Fashion Kitty and the B.O.Y.S. (Ball of Yellow String): A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

Fashion Kitty and the B.O.Y.S. by Cherise Mericle HarperWhat do marshmallows, yellow string, the Eiffel tower and Super Sticky Spray have in common? Not much really, except that they all have a key role in Fashion Kitty and the B.O.Y.S (Ball of Yellow String) (2011) by Charise Mericle Harper.

Fashion Kitty and the B.O.Y.S. is Fashion Kitty’s fourth adventure, but it is my first experience with the fashion forward cat whose family has two secrets: (1) they have a pet mouse and (2) Kiki Kittie is now a superhero called Fashion Kitty.

Although the content is necessarily different, this book follows the tradition of Jeff Kinney’s Wimpy Kid books (and even Brian Selznick and other books that I’m not as familiar with) in combining a written story with illustrated segments interspersed throughout the text.

The really nice thing about this book, being part of an established series, is that Harper does a good job bringing readers up to speed quickly. It was easy to read this book as a standalone without the earlier installments.

Apparently the earlier books in the series were more traditional graphic novels and some readers miss that format. I can’t comment on that since I haven’t read the other books, but I liked the text/image format. This could also be a good stepping stone to more text-based books for readers who are growing with the series, but it’s really a matter of personal preference.

Harper’s writing is clever with a bit of fairy tale quality–it’s easy to imagine sitting around a story hour being told this story by the author instead of reading it as a book.

I like the emphasis on helping friends here and the illustrations are a lot of fun. Really, the whole premise is fun–a cat who is a superhero and helps cats with fashion emergencies? What’s not to love? I was also happy to see the inclusion of a lot of boy characters instead of keeping the book girly and fashion-centric. Fashion does, obviously, play a role but it’s also just a vehicle to help people out.

T-shirts and marshmallow art  play a role in the story and Harper even provides craft ideas at the end of the book making this one the full package. With the humor, short chapters, and illustrations Fashion Kitty and the B.O.Y.S. is a great choice for fans of the series, reluctant readers, and anyone in between.

*A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher/author. (This is totally unrelated to the review and did not impact my opinion of the book, but thanks to Dema Neville for the lovely packaging of the said review copy which included the book as well as some marshmallows and yellow string–which as it turns out tie back to craft ideas at the back of the book.)

Miss Print Book Club: November Update

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving.

This is a quick post to let anyone interested know that my online book club is reading All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin until December 31, 2011. (You can read my review and my interview with Gabrielle Zevin here on the blog.)

If you’re interested in joining the discussion, be sure to join the Miss Print Book Club.

You can view the current book page and discussion questions on the book club’s wiki.

Also, I’m happy to announce our first book of 2012 (for January and February) will be The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.

The Near Witch: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

There are certain truths in Near: The Near Witch is an old story to frighten children, nothing more. The wind is lonely and always looking for company. There are no strangers in the town Near.

For all of her life, sixteen-year-old Lexi has known those three things to be true from the town, from her life, and from the stories her father told her.

What happens when two of those truths turn out to be wrong?

Soon after a stranger arrives in Near, children begin to disappear. Lexi knows they can’t be connected–even though the boy seems to fade like smoke–not when she feels so sure of him.

But someone is taking the children. And Near wants someone to blame. They do not need to be the same person, especially when the most likely culprit is more legend than person.

Time is running out and Lexi isn’t sure if she’ll be able to find the children while keeping the stranger safe in The Near Witch (2011) by Victoria Schwab.

Find it on Bookshop.

The Near Witch is Schwab’s first novel.

Schwab’s writing is lyrical and immediately brings to mind traditional fairy tales with all of their charm and danger. The story expertly builds tension as Lexi searches both for the missing children and the truth about Near and its infamous witch. With so much mystery surrounding Near and so much suspense, the story fast becomes a page turner urging readers from one haunting scene to the next.

Although there is (a tiny bit of) a love story amidst the talk of witches and missing children, Lexi remains a strong heroine with her own resolve and a whole lot of spunk. With the combination of lots of paranormal elements and not too much romance, The Near Witch fills a need for spooky, exciting stories that don’t start and stop with the main character’s romance.

