1. The Astounding Broccoli Boy by Frank Cottrell Boyce was sooo good. But the author's note at the end was almost as good as the book!
Rory Rooney has been thrown off the bus by Tommy-Lee ever day. Still, when Tommy-Lee has an extreme allergic reaction from eating Rory's lunch - without Rory's permission, I might add - and Tommy-Lee is taken away in an ambulance, everyone blames Rory!!! Tommy-Lee's friends throw Rory into a stream and when he stands up, Rory is completely green. Now, it's his turn to be carried off to the hospital.
But Rory is prepared. His favorite bedtime story is his mother's book, Don't Be Scared. Be Prepared. Rory's mom is all about being prepared.
Rory is in the isolation ward at the hospital. But he's not alone. Oh, no.... he and his roommate are in for astounding adventures of the superhero-ish sort. As London squirms in the grasp of the Killer Kitten virus, two - or is it more? - green children prepare to Save The World.
Need a break from whatever ails you? This book will help.
2. For another look at lunacy, we have Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky.
Four Fans of the Ruperts - a boy band - somehow end up with one of the Ruperts, tied up in their hotel room. Fangirl fantasy come true!! Squeeee, or whatever. His phone alone is a treasure trove of awesomely...oh no, what's this?? And when the narrator comes clean about the whole event, who will pay the price of the long night's misadventures?
The lunacy in Moldavsky's book is creepy. I ended up skimming the book because:
1. The teens are unbelievably shallow, narcissistic and cruel.
2. It's a little too mean to be funny, I think.
That said, I am NOT a teenage girl. It is way too long since I screamed over a boy band. Back then, social media was a phone with a long cord and my Mom's kitchen timer. So, what do I know? Right? Definitely for teens. And the fans on Goodreads like it a lot. Dark humor, they say.
3. The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks. In a medieval city in the Orient, Kaidu is learning to fight. The city has changed hands so often, that its natives call it the Nameless City. Kaidu is part of the conqueror's army. When he ventures into the city, he meets a girl who calls herself Rat. They don't trust each other but Rat shows Kaidu things about the City that he can't learn behind the fort's walls. When a threat comes from inside the fort walls, Kaidu and Rat must work together as a team.
This graphic novel moves so seamlessly that I didn't notice the lack of words. Actually, as I type this, I realize that since reading this book, action scenes in text books take so long. No wonder graphic novels are so hot. Thanks, Faith Erin Hicks, for furthering my understanding of this genre.
4. An Inheritance of Ashes by Leah Bobet. This book had to be read, word for word. The struggle between Halfrida and her sister, Marthe, and their fight to keep their farm needs to be explained. An artist might be able to show the pain, anger, stubbornness and pride on each young woman's face but Bobet's words made this stew of emotions all too real to me. Insert these women into a war ravaged countryside, with a missing husband, and strange unearthly beings and you get a fantasy that speaks volumes about how people do and do not get along.
There is the mystery soldier who asks for somewhere to stay; the unearthly creatures; the aftermath of a war against the Wicked God; the search for a missing hero; Marthe's pining for her husband; Hallie's secret-keeping and her fear. Also a fledgling romance and three cheers for scientific method and investigation. (Sentence fragment, I know. Deal.) There's some heavy stuff going on in this book. I liked it!