Friday, August 28, 2015

Book Review: The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle

Title: The Accident Season

Author: Moira Fowley-Doyle

Publication date: August 18, 2015

Pages: 288

Every year during October, Cara and her family are inexplicably prone to accident and injury. They ban anything too hot or too sharp, cover every hard surface and sharp corner with padding, and try to make it through each school day without fuss. Still, cuts and bruises become a way of life, though those are the least of their worries this year. Classmate Elsie has gone missing, and no one seems to remember she even exists. As Cara unravels the Elsie mystery, she also comes closer and closer to discovering the source of her family’s curse.

This book is not what I expected. I figured there would be a witch, definitely a ghost or two, and maybe even a Great Moral Lesson for what exactly is causing so much trouble for this family.

This book is all of that and none of that.

First of all, Fowley-Doyle’s writing is absolutely stunning. This is a slow burn of a story, which can be off-putting for some people, but I found myself incredibly intrigued by the magic woven in each word. By description alone the story sounds like it would be scary, but it’s not. It’s triumph and tragedy wrapped up in an eerie little package, and the fact that it refuses to pigeonhole itself into any particular category really works. I’ve never felt as haunted by a book as I was this one.

The characters are all really solid, too. Everyone is just a tiny bit off and unpredictable. Our protagonist, Cara, is very sweet. She wants the best for her family and sees the good in people and situations, but often ignores the obvious warning signs that something is wrong. Alice, her older sister, will break your heart. There’s clearly something going on with her, but it takes a long time for it all to come to light, because she’s so good at pretending and everyone else is good at letting her pretend and even allowing themselves to believe it. Sam, their ex-stepbrother, is a rock that grounds them all. It’s painful to watch him break. And Cara’s spooky best friend Bea is the glue that holds them together, even when she can’t keep herself from falling apart.

I can’t say too much, because even though there are things you see coming, the way the whole story comes together is beautiful to watch. The story is told from Cara’s point of view, and with that comes her imagination. There is sometimes no indication as to when her reality slides into the unreal, though that’s kind of the point. As a reader, you’re never sure what exactly is real and what’s not, and in the end, it doesn’t really matter.

HEADS UP: There is some potentially triggering content, though it’s not at all graphic and more heavily implied than anything else. Also, there is a particular relationship that may be a little weird for some, so if you’re unsure, you may want to spoil yourself just a teensy bit ahead of time. Even so, knowing what happens doesn’t make the writing any less beautiful.

You’ll have to determine for yourself whether this is your particular cup of tea. That said, it’s definitely mine.

Let me know what you think!


Want to check out The Accident Season? Find it on the CMRLS catalog and put it on hold!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Graphic Novel Review: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Title: Nimona

Author: Noelle Stevenson

Publication Date: May 12, 2015

Pages: 266

Meet Nimona, the small but vicious shapeshifting sidekick of Lord Ballister Blackheart, the kingdom’s most notorious supervillain…or is he? Watch as they set out to show the kingdom once and for all that The Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics and their poster boy, Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin, are the real villains. But what will it cost them to prove it?

Full disclosure: I’ve loved Noelle Stevenson for a long time. At only 23 years old, she’s published Nimona and co-written Lumberjanes (both of which are on their way to the big screen), as well as won multiple Eisner Awards. She’s also one half of the duo responsible for The Hawkeye Initiative, which is one of the funniest things on the internet in my humble opinion. I’ve followed her on tumblr and watched Nimona come together as a web comic piece by piece, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Nimona is heartfelt, symbolic, and completely hilarious. I don’t want to give too much away, so I’ll try to keep it vague. Blackheart, our dastardly villain, does not believe in collateral damage. This is the main reason why he hates the Institution so much. Well, that and the fact that they booted him when he lost his arm in a jousting “accident” with Sir Goldenloin, and since they needed a villain, that’s what he became—whether he liked it or not. Nimona, on the other hand, has no problem murdering whole rooms full of people. While she comes off as cheerfully bloodthirsty in the beginning, we quickly realize that there is far more to her past than we can even imagine, or even want to. Together, they team up and start to dismantle The Institution through heists, manipulation, and general buddy-cop shenanigans. 

