Carnivals and circuses have fascinated me since I was young. Even today, I still am taken in by magical atmosphere — the way time stops and visitors are transported into an almost otherworldly realm. This wonderment is something I thought Neil Jordan captured immensely well in his latest novel, Carnivalesque. The setting held a great deal of intrigue and carried a mysterious air. This was especially brought out throughout the eyes of the main character, Andrew, who was a young boy.
In many ways, Wing Jone is the book that I’ve been searching for for half my life. (I’m in my mid-twenties, so that’s not an exaggeration.) See, I’m of biracial descent. Even though I’ve sought books with biracial protagonists all my life, I’ve come across very few. Combine that with sports, one of my many passions, and odds of finding such a book plummet to near zero. Then Wing Jones came along and that book made my heart sing.
Trouble Makes a Comeback was exactly the sequel that it needed to be. When I read the first book, Trouble is a Friend of Mine, I was disappointed about the open ending. Back then, I only knew of it as a standalone book. When Hot Key Books reached out, asking me if I’d be interested in reviewing this sequel, I was excited to learn that Trouble is a series. Right now, I can’t wait for the third book to come out.
This book does not live up to the preceding Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares. I’ve listened to the audiobook, and reread the paperback. I’m sure I’ll reread it again in future. The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily, however, is a book I most likely won’t revisit. It’s neither quirky nor charming — the very reasons I enjoy Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares. These elements went completely missing in this long-awaited sequel.
It’s amazing how much perspectives can shift upon a re-read. When I first picked up The Raven Boys nearly two years ago, I listened to the audiobook. I loved Will Patton’s narration but had a few reservations about the book itself. Recently, I sat down with the hardcover edition, post-its and pencil in hand, determined to annotate as I revisited The Raven Boys. There were so many things I newly discovered, I grew to love it a whole lot more.