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Month in review

Reviews
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
A Bit Lost (Little Owl Lost) by Chris Haughton
Black Juice by Margo Lanagan
Bride of the Rat God by Barbara Hambly
Cat Tale by Michael Hall
Crow Boy by Taro Yashima
Flu by Wayne Simmons
Freddy Goes to Florida by Walter R. Brooks
Fullmetal Alchemist 20 by Hiromu Arakawa
Getting Rid of Matthew by Jane Fallon
Go, Dog. Go! by P. D. Eastman
Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker
Hot Rod Hamster! by Cynthia Lord
The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson
Hubert Horatio Bartle Bobton-Trent by Lauren Child
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
Kitty Cat, Kitty Cat, Are You Going to Sleep? by Bill Martin Jr.
The Last Train by Gordon M. Titcomb
Little Owl's Night by Divya Srinivasan
The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd
Lunch Lady and the Author Visit Vendetta by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
The Maze of Bones (audio) by Rick Riordan
Mostly Monsterly by Tammi Sauer
Pirate vs. Pirate by Mary Quattlebaum
Sacré Bleu by Christopher Moore
Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit by Il Sung Na
The Storm in the Barn by Matt Phelan
Teeth, Tails & Tentacles by Christopher Wormell
The Three Weissmanns of Westport (audio) by Cathleen Schine
Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George
Vanished by Sheela Chari

Challenges
Century of Reading
Mount TBR 2013
Reading Presently

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8




Comments for Black Juice

Black Juice: 01/20/13

 cover art (Link goes to Powells)Black Juice by Margo Lanagan is a collection of ten short stories with a science fiction or fantasy bent. The book is oddly, as the SF Site Review notes, classified as juvenile fiction. While many of the main characters are young, it doesn't read as being specifically written for teens. As the stories are open for interpretation, I can, though, see them being used in a junior or senior high school English course.

The first story — "Singing My Sister Down" — was the stand out for me. A family goes to watch their daughter sink into the hot tar as punishment for a crime that is only vaguely described. It reminds me in terms of language and tone to Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery."

The other stories to me seemed unnecessarily vague. In afterword, Lanagan explains the inspiration for each story. Frankly, I wish I had read that first. It would have made understanding and appreciating the stories easier.

Take for example, "Pippit." It's a story of slow talking giants who miss their small human friend, whom they see as a Messiah. They want to escape to go find him. To me, the story read like the creatures were whales, perhaps. Turns out they're elephants.

To be honest, I got tired of trying to wrap my head around these stories. I didn't make it through the entire collection. Other reviewers, though, have had much better success and enjoyment from reading Black Juice.

Three stars

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