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Month in review

Reviews
The Amazing World of Gumball Vol. 1: Fairy Tale Trouble by Ben Bocquelet
The Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler
The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin
Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate
Curse of the Arctic Star by Carolyn Keene
Demon Book 1 by Jason Shiga
The Dragon That Lived Under Manhattan by E.W. Hildick
The Drowning Spool by Monica Ferris
Fenway and Hattie by Victoria J. Coe
Ghostbusters International by Erik Burnham
Graveyard Slot by Michelle Schusterman
Hip Hop Family Tree Book 4: 1984-1985 by Ed Piskor
How to Avoid Extinction by Paul Acampora
Imagine a World by Rob Gonsalves
It's a Tiger by David La Rochelle
Just Like Me by Nancy J. Cavanaugh
The Little Island by Margaret Wise Brown
The Lost Compass by Joel N. Ross
The Magic Mirror by Susan Hill Long
The Mechanical Mind of John Coggin by Elinor Teele
Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story by Nora Raleigh Baskin
Ottoline and the Purple Fox by Chris Riddell
Pouncing on Murder by Laurie Cass
Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World by Bryan Lee O'Malley
Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart
The Soprano's Last Song by Irene Adler
Stealing the Game by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Raymond Obstfeld
The Underdogs by Sara Hammel

Miscellaneous
November reading and looking towards the last month
Reading goals for 2017

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



Graveyard Slot: 11/22/16

Graveyard Slot by Michelle Schusterman

Graveyard Slot by Michelle Schusterman is the sequel to Dead Air. Kat and her father and the crew of Passport to Paranormal are in Brazil to record a seance for an upcoming episode.

Kat meanwhile is dealing with problems back home — her mother has gotten engaged and wants her in the wedding. The problem is that she has a very different vision of how her daughter should look, dress, and act than what Kat is comfortable with. Kat in the absence of her mother has come to realize that she prefers jeans to dresses and short hair to long. At the dress fittings for the wedding her mother has been trying to undo all of Kat's personal expression.

Going into a potential paranormal situation while feeling upset and stressed is never a good thing. Kat never manages to get her bearings in Brazil and her friendship with Oscar is stretched to the breaking point. Worse yet, she appears to be under the watch of a vengeful spirit. Could it be Ana from a previous episode following her to Brazil, or a local spirit?

For Supernatural fans, readers will recognize some of the themes introduced in "Hell House." Going back further, of course, there is Terry Pratchett's Hog Father and Death — two manifestations of human belief. Kat now has to deal with her own fears brought to life.

My one bit of confusion with this second story is the abruptness of the ending. The first book was two very well formed ghostly capers. This book wasn't as tied to the filming of Passport to Paranormal and it floundered in its setup. It takes Kat too much of the book to figure out what's going on, leaving only a couple pages to resolve everything.

Thus the ending is unsatisfying. It feels like there are pages missing. It's one of the rare times that I find myself actually wanting an epilog.

That said, I'm hoping for a third book.

Four stars

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