Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Book Review: The Town That Forgot How To Breathe

Just finished reading "The Town That Forgot How to Breathe" by Kenneth J. Harvey. Thumbs up!

Overview: Something strange is happening in the seaside town of Bareneed. Mythical creatures…are being pulled from the sea. Perfectly preserved corpses of villager long ago lost at sea are being washed upon the shore. And residents of the town are suddenly suffering from a mysterious illness that is making them forget how to breathe. Joseph Blackwood returns to his hometown to spend time with his daughter, but when the young girl begins having visions and conversing with the spirit of a neighbor’s deceased child, he knows that his daughter is suffering from a supernatural affliction. With help from some colorful village residents, Joseph must unravel this paranormal mystery to save his only child. (from book jacket)

Dawn’s Recommendation: 5 of 5 Stars

What I liked: The opening character, Miss Laracy, grabbed me. Her colorful dialect pulled me in and I had to read on to get to know her better.

Story line was very interesting. It had mystery, with a touch of bizarre and creepy (supernatural), but not too scary. Perfect combination.

Pace was great. One part was so heart-pounding that I feared for what Joseph might do and inside I was yelling, “No, don’t do it!”

The characters were colorful and really brought life to the fishing village of Bareneed. From the whispy and tragic Claudia to the straight-laced Lieutenant-Commander French, to the plump Dr. Thompson – I really enjoyed the characters.

What I didn’t like: Nothing really --it was a satisfying read, but....if you forced me to “find” something, I might have two little things.
1. The dog – not sure what the dog meant to the story unless it was just for bizarre effect.   
2. The ending outcome of the bizarre events/sickness (can’t spoil it for you). Not sure it completely works out in my head.

Overall: Really enjoyed the book and I’ll be looking to read his other books ("Brud" and "Directions for an Opened Body").

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Friday, November 1, 2013

Book Review: Substitute Creature

Creepy Fun! Review of Tales From Lovecraft Middle School #4 - Substitute Creature by Charles Gilman - I almost got this posted in time for Halloween.

Back Book Cover Reads: 
“It’s Valentine’s Day and a monstrous blizzard has descended upon Lovecraft Middle School, trapping twelve-year-old Robert Arthur inside the building! He and his companions have no choice but to spend the night-while snaking on cafeteria food, sleeping on the gym floor, facing off against a sinister substitute teacher, and thwarting an army of abominable beasts. This fourth novel in the Lovecraft Middle School series begins right where Teacher’s Pest ended – with more action, more adventure, and more outrageous monsters!”

Dawn's Recommendation: 4.5 Stars!

What I liked: The book opened with a great hook – the MCs, Robert and Glenn, in a perilous situation. I wasn’t sure how it would be reading the fourth book in a series (not having read any of the others), but I did not feel lost. The author gives you bits throughout, so you learn about the alternate dimension of Tillinghast Manor, where the creatures come from, and that the MCs are fighting against the evil from it.

It was an easy and fun read. Great for elementary and middle school kids. I wondered if it would be scary, but it’s wasn't. It gives just enough "bizarre" to be really interesting, but nothing gory that would cause children to have nightmares.   

Loved the front cover (the teacher-turning-to-creature hologram effect). That in itself is a GREAT hook for kids who want a scare!

Loved, loved, LOVED the artwork throughout (illustrated by Eugene Smith).

What I didn’t like: I’d like to know the characters a little better. They are somewhat flat. What do they like? What do they feel and hope and dream? Maybe readers get to know them better in the previous books and therefore it isn’t necessary in Book Four, but since I haven’t read the other books, I don’t know. 

Overall: Kids will like this book...and they will want to read the others. It's just the right amount of creepy fun to bring you back for more!

Disclosure: I received this book through Library Thing for free in exchange for my honest review.