Coraline by Neil Gaiman

CoralineThis review is going to be short not only because this is a short book, but because I just don’t have a lot to say about it. It was okay. It was fine. I think kids and young adolescents would enjoy it, but it doesn’t have much I’m going to remember after I read two or three books after this. It’s not like Wait Till Helen Comes, geared toward the same audience, in which I was left thinking about the book long after reading it.

Having said that, the book, or novela, kept my attention and was entertaining enough to keep reading it to the end. It has some good things going for it, and not much I can pinpoint as bad. Let’s break it down.

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Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn

Wait Till Helen ComesWhen I was in Sixth Grade, I read a book in a lit circle with two boys named Tripper and Matt. It was a ghost story and I remember there being a church and a graveyard in it. There was a brother and a sister. I cannot remember the title of the book for the life of me. I’ve been on the hunt for that book, though, and I think this might have been it. I began it last night when I couldn’t sleep, and picked it up this morning and finished it. It was a nostalgic read, reminding me a lot of what’s good about Fear Street and Goosebumps, and it had those things I remember about the book I read in Sixth Grade, even if I’m not completely sure this was it.

I love ghost stories, and I would have read and enjoyed this book had I just stumbled upon it and not been looking for the book from my childhood. I enjoyed the quicker, lighter read than what I have been doing lately. Even though it is marketed toward students in middle school, I enjoyed it as an adult; I would be happy to recommend it to my students or my adult friends. It was a fun read with a lot of good things in it.

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Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons WhyThis is a difficult book to review because of its subject matter and its intended audience. I think I would have an easier time tearing it apart if my it was aimed at adults, but this book is geared toward adolescents. One of my goals with this blog and with reading is to read and write about some adolescent fiction. I teach middle school, and I want to be able to discuss books with my students. I want to be able to make book recommendations. This is not one I’d recommend.

Several years ago, 13 Reasons Why released as a Netflix series. I watched some of it, but I had to stop watching it because it became too difficult to watch. Reading the book was better. I was able to make it through.

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The Trench by Steve Alten

The TrenchThe second book in Steve Alten’s Meg series, The Trench, is good fun, but it is not what I expected it to be. The prehistoric Great White Shark, the Megalodon, is an antagonist in this book, but it is not the antagonist like it was in the first book. Did that take away from my enjoyment of it? The jury is still out on that one. I’ll explain more below.

I was excited to read this book after finishing the first one, as it kind of set me off on a Meg kick. I did watch The Meg, by the way. It was just okay. I loved the shark, and it had some creepy moments, but I don’t think the producers, director, and actor got Jonas right, and that was a big deal to me. I just didn’t care about him; it didn’t matter to me whether he lived or died, and I wasn’t rooting for him like I have been in the books. This story needs a hero the audience cares about. The books have one. This book has two.

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Final Girls by Riley Sager

Final GirlsThe final girl is a horror movie character archetype that horror fans like me appreciate and obsess over. Sydney Prescott is a final girl. Nancy Thompson. Laurie Strode… What makes these girls so special is they have something inside that helps them survive unimaginable evil their friends and loved ones do not survive. They are left standing at the end of a blood bath, often after facing and killing the killer themselves.

Here is a book about these girls. It kept showing up under my Books You Might Like on Amazon, and when looking for something to read the other night, I decided to give it a shot. It looked to have the right amount of thriller, suspense, and self-awareness to be fun. It didn’t disappoint.

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