Friday, January 29, 2010

Mayhem! Or, "to be continued..."

Growing up, I always enjoyed reading books by authors that were dead (though I did read those by authors living, of course). There was a finality to it that the authors would be unable to leave you hanging because the next book was already written. So even if they did leave you with a tantalizing "to be continued..." at the end of one book, there was always the immediate relief of the next. Unless they die before the series is complete. But new authors? You have to wait a while for the next book to come out. That sometimes takes a bit of patience!

And Then Everything Unraveled by Jennifer Sturman

Cordelia Truesdale (or Delia to her friends), a California girl living with her mom, T.K., goes surfing one day only to come home to the news that her mother has disappeared during an Antarctica expedition and is presumed dead by all. Everyone, that is, except for Delia herself. However, a reading of T.K.'s will sends Delia to live in NYC with her Aunt Charity (or Charley), with her other aunt, Patience, acting as her trustee; neither of which she had ever met before. As if starting her junior year in a new preppy private school isn't enough, Delia attempts to unravel the mystery of her mother's disappearance and along the way makes friends with a tech-saavy schoolmate, becomes attracted to a boy who might be dangerous, ask the assistance of a private detective, be told her future by a psychic, and attempt to avoid T.K.'s oily assistant, Thad.

I enjoyed reading this, but I do wish that it didn't leave me with a hanging ending. Though at least one thing was resolved by the end o the book. Of course, I'm not going to say what! I am looking forward to reading the sequel, And Then I Found Out the Truth.

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood

The first book in a new series, Maryrose Wood quickly introduces the reader to the ever intrepet Miss. Penelope Lumley, who at fifteen years of age is a recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females. Armed only with sayings of Agatha Swanburne (not all of them make sense), her favorite stories in the Giddy-Yap, Rainbow series, and her own personal convictions, Miss Lumley is still not quite prepared to face her newest challenge: being a governess to three children recently found running wild in the woods of Ashton Place. Named the Incorrigibles by Lord Frederick, the owner of Ashton Place, Alexander, Cassiopeia, and Beowulf face many challenges in becoming normal children as taught by Miss Lumley, not the least of which are the local squirrels. When the much anticipated ball (by Lady Charlotte, at least) devolves into "Mayhem!" as shouted by Cassiopeia, many questions are raised but none are answered by the end of the book.

In a way it reminding me in parts of Lois Lowry's The Willoughbys and Joan Aiken's The Wolves of Willoughby Chase. Perhaps the orphans, perhaps the mystery, or maybe just the sometimes ridiculousness of it demonstrated by the adults in the story. While I wish I knew more by the end of the story, I did find it a fun romp. I'm looking to reading more of the series!


Ms. Yingling said...

I may have to pick this up. I wasn't quite sure about its appeal to middle school students. They shy away from the Aiken now. Hmmm.

Kristin said...

I'm sad that people aren't reading Aiken anymore, but, I think that's true at our public library as well.