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Book Reviews: The False Princess, Fablehaven, & The House With A Clock In Its Walls

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I went a little overboard stocking up on both Kindle and physical books from the library this month, so I'm trying to write quick mini-reviews as I go! Here's the first three:



The False Princess is like a cozy blanket for your soul, hitting all the right notes while still allowing for a few tense moments and surprises. It begins with despair, as Nalia is cast out as the stand-in, false princess, basically a place-holder for the real princess who's been hidden away since birth. From there her journey is a classic tale of adventure and self-discovery, combined with a friendship so sweet and fiercely loyal that it actually made me cry a few happy tears. If you're looking for a YA fantasy with magic and real heart, definitely check this one out.



Fablehaven is a pretty decent kids' story following the time-honored "siblings stay with an eccentric relative in his mysterious mansion" thread. It's a quick and easy read, which is good since not much happens 'til the halfway point. It picks up from there, though, and carries you through to the end with plenty of action, adventure, and blood-thirsty fairies. Points off for the willfully stupid little brother - you'll spend half the time wanting to throttle him - and one or two situations that try a bit too hard to be funny, but otherwise Fablehaven is a good fantasy adventure aimed at the younger reading crowd. (Not quite as good as, say, Artemis Fowl, but still in that general category.)

Fablehaven is also the first book in a series of five, and I get the feeling the next four will be better, just because the overall premise is so cool. I just hope the annoying little brother gets a little LESS annoying in book two.





The House With a Clock In Its Walls is another kid-stays-with-eccentric-relative story, though this time the child has been recently orphaned instead of just visiting for the summer. It's a deceptively sweet story that packs a creepy wallop, even getting downright scary in a couple places. (I've since seen it described as a "gothic horror for children," if that gives you an idea.)

The Edward Gorey illustrations definitely add to the creepy gothic vibe, and if you're like me, they'll have you reminiscing about Vincent Price and Masterpiece Mystery:

This is my childhood, right here. (Well, not the murder-y parts.)

Getting back to the book, though: I really like Lewis, the kid in question. He's unapologetically bookish and awkward and fat, and he makes the kinds of mistakes we've all made in our struggle to be liked, so you can't help but cheer for him.

The House is actually an old book, first published back in 1973, but there's nothing to date it other than that cover up there. (In fact, I had no idea it was that old when I read it - I figured it was from the nineties.) That's probably why the modern reprints look like this:

It's a good cover, although I wish they'd tried to match Gorey's style a bit more.

Anyway, I've since learned that The House is the first in a series of twelve books by John Bellairs, and the most recent was just published in 2008. Nice! I'll definitely be looking up the next one, The Figure In the Shadows.


K, that's it for now!

If you're looking for more of my book reviews and recommendations, you can find the complete list right here. And as always, feel free to share your own picks in the comments; everything I read and review these days is taken directly from your suggestions!

Posted by Jen at 2:30 PM Labels:

77 comments:

  1. I tried to read The False Princess... I can honestly say I didn't care for it. :/ HOWEVER, The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen is AMAZING as well as it's sequel. I can't wait for the third!

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    1. Funny, because when I first glanced at this post I assumed Jen was talking about The False Prince. My son RAVES about that series. He is also eagerly awaiting the third!

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    2. oh this is too funny, I was about to say that my daughter didn't care for False Princess but I loved it. Then I look at who's post I'm responding too... "Hi sweety!"

      I enjoyed the story and would love to read more like it.

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    3. What age would you recommend for the False Prince? I have a voracious 9 year old who reads all the time and we are always looking for new things to read. :)

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    4. I just recently read Cinder by Marissa Meyer. My 9 year old and I both loved it!

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    5. 9 might be a little young, there is some violence and a lot of sword fighting and mischief. Maybe in two years or so? I would say it's probably around the 12-17 age range. I believe the Main Character is 13.

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  2. Bookmarking the first two!

    John Bellairs was a HUGE influence on my reading materials as a kid and adult. 'The Eyes of The Killer Robot' was my go to scare the pants off of me book for YEARS. But sadly he died in 1991. =( He left behind a couple of books in progress and some ideas for new books that his estate had Brad Strickland complete.

    But I cannot recommend his works enough. They are all scary, delightful, funny, heartwarming, and above all well-written.

    I also recommend Diane Duane's 'So You Want To Be A Wizard?' Which is book 1 of the Young Wizards Series. The two spin-off books star cats, the first of which is 'A Book of Night With Moon.'

