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Month in review

Adventure on Whalebone Island by M.A. Wilson
Black Hammer Volume 2: The Event by Jeff Lemire
The Dark Lady by Irene Adler
A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong
Ghostbusters 101: Everyone Answers the Call by Erik Burnham and Dan Schoening
Habibi by Craig Thompson
If You Find This by Matthew Baker
Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina
Koko Be Good by Jen Wang
The League of Beastly Dreadfuls by Holly Grant
Locke & Key, Volume 2: Head Games by Joe Hill
Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed
The Magician's Secret by Carolyn Keene
Not the Killing Type by Lorna Barrett
Now That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins
Otis and the Scarecrow by Loren Long
Patina by Jason Reynolds
Pierre the Maze Detective: The Search for the Stolen Maze Stone by Hiro Kamigaki
A Pug's Tale by Alison Pace
The Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne M. Valente
Sabotage at Willow Woods by Carolyn Keene
Smashie McPerter and the Mystery of Room 11 by N. Griffin
Speedy in Oz by Ruth Plumly Thompson
Sunflower House by Eve Bunting
Teddy Mars: Almost a World Record Breaker by Molly B. Burnham
The Terrible Two Go Wild by Mac Barnett, Jory John, and Kevin Cornell
Things Too Huge to Fix by Saying Sorry by Susan Vaught
Waiting for Unicorns by Beth Hautala
The War at Ellsmere by Faith Erin Hicks
Welcome to the Real World by Angela Melick
Winterhouse by Ben Guterson

December 2017 Sources
December 2017 Summary
Five stars in 2017
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (January 01)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (January 08)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (January 15)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (January 22)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (January 29)

Road Essays
The transformative power of the cornfield: magic in the Marvelous Land of Oz

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

If You Find This: 01/07/18

If You Find This by Matthew Baker

If You Find This by Matthew Baker is a middle grade novel about musical prodigy trying to find his grandfather's lost treasure, if there is one. The problem is that his grandfather suffers from dementia and is only lucid for a few minutes at a time.

The basic story is a treasure hunt caper on a small scale. It's set among a dwindling family history and a crumbling house along an abandoned road. There are clues mixed up in the grandfather's ramblings and tattooed on his body.

But the presentation suffers from two things: a narration that talks down to reader and a narrator who uses quirky notation to show off how he's a prodigy.

Nicholas thinks of everything in terms of musical notation. OK. No problem, right? Yes problem. The book includes notations above the words for whenever there's a sound to show how loud or soft it was. It gets tiresome by the end of the first chapter. An entire book of this is intolerable.

You know how some authors get stuck on catch phrases for character traits, like the character who says everything wryly or the one who is always saying things sotto voce? Right. It's like that except above every sentence. Even music real sheet music isn't as notated as this book is.

Two stars

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