Lauren Oliver’s debut novel, Before I Fall, is one of my all-time favourite YA novels, so I was keen to read her first MG novel – Liesl & Po – and I wasn’t disappointed. I hardly knew anything about it before I started reading, but I was immediately gripped by the story of a lonely little girl, stuck in the attic by her stepmother, who is visited by Po and his/her cat, Bundle. Po and Bundle have come from the Other Side, which intrigues Liesl because her father has recently died and she didn’t get to say goodbye to him. Following a mix-up between a box of magic and Liesl’s father’s ashes, Liesl, Po and Bundle end up running away and meeting Will, the Alchemist’s apprentice. This book is sweet and sad and dreamy. I loved it (and I’m in awe of Oliver’s drive and imagination).
I’ve been meaning to read Megan Crane’s novel I Love the 80s for a while because I love Megan’s books and I love, you know, the 80s. Jenna’s always been obsessed with the 80s band, Wild Boys and in particular their lead singer, Tommy Seer, who died in a car accident in 1987. One night, she’s reaching for a lightbulb in the supply closet at her office and she falls, hits her head and wakes up in 1987. We’ve all been there. Inevitably she ends up working with Wild Boys and she’s suprised and disappointed to find that, not only is Tommy not at all like she expected, she doesn’t even like him very much. At least to begin with. I couldn’t read this book quickly enough. I loved the 80s setting (there are some great details on 80s New York – it sounds horrible), I really loved Tommy Seer and I read the last couple of chapters breathlessly while Joe hopped up and down next to me shouting, “Tea, Mama! Want tea!” “Just… let… me… finish… this…” Fab.
Backpacked is Catherine Ryan Howard’s second self-published travel book. I’ve mentioned Catherine on here before more than once. I think she and her writing are wonderful and Backpacked cemented that opinion. It also cemented the opinion that backpacking is very much not for me. Central America sounds wonderful and every now and then I got a twinge of envy, but in the main I was very much glad to be reading it at home with home comforts. A really good read.
A Tangle of Magicks was very kindly sent to me by Caroline at Portrait of a Woman. I was thrilled because I loved the first book in Stephanie Burgis’s series, A Most Improper Magick. In this book, Kat and her family have decamped to Bath and Kat soon finds herself caught up in another magical scrape. I loved this book, but it kept reminding me of something and I just couldn’t quite think what it was. This morning I remembered: Buffy. It’s like Buffy set in Regency England if Buffy was 12. How fabulous is that?! Can’t wait to read the next book.