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Month in review

Reviews
Adventures of Rusty & Ginger Fox by Tim Ostermeyer
Anton and Cecil: Cats at Sea by Lisa Martin
Bird & Squirrel on the Run by James Burks
The Calling by Kelley Armstrong
Crunch Time by Diane Mott Davidson
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt
Daylight Moonlight by Matt Patterson
Demons are a Ghoul's Best Friend by Victoria Laurie
The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Gringa in a Strange Land by Linda Dahl
I Love My New Toy! by Mo Willems
I Thought You Were Dead: A Love Story by Pete Nelson
Ill Wind by Nevada Barr
Into the Unknown by Stewart Ross
Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
Naomi and the Horse-Flavored T-Shirt by Dan Boehl
Nicking Time by T. Traynor
Phantom Eyes by Scott Tracey
Rifka Takes a Bow by Rebecca Rosenberg Perlov
School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins
So Thick the Fog by Catherine Pomeroy Stewart
Storm Warning by Linda Sue Park
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
This Happy Place: Living the Good Life in America by Bentz Plagemann
The Time Fetch by Amy Herrick
A Timely Vision by Joyce Lavene and Jim Lavene
Tourmaline by Joanna Scott
Vespers Rising by Rick Riordan
What Color Is My World? by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

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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




Nicking Time: 10/21/13

cover art

Set in Glasgow in the summer of 1976, Nicking Time by T. Traynor won the 2012 Kelpies Award. The book follows a group of school aged friends as they try to accomplish all their summer holiday goals.

As a contemporary (in terms of age, not geography) with Midge, Bru, Skooshie, Hector, and Lemur, I should have felt a nostalgic connection. But instead it read too much like those unavoidable, good-for-you books (or after school specials on TV that were unavoidable back then). I suppose that's good for building realistic characters set in a specific time period, but as someone who lived through that decade, their adventures didn't offer much in the way of something new (except a different location, as I was growing up in California at the time).

Worst yet, the true surprise of the book is jammed right at the end with no build up, no hint (beyond the title) that it's coming. One of the characters is literally living on borrowed time. And at the end the character ends up revealing this truth to the others with dire consequences.

Oh — if only this plot had been brought to the front burner. It would have been a delightful, creepy mixture of nostalgia and horror! But no, it's sitting in the back, simmering away until it finally boils over.

Better examples are both anime series from Japan: Another and The Melacholy of Haruhi Suzamiya (specifically, the eternal eight sequence). Watch those and skip this book (unless you're feeling nostalgic for 1970s Glasgow).

Two stars

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