Ghosts of Greenglass House
Middle Grade / Juvenile / January 8, 2018

Greenglass House #2. Author: Kate Milford. Summary: Welcome back to the irresistible world of Greenglass House where thirteen-year-old Milo is, once again, spending the winter holidays stuck in a house full of strange guests who are not what they seem. There are fresh clues to uncover as friends old and new join in his search for a mysterious map and a famous smuggler’s lost haul. (Published Summary) My Thoughts: I really love the author’s voice, which stays consistent from the last book. It’s straight-forward but well-crafted prose, with the third person view point sticking close to Milo, our protagonist, so everyone else is characterized through what he would notice first, then second, and on. Although Milo came to grips with his adopted identity last time, it’s not a struggle that can be resolved through The Power of Friendship or any such thing, and Kate Milford recognizes this. Milo is still very much working on growing up, and that includes such wide-ranging pursuits as learning to balance his emotions, learning to understand other people’s blunders, learning to retain his confidence in his own identity and background even when other people don’t understand. Spoilers for the previous book, Greenglass House: <spoiler> After…

All the Wind in the World
Young Adult / November 25, 2017

Author: Samantha Mabry. Summary: Samantha Jac Crow and James Holt have fallen in love working in the endless fields that span a bone-dry Southwest in the near future – a land that’s a little bit magical, deeply dangerous, and bursting with secrets. To protect themselves, they’ve learned to work hard and, above all, keep their love hidden from the people who might use it against them. Then, just when Sarah Jac and James have settled in and begun saving money for the home they dream of near the coast, a horrible accident sends them on the run. With no choice but to start over on a new, possibly cursed ranch, the delicate balance of their lives begins to give way – and they may have to pay a frighteningly high price for their love. My Thoughts: This is what I get for picking up a book because of a pretty cover. All the Wind in the World actually felt like it should have been a good read; like it really was trying. The desert, for example. That should have been a good setting. It didn’t quite make it. Everything was a little too dramatic, a little too self-aware, so that…

The Snow Child
Adult / March 21, 2017

Author: Eowyn Ivey. Summary: Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart–he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm, she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season’s first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning, the snow child is gone–but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees. This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them. (Goodreads Summary) My Thoughts: Think fantasy x Jack London. I loved it. The description and the characters’ perception both bring out the harsh beauty of the wilderness, but that beauty morphs here and there…