The Hollow Boy
Young Adult / May 15, 2016

Lockwood & Co. #3. Author: Jonathan Stroud. Summary: Danger is escalating in the haunted world. The bloody footprints and murderous ghosts of their one-off cases are nothing compared to the growing mystery in London, as more and more manifestations cluster throughout the city. But Lockwood, George, and Lucy are up to it – oh, and Holly. Old divisions have been healed, but new rifts are opening in the team. Lockwood has hired an immaculate and completely organized new member, Holly Munro. From the start, she and Lucy simply cannot get along, and it’s dissolving their cohesiveness as a team. Can Lockwood and Co. compete with the major companies, avoid living assassins, solve the London mystery, all while torqueing around the internal tensions in their daily lives? My Thoughts: I did not like this as much as the preceding two. Lucy, formerly a dashing agent with a strong personality who can take care of herself, spends much of the book jealous of Holly. Holly is, frankly, ingratiating and irritating at a couple of parts, but for the most part her only fault is being too well organized and attractive, and spending too much time with Lockwood. Lucy lost a good bit…

Island of Shipwrecks
Middle Grade / Juvenile / May 15, 2016

Unwanteds #5. Author: Lisa McMann. Summary: Alex and his friends from Artimé are stranded on a newly discovered island after barely surviving a storm that destroys their ship. And it turns out they’re not alone… Back in Quill, Aaron’s power base grows as he aligns himself with an unlikely ally. Together, the two enact a drastic, risky plan to finally conquer Artimé—a plan that could ultimately leave everyone in both Artimé and Quill in far more danger than Aaron realizes. My Thoughts: Finally, Aaron is getting some deeper characterization. The time after his adviser is killed was at first confusing, but then very gratifying, as our villain finally shows some emotion and motivation. Content Review: Sexual content: One kiss. Some attraction between characters – blushing, glances, talking together – but nothing really happens. Language: One exclamation each of: crud, good heavens, blasted, holy gorillas. Violence: Hook-handed pirate lashes out and cuts a gash in a character’s forehead. A (living) statue is broken into pieces, but then put together again. Character breaks a leg. A woman is dead (action in last book, realization in this) from a panther attack. Character is knocked unconscious by a blow to the head. Mountain gorilla…