The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde

well-of-lost-plots

The Well of Lost Plots  by Jasper Fforde

This title is the third book in the Thursday Next series, focused on a woman who tracks down criminals in the literary world in an alternate universe. Spec Ops Literary Detective Thursday Next has entered the Well of Lost Plots, where unpublished books wait for publication. In an alternate universe of the United Kingdom, Thursday has vanquished master criminal Acheron Hades and fought the all powerful but vicious Goliath Corporation. Having become an agent of Jurisfiction in the Book World, Thursday learns there are schemes and villains in Book World, just as in the Real World. Apprenticed to Miss Havisham of Great Expectations, Thursday uncovers a plan to pervert Book World, limiting the number of times a book may be read, among other nefarious plans. How she works with both fictional and real characters to thwart the plot provides an exciting adventure, laced with much humor.

Those who know me are aware that I have become a huge fan of Jasper Fforde, whose zany plots remind me of Terry Pratchett, another favorite author. How they invent these worlds and populate them with such imaginative characters, both good and bad guys, amazes me. I can recommend these books to all readers looking for unusual reading.

Review by Ms. Goldstein-Erickson

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Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde

Image result for lost in a good book by jasper ffordeLost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde

Thursday Next, a literary detective in the Special Operations division, has become famous for her work trapping a villain in the pages of Jane Eyre. Set in an alternate universe centered in England, Thursday and he husband Landon start noticing bizarre coincidences that put their lives in danger. Thursday’s father, a renegade time traveler being hunted by the ChronoGuard, keeps finding her in the past and future to warn her about a mysterious substance that will destroy the world if she doesn’t stop it. At the same time Thursday keeps meeting Miss Havisham from Great Expectations to be trained as a book jumper. As the plot threads begin to merge and the characters keep meeting, the book becomes even more engaging. The second in the Thursday Next series, Lost in a Good Book continues Jasper Fforde’s wildly inventive and humorous universe created in The Eyre Affair. While having read the works of literature mentioned is not necessary, familiarity with their plots gives the reader a deeper understanding of this book. Fforde even brings in a character from his Nursery Crime series. This book is great fun and well worth the reader’s time.

Lost in a Good Book sub index

Review by Ms. Goldstein-Erickson

Carry On: the Rise and Fall of Simon Snow by Rainbow Rowell

carry on

Carry On: the Rise and Fall of Simon Snow by Rainbow Rowell

Rowell’s fans will be thrilled with her latest novel detailing the crazy life of Simon Snow as he tries to finish theWatford School of Magicks, fall in love, and save the world.  Simon and his roommate and arch enemy Baz started off as fictional characters in the writer’s 2013 Fangirl.  Simon, his best friend Penny, his sort-of-ex-girlfriend Agatha and Baz join forces to combat the powerful Humdrum which is trying to steal all the world’s magic.  The story may remind readers of the Harry Potter stories, but Rowell’s twists on the genre and strong characters and setting make this title hard to set aside.  I recommend to fans of fantasy, Harry Potter, romances and Rainbow Rowell.

If you’re an an author geek, here’s an interview with her from Book Expo last June.

fangirl               eleanor and park

Click on the book covers for our reviews of her other books.

The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett

 

color-of-magic

The Color of Magic  by Terry Pratchett

Fantasy, science fiction, humor and magic mix together in this wildly inventive tale of Rincewind, who has failed his wizard’s training at Unseen University. Through complete coincidence Rincewind finds himself traveling around Discworld w/Twoflower, who has come as a tourist to the city of Ankh-Morpork from the Counterweight Continent. They escape from Ankh-Morpork as the city begins to burn from a fire they were involved in, only to continue encountering threatening characters and situations. Rincewind keep panicking at the danger they’re in, while Twoflower treats each episode as a grand adventure. In addition Twoflower brought with him Luggage that has legs, follows him through all his travels and attacks anyone who tries to steal any of its contents.