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    1. Three spin-offs: the last is 'The Big Meow.'

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  3. Loved John Bellairs when I was in middle school! I started with The House with a Clock in its Walls and worked my way through his others. Of course that was *cough cough* 20 years ago *cough cough*. Thanks for letting me know there is a more recent one! Next summer book, yay!

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  4. One of my sorority sisters just published her first eBook, Once Upon a Darkness. I haven't had a chance to read it, but it's billed as "Hansel and Gretel with Zombies." Who would turn that down? http://www.amazon.com/Once-Upon-a-Darkness-ebook

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  5. The Fabelhaven series is fantastic! It really grows and is good. The little brother takes a little time but he comes into his own by the end!

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    1. Yep--keep reading until the end. I think it's a great series!

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  6. I hate that I'm going to be that guy, but I'm going to be that guy. The next book in the Bellairs series is The Figure in the Shadows. Please read that one before The Letter, the Witch and the Ring. Also, those 3 together are one series and the bulk of the rest of the books are about a different boy named Johnny Dixon and his friend Professor Childermass. I went to a signing and Mr. Bellairs explained that he had to end the Lewis Barnavelt series because he made the mistake of constantly aging the characters from book to book and therefore was writing them out of the appropriate age for the stories he wanted to tell.

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    1. ARG, that's what I get for trusting Wikipedia. Ha! I'll go fix that now - thanks, Matt.

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  7. I loved the John Bellairs books as a kid! So deliciously scary. I wonder how they'll be now, reading as an adult. I had no idea there were new ones.

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  8. I recently read a book that I thought you'd like. Of all things, my Mom bought it by accident on her Kindle (she's 73 and hits the buttons by accident sometimes). Happy Accident, as it turned out to be a great book, the first of a triology. It's "Switched", first book of the Trylle trilogy by Amanda Hocking. Only problems I really had with it were me being OCD. It was self-published originally, and there are some grammatical and spelling errors that made me wince. But, other than that... good books! Strong female hero, great friends to back her up.

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  9. Just curious, have you ever read Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine? It's been one of my favorites for years, and reading your review of The False Princess makes me think you might like it =) (The movie is awful though, avoid that if you haven't seen it already)

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    1. Yes, Gail Carson Levine is BRILLIANT. I love her work! I'm trying to only write reviews for books I've read recently, but at some point I'm going to start adding in old favorites - which I'll need to re-read, of course, just to be thorough. ;)

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  10. I agree with you on Fablehaven. I spent the majority of that book wanting to throttle Seth. However, he does get more tolerable as you go through the series, which I HIGHLY recommend you do. It's well worth the read!

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    1. I don't see how or why you haven't read Each Little Bird that Sings. It's for kids, but I must've checked it out from the library 7-10 times. =D

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  11. The Edge Chronicles by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell are near and dear to my heart even though no one else has ever heard of them-you should check them out. The series was written in the late 90s and early 2000s and features sky pirates, weird monsters, plucky young heroes, and floating islands. I think this illustration (from one of the books) nicely hints at the style of the books: http://www.bewilderingstories.com/issue106/Twig.jpg

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  12. Wow, you really took me back with that Mystery clip! I'd watch that with my Dad all the time - great memories! Thanks as always for your reviews!

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  13. I haven't read The House With The Clock In Its Walls, but from your review, it sounds like you would also really enjoy The Thief of Always by Clive Barker. It's a really quick read (I think I got through it in just a couple of hours) but has a really interesting premise and a rather unexpected ending, though much of the middle of the book is fairly predictable if you're familiar with the genre/type of book. The author also did illustrations here and there which are nicely creepy. I highly recommend it!

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  14. I've got to chime in and say that the next fable haven books are definitely even better and the little brother does get less annoying :-). I also have to put a plug in for Brandon Mull's next series, The Beyonders--it's a little more serious and really has a fascinating take on YA fantasy. Definitely check it out!!

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  15. I'm a child of the '70s and I LOVED "The House With A Clock In Its Walls" when I was a kid. I'm happy to hear that it's been re-released so I can get a copy for my niece.

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  16. Glad to see you pick up a John Bellairs book! I think I own almost all of them- with the original covers, of course. If I had to pick a favorite, it would have to be either The Curse of the Blue Figurine or The Chessmen of Doom. I have to say though, that while the first couple of books that Brad Strickland finished are all right, it's all downhill from there. I stopped checking them out after a while, so I can't speak for the newest ones.
    As for recommendations, I'd suggest trying anything by Diana Wynne Jones if you haven't already.

