The Dollhouse Murders by Betty Ren Wright

The Dollhouse MurdersI honestly could not remember if I had read this book in my childhood, but going through it last night, a lot of it felt familiar; I even knew who the killer was as soon as he was mentioned, so I guess I have read it before. I think it is an amazing book. I read the entire thing in one sitting. I just could not put it down.

I have been wanting to read more books by female authors, and this one has ghosts, creepy dolls that move, and a murder mystery. Check, check, check, check. Amazon could not take my money quickly enough. I recommend this book for fans of R. L. Stine and Mary Downing Hahn, two authors I’ve covered here before. Let’s jump in.

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Fear Street: Halloween Party

Halloween PartyI know it’s not October, but I haven’t read a Fear Street book in a while, and this is one I have been wanting to read for some time. It never occurred to me to save this book for Halloween season, but hindsight is 20-20. There are plenty of Halloween books I can read in October. For now, let’s have Halloween in June!

Sadly, this book is not a party. It is by far my least favorite Fear Street book yet. Still, it was engaging enough to keep reading, and I guess I kept hoping it would get better, so I read a little of it each night before bed the last couple of nights and sprinted to the end this morning when I realized I was 65% through and just wanted to finish it so I could move on to something else.

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Animorphs: The Secret

The SecretYay! This is the last book I needed to reread again for this blog. Todd Reads is now caught up with where I left off in the series. I’m excited. It’s tough rereading a book you have just recently read when you really want to move on, and especially this book. For a book that is 158 pages, The Secret feels like it is over 300. A lot happens; I think there are at least three plots occurring simultaneously, and each of them is heavy.

Cassie is fleshed out a ton. I think she is a character that could very easily fall into the “best friend” role, and she does from time to time, falling behind Rachel and paling in comparison, but this book gives her footing. It’s like she’s standing up and saying, “This is who I am and this is what I care about.” She proves she is definitely not one to be pushed around. In a way, The Secret is the definitive Cassie book, and I have a lot of thoughts on it. Let’s dig in.

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Animorphs: The Alien

The AlienAx is my least favorite Animorph. He doesn’t even see himself as an Animorph in this book, but I digress. I found him hard to identify with as a kid, which is interesting to me looking back today, because I grew up in a children’s home and I felt alone in a strange place, like Ax feels in this book. I should have loved Ax, but I never looked forward to his books.

I think, for me, the humor surrounding his character got old and annoying. The way he constantly plays with sounds and his extreme reaction to food are both overdone, not so much in this book, but in the series as a whole. But, let’s look at this book individually. I have a greater understanding and appreciation for Ax reading The Alien as an adult. It’s the first book in which he fully narrates, although I should mention he first narrated chapters in Megamorphs #1.

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Animorphs (Megamorphs #1): The Andalite’s Gift

Megamorphs #1: The Andalite's GiftI’ve been talking to friends about Animorphs and felt inspired to come back to my Animorphs recaps. I’ll be real with you guys. When I was in college last semester, I read books 7, Megamorphs 1 (this one), 8, and 9 without writing about them. I felt so overwhelmed with school and work and had no energy to devote to this blog. I honestly considered closing it. I am so glad I decided to keep it open, because reading and writing about books is a passion, and that discomfort and insane busyness was temporary. The problem now is I have to go back and reread these books I’ve very recently reread to give them a good review and move forward with this project, and really, I just want to pick up reading where I left off at Book 10, so I’ve pushed this project to the side. I’m too much of a completionist to jump from Book 7 to Book 10 on this blog, haha. I’m making my way, though! Just two more and I’ll be caught up.

This recap is going to look different from the recaps I have done before. I am adopting my new style of reviewing in which you have probably seen in recent entries. Basically, I don’t want to rehash the entire plot of each book anymore. Most people reading these entries have read the books, and there are Wikis available with detailed plot summaries for those interested in that kind of thing. I would rather focus on analysis, which is what I enjoy and what I think is unique that I can offer here. I will probably restructure my blog to call this Animorphs read and analysis a project rather than a recap, but that is something I will play around with later. Also, I am not starting over. As I wrote on the blog’s About page, this site is a living, breathing thing, and living things change. My past entries will just reflect that. Anyway, onto this book!

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