If you've ever wanted to read every book in the library, maybe you should rethink that.

Tag Archives: pam munoz ryan

Featured books:

Emily the Strange: Dark Times by Rob Reger and Jessica Gruner

Hostage by Willo Davis Roberts

Becoming Naomi León by Pam Muñoz Ryan

My adoration (or lack thereof) for these titles may be biased. I’d read Esperanza Rising last year, so Pam Muñoz Ryan couldn’t possibly displease me. Willo Davis Roberts did recently displease me, so the slight annoyances in her novel stood out. Emily the Strange is currently popular, which both encourages and discourages me. Being the closet hipster that I am, anything that’s embraced in popular culture is a red flag that this series isn’t all that great simply because it’s embraced by popular culture. Being the gothic adorer that I am, Emily intrigued me.

There are three types of protagonists we see here:

A) One who thinks highly of herself and makes extraordinary things.
B) One who thinks lowly of her self and does not do anything extraordinary.
C) One who is just fine being who she is and experiences extraordinary love from her family while she makes extraordinary things.

I prefer C. What about you?

Dark Times (Emily the Strange Novels, #3)

Emily the Strange is a summary of every dark-souled, young teen’s livejournal account. The only difference: supernatural events are common occurrence.

I guess I had to be there. emilystrange.com I’ll probably like it in a few years. The graphic novels are probably much better.

The art that inspired this book did encourage me to pick up this title. I just haven’t been following this. Nevertheless, Emily is admirable because she is empowered by her vast intellect and narcissism.


Within the first two chapters of Hostage, the neighbour’s house is broken into and their dogs need to be rushed to the vet in the middle of the night. Sound familiar? (Believe me, I chose this book at random the same day I pulled Nightmare.)

I’m going to guess Willo Davis Roberts had a bad childhood. Here, we have another main character, Kaci, who feels ignored and thinks nothing matters. When she’s taken hostage, she thinks so lowly of herself that she doesn’t see the need to fight back.

Thankfully, the hilariously nosy Mrs. Banducci has been kidnapped alongside her and tells Kaci what to do. Kaci admits to herself that with all the adventure novels she reads, and as envious she is about her siblings getting all the attention, she doesn’t have the guts to do anything herself when an exciting situation happens to her. All she does for many chapters is pray.

So have I,” [Mrs. Banducci] said. “Only sensible thing to do, under the circumstances. But I’m a firm believe that God helps those who help themselves, so we had to try everything we could, like letting air out of their tires. Is it all right with you if I eat one of those cookies?”

You tell ‘er, lady. Enjoy those cookies.

The only pay-off from this book (besides handy solutions to delay dastardly thieves) was when a cop told Kaci, “You did some pretty quick thinking there, young lady.” PAH! You’re so funny. No. No, it was not quick thinking. Yes, she called 911 while Mrs. Banducci was snacking, but it took a minute for her to acknowledge she had a phone in her hands. Thank goodness this book was only 140 pages.

Becoming Naomi León

I had to step away from this book before writing about it, and I can’t even describe it; it’s too fresh even now. It’s like Louis Sachar’s Holes, but with soap. Some books fill you because their plots consist of digging away. It’s funny how the physical act of a fictional person can put weight on you. They’re carving out a place in your life for them to snuggle in.

Is Becoming Naomi León a movie? This should be a movie—made by the right people, of course. It would be so heartbreaking and uplifting. We need movies that are made from books not because they’re classics or wildly popular titles. We need the stories what will be fresh every time we see and read them.

Once again, I like a book so much I can’t say anything about it. Read it, already.

21 titles down, 31 to go.

Days left: 24.

At this point, I’ll be lucky to reach 45 books by the end of this challenge. The challenge within a challenge is exceeding 45.


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