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broodings from the burrow

March 29, 2018

into the stacks 2018: january, part 2
posted by soe 1:22 am

I thought we’d follow up Monday’s book reviews with the second of three posts about my January reads, this time with two YA novels:

Turtles All the Way Down, by John Green

In John Green’s latest, recommended to me by my dad, Aza and her best friend, Daisy, in order to collect the reward money associated with a useful tip, try to figure out the disappearance of a fugitive billionaire from their Midwestern city, who also happens to be the father of a boy, Davis, she used to be friends with. First step, get reacquainted with Davis. Second step, stop worrying about all the bacteria desperately trying to kill her, causing her to obsessively spiral into dangerous thoughts and behaviors. But when Aza gets sucked into Davis’ surreal life (his father’s will specifies their pet reptile will inherit his fortune, rather than his two sons, for instance), she’ll find it’s a lot harder to escape her thoughts than it used to be and that she’s teetering on a precipice. Green, who suffers from mental health issues himself, portrays Aza’s with sensitivity and thoughtfulness, giving his readers an insight into how tricky the brain can be. Recommended. (Also, if you like this book, you might consider Tamara Ireland Stone’s Every Last Word, which touches on similar issues.)

Pages: 288. Library copy.

Daughter of the Pirate King, by Tricia Levenseller

Alosa, the titular offspring of the pirate king and herself the captain of a mostly female pirate ship, allows herself to be captured by her father’s enemy, only to find out that he’s been killed and replaced by his two sons. But that doesn’t change her mission — to find and retrieve a map crucial to her father. She’ll start out trying to find the map with stealth and skill, but the first mate holding her captive is not wholly taken in by her demure act and proves an impediment (if only he’d stop distracting her with his good looks and kind manner), so she may have to resort to other tricks she has up her sleeve. But there are other pieces in play, and Alosa may not be up to the task after all. This was a fun romp and I look forward to reading the sequel (the title of which contains a spoiler for this book) sometime soon. Recommended for those who love their YA stories slightly historical, slightly fantastical, and more than slightly feminist.

Pages: 320. Library audio copy.

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