The Near Witch is an atmospheric blend of folktale conventions and spooky details. Although the novel takes place on the sparse moor landscape, the story is filled with distinctive characters and memorable moments. The resulting novel is a satisfying choice for readers looking for both fairy tale magic and ghost story chills.

Possible Pairings: All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry, Plain Kate by Erin Bow, Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton, A Creature of Moonlight by Rebecca Hahn, Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones, Clockwork by Philip Pullman, Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood, The Glass Casket by McCormick Templeman

Be sure to check out my interview with Victoria Schwab!

Anna and the French Kiss: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

Anna Oliphant expected to spend her senior year in Atlanta with her friends. Her mom and her little brother are in Atlanta. Her car is in Atlanta. Her job and the coworker she’s been crushing on for months are in Atlanta.

But thanks to her father’s delusions of grandeur Anna is no longer in Atlanta.

Instead her wannabe-sophisticated-noveau-riche dad has exiled Anna to boarding school. In Paris.

And yes, it’s the City of Lights and of course that’s exciting. Except for being in a completely foreign city, not speaking French, and having no friends.

Anna still can’t speak French but soon she finds some friends and Paris starts to reveal its secrets–including the funny, charming, gorgeous Etienne St. Clair. Etienne is the perfect friend as Anna adjusts to Paris life. He’s probably the perfect guy period. Except for having a serious girlfriend and being completely off limits.

As Paris begins to feel more like home, Anna and Etienne have a lot of near-misses and close calls that bring their friendship to the verge of being something more. Even while Etienne is very much still taken. But anything seems possible in the City of Lights. Maybe Anna and Etienne really are meant to be, maybe Anna will even learn some French in Anna and the French Kiss (2010) by Stephanie Perkins.

Find it on Bookshop.

Anna and the French Kiss is Perkins’ first novel.*

First things first, it has to be said: This book has a silly title. Go ahead, get the giggles out of the way.

Despite its deceptively saccharine title, Anna and the French Kiss is a book of quality. Anna is a first rate narrator with her own unique slant on Paris and boarding school. She is likable, funny and ultimately just plain old authentic. While not every has a father who is a quasi-Nicholas-Sparks writer to send them to a Parisian boarding school, everyone will find something essentially real and true about Anna and her numerous adventures (and, yes, misadventures) in Paris.

Etienne is a fine foil for Anna throughout the novel with his charm and humor. Though some of the other peripheral characters are less developed, the tension and chemistry between Anna and Etienne more than makes up for it. In addition to being a love story, Perkins packs in a variety of other themes and topics including the interesting idea that the place (or person) someone calls home can change over time.

At 372 pages (hardcover) the only real problem with this book is that the last quarter of the novel drags with nail-bitingly frustrating suspense as readers wait for Anna and Etienne to finally realize they are meant to be together. (They both have perfect hair so obviously they are meant to be together.**)

With beautiful descriptions of Parisian sights and landscapes, crackling romantic tension, and tons of humor, Anna and the French Read offers a refreshing combination of depth and effervescence all in one delightful story.

*Perkins recently published her second novel, Lola and the Boy Next Door, which is a companion to this book. A final companion book, Isla and the Happily Ever After is due out in 2012–I’m really, really excited about that one for reasons that cannot be revealed in this review because they are spoilers.

**I say that with complete seriousness. It was one of my favorite motifs in the book. No joke.

Possible Pairings: North of Beautiful by Justina Chen, So Much Closer by Susane Colasanti, In a Perfect World by Trish Doller, Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg, King of the Screwups by K. L. Going, Royals by Rachel Hawkins, Girl at Sea by Maureen Johnson, This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills, Snowfall by K. M. Peyton, The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith, Starry Nights by Daisy Whitney

Author Interview: C. Alexander London on We Are Not Eaten by Yaks

Charles London Author PhotoC. Alexander London is the author of the abundantly funny Accidental Adventure series which began with We Are Not Eaten by Yaks. He is also a non-practicing librarian and, true story, one of my classmates from library school as well as an all around nice guy. He’s here today to answer some questions about his writing and his upcoming Accidental Adventure novel We Dine With Cannibals which will be released on November 14, 2011.

Miss Print (MP): Can you tell us a bit about your path as a writer? How did you get to this point?

