Codes for Reviews

First Initial (Overall Rating):
E = Exceptional
VG = Very Good
G = Good
F = Fair
NR = Not Recommended

Second Initital (Reading Level):
A = Average Reading Level
E = Easy
M = Mature

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Year of the Beasts

Young Adult Fiction/Graphic Novel

F/A  Castellucci, Cecil & Nate Powell.  The Year of the Beasts.  Roaring Brook, 2012.  978-1-59643-686-2.  $16.99.

Sisters Tessa and Lulu spend a lot of time together, even though they are quite different. When Lulu starts dating Tessa’s crush and spending extra time with Tessa’s best friend, Tessa feels left out and begins to secretly see a boy that everyone else doesn’t like. When tragedy strikes, Tessa is even more lost and confused and feels like everything she looks at turns to stone. Alternating chapters with the narrative is another story of a modern day teenage Medusa, told in graphic novel format. There seems to be very little connection between the two stories until the reader gets close to the end of the book and discovers that the lead character in both segments is Tessa. While the story is okay, the writing is not. The narrative is childish and feels like it was written too quickly. The artwork in the graphic story was good, but it was hard to like since for the majority of the book it didn’t make sense or connect with the narrative part. The writing level/style might be good for a reluctant reader, but I think they would be confused and lose interest when they got to the graphic sections. Loren Spector, LAPL, Felipe de Neve

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