completely.

Lemony quickly gained fellow friends, and frenemies, and enemies. The characters were fun and smart and really clever. The adults however, acted the way you’d expect them to act, like kids knew nothing and you just couldn’t believe them about anything. In truth? Lemony and his allies were brilliant. They relied on each other to get to the bottom of theft and these connections really made the book that much more fantastic.

Though, the officers Mitchum, two police officers who insist that they’re good at their job (they’re not), also married, who bickered non-stop and nit-picked about trivial things really added some humor and left me bewildered. LOL.

 

I really really REALLY enjoyed this book. The author’s story takes a unique POV because now you get to follow his story, and if you remember correctly, most, if not all, of his stories come to dreary and dreadful ends. If you enjoy nefarious plans, perilous situations, and double-crossing then read this. Then again, if you prefer a happy, more upbeat story with a predictable happy ending for its main characters don’t even pick this one up because you will not find that in this book.

 

Quotables

“Knowing that something is wrong and doing it anyway happens very often in life, and I doubt I will ever know why.” (Lemony Snicket, p. 33)

“The children of this world and the adults of this world are in entirely separate boats and only drift near each other when we need us to wash our hands.” (Lemony Snicket, p. 114)

“Scolding must be very, very fun, otherwise children would be allowed to do it.” (Lemony Snicket, p. 151)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? The Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel.

 

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The Seven Stages of Grieving (the thing about jellyfish – A Book Review)

the thing about jellyfish
Author: Ali Benjamin
Published: 2015

The Thing About Jellyfish

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

2/25

 

A jellyfish, if you watch it long enough, begins to look like a heart beating.

Suzy “Zu” Swanson knows a lot of things. A lot of things that most people don’t. Like there are 150 million jellyfish stings a year. That’s 411,000 stings a day. 17,000 stings every hour. She also knows that on some technical level, everybody is made of stardust. What she doesn’t know, doesn’t understand, is how Franny Jackson’s life was cut so short before she could make up for that bad thing she did to her. It doesn’t make sense that her best friend is gone.

To make things right, Zu is determined to figure out how this could’ve happen and who the villain is. To do that she forms a plan to travel across the world to figure out the truth about how she died. But, maybe all of the answers are closer than she realizes…

Sometimes when we feel most alone, the world can open up in mysterious ways.

 

This book marks 2 out of 25 authors, from my New’s Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. I was very excited, too. This is actually Ali’s debut novel and she has a few more on the way and I’m looking forward to them.

the thing about jellyfish

I can’t express enough how much this book made me feel. I was incredibly moved to tears, both happy and sad. So much happened on Zu’s journey of grieving the loss of her friend. This story was so spectacularly moving. My heart was deeply moved. The style, the setting, the characters, all of it was perfect.

It’s been a long while since I’ve been in the mind of a kid. So long that I forgot how inquisitive and determined they can be and that’s exactly what Zu is. She’s strong-headed and deeply intelligent. She’s motivated by facts, particularly science. Her way of going about grieving was so interesting because it wasn’t ordinary. I learned so much from her and was greatly reminded how straightforward kids can be.

the thing about jellyfish

The setting of this book does follow Zu to school and other places, but mostly we’re in her head. We’re drawn back to flashbacks of important events between her and Frankie as they were growing up, moving to the present. Each flashback clears up the fog of this mystery about how Zu feels so guilty and why she must find a villain to blame. It was incredibly heartwarming and wrenching. Her entire mind is based on facts that she learns more than emotion because she doesn’t understand this kind of loss and it’s experienced it with her firsthand, through her eyes. The entire style of the novel follows the scientific method, which emphasizes how Zu’s thought process works.

During this journey of Zu’s, she meets two others who, unlike everybody else in her class, find her to be very interesting and try to break through her thick exteriors, which was entirely sweet. I seriously could stop the “AWWWWWE!!” that came spewing out of my mouth so loudly. They helped make the story even more relatable. For those who remember how hellish it was in middle school, remember what it was like to feel completely on the outside and understand how special it was to have those couple of friends that could and would sit on the outside with you and be all weird like you, too. It’s how you found your crew, the people who going to be with you through thick and thin and make school bearable.

the thing about jellyfish - Giphy

This book struck me on such a personal level. Like Zu, when I was in seventh grade there was a boy who died. I remember he was in my science class. We weren’t close friends, but the feeling that Zu has throughout the book was the exact same. He was a nice person so I was confused when I found out about his death.  It was a complete disillusionment. How can someone so small and young be there one day and not the next? I still think about him from time to time and wonder what it would be like if he were still here.

 

I couldn’t get enough of this book. I cried, laughed, and was even jumping around with the giggles as I read. I have to say, I truly hope this book comes to the big screen. It’s so special and I really believe that it delivers such a moving message about grieving; that it isn’t easy to understand how a child works through it. Sometimes it takes the Scientific Method.

 

Quotables:

“During the first three weeks of seventh grade, I’d learned one thing above all else: A person can become invisible simply by staying quiet.” (Zu, p. 7)

“The stars themselves were inside up. We were made of stardust.” (Zu, p. 228)

“Who knows. Maybe everybody’s end isn’t the day they actually die, but the last time anyone speaks to them. Maybe when you die you don’t really disappear, but you fade into a shadow, dark and featureless, only you outlines visible.” (Zu, 278)

“Humans may be newcomers to the planet. We may be plenty fragile. But we’re also the only ones who can decide to change.” (Zu, p. 312)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Fireflies by Owl City.