I love Blackheart. He’s a good guy with a bad rap. Who can’t get behind that? I’m also strangely fond of Sir Goldenloin, because even though he’s a huge doofus and his actions are often inexcusable, they’re not unexplainable. The quiet implications of his background with Blackheart that are threaded throughout the story are intriguing (and adorable).

Nimona, though. Nimona is a true gift. Nimona can go from zero to homicide in a nanosecond, which makes her incredibly unpredictable. She can change not just her appearance, but her strength and mass at will. She wants to help, but she doesn’t always know how to help without hurting people. She is both a sad, scared child and a girl who holds enough rage inside her to burn down the world. I love her so much.

The story is vibrant and funny, the set pieces are bizarre and brilliant (knights with swords and armor that also conduct scientific experiments), the artwork is so cute and so beautiful, and it’s just a really, really good time.

Seriously. Go read this right now. You won’t regret it.



Want to check out Nimona? Find it here on the CMRLS catalog and place a hold on it!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Collaborative Music Monday: RANDOM SONGS!

It’s Music Monday! What does that mean? The Central Mississippi Regional Library System has a ridiculous amount of FREE to you resources available for patrons. One of those is Freegal, a free and legal service that now allows patrons to download five songs each week for FREE (notice the emphasis on free). Every Monday we’ll be picking five songs that we love that are available on Freegal for you to download.

Stefani's choice:

1. "RIP 2 My Youth" by The Neighbourhood
"Put me in the dirt, let me dream with the stars."
2. "Disasterology" by Pierce the Veil

"Can we create something beautiful and destroy it?Nobody knows I dream about it, this is my imagination.If every living thing dies alone, what am I doing here?"

Anna's choice:

3. "Midnight City" by M83
"The city is my church, 
It wraps me in the sparkling twilight."
4. "The Weight of Lies" by The Avett Brothers

"I once heard the worst thing a man can do is draw a hungry crowd.
Tell everyone his name, pride, and confidence,
But leaving out his doubts."

Our choice:

5. "Sweatpants" by Childish Gambino
"Yeah, you got some silverware, but really are you eating though?"

If any of these catch your eye, head on over to Freegal and download them all for FREE! Yeah, our choices are eclectic, but at least you get a good mix here!

-- Stefani & Anna

Monday, August 17, 2015

Music Monday: Miguel

It’s Music Monday! What does that mean? The Central Mississippi Regional Library System has a ridiculous amount of FREE to you resources available for patrons. One of those is Freegal, a free and legal service that now allows patrons to download five songs each week for FREE (notice the emphasis on free). Every Monday we’ll be picking five songs that we love that are available on Freegal for you to download.

Miguel Jontel Pimentel is one of my favorite alternative R&B artists ever. His album Kaleidoscope Dream single-handedly earned that spot on my list within just a few short times of listening to it. Miguel is pretty explicit, so definitely take a note of that in case that's something of importance to you. He is all about puns and metaphors and provocative and painterly language dealing with intimacy, and I absolutely love it. So if that sounds like something you can get down to, you should definitely check him out. I'm going to have the same kind of setup as Stefani did last week and just throw some quotes in. 

1. "Do You..." [ absolute fave]
"My mama said the greatest things in life are free. What about lust? What about trust?"

2. "Kaleidoscope Dream"
"Body language like piano keys"

3.  "Use Me"
"Daydream, my body's waving a white flag"

4.  "Candles In The Sun"
"Hey, I say we're all created equal. That's what they teach us, but that ain't how we treat each other"

5. "Coffee"
"I wish I could paint our love - these moments and vibrant hues"

If any of these catch your eye, head on over to Freegal and download them all for FREE! But basically, you just need to listen to Kaleidoscope Dream and be on the people-in-love-with-Miguel train with me.