When I was thinking about the book section of this blog, I immediately knew I wanted to contact one of my very favorite bloggers, Darla from Bakingdom, about a guest post. Not only is her talent immense (have you seen THIS?? or THIS??) but her personality is huge. She’s a think-outside-the-box kinda girl, which I adore.
I truly hope to get more guest posts from her in the future!!
I’m Darla from Bakingdom, and I am so excited to be posting on That’s What She We Said today. I have been a fan of both Kristan and Shelly for some time, and, I’m not even gonna lie, I sorta feel like a total fangirl getting to guest post.
When Kristan asked me if I would write up a book review over here, she mentioned something about me that I’m well aware of, but don’t give much thought to: the fact that I’m into some different stuff than most housewife types.
Here are the facts: I like pink, I love make up and shoes and clothes, I like for the things around me to be sparkly, and I’m a total geek. Like, a Doctor Who doll owning, Harry Potter t-shirt wearing, Star Trek movie watching, Star Wars quoting geek…of the girliest persuasion. I’m quite proud of the fact, and I’m thrilled every day to see more and more young girls getting their geek on with pride.
My geekiness extends to my book choices when I’m searching the shelves at the library, too. If you’ve ever perused the pages of my blog, I’m sure you’re well aware of the fact that I seriously dig the Harry Potter series. I mean, I don’t know, that’s probably an understatement. I’m definitely a total Potterhead.
That being said, I knew right away that I didn’t want to write about Harry Potter today. Yes, I obviously love it, but what else is there to say about such a wildly successful, world wide phenomenon that hasn’t already been said?
Besides, I’m a very avid reader. Harry Potter is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the hundreds of books that I’ve read. That’s why I’d like to focus on a lesser known book.
While I enjoy reading many genres, historical fiction being one of my favorites, I am also a huge fan of spooky, cool fantasy and young adult fiction, so I’m going to talk about one of those.
The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly was published in 2006, but it’s a timeless story, set partly in WWII England and partly in a far more fantastic place.
When I first checked this book out from the library, I was expecting a whimsical, Alice in Wonderland, fairy tale-ish story. The book’s dust jacket gives a sort of Narnia-through-the-wardrobe, otherside-of-the-looking-glass, not-in-Kansas-anymore vibe that is spot on. However, the jacket neglects to describe the spooky, nightmarish qualities and dark vibes that Connolly so successfully blends into this fantastic, powerful novel.
The story begins slowly with details of twelve year old David’s unhappy life, but takes off quickly when the books on the shelves high up in his attic bedroom begin whispering to him.
Honestly, if this were real life, this is the point at which I would cower under the covers and try to pretend that all is well, but characters in books are never as chicken (I would say smart) as me. They always push forward, exploring the mysteries that, let’s face it, would make most of us pee our pants in the real world.
David is no different, as his curiosity propels him into an alternate, un-named world full of half familiar characters who aren’t what you expect.
For all of the fairy tale themes in this book, don’t get the idea that this is a children’s book…or even that it is appropriate for children. On the contrary, this is a purely adult almost horror, fantasy. And it is not for the faint of heart.
This story is a reminder of the power of escaping into novels to get through difficult times, and when to put the books down and rejoin the real world.
Similar books that I would recommend:
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Young Adult) by Ransom Riggs
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue
What’s next on my list:
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
A huge thank you to Darla for the fabulous post!! I’ve already bought a few of the books on her list and can’t wait to start on them (I’m currently in the middle of Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo). What books are on YOUR lists? I’d love more ideas!!