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Month in review

Bat and the Waiting Game by Elana K. Arnold
The Bicycle Spy by Yona Zeldis McDonough
Bloom: A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli by Kyo Maclear and Julie Morstad
Canada and the Canadian Question by Goldwin Smith
Dear Mrs Bird by A.J. Pearce
Don't Cosplay with My Heart by Cecil Castellucci
Flo by Kyo Maclear and Jay Fleck
A Friendly Town That's Almost Always by the Ocean! by Kir Fox and M. Shelley Coats
Locke & Key, Volume 3: Crown of Shadows by Joe Hill
The Mad Apprentice by Django Wexler
The Mushroom Fan Club by Elise Gravel
My Little Pony: Micro-Series: #2: Rainbow Dash by Ryan K. Lindsay
My Little Pony: Micro-Series: #5: Pinkie Pie by Ted Anderson
The Night Garden by Polly Horvath
Not a Sound by Heather Gudenkauf
Ratscalibur by Josh Lieb
Rhymoceros by Janik Coat
Slider by Pete Hautman
Soupy Leaves Home by Cecil Castellucci
Sunny by Jason Reynolds
This is Paris by Miroslav Sasek
The Vanishing of Katharina Linden by Helen Grant

April 2018 sources
April 2018 summary
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (May 07)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (May 14) Reading Current

Road Essays
Getting there: it's the road, stupid
In the upside-down: the hobo life in Oz
Re-Mapping the road narrative project

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

The Vanishing of Katharina Linden: 05/16/18

The Vanishing of Katharina Linden

The Vanishing of Katharina Linden by Helen Grant reminds me of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson in terms of tone and characterization. If you like Larsson's book, you will probably like this book. If you're like me and didn't, then you will probably like this book more than I did.

Pia is a British-German girl living in a small German village with her parents and grandparents. Everything is pretty humdrum until her grandmother dies at Christmas in a fiery blaze involving a careless candle and too much hairspray. Suddenly Pia is the outcast at school, not because she's British, but because she's bad luck or likely to explode.

Pia's bad luck though isn't the point of the book. Instead it's a lengthy, overdone introduction to the actual plot — the disappearance of Katharina Linden from the fall festival. She was dressed like Snow White when last seen and that fact inspires Pia and some of the other children to see ties to her disappearance with the unadulterated Grimms' fairytales.

But once you peel away the subterfuge of a small German town obsessed with the brothers Grimm, the actual plot is blatantly obvious. Getting to the conclusion — to the big rescue is laid out with neon colored breadcrumbs. Except the narrator — our eyes and ears on the scene — is too dim to see them until we've suffered through three quarters of the novel.

Two stars

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