Thursday, July 16, 2009

At work, on our anniversary 2

NERDS: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society, by Michael Buckley. Annual in Chicago ARC! I don't think I'll be ordering this for my teen section, but my objections shouldn't stop anyone from ordering it for a younger audience (the characters are 11): the few things that bothered me won't, I'm sure, be noticed by the young readers. There is a whole series to follow.
1) The author misuses a colon on the very first page. Sad! Overall, the writing was a little more relaxed than I would have liked. A few fewer fragments and a slightly higher vocabulary might have been nice; the writing sounded a little flippant almost.
2) The underlying idea is nearly identical in most major ways to the book The Squad: Perfect Cover and it's sequel The Squad: Killer Spirit, both by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. It is very unlikely that the two series will have overlapping readers (outside of librarians, of course), so it's not a big deal. It makes me a little sad, though.
Overall, I wasn't quite as impressed as I was anticipating. Buckley is the author of the Fairy Tale Detectives Series and I was expecting a similar writing style, but this is for a different audience. It would have helped the story move along more quickly if the main character had realized his guilt earlier, and he still needs to learn to be serious. Nerd readers may be put off the book for this reason-- the once-cool character doesn't get his comeuppance quickly enough or hard enough. Over the course of the coming series he may improve, but the time line hurts this book and keeps it from being a stand-alone.

I Was a Teenage Fairy, by Francesca Lia Block. I had to pick this up the other day because, although I had a stack of both ARCs and library books at home, I had completely forgotten to bring anything to read on my lunch hour.
I wasn't always comfortable with this book, because I couldn't always follow what was going on or where we were going. I was frequently confused about the character's physical location (geographically) which bothered me. There were some comments that seemed to come out of the blue and threw me off. It's not a terrible book, but it is a hard book to take and read seriously.

Last year's anniversary is here.

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