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  17. I loved the Fablehaven series! Book 2 was my least favorite, but it's worth sticking it out and reading all of them! Now I'll have to go check out some of your other recommendations!

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  18. Becca Fitzpatrick series:
    Hush, Hush
    Crescendo
    Silence
    Finale

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  19. Oh my gosh the Bellairs books!!!!!! I read them all back in elementary school and they were SO terrifying and I loved them beyond all belief. I found one or two of them in the used section at B&N a year ago, and while they weren't as terrifying as when I was little, they're still great.

    Some of the books feature a different main character, but it doesn't matter because they are awesome. READ THEM ALL!!!!

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  20. Some of my favorite books of all time include the Everworld series by KA Applegate (the author of Animorphs) and the Thief's Covenant books. Everworld is about four teenagers who get transported to another world where all the old gods of Earth went. There are a lot of books in the series, but they are short and easy reads. Thief's Covenant (and its sequel) are about an orphan turned aristocrat turned thief that needs to fight a demon that is after her and the god that has attached itself to her.

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  21. Thanks for the Mystery clip. Those were the good ol' days. The current PBS Mystery intro makes me a little sad every time I watch it.

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  22. May I recommend "Written in Red" by Anne Bishop. If you have never read any of her books, she is a phenomenal writer who does an amazing job at building characters and worlds. This is her latest book and the first in the series; I would describe it as a re-imagining of Earth-different names for places, and the main story is set in modern times-where humanity goes exploring and discovers they aren't alone. Basically take European settlers send them to 'America' and have them get eaten by werewolves, vampires, etc. instead of driving out the Native Americans. It is much cooler to read than try to explain in a blurb, sorry! It is an adult sci-fi/fantasy book, but there is no sex or extreme gore. If you like it, I recommend The Black Jewels Trilogy-although *spoiler* there is rape and some gore in that series.

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  23. Just finished Nameless by Lili St. Crow.
    On the back cover is says "Snow White as you've never seen her before . . .".
    An awesome book, one I know I will re-read.

    She has a whole lot of other books as well she writes as Lilith Saintcrow for adult and Lili for YA.

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  24. Oh yay! I just happened to randomly check out The False Princess this past Friday. Haven't gotten to that one yet because I'm in the middle of Stephanie Myers The Host and Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia. I always have to have more than one book going: one on the kindle and one in book form b/c my husband will randomly take the kindle to work with him=(

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  25. Jen, you HAVE to read Cinder, by Marissa Meyers. It's book one in a four-book set called "The Lunar Chronicles" (head's up, though, only the first two are out thus far. Consider yourself warned...)

    Basically, Cinder is yet another Cinderella retelling, but so fantastically well done that I don't even really feel right lumping it into the "just another" category. Cinder is, get this, a cyborg...and, well, you just have to read it. HAVE TO. The second book released this year, and I am so in love with the characters that it's not even funny.

    READ THEM. READ THEM NOW. O.o

    ~Elizabeth G.

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  26. Aaahhhhhh! You just totally blew my mind and made my day. "The Letter, the Witch, and the Ring" was one of my favorite books when I was a kid (my first "horror" novel), I've tried and tried to find it but couldn't remember the author or the characters or even enough of the plot to track it down. I just Amazon-ed the holy heck out of John Bellairs, and will soon be getting to catch up with a long lost friend, yay!

    And the False Princess is wonderful, too, I loved it.

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  27. I did the finish-one-and-immediately-pick-up-the-next thing with the Squire's Tales books you recommended, and lately with the Immortal Devices and Mortal Instruments series. I can't get enough of them! (Although at the moment I am DYING as I have finished book 1, have books 3 and 4 sitting on my shelf, and am STILL waiting for book 2 from the library! Ack!)

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  28. I'm going to have to check out the House with the Clock in the Walls - it has been on my list forever and you've just bumped it up.

    Have you read Foundling by DM Cornish? It is the first of the Monster Blood Tattoo trilogy and is excellent. Sort of gothic, steampunky fantasy stuff - a little creepy, lots of heart and a main character you can really get behind.

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  29. I have just finished listening to the first three books of The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place. I really enjoyed them. They are written from the perspective of a modern narrator, about an "old fashioned" situation. Funny, gentle, and interesting enough that I am looking forward to the next book. I listened to them and they were well read.