C. Alexander London (CAL): It has been a circuitous, yet somehow inevitable path. When I was young, I wasn’t much of a reader. I was lucky enough to grow up in a house with a lot of books, and I enjoyed looking at their covers and daydreaming about the stories inside, without ever actually cracking them open to find out. See, although I found reading challenging, I loved stories. My sister used to read aloud to me and do all the voices and she was the first person to really bring stories alive for me. I also loved watching TV and playing video games and looking at comic books. I also liked some of those fact-books, like the Guinness Book of World Records and atlases. I loved staring at atlases and daydreaming about all the places I could go. Each of these media fed fuel into my imagination. I would make up my own villains and levels and plot lines, my own stories about travel to the farthest places I could find on the maps.

It was around when I was 11 that a teacher shared Redwall by Brian Jacques with me. I had never read a book that thick before, and I was amazed by how much I loved it, how inspiring the tale of chivalrous mice and devious weasels was. After I had finished it, I wrote Brian Jacques a letter, and, much to my surprise, he wrote back! That was the first time I saw a writer as a real person. He encouraged me to write, to use my imagination and maybe, to become a writer myself. That was the start of the path, although it took me a long time to get to do it professionally. I was a freelance journalist. I worked as an assistant at a talent agency. I became a librarian. Bit by bit, rejection after rejection, I honed my craft and was lucky enough to find editors and publisher’s who believed in me and the vision I had for my books. I’ve been writing full time now for about four years, and I never could have done it alone. From Brian Jacques, to my literary agent, to my teachers and classmates in library school (like Miss Print!), to my current editor and publisher, I’m really standing on a lot of shoulders while I tell my stories.

MP: Before starting your Accidental Adventure series you wrote two non-fiction books targeted toward adult readers? Has your writing process changed at all now that you’re writing fiction for a younger audience?

CAL: The bigger difference for me isn’t between the ages of the intended audience, but the fact that my books for adults were nonfiction and now I write novels. In college, I started doing journalism, and I see that process as essential training for writing fiction. I got to travel and see places in the world I could never have imagined. I had a lot of adventures, and, learning to capture diverse voices across cultures and circumstances and to render places both near and far as truthfully as possible gave me the tools to attempt the same with the product of my imagination. So, turning to fiction, I became a kind of reporter of my daydreams.

MP: What was the inspiration for the Accidental Adventures series?

CAL: There are a lot of sources of inspiration feeding into these silly stories.

They are, first off, somewhat autobiographical. I’ve never actually been thrown out of an airplane or battled an angry Yeti, but I thought of the idea for this series of books while I was on a flight between Rangoon and Mumbai, having my own accidental adventure. In Rangoon, the capital of Burma, thousands of Buddhist monks were battling with hardened government soldiers, and I accidentally walked into the middle of it. There were peaceful protests and prayers and then there was chaos and violence. Within days, the government had sealed off the country, shut down the internet and scrambled all the foreign television stations so you couldn’t watch them. No CNN. No Cartoon Network.

And I really missed it.

Even as things were going insane in the world around me, TV somehow made me feel safer. Even though I was having the adventure of a lifetime, all I wanted was to be curled up on the couch at home watching TV. I left Burma to go to India, where the festival of Ganesha was underway and millions of people were celebrating by lighting fireworks and throwing pink paint all over each other. And I was just so over it.

It was on that flight in Asia that I first imagined Oliver and Celia Navel, who are doomed to have a life of adventure, when all they want is to do is watch television.

So that was my inspiration, but I made a lot of stuff up too. Oliver has parts of my personality in him and Celia is based on my older sister, but there are also parts that are totally imaginary. Sir Edmund is completely made up, although the Poison Witches are not (they are some scary stories about them in Tibet). When I write, it’s like making a stew. I take ingredients from my memories, from the people I know, from things I’ve read or heard or learned in school and also things that I make up or that I dream about, and then I mix them all together to see what comes out. That’s how I wrote We Are Not Eaten By Yaks.

I also really identified with Milo from The Phantom Tollbooth. That was one of the books my sister used to read to me. I was always struck by Milo’s childhood ennui, that feeling of being “just so over it.” I think of Oliver and Celia Navel as descendants of young Milo.

