Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Sunday, February 18, 2018
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A repost from my review on The Kidliterati
A piano appears on the lawn one week after seventeen-year-old Mercedes Moreno’s mother has left for Puerto Rico to watch over her abuela, lying in a coma. Mercedes and her fourteen-year-old sister, Angela, wait for their mother’s return in Sarasota and try to the best of it. But it’s not easy. Her sister becomes better and better on the piano they keep in the living room, growing as a musician, while Mercedes is unsure of what to paint, or why or how she’ll create anything of artist merit since her award-winning piece last year.
That she’s fallen in love with her best friend Victoria and keeping it a secret might have something to do with her lack of inspiration. A mysterious new tenant moves in with the neighbor they share a porch with. Her name is Lilia Solis. She’s also Latina, and a painter, and seems to live in an entirely different world. Lilia works to move Mercedes out of limbo, toward her next work of art, asking questions and sharing her own work.
Mercedes wishes she could return to the feeling of being on the brink of creation, “a little like falling in love.” When Lilia introduces Mercedes to the Red Mangrove Estate, a beachfront artist’s community where the artists can “be their best selves”, she spends more and more time there, meeting other artists, in a whirlwind of dreamy creation, where Tricia’s deepest secrets spill forth, while her sister spends time upstairs playing piano like a virtuoso. They both want to stay and live in endless creation.
An absorbing, and beautifully written in a way you’re sure you’ve entered another dimension, blurring the lines of reality in this delightful magical realism, that had me racing through, so I could get to painting and playing music too! I’m pretty sure I burst into magical tears in the last chapter. This book was that inspiring. The relationship between Victoria and Mercedes is warm and tender and very loving. Positive bisexual representation.
View all my reviews
Thursday, February 15, 2018
Am I to do this, too?
Last Summer I found volumes of poems from years ago, and I'm having fun re-discovering old emotions, many I still struggle with.
I'd like everyone to join in "Free Verse Fridays". If you do, leave your blog link in the comments. This may become a weekly project.
Write. Write. Write.
In any form, or thought. And don't you ever stop!
Monday, February 12, 2018
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A repost from my review on the Kidliterati Blog.
“There were creatures in the Hush, creatures of twisted magic, formed from the remnants of real-world sorcery. The Hush was a dumping ground for the leftovers. The residual, dregs of Music and broken tunes …”
A musician traveling with his fiddle, and searching for his father, enters the town of Hamlin. Pegasi patrol the skies. He hopes the locals will like his music enough, he’ll be able to eat that night, and he sets up in the local saloon. Never expecting what would happen when he plays the fiddle, that his music would touch the Song, and he’d be arrested. He didn’t mean to, but he was a natural, raised in the slums by his father. Only Songshapers were supposed to sense the tune of things in a physical way.
Chester is doomed, sentenced to death. The resident Songshaper explains his sentence, while locked behind bars, preparing to be hung. Chester feels music in the stone walls, in the slivers of wood, but there’s no way out. He doesn’t understand how his music connected to Music so quickly. It’s a crime for the untrained in the Song to use it.
Chester stands ready with the executioner, confused about how he got to this point, and the blade comes down, but he’s suddenly someplace else, and not in front of a horde of townspeople ready to watch him die. It’s dark, and he’s with the older teen who requested that difficult song, back at the saloon, the song that got him arrested, and now he’s helping Chester escape. They travel through the Hush, and it’s rife with Echos, and other twisted sorts of magic. Chester meets the others teens in the Nightfall Gang. The legendary gang, who steals from the rich and gives to the poor, he hopes they can help find his father, but they need Chester, and the trials begin.
An absorbing, and a beautifully imaginative world, a musical fantasy like none I’ve read before. The characters deal with tough knocks and adventure at every turn, inventing and utilizing fascinating magic devices and inventions.
View all my reviews