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  30. Oh gosh, you just reminded me of Shaenon Garrity's take on Edward Gorey doing Star Trek:
    http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/tribbles/series.php?view=archive&chapter=23353&mpe=1&step=1

    The navigation is a little quirky, but there is definitely a lot to see.

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  31. I used to love those John Bellairs books! I hope you can find them with the Edward Gorey illustrations. Those two go hand-in-hand for me, just like Roald Dahl books illustrated by Quentin Blake. It is hard to imagine the books without the illustrations that captured the books so well.

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  32. I have a hold for The False Princess at the library for my nook. I can't wait to read it!

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  33. LOVE Fablehaven! Got the books for Christmas last year and I was finished reading the series by Januray 5th. They just get better!!

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  34. I never read house with a clock in its walls myself, but i think my brother did for a school assignment once a long time ago. He must've liked it, since he kept his copy for a long time. Nice to know it's still making the rounds.

    Also, if you haven't already added _Digger_ to your list, you should. The author and illustrator, Ursula Vernon, got a Hugo and was nominated for an ursa major for it, and personally i think it was well deserved. Hard copy is available only in volumes through sofawolf press right now (though she just got her kickstarter funded for an omnibus volume), but the story is still available online in its entirety at diggercomic.com.

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  35. I've been reading John Bellairs' books since I was a kid, and I just reread The House With a Clock in Its Walls. My dad suggested them to me when I finished reading all of the Goosebumps books, which were obviously not in the same league as Bellairs. Although I think Bellairs has a few misses, I absolutely love most of his books. The Face in the Frost is one of my favorites, though it's pretty different from the books that follow Lewis and the other kids.

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  36. I would be truly stunned if you haven't read this series, and even more stunned if I was the first to recommend it, but it's such a fantastic... double trilogy(? what does one call a group of six books?) that I feel it warrants me commenting about it, just in case.
    The books are the Jackelian series by the lovely Stephen Hunt, beginning with The Court of the Air, and ending with From the Deep of the Dark. They're all sci-fi/fantasy/steampunk novels, but each falls under a different sub-genre, so there's really something for everyone. The worlds in which the stories take place are phenomenal and as a bonus, there are plenty of strong female characters!
    I personally found The Court of the Air a bit slow to start, as it begins somewhat politically, but it's well worth it to push through to the end and continue through the other five books, which are essentially pure amazing adventure.

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  37. Thanks so much for your YA reviews. My 11 year old goes through books like water, so I'm always on the hunt for appropriate sf and fantasy for her. She loved the fablehavens, which she got for her birthday last year, so I will definitely get her the false princess.

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    1. Brenda, I worked in a high school library for 12 years. The kids loved the Fablehaven series, as well as Artemis Fowl. They also loved the LA Meyer books about Jacky Faber, a girl who runs away to be a pirate. Tamora Pierce is another favorite author, especially the books about Beka Cooper (that series starts with Terrier). Jim Butcher's Codex Alera series is very good, too. It starts with Furies of Calderon. The Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy is another recommended read. Anyway, this should get you started:^)

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    2. Has she read any of these?
      School of Fear trilogy by Gitty Daneshvari (Some people didn't like this, I did!)
      The Runaway Princess and The Runaway Dragon by Kate Coombs
      Percy Jackson and the Olympians (My favorites!)
      Beauty and The Beast- Twice Upon a Time by Wendy Mass (Or anything else by her! 11 Birthdays, Every Soul a Star, Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life- Don't watch the movie though. Bleck.)
      Time Snatchers by Richard Ungar (I emailed the author after reading it, He's a wonderful person!)
      Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat series by Lynne Jonell
      Those are all I can think of at the moment, but I've read so many more! Good Luck and tell your daughter to keep reading!

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  38. The Fablehaven series was not 'great' but it was more than good. It was a lovely light read that did get better as the series went on and was definitely geared towards kids/teens (did all the adults have to be idiots???). However I enjoyed the series and would read it again.

    Also recommended: The Green Rider Series.

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  39. I just recently finished the first of a three book series the Legends of Muirwood, The Wretched of Muirwood by Jeff Wheeler. Awesome book and I highly recommend if you like YA fantasy. I just started the second one, The Blight of Muirwood and it feels like it will be just as good. Since I read so much I was very surprised I had never heard of them before! Very well written and very interesting.

