Jackaby by William Ritter

Jackaby

I woke up early this morning, as the sun was rising and couldn’t help myself to some balcony reading and green tea. The weather was beautiful and there is just something about waking up before everyone else does. I love the quiet. I had about 30 pages left of Jackaby and finished them off around 7:45 am.

This novel was amazing. I went into it thinking it would just be a good Halloweenish story for October and not having many expectations of it. I’m not a fan of mystery usually. I loved how this story blended all of the Sherlock-like characters and had some of Edgar Allan Poe’s tales of ratiocination in it. It also reminded me of the TV shows Doctor Who and Lost Girl. The villians in the novel, and the deductive reasoning of Abigail Rook and R. F. Jackaby reminded me of those, and all of the faeries in Lost Girl.

I’m really hoping for a sequel. I must know what happens with Abigail and Charlie Cane! I would also love some more stories of Jackaby, and perhaps more about the ghost Jenny. Who was her lover? It was so vague! He must still be living. Some of my favorite aspects of the story were Douglas the duck and Hatun the witchy hobo. William Ritter’s sense of hodge-podge was spot on. It can be very hard for authors to pull off “hodge-podge” but he did so in a very quirky way.

I also found this novel somewhat educational. Ritter is an extremely talented writer. His language is absolutely beautiful and comedic, all at once! I very much enjoyed his elaborate description and figurative language. Not many authors write in this way anymore. I’m not sure if it’s because of the dystopian trend right now. Those books seem more focused on suspense and straight and to the point edginess. The novels Jackaby and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern are now in my top books for beautifully written language and description. (Next to all of Tolkiens books of course!) I found myself pulling up Dictionary.com on a few instances. His vocabulary could easily rival that of Tolkien. On top of the way it was written, I learned about fantasy creatures from this novel. I had never heard of a “Redcap” or of the dog-like creature Charlie Cane was descended from before reading this. I love learning about different mythological creatures. There were also mentions of La Llorona from Hispanic cultures and Baba Yaga from Russian cultures. It’s amazing how well he managed to blend everything together.

In the back of the book, it says that Ritter came up with the story one night after tucking his infant son into bed. There’s no telling what kind of bedtime stories this kid will get to hear growing up! I bet his father can come up with some good ones of his own. I’m wondering if the author was inspired by tales of Sherlock or if the idea just hit him of his own fruition.

I would go as far to say that this novel would do really well as a movie. It was interesting, fast paced, and had many diverse quirky characters. I think audiences would love it!

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Texas Teen Book Festival! Author meetings and more! :)

I have been waiting for months for the Texas Teen Book Festival in Austin, TX. I live in the Dallas area now and lived in the Austin area for 3 1/2 for college. I love love love Austin! If I could pack up my life and move there again I would. The fiance and myself took off of work and school for the weekend and headed down Friday around 3pm. The traffic was pretty horrific but worth it. Right when we got there we hit up one of our old hangouts, Kerbey Lane. If you ever make a trip to Austin you have to go to Kerbey Lane and Magnolia Cafe on Congress! There we munched on some cowboy queso (queso with guac and black beans) for a late night dinner/snack. So worth the midnight carbs.

We hit the hay early so that we could get up early and try out a new coffee bar on Congress before the festival. I won’t say the name of the one we tried but it wasn’t a new favorite by any means. The best one in Austin that I can think of is the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf if you ever make your way down. I’m glad I had some java though. The lines were crazy at the festival! The volunteers were saying they were not anticipating so many people to come. There were bus loads of schools bringing kids and we talked to people from our area in Dallas to people from McAllen, TX. While we were in line purchasing our books the volunteer crew had to rearrange somethings because of all of the people showing up. And I’ve got to say, I have never been to the St. Edwards University campus before this weekend and it was such a cute, peaceful school overlooking the downtown area. I loved the atmosphere, very bookish indeed.

Marie Lu

My high school friend sttod in line for Marie Lu and got our books signed. I was bummed I didn’t get a chance to meet her in person but I saw her from one booth away and she seems like such a cool, laid-back person. Maybe on day she will make her way to Dallas.