 

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Who Let That Dirty Dog In Here? (Because of Winn-Dixie – A Book Review)

Because of Winn-Dixie
Author: Kate DiCamillo
Published: 2000

Because of Winn-Dixie

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

My name is India Opal Buloni, and last summer my daddy, the preacher, sent me to the store for a box of macaroni-and-cheese, some white rice, and two tomatoes and I came back with a dog.

During the summer that Opal and her father move to Naomi, Florida, she finds a mutt running around the Winn-Dixie grocery store. Opal saves the dog from the pound and he does so much for her. Because of Winn-Dixie, Opal learns ten things about her mother, who walked out when she was three, from her father. Ten things for each year that Opal has been alive. The summer is hot and life changing for everyone that meets Winn-Dixie. Opal certainly isn’t the only one learning a couple things from this fun-loving dog.

(I keep my reviews as spoiler free as possible. I’ll warn you if I’m about to get revealing.)

I can remember the amount of times I was the new girl; a few times in elementary school until fifth grade and then when I went off to college. It’s scary and nerve-wracking because you don’t know anybody and everybody stares and whispers and determines whether you’re friend material or not. It is uncomfortable. Opal and Winn-Dixie squash all of that. They inspire me, even to this day, because the pair are bold, kind, and friendly to every person they meet. They have a magic in bringing people together and making them feel special throughout this book.

If you haven’t read the book then you’ve probably seen the 2005 movie of the same name. While most movies don’t seem to do their books enough justice, this one was quite special. AnnaSophia Robb, the same girl who was in the movie adaptation of Bridge to Terabithia, took up the role of Opal. The movie did a wonderful job in recreating the story, capturing the scenery I always imagined as well as what Winn-Dixie looked and acted like.

BoWD - Giphy

There is so much that can be learned from this book. It’s why I recommend it to a lot to those that come in my store searching for that coming-of-age book. Forgiveness, acceptance, and kindness are only a few of the elements. This book really is heartwarming and I’m glad I was able to find my copy and reread it. I’ve had it since the fourth grade and my name and phone number are still on the inside cover, and yes, my handwriting is still really crappy. LOL. I can write, I just can’t write. Not well anyhow and I’ve been trying for years.

I recommend this book to every person no matter how old they you are. It’s truly beautiful and inspirational. I just don’t have anything bad to say about it. This book earned its awards rightfully. I can’t remember the teacher that picked this book out for me, but I’m incredibly grateful.

Quotables:

“Opal, I believe Winn-Dixie has a pathological fear of thunderstorms.” (preacher to Opal, p. 76)

“There goes the preacher’s daughter, visiting the witch.” (Stevie to Dunlap, p. 89)

“It is a sorrow-filled world.” (Miss Franny to Opal, p. 115)

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Boondocks by Little Big Town.

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Ghosts Don’t Throw Rocks (Nancy Drew: Ghost Stories #2 – A Book Review)

Nancy Drew: Ghost Stories #2
Author: Carolyn Keene
Published: 1985

Nancy Drew 

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

 

When I thought about creating a collection of ghost stories I knew that Nancy Drew would face her most intriguing challenge yet as a young detective. You see, Nancy doesn’t not believe in ghosts; but the many unexplained happenings in each mystery almost leader her to think otherwise.

-Carolyn Keene

A creepy vampire in a cave. A ghost haunting a hospital room. A witch that helps the dead talk to their living loved ones. Nancy Drew takes on cases that seem to defy the natural world. With her best friends’ Bess and George, they’ll solve some spooky mysteries. Will they be able to solve these terrifying cases or are they in over their heads?

 

This book includes:

-Vampire Cave

-Dark Crypt

-Geist of Meyer’s Mall

-Witches’ Brew

-Phantom of Room 513

-Forest of Fear

 

Yep, I read Nancy Drew. I found this book back on the $.10 shelf in my college library and every once in a while I digress to younger days. Plus, it said ghost stories and though I haven’t read Nancy Drew until now, I know one key fact about her. She doesn’t believe in anything supernatural.

Much like Scooby Doo, Nancy always finds the crook at the end of the mystery. I can’t help that I was so hopeful that there’d be that one mystery that she couldn’t explain, like Scooby Doo and Zombie Island. Even the gang had the occasional unexplained phenomenon. I won’t give away what the stories held because I might as well give them away and I don’t want to do that to you.

Scooby-Doo Classic and Modern

One particular thing had me irked as I read though. There were slight handed comments from characters about Nancy’s friends, Bess and George. They made my jaw drop and not for any kind of good reason. A few times, Bess’s weight had been rudely mentioned as if to say she was overweight or that she eats too much. I’m a woman who LOVES food. LOVES! And I don’t tolerate weight shaming. It’s so cruel. I was very surprised to read that and felt so terrible for Bess. Then a character in one of the short stories commented that George was such a weird name for a girl. My head cocked to the side and I squinted, rereading that segment with such dismay. I would’ve loved to see Nancy stick up for them, but she had been in on a couple of these moments.

What I can take away from all of this is that times have certainly changed and I’m glad.

Each story was quick and cute and the book was finished in a day. Keene was very articulate and made sure the reader knew exactly what was going on. Am I a mystery reader? Decidedly, no. The genre just isn’t for me. I enjoy a little mystery, but only when it’s entwined with another genre that I like. I think the only exception I ever made to the mystery genre was Veronica Mars and that’s because she’s so witty and sassy. The complicated lovefest between her and Logan Echolls is something to behold as well. It certainly does make the heart melt. I think I need to go re-binge the series.

Nancy Drew

If you’re a Nancy Drew fan than take a peek at this collection of short stories. It’s like getting a nice bookshot out of the classics section.

 

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Try Everything by Shakira.