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  40. I don't know if anyone's recommended this to you before, but I have read and re-read the Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner. I just looked for it on Amazon to check my spelling and found that there's lots more by the same author (and two more in the same series) that I never knew about. Now I have more to add to my own reading list!

    Also The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper. This is actually book 2 in a series of 5, but it's my favourite. You can quite easily start with either 1 or 2 as the storylines don't converge until later in the series.

    Both are fantasy/mythic stories set in Britain, the first up near Manchester and the second in Buckinghamshire. The other books in the Dark is Rising travel around the UK more.

    They're not that new - 60s and 70s - but I think they've stood up well. I hope you try them and that you get some enjoyment from them.

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    1. OOO-OOOO That one too!! Dark is Rising. I re-read that series about once every five years.

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  41. I just recently read a book called Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, and it was SO good! It's the first book in a yet to be written series, so be careful if you're like me and read your books too fast, because you will be wanting the second book the second you turn the last page.

    It has a strong main character, but she still has her weaknesses (think Tamora Pierce style heroine, or Fire). I would recommend it for anyone who enjoys YA fantasy.

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  42. We got our daughter the Fablehaven series while our son was in the hospital for a week. It's not her favorite series, but it provided a good distraction for her and she enjoyed it.

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  43. House with the Clock in its Walls was one of the few kid-horror books out there when I was in elementary school. There was also Lois Duncan, who wrote Down a Dark Hall, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and others. I'm forever grateful to my school librarian who helped me graduate from the dime store ghost story compendiums that I was reading. Now, as an adult, one of my absolute favorites of all time in the category of "nicely creepy" is Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House.

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  44. First time commenter !
    Without thinking about it more than 2 seconds, I bought on my Kindle The False Princess right after reding your review. Didn't even finish the end of the whole article before buying it !

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  45. I read "A House with a Clock in it's Walls" growing up. I think, I may have read all his books. Some are uber-creepy and given the right circumstances, crawl out of my memory and scare the crap out of me still today! Good reads!

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  46. I love John Bellairs, but I was seriously creeped out as a kid. Still think about The House With a Clock in its Walls every time I pass a cemetary with a creepy mausoleum.

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  47. I think you would really enjoy Lonely Werewolf Girl by Martin Millar and The Jessica Darling Books by Megan McCaffery (The first book is called Sloppy Firsts).

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  48. I just finished reading Playing Tyler by T L Costa. It's not so much fantasy as "oh my god this could be happening right now" fiction. It involves gamers and has a military premise, but is at its heart a romance thriller. I really recommend it for the characters who will win you right over.

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  49. I don't know if you've ever read The Search for Wondla by Toni DiTerlizzi. It's a great futuristic story about a young girl. My husband read it to our kids and the whole family enjoyed it. The 2nd book is A Hero for Wondla and the last book in the trilogy will be out early next year, I think.

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  50. Thank you for the reminder about John Bellairs. I read and reread his novels as a kid and they never ceased to give me the chills. The remember really enjoying "The Trolley to Yesterday" and "The Curse of the Blue Figurine."

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  51. I'm surprised by your favorable reaction to *The False Princess*. I thought it was totally and utterly boring, despite the fact that I tend to love the genre of magic happenings and semi-romantic fantasy with a dash of strong female characters. I just didn't think that Nalia/SInda showed any growth in character or strength.

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  52. I enjoyed reading John Bellairs growing up as well. The Johnny Dixon series was also great, especially The Trolley to Yesterday - aside from being a great adventure story, there's a FANTASTIC build-up to a joke in there involving the Egyptian God Horus... I won't ruin it though.

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  53. You should read Wildwood by Colin Meloy. It is about Prue, a 7th grader, whose brother is kidnapped by a murder of crows. She and her friend have to go into the woods to save him. I believe it is a trilogy with the last book coming out early next year. I couldn't put the books down to save my life. And the illustrations are wonderful.

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  54. The John Bellairs books are my favorites! I came across them in my husband's book case about a year ago and that was my first time reading them. A perfect way to spend a winter weekend. Wait till you get to the robots!! :)

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  55. Your post made me gasp when I got to "The House With A Clock in Its Walls." I remember checking that series out from the library and I absolutely loved it. While I remember other books I had read in my youth (Trixie Belden, anyone?) I had forgotten about John Bellairs' works. Now I am on the hunt to reread them. Thank you for the nostalgic reminder. Off to B&N!