MP: How did you choose all of the places (and animals) that feature in the series (so far)?

CAL: Each book takes place in a different cultural milieu that interests me, either through the travel I’ve done, or a place and people I want to know more about. The first one was in Tibet because I studied Tibetan Buddhism and thought there were a lot of interesting elements there to fuel my story. There is a balancing act, however. I am writing about real cultures and want to be respectful. I am simply very excited by the ethnosphere, which real-life explorer in residence at National Geographic, Wade Davis, describes as “the sum total of all thoughts, dreams, ideas, beliefs, myths, intuitions, and inspirations brought into being by the human imagination since the dawn of consciousness.”  I try to share that excitement in the stories.

As for the animals, I went with what made me laugh. Grumpy lizards and mischievous monkeys are funny to me.

MP: Celia and Oliver HATE adventures and exploring. They’re couch potatoes and proud of it. Do you identify with their dislike of all things exciting? What is it like writing about such reluctant heroes?

CAL: I do identify with them! Although I love travel, I often find when I’m traveling, I just want to be home! I agree with Roy C Andrews, former president of the real Explorers Club in NYC, who disliked adventures because “they interfere with work and disrupt carefully made plans.” Adventures mean something has gone wrong and I like things to go smoothly when I travel, although things rarely do go smoothly. I love putting Oliver and Celia through things that I would hate to experience, like getting lost in the jungle or playing dodgeball.

As to writing such reluctant heroes, it is a challenge. It’s hard to motivate action, when my protagonists don’t want there to be any. It also hard to make sure that their reluctance doesn’t overwhelm their identities, that they remain likable. Oddly, the comments I get most often from parents are, “Oliver and Celia are just like my kids” and, “I really struggled to like Oliver and Celia.” I will often hear these comments from the same person!

MP: Working from the last question, Celia and Oliver have some . . . let’s say unique taste in TV shows (like Love at 30,000 Feet to name but one). How did you come up with all of the shows they watch?

CAL: I love TV and watch a good deal of it. Seeing some of the crazy shows that are out there, I just took what exists and made them just a little weirder. For example, with Love at 30,000 Feet, I thought about all those dramas set in hospitals or schools or cruise ships and wondered, what is the least likely place for an elaborate drama? An airplane seemed fitting.

MP: We Dine with Cannibals is coming out November 14, 2011 and is the second book in the series. Do you have a set arc for Celia and Oliver’s story or know how many books will be in the series?

CAL: There will be four books in the series and I do know how it ends now, although unlike many series authors, I had no idea where it was going when I started. I knew the arc I wanted for their characters, but I didn’t know how the plot would go. It ended up surprising me. I just finished a draft of the fourth book a few weeks ago.

MP: Can you tell us anything about what to expect in We Dine with Cannibals?

CAL: Well, when I wrote We Dine With Cannibals I was watching a lot of Man vs Wild, so extreme reality TV plays a role. The twins get to spend some time with Corey Brandt, teen star of Sunset High, Agent Zero, and the new reality show, The Celebrity Adventurist. Corey is, in my mind, a mash-up of Justin Bieber and Bear Grylls, which was a lot of fun to write. Of course, as always with Oliver and Celia, not everything is what it seems. Aside from teenaged a heartthrob, there are adventures in the ruins of Machu Picchu, treks into unexplored jungle, two lost cities, wild animals, poison darts, and most treacherous of all: dodgeball.

MP: In addition to your skeet-shooting skills and being a writer, you’re a librarian. How has that effected your writing?

CAL: Well, the training gave me a deep appreciation for the breadth of young people’s literature that’s available these days. It gave me a great respect for the diversity of reader experience and ti gave me confidence to believe I could play a role in the reading life of a child, whether it was doing reader’s advisory at a branch of NYPL when I worked there, or now, writing stories that I hope kids will enjoy.

MP: Can you tell us anything about your next project?

CAL: I’m doing a speculative YA novel. It is definitely for an older crowd, although it was inspired by the classic middle grade novel by Sid Fleischman, The Whipping Boy. It will be out in 2013, so I don’t want to give too much away about it. I can tell you the title though. It’s called Proxy.

MP: Do you have any advice to offer aspiring authors?