As the first title in Pratchett’s celebrated Discworld series, The Color of Magic provides hints of the zaniness to come in more than two dozen titles. Even readers who have read other books in the series will enjoy this introduction to the physical characteristics of Discworld and those who live on it.

 

Review by Ms. Goldstein-Erickson

 

 

The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde

big-over-easy

The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde

When Humpty Dumpty is found dead in many pieces among the dustbins at the bottom of a garden wall in a seedy part of town, Detective Inspector Jack Spratt of the Nursery Crimes Division investigates with his partner Sgt. Mary Mary.

They find Humpty was involved in shady and mysterious dealings, had an exwife and numerous girlfriends and had not been seen in public in the past year. The coroner finds several possible causes of death, but everyone in town seems to have liked Humpty, even the possible suspects. As they investigate Jack and Mary uncover more puzzles, including ties to previous cases that had been assumed solved. In this alternate universe of England where Nursery Rhyme characters live side by side with real people, everyone accepts this situation as perfectly ordinary.

Loaded with tons of humor and imagination, The Big Over Easy has laughs aplenty and constant surprises. This new series follows author Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series, also based in an alternate England where real characters track literary crimes and are able to move from the real world into books. Just when the reader thinks the murderer will be revealed the plot takes another U-turn. Nothing is resolved until literally the last page.

Review by Ms. Goldstein-Erickson

 

This Girl Is Different by J J Johnson

different

This Girl Is Different by J J Johnson

Evie (born Evensong Sparkling Morningdew) lives with her”hippie” mom in a geodesic dome in the woods near their small town.  After being homeschooled since forever, she’s finally convinced her mom to let her finish high school at the local public school, claiming she would be like a gonzo journalist studying the ethnography of the public school system.  The question isn’t the obvious one of Evie being ready for public school after so many years with just her mom, but is the school ready for Evie.  She is strong-minded, confident,not afraid to share her opinion on anything and everything, and a budding activist.  Whenever Evie is about to do something unexpected, she tells herself, “This girl is different,” and she certainly is.  When she is faced with the inherent lack of student rights at her new school, she feels compelled to take on the system, getting herself into all kinds of trouble.

I found this book to be absolutely delightful.  It’s awesome to see a teenager so empowered  such that she follows her own conscious, even when she knows it will lead to trouble.  The book has some interesting minor characters: Evie’s mom Martha, a love interest named Raj, and a smarter than average administrator named Dr. Folger.  I would recommend this title to students looking for humorous books, titles about challenging authority, and  “green” lifestyles.

 

Men At Arms by Terry Pratchet

MenAtArmsMen At Arms by Terry Pratchett

When the 37th Lord d’Eath dies, his oldest son Edward, who has just graduated from the Assassin’s Guild school, sells what’s left of the d’Eath estates and enrolls in the post-graduate course at the Guild school. He conducts extensive research, although he’s not sure what he’s looking for, until the day he meets Corporal Carrot of the Night Watch on the street of the city of Ankh-Morpork. Cpl. Carrot, a human orphan raised by his adoptive dwarf parents, has come to Ankh-Morpork and joined the guard. He has a positive outlook on life and believes the best about everyone. At the same time Captain Sam Vimes is leaving the watch to marry Lady Sybil Ramkin, a rich woman who spends her days at the Sunshine Sanctuary for Sick Dragons. While Captain Vimes loves Lady Sybil, he is regretful about leaving the Guard and even more hesitant about having to socialize with the upper level of Ankh-Morpork society. When a series of mysterious and unexplained murders starts happening, coupled with Edward d’Eath’s belief that Cpl. Carrot is really the rightful king of Ankh-Morpork, the Guard has its hands full investigating, especially since they are training new recruits, including a troll, a dwarf and a werewolf. Fans of Pratchett’s phenomenal Discworld series will love this episode. Newcomers to the series will enjoy this introduction. In the end, everything makes sense in typical Discworld fashion.

Review by Ellie Goldstein Erickson

NEW ARRIVALS from Terry Pratchet will hit the BHS Library shelves soon!