More ARC Opinions

Advance Reading Copies of books come from publishers to try to get people excited about new books. All of these have already come out, but I am a little behind in my reading!

NASTYbook by Barry Yourgrau
On Sale: April 26, 2005
This collection of very short vignettes relies on gross-outs, creepy characters, and just-desserts endings to keep the reader's interest. But it got old really fast. There's no plot, just a bunch of disconnected 3-page stories. It would be so much better if the stories contributed to a whole, or if some common thread ran through them. Go watch old Twilight Zone episodes to get the same effect in a much more interesting way. Or, better yet, borrow some Edgar Allan Poe or Alfred Hitchcock short stories from the library!

Fake ID by Walter Sorrells
On Sale: June 2, 2005
16-year-old Chass knows that she and her mother are on the run, always moving to new towns and creating new identities. But when her mother goes missing, Chass has only a few days to find out WHY. There are not very many worthwhile teen mysteries out there, but this is one of the few and the proud! It has great suspense and many creepy elements...from a skull in the basement to a chase scene in an abandoned mill. Fake ID is a must read! This gripping mystery is from the same imprint as Double Helix by Nancy Werlin, which our YA book group read recently and really liked.

The Crimes and Punishments of Miss Payne by Barry Jonsberg
On Sale: June 14, 2005
Classmates Calma and Kiffo are sure that their evil new English teacher, the aptly-named Miss Payne, is involved in illegal activities. But the harder they try to find out her secrets, the more innocent she seems. Is Miss Payne a criminal, or just a harsh teacher? This story seems like it should be funny and exciting, but it's not. I didn't even finish reading it. It is a great concept, but a not a good read!

The Lambkins by Eve Bunting
On Sale: August 1, 2005
Crazy Mrs. Shepherd thinks she is a patron of the arts because she snatches talented kids, shrinks them, and lets them work on their talents while living in her dollhouse. This is a quick read, and is really horrifying in concept. My complaints: the writing is unteresting at times and the ending is really lame--totally deux-ex-machina. Still, if you are a fantasy horror reader, pick this book up...and don't help anyone (even nice middle-aged ladies) change their flat tires!

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