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  56. Oh, you must track down The Face in the Frost! Stand alone fantasy Bellairs, I've seen it in both the ya sections and the adult fantasy/scifi sections at bookstores. It's a classic. I think the blurb on mine described it as taking you from humor through nightmare and back out again.
    Yes, I love Ursula Vernon's Digger. Well worth the time to read the archive online!
    The Legend of Holly Claus, by Brittany Ryan is wonderful. Reminds me of Oz.
    The 7 professors of the Far North, by John Fardell. Funny, plucky kids on a rescue mission, eccentric professors, evil villain, fantastic series! I haven't read book three yet. The second book, The Flight of the Silver Turtle, was good, but the first was terrific!
    The Clockwork Dark trilogy, by John Claude Bemis. The first book is The Nine Pound Hammer. Fantasy/Steampunky, set in the American south during the late 1800's, I think? Lots of American obscure folklore, very original characters, setting, and stories.
    And the Chronicles of Master Li and Number ten ox are books that i would buy by the case and press upon everyone I know, if I had the money. By Barry Hughart, Bridge of Birds, Story of the Stone, and Eight Skilled Gentlemen. A few years back I bought an omnibus edition, illustrated by Kaja Foglio of Girl Genius.

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  57. Apparently my comment didn't post last time, so let me try again!

    I spent years searching for the Bellairs books, because all I could remember was bits and pieces and how CREEPY they were. Particularly with the illustrations. Right up there with Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

    If you haven't read Frances Hardinge yet, you are in for a real treat. Amazingly inventive and well-written children's/YA novels. My favorites are Fly By Night and Gullstruck Island. The first one is about reading and words and revolutionaries and politics and religion and conmen and a homicidal goose. The second is about prejudice and colonialism and revenge and genocide and volcanoes in love.

    But there's also Franny Billingsley's Chime (art, swamp magic, class, sexism, family) and the Blossom Culp books by Richard Peck (my favorite is Ghosts I Have Been where 12 year old Blossom meets the ghosts of the Titanic) and Diana Wynne Jones's Dalemark Quartet (or any of hers, really). I could go on and on but I'll spare you!

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  58. Yes Fablehaven! That stands as one of my favorite series. I remember the author, Brandon Mull, came to my school a while ago and the librarian introduced a couple other kids and I to him and we got him to sign our books.

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  59. I LOVE John Bellairs... wish I had thought to suggest him! Some of his books are better than others but "House" is amazing... and yes, creepy! And hoping you read the Septimus Heap series soon too!

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  60. You should definitely read "The Undrowned Child" and "The Mourning Emporium" by Michelle Lovric. Teodora is a brilliantly bookish heroine, yes, it is a bit "two outcast children fulfill an ancient prophecy and save the world" trope worthy. But it's a good trope! And Lovric writes adult historical fiction about Venice as well so her details are sublime.

    Besides how can anyone resist a book about Venice featuring curry eating Mermaids who curse like pirates and run a subversive press printing vitriolic newsletters?

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  61. I really liked book 1 of Fabelhaven except for everything the brother did. Then...I go the second book and had to skip a bunch of pages because the brother was driving me bonkers again. I had all the rest of the books on hold at the library and canceled the requests because I just couldn't see myself finishing them. Does the brother really truly redeem himself and stop acting like a big idiot?

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  62. I second (or third?) the Cinder/Marissa Meyer recommendation. I became familiar with her through her Sailor Moon fanfiction stories, and loved her style so much that when she published a book I read it just because of the author. If you want to read her fanfiction, she writes under the name Alicia Blade (http://www.fanfiction.net/u/658410/Alicia-Blade). Otherwise, read Cinder and Scarlet and next year we should get the next installment, Cress. :)

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  63. I've read the first two Fablehaven books and have the other three checked out. I've just started book 3. I agree that the little brother makes me want to knock him down and sit on his face, but in the second book he does get better. He's learning. Having grown up with eight brothers and no sisters, I tend to understand it all a little bitter. It's just the nature of little brothers.

    I loved The False Princess.

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  64. I may have actually learned about this one from you (or your helpful readers) but I can't recommend Seraphina by Rachel Hartman enough. http://www.amazon.com/Seraphina-Rachel-Hartman/dp/0375866566 I always love stories with great world-building and this one has a really fascinating world where humans and dragons have come to an un-easy truce. The main character is a young woman who straddles both worlds. She's strong, talented, smart, and loyal, but still flawed and "human". The only problem with it is that there is only one. There is supposed to be a sequel but it isn't out yet.

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