A spine-tingling tale rooted in Caribbean folklore that will have readers holding their breath as they fly through its pages.
Corinne La Mer isn’t afraid of anything. Not scorpions, not the boys who tease her, and certainly not jumbies. They’re just tricksters parents make up to frighten their children. Then one night Corinne chases an agouti all the way into the forbidden forest. Those shining yellow eyes that followed her to the edge of the trees, they couldn’t belong to a jumbie. Or could they?
When Corinne spots a beautiful stranger speaking to the town witch at the market the next day, she knows something unexpected is about to happen. And when this same beauty, called Severine, turns up at Corinne’s house, cooking dinner for Corinne’s father, Corinne is sure that danger is in the air. She soon finds out that bewitching her father, Pierre, is only the first step in Severine’s plan to claim the entire island for the jumbies. Corinne must call on her courage and her friends and learn to use ancient magic she didn’t know she possessed to stop Severine and save her island home.
Janet: Oh, I like this! A sister and her two younger brothers (POC!) on the cover actually doing something, the effect of height and the vertical line the eye us drawn along via those ghostly-looking trees, Caribbean folklore, and a brave girl who knows something of what is going on and is determined, with the help of her friends, to stop it.
Nafiza: I quite like this. I like the colour palette, I like the art style and I definitely like the synopsis. The posture and expressions of the characters are so evocative that I want to know what they’re looking at and what has them so scared. Yep, I’m going to read this.
Yash: Yes, what the lovely ladies above said. 🙂 The palette is great, the style is lovely, the story sounds different and new (to me)! I love everything about it. Can’t wait! <3
Two seemingly unrelated stories–one in words, the other in pictures–come together with spellbinding synergy! The illustrated story begins in 1766 with Billy Marvel, the lone survivor of a shipwreck, and charts the adventures of his family of actors over five generations. The prose story opens in 1990 and follows Joseph, who has run away from school to an estranged uncle’s puzzling house in London, where he, along with the reader, must piece together many mysteries. How the picture and word stories intersect will leave readers marveling over Selznick’s storytelling prowess.
Filled with mystery, vibrant characters, surprise twists, and heartrending beauty, and featuring Selznick’s most arresting art to date, The Marvels is a moving tribute to the power of story.
Janet: Blue and gold, birds and a ship on the sea and monsters; yes, this cover has a few things going for it. The synopsis, not so much. But it must be difficult to write about a story that is only half told through words.
Nafiza: I’ve read two of Selznick’s books and have been impressed by one while a bit bewildered by the other. This one looks really good. The art style works for me. I’m not sure whether I’ll enjoy the story all that much but I’m always ready to try an illustrated novel.
Yash: I … don’t know how I feel about this one. I’m not into nautical adventures (though the cover does a great job representing that on the cover, and the colours are WOW) but I do like Brian Selznick. I think I’ll wait until Nafiza says something about it …
Tabitha Crum is a girl with a big imagination and a love for mystery novels, though her parents think her only talent is being a nuisance. She doesn’t have a friend in the world, except her pet mouse, Pemberley, with whom she shares her dingy attic bedroom.
Then, on the heels of a rather devastating announcement made by her mother and father, Tabitha receives a mysterious invitation to the country estate of the wealthy but reclusive Countess of Windermere, whose mansion is rumored to be haunted. There, she finds herself among five other children, none of them sure why they’ve been summoned. But soon, a very big secret will be revealed— a secret that will change their lives forever and put Tabitha’s investigative skills to the test.
Janet: I, um, don’t like the illustrative style of the cover, sorry. The people look all the same, vaguely unappealing, and not very happy. The synopsis suggests a romp, but I feel a bit too old to be drawn in.
Nafiza: There’s a definite dearth of diversity in this cover. However, I’m willing to forgive it if the setting calls for it. I, unlike Janet, do like the illustration style and I like Tabitha’s intrepid investigator posture. But then, I just read Murder Most Unladylike which was quite fantastic (and narrated by a POC, whoop) so I just might be in the mood for girl investigators. We’ll see.
Yash: I LOVE this art style! I love how bright and light it looks! I love the grin on the girl’s face and the mouse in her pocket and even the title sounds fun! AND it’s a ghost story– possibly! 🙂
Seventeen-year-old Stevie is trapped. In her life. In her body. And now in an eating-disorder treatment center on the dusty outskirts of the New Mexico desert.
Life in the center is regimented and intrusive, a nightmare come true. Nurses and therapists watch Stevie at mealtime, accompany her to the bathroom, and challenge her to eat the foods she’s worked so hard to avoid.
Her dad has signed her up for sixty days of treatment. But what no one knows is that Stevie doesn’t plan to stay that long. There are only twenty-seven days until the anniversary of her brother Josh’s death—the death she caused. And if Stevie gets her way, there are only twenty-seven days until she too will end her life.
Janet: The cover leaves an impression of lightness and unbearable insubstantiality. (That might not be a word, but you know what I mean.) It leaves me feeling uneasy, even though, having read the synopsis, it seems that the cover suits the contents. However. I do not want to read about suicide. There would have to be a very compelling reason (or an elated review) for me to read this book.
Nafiza: I feel like the cover is setting me up. The colour is so pretty and airy and happy-making. Then the synopsis cuts all the strings and I land back on earth with a thump. Okay. So. This could be a very important book for people. Unfortunately, I can’t read sad books without getting really sad (I’m not joking, 1984 almost made me ill) myself so I’m going to pass. Unless of course the ending is not horribly tragic and someone convinces me to give this a try.
Yash: So, I feel like I’ve seen this cover before … but I don’t think I’ve seen the summary before. Frankly, just on its own, the cover isn’t very intriguing to me*, but with the summary … it works. I don’t know if I will read it (unless I am feeling very brave) but it sounds like it could be an important book.
*I think I would have liked it if the rest of the covers we were looking at weren’t all pretty and illustrated. ^_^
Pip is a girl who can talk to magical creatures. Her aunt is a vet for magical creatures. And her new friend Tomas is allergic to most magical creatures. When things go amok—and they often go amok—Pip consults Jeffrey Higgleston’s Guide to Magical Creatures, a reference work that Pip finds herself constantly amending. Because dealing with magical creatures like unicorns, griffins, and fuzzles doesn’t just require book knowledge—it requires hands-on experience and thinking on your feet. For example, when fuzzles (which have an awful habit of bursting into flame when they’re agitated) invade your town, it’s not enough to know what the fuzzles are—Pip and Tomas also must trace the fuzzles’ agitation to its source, and in doing so, save the whole town.
Janet: Those creatures are awfully cute. Cute as in I’m not sure if they are adorable or just too-ugh-too-cute. They are babies, though, which gives me hope that they will be less cute when they grow older, and more deadly and individual. The synopsis also looks cute, buuuuuuut I have to admit that I would LOVE the ability to talk to magical creatures, and working with a vet is probably most people’s dream at some point in their childhoods. Also, certain people I know love Maggie Stiefvater. So I would pick this up to look through the first few pages, and would probably end up borrowing it from the library. And then probably coo over the creatures therein and wish that I could draw worth beans.
Nafiza: I believe all illustrations in this novel were done by Maggie so I’m in. It just sounds really adorable. I probably will end up wanting a fuzzle of my own once I’m done with this book.
Yash: I do love the illustrations. I’m kind of won over by the one cheerful griffin and the one grumpy griffin! And yeah, I’m interested– for the very reasons that Nafiza mentions.