Sunday, July 11, 2010

YA Weekend - series grab bag edition (again!)

I was happy to see a fourth book in Linda DeMeulemeester's Grim Hill series. Cat is a lovely, strong heroine for the tweener crowd. In this entry, she goes on an exchange trip to Sweden where odd happenings are afoot. Even before she leaves, Cat is haunted by a recurring dream of drowning in cold water, which she ignores, busy as she is with fundraising for the trip. She's horrified when her mother tells her that to save money, Cat will stay with her aunt instead of with her school group, but even worse, her sister, Sookie, will tag along. Her aunt acts very strangely, the Swedish headmistress is odd, a strange fog hovers over the town, and Sookie seems to be conversing with a black cat in the barn. Cat and her friends get to the bottom of the strange occurrences, and Cat's aunt is revealed in a very surprising light. The setting means that there's no soccer in this entry (one of the things I love about this series is that Cat is an excellent athlete), but Cat refers to it, at least, and she seems to be growing in maturity in terms of handling problems and accepting her responsibility for her sister. A fun entry in a unique series.

My reviews of the first three books in the series.

Enola Holmes is a delightful heroine. The much-younger sister of Sherlock and Mycroft, she runs away from home after her mother disappears, wanting to avoid the finishing school and crippling corseting her brothers seem to think necessary. She sets herself up as a "perditorian," a finder of lost things, and succeeds quite well. Her path intersects often with Sherlock's, and she must use her wits (and collection of disguises) to avoid capture. This is the final entry, and it's a treat. Enola and Sherlock have grown fond (from a distance) of each other as the books have evolved, even working briefly together. In Gypsy Goodbye, they work together more closely than ever before on the case of a duchess who disappeared at an Underground station. Simultaneously, they work to decode a cryptic message from Enola's mother. Will we finally find out her fate? The Victorian setting is brilliantly evoked, Enola is a delight, and the social messages are deftly inserted. A delightful conclusion to one of the best mystery series for young people.

My reviews of the first four books in the series
My review of book five

Alison Dare, The Heart of the Maiden by J. Torres and J. Bone:
Alison Dare, daughter of a world-renowned archaeologist and a superhero, has exciting adventures in these graphic novelettes, and she drags along her best friends from her boarding school to help her. The girls unleash plagues, stumble onto a band of Ninja nuns, and run afoul of a mummy's curse. These are cute, funny vignettes, chock-full of adventure. This would be an excellent series for the reluctant reader.

My review of Alison Dare, Little Miss Adventures

FTC Source Disclosure: I purchased all of these books.

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