Possibly the Only 5 Star Book I Will Ever Review

review

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Three Times Lucky

Tupelo Landing (Mo and Dale Mystery) #1

Sheila Turnage

5stars


 

Rising sixth grader Miss Moses LoBeau lives in the small town of Tupelo Landing, NC, where everyone’s business is fair game and no secret is sacred. She washed ashore in a hurricane eleven years ago, and she’s been making waves ever since. Although Mo hopes someday to find her “upstream mother,” she’s found a home with the Colonel–a café owner with a forgotten past of his own–and Miss Lana, the fabulous café hostess. She will protect those she loves with every bit of her strong will and tough attitude. So when a lawman comes to town asking about a murder, Mo and her best friend, Dale Earnhardt Johnson III, set out to uncover the truth in hopes of saving the only family Mo has ever known.

Full of wisdom, humor, and grit, this timeless yarn will melt the heart of even the sternest Yankee.

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I fall asleep to audiobooks every night. And while I listen to a variety of audiobooks there are only two series that I fall asleep to. Percy Jackson and the Olympians and The Mo and Dale Mysteries (Tupelo Landing). At this point I’ve probably listened to each series about 10 times. I don’t update that I’ve read them that many times (because I’m usually sleeping) but still.

I first read this book in 2014 but only recently wrote an actual review of it.  And since it’s Thursday, I figured a nice Throwback Thursday was in order.

Mo is absolutely my favorite heroine of all time. Yeah she can be a bit trying but she is always so lovable that it is easy to look past her faults. She is so sassy and I just love her so much. I want any future daughters I may have to be just like her.

Of course this book is nothing without the other characters both main and secondary. Dale is probably the best friend you could have. A lot of his character development happens in the second and third books of this series, but this is a great introduction.   The Colonel and Miss Lana are an amazing family of choice.

I especially enjoy the Colonel and Mo’s relationship and how they use military jargon to communicate. And the rest of the town is just so wonderful! I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Lavender, Dale’s older brother, a mechanic and race car driver. He is definitely Book Boyfriend material (and it’s not weird because he is over the age of 18). Mo might have to fight me for him (in just 7 years).

Is this book realistic? Hardly. Every time I listen I think of a new problem that I then easily ignore because it’s just such a fun book. At the same time, however, there are darker themes throughout the book. Addiction, abuse and (possible) abandonment, while not at the forefront, are integral elements of this story.

 

And I love it so damn much I’m upping my rating to 5 stars.

Jackaby by William Ritter

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Jackaby

Jackaby #1

by William Ritter

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It’s 1892 and Abigail Rook has left her parents home in search of adventure. After a brief tenure as an archaeological assistant, she leaves Europe behind to head to the United States. She is soon employed by a Mr. R. F. Jackaby, a strange and brilliant man who has the ability to detect the supernatural that are usually otherwise hidden from the human eye. Their first case together involves a supernatural serial killer with the penchant of ripping open his victims and mopping up their blood.

While the mystery aspect of Jackaby was pretty standard (beyond it being a supernatural suspect), what really sold me on the book were the characters.

Abigail Rook is a strong, independent young woman (I don’t think her age is ever mentioned, but I’d guess she is anywhere from maybe 16-19.) After years of being left behind while her father went to one archeological digs after another, she decides to set out on her own.

“As you had previously cautioned, a professional dig site proved to be no place for a young lady to run around. Currently in seek of a better location to do so.”

She is smart, observant and won’t let anyone tell her how she is supposed to act as a young lady, which I particularly enjoyed. The subtle (Ok maybe not so subtle) jabs at gender norms was one of my favorite parts.   And she has a healthy appreciation for pockets.

“Pockets! I was thrilled. I have never understood the aversion to pockets in ladies fashion—as though it has become some great shame to appear as if one might actually need to possess anything.”

It’s funny how 120 years have passed and it’s still a struggle to find any women’s clothing that has real pockets. But, back to the story.

I liked Abigail’s narration a lot. She was funny witty and I think an overall awesome counterpart to Jackaby.

“I see the things more extraordinary still, the things no one else sees. But you—you notice mailboxes and wastebaskets and…and people. One who can see the ordinary is extraordinary indeed, Abigail Rook.”

Jackaby, like the synopsis stated, is the Sherlock Holmes of supernatural mysteries.

“I am a man of reason and science. I believe what I can see or prove, and what I can see is often difficult for others to grasp […] I do not believe, for an example, that pixies enjoy honey and milk because some old superstition says they do …I believe it because when I leave a dish out for them a few times a week, they top by and drink.”

But at the same time he reminded me of Shawn Spencer from Psych because he can be funny when he wants to be, often at the expense of the police inspector who doesn’t believe in the supernatural.

And the relationship that developed (albeit rather quickly) between them was great. First, because it is 100% platonic without any sort of indication that would ever change. They banter was probably my favorite part:

“That book. What on earth are you doing with it?”

“Well, you had the stick.”

His eyebrows furrowed. “This is a shillelagh. It was cut from Irish blackthorn by a leprechaun craftsman […] That […] is a book.”

“It’s heavy, though. A Leprechaun? Like, the tiny fellow who keeps pots of gold at the ends of rainbows?”

“Don’t be asinine. I mean a real leprechaun.”

I also really liked that there was almost no romance. There was the development of a crush and the hint of a possible future romance but that’s really it.

The writing was good; it was pretty simple and straightforward, but that’s not always a bad thing. I think Jackaby would be great for middle grade and the younger set of YA, but I still had a great time reading it. I’m looking forward to reading the sequel.

October Wrap Up

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Month: October, 2015

Books Read: 20


Revival Vol 3: A Faraway Place         Revival Vol 4: Escape to Wisconsin

by Tim Seeley

4 stars

I love this comic. Or is it a graphic novel?  I am never quite sure.  I’ll call it a comic since it is released in issues.  These two volumes bring together issues  #12-23 that follows the aftermath of a sort of zombie revival.  I say sort of Zombies because besides the fact that they were brought back to life and don’t seem to be able to die (not easily anyway) they don’t feed on the living.  This is such a creepy comic and it is pretty much what I was looking for when I started The Walking Dead and didn’t exactly find.

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 5.41.53 PMThe Odds of Getting Even (Tupelo Landing #3)

by Sheila Turnage

4 stars

I know these books are middle grade (and possibly even the younger half) but I LOVE THIS SERIES. Mo and Dale, with their newest inter Harm, continue to be astute detectives.  I liked this third addition even more than the 2nd one (The ghostly aspect turned me off a bit).  Mo is just as sassy as ever and she might just be my spirit animal.

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Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes: A No Bullshit Guide to World Mythology

by Cory O’Brien

3 stars

Thinking back probably 15 years to elementary school, my favorite social studies lessons involved ancient history. So it is no surprise that I love mythology.  And Rick Riordan definitely fed that love. This was a funny collection of myths from around the world.  I thought it was nice that it wasn’t just Greek/Roman/Egyptian/Norse mythologies that so often get the most attention.  I learned about myths from China, Japan, South America, the Native Americans, as well as “American” mythology.  My only complaint is that as the focused moved from the more well known, it seemed as if O’Brien wasn’t trying as hard.

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