Sabriel

The lines were crazy long but luckily some of my friends from Texas State came and met us up there and we stood in the purchasing line and they held our place in the Signing line. Me and Ricardo were only there for about 3 1/2 hours, I wish we could have stayed longer. We made it in the first signing group but we missed one of the author panels I was really looking forward to. But I did get some pretty awesome books! ($100 worth of books! Eeeek!)

Garth Nix

Book Haul

My favorite part of the whole festival was getting to meet Garth Nix! I have been a huge fan of his since my Young Adult Lit professor at Texas State had me read Sabriel. His mixture of high fantasy and teen angst, and growing pains is amazing. I don’t think many people could pull it off but he sure did in all of his books. And this probably sounds so corny to say but I LOVED his accent. It was the coolest thing. We talked for a minute and he said “Best Wishes” and it was the most interesting thing I have ever heard! I clearly have never met an Australian person before…

I just started one of the books that I bought, Jackaby. I was hooked from the first page. This William Ritter dude can write! I am so impressed with his detail and description. I love finding new YA authors that have that kind of style, kind of like Erin Morgenstern who wrote The Night Circus. Not enough authors have this writing style anymore. I get the whole apocalypse, and dystopian style of straight suspense, and to the point but these writers are so rare and I love finding this kind of talent. I would want to write a novel with that kind of beautiful figurative language. It’s captivating. And the thing about William Ritter is that it’s funny too! I’m definitely going to be on the look out for more of his work. So far the story seems very Sherlock with some supernaturalness thrown in. I’ll post a review once I finish it.

I am so looking forward to the Texas Teen Book Festival next year. I hear Austin is having another book festival next weekend as well but it’s more towards the romance genre. I’ll be on the lookout for any in the Dallas/Fort Worth area as well.

The Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu

Prodigy

I meant to post about this trilogy before now. I finally jumped on the Legend bandwagon about a month ago and finished the series within a week. I LOVED it. Absolutely loved it. Marie Lu did amazing at world building and in my opinion she did the dystopian thing better than Divergent and The Hunger Games. I know! People are going to hate me for dissing The Hunger Games but seriously… let’s give credit where credit is due. Marie Lu’s trilogy is action packed, fast paced, exciting, and a tragedy all at once. I thought the way she blended tragedy in these books without it being overwhelming was mind blowing. I couldn’t get enough of them. Day and June are my new favorite literary couple. I hear there is a film in the works too! I bet it will be pretty cool if they don’t change it up too much. I fell in love with Anden right away as well. All through Prodigy and Champion I was torn between Day and Anden. Day was just so edgy and interesting and then there’s Anden. Perfect in every way! The embodiment of “Mr. Right”. I think my favorite book of the trilogy was Champion. The ending was perfect. And it seemed like the most realistic but you didn’t think Lu would actually go there but she did!

I give this book 5 stars and I got 4 of my friends to read them and they love them as well. Go buy it!

I am going to the Texas Teen Book Festival this weekend in Austin, Texas and Marie Lu is going to be there signing for her new book The Young Elites. I’m definitely buying it. I’ve heard from several other booktubers how great it is and from author Lindsay Cummings! I’ll post pics once I get the book ๐Ÿ™‚

The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

It has been so long since I have posted. Life has been a whirlwind. Student teaching is extra time consuming. (There is never enough time in the day!)

I had to post about The Infinite Sea though. It’s just as amazing as The 5th Wave. I was worried it wouldn’t be because Cassie isn’t so much the main character anymore. By the middle/end of the book you realize Ringer is the main focus. This book is about her journey. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Ringer before reading this. She was too tough, too stereotypical, and too cliche. But this book completely changed my mind. I loved it! I loved all of the “infinite” references throughout the book. I loved seeing Ringer slowly conquer her demons. I think I started liking her more because Yancey didn’t make it easier for her. Before, it had seemed that everything was easy for Ringer. She was just naturally that tough. She’s not in the sequel. Razor is a great addition to the story as well. He has slowly become the most interesting male character in the book. Zombie and Evan are not in the lead anymore. (I still love Evan though!)

I can’t wait for The 5th Wave movie! I really hope they continue to make the sequel into a movie as well. If you haven’t read this you have to go buy it. Today I’m planning on ordering The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan because I haven’t had time to go to Barnes and Noble. And this Friday we are heading to Austin to the Texas Teen Book Festival so I plan on posting a book haul after that. Happy Readings ๐Ÿ™‚