I usually like to have my Friday post be a couple books I can wholeheartedly recommend… This week, unfortunately I found these both kinda bleh.
Fake Blood by Whitney Gardner
Middler schooler AJ has a crush on Nia. AJ is scared. Nia likes vampires. AJ tries to get her interested by going to school dressed up as one. They get paired together on a country project, and naturally, they choose Transylvania. The whole while, their teacher starts acting weird, like asking weird questions about AJ’s fake blood… Yeah, it all blows up, but not really in a good way.
I had high hopes for this one in the first 20 pages, but then the next 20 pages plotted out the same issues, not really furthering the characters…much the same. Repetitive and just weird at the end, I admit that I may not be the audience for this one, but it just didn’t get me or keep me interested.
Piper by Jay Asher &Jessica Freeburg, Jeff Stokely (Illustrator)
A retelling of the original story of the pied piper. A small village is overrun with rats and the town council is trying to do something about it. Maggie is a deaf, orphan girl who lost her family because of what the town calls a “prank.” They don’t see fit to punish the boys who did it. She continues to be bullied by many of the children… When the rat problem becomes just about too much for the town to handle, the Piper comes to town. He offers his services at a price. What ensues is a story of vengeance, love, and ultimately a lot of grey morality… It’s hard to weed out the real ending points for many of the threads.
I really enjoyed the artwork. It was dark and perfectly atmospheric. I like the romance and the idea of a deaf girl being immune to the magic of the pipe. And don’t get me wrong, I don’t need all my stories wrapped up in a bow at the end, but this one just finished quickly and with a twist that really wasn’t in line with the rest of the book.