Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Tell Tale Start by Gordon McAlpine

Edgar and Allen Poe are the great great great great (not sure if there are more there) grand nephews of the famous writer Edgar Allen Poe. They are also twin boys who share a love of their best friend Roderick Usher (their cat), and oh yeah...they pretty much share a brain too.  Edgar and Allen live with their aunt and uncle due to their parents dying in an unfortunate space-related accident.

An evil genius decides to use the boys' amazing power of communications for his own gain, so he kidnaps their beloved Roderick Usher and sets Edgar and Allen on an adventure to rescue their kitty napped friend.  Along the way Edgar and Allen are helped along by their famous dead great uncle (through mysterious communications from the great beyond), and their incredible shared intellect.

This is obviously the first in a series, and while the plot was a little thin (I did get somewhat bored at times) I very much enjoyed the characters.  I like that Edgar and Allen obviously love their family, and their cat, and they love their friends at school without being  condescending to people who are obviously of inferior intellect.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg

Lexi is stuck being a part of Team Mackenzie, a back up player to her 7 year old beauty pageant sister.  Pretty much every weekend Lexi is dragged off by her mom to help out Mac in a crazy pursuit of beauty filled with fake eyelashes, tans, and teeth, and Lexi is getting sick of it.  Lexi is also sick of not being noticed by her long-time crush Logan, so, with the encouragement (and well dares) from her best friend Benny, Lexi decides to try something new and take queues from the "pretty people".  Lexi starts doing her hair, her make up, and changing what she wears, but then she starts to wonder if the positive attention she is getting is for the right reasons, or if maybe she'd rather be liked for her great personality than her great new sense of style.

There are a lot of things going on in this book, even though the premise may seem kind of superficial at first.  Lexi's mom is so involved with the pageant world that she is bankrupting the family, and Lexi's relationship with her sister is complex and realistic.  Lexi is 11 years older than her beauty queen sister, and somewhat jealous of the attention lavished on Mac.  But, Lexi also loves her sister and wants to protect her and be there for her.  I had a hard time putting the book down because I wanted to know what was going to happen with Lexi and her family.  While I was a little disappointed in the ending, I do think that it fit with the tone and the message of this book and I will be buying this for my library.

This review is based on an e-ARC I was allowed to read.  I received no money or free swag for this review, although I did get to tweet @ the author for her #GreatPersonality Day event, she used my tweet in her blog.