New month, new Calendar Girls post! If you are unfamiliar with Calendar Girls events each month, check out their info page here.
Melanie and Flavia are the original creators of this event, but in January, both creators explained that they had full plates and let us know that they would be putting CG on the back burner. In walks Katie from Never Not Reading, and Adrienne from Darque Dreamer Reads and we are up and running again! Thank you sooooo much to Katie and Adrienne for keeping this awesome and unique event alive!
The votes are in, and November’s theme has been decided!:
Not Quite The End: Favorite Middle Book in a Series
Ahh yes, middle child syndrome, but for books! At first glance, I thought we were picking middle series books that were better than either the first or last books in their series, but that seems so complicated. As I understand it now, we are choosing books that we enjoyed that also happen to be in the middle of a series. A lot of people in the entertainment business (books and movies) seem to be in this trend where they are extending (or milking depending on how you look at it) successful stories by making them into a series. I personally have a hard time with series’ and don’t read a whole lot of them, but these are some of the ones that came to mind for this prompt.
Here are some of the contenders:
This was actually a lot harder than I thought because like I mentioned earlier, I don’t read all that many series’. It also appears that many of the books I have read that have sequels are part of Duology, which means no middle book. That plus the series’ that I have read, I tend to not like the middle book as much as the first or last ones (for example, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before comes to mind). So in an effort to NOT pick Harry Potter (but still find a way to mention him in every post), this is my choice for this month:
Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
Wayward Children #2
Twin sisters Jack and Jill were seventeen when they found their way home and were packed off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.
This is the story of what happened first…
Jacqueline was her mother’s perfect daughter—polite and quiet, always dressed as a princess. If her mother was sometimes a little strict, it’s because crafting the perfect daughter takes discipline.
Jillian was her father’s perfect daughter—adventurous, thrill-seeking, and a bit of a tom-boy. He really would have preferred a son, but you work with what you’ve got.
They were five when they learned that grown-ups can’t be trusted.
They were twelve when they walked down the impossible staircase and discovered that the pretense of love can never be enough to prepare you a life filled with magic in a land filled with mad scientists and death and choices.
I really really, really liked this book. The first one (Every Heart a Doorway) was super unique and interesting, and was a way to introduce future book’s main characters, so when I picked up DASB, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was the backstory to characters I had already met in the first book.
The setting of this book, the Moors, was so creepy and cool. I loved how authentic and real it felt. I also loved McGuire’s depiction of vampires. While they were still feared, they lived among the humans, and everyone just accepted that they lived in a place where vampires ran the show. Seeing the development of these characters right up to the ending where it connects their past to book one, really put things into perspective for me. I liked that the twins seemed one way in the first book, and completely reversed in the second.
While it is part of a series, the series itself is made up of novellas (including this one). The books in the Wayward Children are all under 200 pages so if you were looking for something creepy and interesting but don’t have a whole lot of time to commit to a full length novel, I would highly recommend you try this out!
Be sure to check out our lovely host’s picks for this month as well!
Until next time Calendar Girls (and Boys)….