CAL: It’s pretty basic advice. Write every day. No matter what, even if you don’t think what you’re writing is any good, just keep writing. The worst writing you do is always better than the writing you don’t do. I would also say to read, but I think you’re readers understand that already.

MP: Random Extra Question: I have a minor obsession with your dog. How is he doing?

CAL: He’s good! He is snoring on the bed as I sit at my desk writing this. He’s a great source of inspiration (Beverly, the ornery poisonous lizard in We Dine With Cannibals is based on him). I think every professional writer should get a dog; he forces me to put on pants and leave the house, which is very important to do every day in that order.

Thanks again to C. Alexander London for taking the time to answer my questions.

You can also read my review of We Are Not Eaten by Yaks to learn more about the series.

Miss Print Book Club Poll: January 2012

It’s that time again, help pick what my online book club will read for January and February.

More information about the book club can be found on its wiki: http://missprint.wikispaces.com/

Right now you have to be a wikispaces member (and confirm your email/real person-ness with me) to join in on the discussion. The club is currently on a two month schedule.

In November and December we are reading All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin.

Vote in the poll below for what you want to read in November and December (and if you aren’t yet a member please consider joining–it’s fun!):

Shatter Me: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

Shatter Me by Tahereh MafiShe has been locked up for 264 days with nothing but a small notebook, a broken pen and the numbers in her head to keep her company. It has been 6,336 hours since she touched another human being. The last time she did, it was an accident murder.

264 days and she gets a roommate cellmate. Not just any cellmate, but the boy she remembers from before everyone knew she was a monster. The boy who could be her undoing. Or maybe the boy who can change everything.

She spent her entire life trying to be better, to be safe. But now it is time to fight in Shatter Me (2011) by Tahereh Mafi.

Find it on Bookshop.

Shatter Me is Mafi’s first novel as well as the first book in a trilogy.

Shatter Me is the interesting if somewhat scattered story of a heroine whose touch is lethal. Narrated by the heroine, the story is filled with crossed out text to show thoughts she either does not want to have or acknowledge. The strike-throughs made for an interesting, multi-layered reading of the story but there are a lot of them and it does become hard to take after a certain point.

The narrative style is also unique and used to good effect conveying the narrator’s isolation and her growing fascination with the changing world around her. At times the writing verges into long sentences and scattered thoughts more commonly found in stream-of-consciousness pieces. Unfortunately the writing becomes so extremely intricate at times that it often swallows the plot whole in favor of ornate prose.

Even without the elaborate writing, Shatter Me has a slow plot. The story starts with the heroine on her own in a cell. And although the story has a fast pace, pieces of the plot do not begin to fall into place until the middle of the story with many twists not being revealed at all until the last fifty pages.

Without revealing too much, there is also a romance that sometimes sizzles on the page. Sometimes it also just felt unconvincing. While the premise is quite clever, it was frustrating to read through an entire book only to get an unsatisfying conclusion setting up the next installment in the trilogy.

Mafi’s writing is beautiful; she makes her heroine’s isolation and her desperate desire to be touched, for any physical affection, palpable. She introduces a winning heroine and a compelling world in Shatter Me that will appeal to readers looking for an exciting sci-fi/dystopian read–as long as their willing to ride along for the next book in the trilogy too.

Possible Pairings: Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust, The Infinity of You & Me by J. Q. Coyle, Eve by Anna Carey, Wither by Lauren DeStefano, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, Soulprint by Megan Miranda, Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury, The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah, Alphas (television series), X-Men (any media format)

*This book was acquired for review from the publisher at BEA 2011*

Book Blogger Holiday Swap is back

Once again it is time for the Book Bloggers Holiday Swap and I’m excited to sign up for my second year. The Swap is open to any and all active book bloggers, posting a minimum of 5 times in the last month, and those who have completed prior swap commitments are welcome to participate.

It’s a lot of fun so if you’re a book blogger I highly urge you to sign up and get in on the action!

But be sure to hurry because sign ups close November 11, 2011.

Wonderstruck: A Review

Wonderstruck by Brian SelznickIn 1977 in Gunflint Lake, Minnesota Ben’s mother just died. Ben has to share a room with his annoying cousin who makes fun of him for being born deaf in one ear even though his old house–the cottage he shared with his mom–is right down the road. Ben is drawn back to the cottage as strongly as he is to the wolves that chase him in his dreams. When a clue about the father he’s never met points to New York City, Ben knows he has to follow it.

