We first met twin sisters, Jack and Jill, in Every Heart a Doorway. They were seventeen when they found their way back to their parents’ house and thus were shipped off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. This is the story of what happened first. In Down Among the Sticks and Bones we see how Jacqueline, before she became Jack, was the perfect princess daughter and how Jillian, before she became Jill, was the perfect tomboy. We understand how the twins learn at five that grown-ups can’t be trusted. We see them discover the impossible staircase that leads them to a land filled with mad scientists and death but most importantly choices.
However beautifully magically Every Heart a Doorway was, this is even more spectacular. In the hands of a inferior writer, this book could easily be 300 pages. Okay, I wanted it to be 300 pages because I did not want it to end. But this does not negate the fact, that every sentence is magnificently written. Each sentence is meticulously craft that so much is said in these 176 pages. I loved every second of it. I loved it so much that I re-read both books a few times over the course of a week.
Down Among the Sticks and Bones comes out June 13th. If you haven’t already read Every Heart a Doorway, a) what’s wrong with you? and b) go forth and read one of the best books of 2016 so that you can be prepared for one of the best books of 2017.
Everyone knows about the Johnson Incident – people died, and one person went missing who was never found. Conspiracy theorists believe the culprit was Kaitlin Johnson. Tiny problem, Kaitlin doesn’t exist. According to Dr. Lansing, she’s just a product of trauma, an alter ego created by Carly Johnson, a girl suffering from dissociative identity disorder.
The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich is a collection of transcribed interviews, videos, emails, witness testimonials, and journal entries cataloging the events leading up to the Johnson Incident. I love the concept of this book. It was so creatively done. Yet, it was about 100 pages too long. Kurtagich spent way too much time setting up the Kaitlin / Carly relationship without really setting it up. The end was super rushed and it did not provide closure to the story. I am okay with allowing the reader to come to their own conclusions about Kaitlin / Carly but it feels like too many questions went unanswered which gives off the impression of plot holes. It felt me feel flat. It was decent but not mind-blowing good.
Yes, we have ALL seen the Disney movie Snow White, so it would be easy to assume that you can overlook Snow White: A Graphic Novel by Matt Phelan. But you would be wrong. Set in glitzy prosperity of the Roaring Twenties in New York City that crashes to a halt. A familiar yet unique set of characters fill the pages of this graphic novel. Phelan masterfully creates classic film noir on the page. Very little text is used but I wouldn’t have it any other way. While it can be easily finished in less than an hour, I found myself lingering on each page. Beautifully done.