Quick Lit for April 2015

Playing catch-up with reviews because as my reading pace picks up post-baby I’m getting backlogged on sharing:

April 2015 Quick Lit
Once Upon an AlphabetOnce Upon an Alphabet: Short Stories for All the LettersOnce Upon an Alphabet: Short Stories for All the Letters by Oliver Jeffers by Oliver Jeffers

I grabbed this for the cover, and thought it was truly a kid’s alphabet book. Yeah, not exactly. Some of the entries for various letters are NOT ones I’d want to read to my kids as they’re surprisingly dark and even creepily morbid at times. I’m not really sure who the intended audience is for this one, but I’m glad it was a library book and I wasn’t out much more than a small amount of time, and because I pre-read it before starting it with my kids, they never knew what they were missing.

Saturday the Rabbi Went HungrySaturday the Rabbi Went HungrySaturday the Rabbi Went Hungry by Harry Kemelman by Harry Kemelman

The second in the series begun with Friday the Rabbi Slept Late. You could easily pick this one up without having read the first, and while there is a bit of backstory you won’t know, it’s not at all essential to the plot of this one. It still feels so dated at times, but I liked it well enough I’ve checked out the third third in the series – Sunday the Rabbi Stayed HomeSunday the Rabbi Stayed Home by Harry Kemelman.

Betrayal of TrustBetrayal of TrustBetrayal of Trust (J. P. Beaumont #19) (J. P. Beaumont Novel) by J. A. Jance by J. A. Jance

This one wasn’t my favorite – maybe I need to save Jance’s books for vacation, because I really preferred the one I read last year while traveling. Or maybe I just didn’t enjoy the teenage bullying plot line. Either way, I’ll read the next, because it’s so far into the series and I am invested in the characters, but it’s not a priority.

Lost in a Good BookLost in a Good BookLost in a Good Book (A Thursday Next Novel) by Jasper Fforde by Jasper Fforde

Second in the Thursday Next series, and it continues the craziness of the series begun in The Eyre Affair. I’m already in the middle of book #3, The Well of Lost PlotsThe Well of Lost Plots (Thursday Next Series) by Jasper Fforde, as I do like Thursday as a character, and this book ends leaving me desperate to know what happens next.

Ever After High The Storybook of LegendsEver After High: The Storybook of LegendsEver After High: The Storybook of Legends by Shannon Hale and Ever After High: The Unfairest of Them AllEver After High: The Unfairest of Them All by Shannon Hale by Shannon Hale

While I love fractured fairy tales, and I love Shannon Hale as an author, this combo of the two didn’t work for me at all. There are lots of pop-culture references/silliness in this story that grated on me, and the puns were NONSTOP. I think maybe you need to be a tween girl to fully appreciate this series, and I’m not tempted to read any more in it.

Ever After High Unfairest of Them AllApparently I’m alone in that though, because it seems like it’s a HUGE hit, and there is tons of merchandise for it. I had no idea until I was at the store looking for baseball cards for my husband’s birthday and there was a big display of Ever After High dolls and other items. (Turns out baseball cards are in the toy section. Who knew?)

Instead, read Book of a Thousand Days or The Princess Academy for better books by Hale.

For more peeks at what people are reading, head over to Modern Mrs. Darcy’s link-up!

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  1. I love the Thursday Next Series – I read One of Our Thursdays is Missing about a month ago I think and LOOOOOVED it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Oh, yay! I love hearing good things about books I have in my future. I’m still in The Well of Lost Plots, as it’s been put aside in favor of some books that have quicker deadlines. It may be awhile before I get to One of Our Thursdays is Missing. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Aww, we own Once Upon an Alphabet and I like it. My son’s only two and there’s too much text in it for him still. But then, I was the kid who read all the original Grimm’s Fairy Tales and wasn’t at all bothered by the darkness, so, there’s that.

    A couple of series I need to remember to look up eventually. And isn’t Ever After High also a tv show? Or is that Monster High? Or are they both tv shows? I’m not sure, I just know there’s a little girl at church who is obsessed with the show. She and her parents have done Monster High costumes for several Halloweens now. Anyway, that might explain all the merchandise, though–you don’t usually see toys based on books, just movies/tv.

    • Well, the Alphabet book is a huge hit so obviously plenty of people do like it! It just didn’t work for me. This is one where I wonder if I’d had a clearer idea of what to expect from it, would I have liked it more? It just was not at all what I thought it was going to be, so it had that strike against it from the start.

      But thinking about other books I’ve liked/disliked, I don’t think it ever would have been the book for me.

      Monster High is a show I think? And Ever After High might be too – that would make sense as far as all the merchandise, because you’re right, the tie-in usually happens with tv or movies, not books. Now I have to look it up, because I didn’t care enough about it to do that before.

      Ok, Wikipedia says Ever After High is a web series and “fashion doll franchise” and a companion line to Monster High. The books came after the web series – maybe that explains the issues with them.

      If my daughter was just a little bit older, I think she’d love these. She’s still a little young for it, and I’m going to enjoy that fact as long as I can. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Yes, I think my husband bought the alphabet book because it was making the rounds as a kidult book in the geek circles–which sets up completely different expectations than if you’re expecting Chicka Chicka Boom Boom or something.

        I’m so glad you googled that for us, lol. I thought about it after I got off the computer and realized I should have just looked it up myself. ๐Ÿ˜€ So I guess Hale was hired to write a spinoff series, or something like that, and is working within the material given. Fair enough. And I don’t remember how old your daughter is, but I think my little friend is about eight or nine–I think the books definitely cater to their target market!

        I need to remember to add the Rabbi and Thursday books to my list once I dig out from under my current pile–Pioneer Girl is fascinating, but if I start any fiction while working on it, I’ll never finish it in time for my library deadline. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Yes, my expectations would have been a better fit for the book if I’d heard about it in that way.

          My daughter (the older one anyway) turns 4 this summer, and I figured the books/merchandise was aimed at the tween girl market.

          That’s what doomed me as far as finishing Pioneer Girl during my library turn – I couldn’t devote myself to it 100%. I’m back on the holds list for it, so it may take me forever to get through it as I don’t think one more check-out will be enough even.

  3. We love us so Oliver Jeffers around our house! I think he is a fabulous author in general, but I agree, this one is a little strange. I loved how different letters tied together or characters showed up in different letters, but victor the vanquished certainly creeped me out :/

    • I did love those aspects of it, but a few of the stories were just too much for me. Victor the Vanquished was one of them, but there were others too.

      Not saying he’s not a good author; just that he’s not right for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Good to know about Ever After High. I appreciate knowing what to avoid just as much as what to read. Thanks for sharing! ๐Ÿ™‚


  1. […] I love the other books I’ve read by Shannon Hale, even when the premise or description didn’t sound that interesting. These two had me wondering what on earth happened to Hale and her ability to pull together an interesting and compelling story with wonderful characters. The target audience likely adores the books, but these are not recommended for adult readers, like I would Hale’s others. (Read my original posts on these books) […]

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