In 1927, Rose is suffocating at home with her father in Hoboken, New Jersey. All Rose wants is to be able to go out by herself, like the other kids, and to watch Lillian Mayhew in silent films. When Rose learns that sound is coming to the movies and that Lillian Mayhew is starring in a play right across the river in New York City, how can she stay away?

Will New York City reveal its secrets for Ben and Rose? Will either of them find what they’re searching for in Wonderstruck (2011) by Brian Selznick?

Find it on Bookshop.

Wonderstruck is Selznick’s second book told in words and pictures like his Caldecott winning The Invention of Hugo Cabret. In this book Ben’s story in words intertwines in surprising ways with Rose’s story told through pictures.

Although the format is still brilliant and the story is once again clever and utterly original Wonderstruck lacks some of the verve and guileless charm of Hugo Cabret. The story is messier with a more immediate sense of loss and details that never tie together quite as neatly as they did in Selznick’s earlier novel.*

New York’s American Museum of Natural History plays a prominent role in this story adding a nice to dimension to the story that will make it especially appealing for some readers** but Wonderstruck felt very busy as though it was tackling too much in one book.

That is not to say that Brian Selznick is not a genius. He is–that fact is beyond debate. He combines words and pictures in a new way reinventing the whole idea of printed stories and blurring the line between prose fiction and picture books. His books are also always filled with historical details and facts that are well documented in a bibliography at the end of the story. Wonderstruck is a particularly find pick for anyone with an interest in New York City or museums.

*I’m thinking particularly of Jamie’s behavior in the book. Also the fact that Ben never felt much of a loss after the lightning strike. Did anyone else find that odd?

**Like everyone who went to my grade school in 1993. Our building had asbestos so for a few months while it was being removed my entire school was bussed to the AMNH and we had classes there. We ate lunch under the whale every day. True story.

Possible Pairings: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean, From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler by E. L. Konigsburg, Holes by Louis Sachar, The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

Goliath: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

Goliath by Scott WesterfeldAlek and Deryn have circumnavigated most of the globe aboard the Darwinist airship Leviathan as they try to end World War I. Along the way, perhaps Alek will be able to claim his position as the true heir to Clanker Austria’s throne. And perhaps Deryn will finally be able reveal her biggest secrets to Alek, namely that she is not just a girl but that she loves him.

But as the Leviathan flies first to Siberia and then over the United States and Mexico, bigger problems arise as Deryn’s secrets begin to unravel with alarming speed and Alek turns to a misguided lunatic in his continued efforts to end the War. The truth is supposed to set you free, but will it be enough to not just save Alek and Deryn but also end a war in Goliath (2011) by Scott Westerfeld (with illustrations by Keith Thompson)?

Find it on Bookshop.

Goliath is the phenomenal conclusion to Westerfeld’s Leviathan trilogy which began with Leviathan and continued in Behemoth. It is also the perfect end to what is essentially a perfect trilogy. Goliath truly exceeded my already very high expectations.

I worried about this book. What would happen to Deryn? Where would Alek end up? What about Alek and Deryn together? There were so many potential pitfalls and unfortunate conclusions. Westerfeld avoided all of them.

Goliath is a truly satisfying end to a trilogy that was filled with actions and surprises from the very first pages to the very last. The whole series is a must read for anyone interested in speculative fiction, alternate histories or, of course, steampunk. As its dedication suggests, Goliath is also the perfect book for readers who appreciate a long-secret love story finally revealed. Truly wonderful.

Possible Pairings: We Rule the Night by Claire Eliza Bartlett, The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi, Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger, Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, The Glass Sentence by S. E. Grove, The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg, Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones, Dreamhunter by Elizabeth Knox, Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist: Flight of the Phoenix by R. L. LaFevers with illustrations by Kelly Murphy, Boneshaker by Cherie Priest, Jackaby by William Ritter, The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, Everland by Wendy Spinale, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud, Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne, The Time Machine by H. G. Wells, Firefly (television series) The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (graphic novel and movie), The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne (television series), Serenity (movie)