Saturday, January 21, 2012

January Book Club: Fablehaven by Brandon Mull

The last thing Kendra wants to do is spend part of her summer vacation with the grandfather she barely knows. But her parents have to go on the cruise and she and her annoying younger brother Seth need somewhere to stay. The house is large and they have the entire attic playroom to themselves. Plus there's the pool and the beautiful gardens, but it's not enough for Seth. Despite their grandfather's rules, he wanders off into the woods surrounding the house where he finds winding paths, dark shadows, and a strange old woman. Meanwhile Kendra manages to unravel the mystery in the keys her grandfather gave her. They lead to a secret message: Drink the Milk. Little does she know that her grandfather is actually the caretaker of one of the many "Fablehavens" for magical creatures. And she and Seth just might be in line to take over. But first they have to survive the ticked off fairies, evil crones, demons, giant cows, and selkies. Who would have thought fairy tale creatures could be so dangerous?

Fablehaven is geared toward middle grade readers and is the first in a series.

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Jess B and rachelyons were so excited
about their signed copies!
When our Borders was still open, we were lucky enough to get Brandon Mull in for a signing. He is absolutely one of the nicest authors we've ever met. He took his time chatting a little with each person and stayed until everyone's books got signed.
Brandon Mull is the one in the red shirt in the middle.
Moving to the right are Jess B, rachelyons, Jess P, and Rebecca T

SPOILER ALERT!
Below are our reviews and discussions on the book. While there aren't too many spoilers, we are talking about the book as if we have read it, so if you want to avoid them you can skip down to the very end to see what we're reading for February!

Jess P - I personally loved this book. It's very good for someone who is looking for something to read after they read Harry Potter. I didn't like how annoying Seth was, and even in the book following this one, he is just as annoying. Maybe that's what makes it a little more realistic to me.

Jenn N - I really liked Lena. I found it very unique to have a character who was once immortal and is now mortal. I actually don't know any characters like this other than Anya from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. While immortals in most novels are seen as beautiful and glamorous, Lena experienced an immortal life of vanity and emptiness. She made immortality and not mortality seem like a curse. I hope to read more about her in subsequent novels especially with how her life turned out by the conclusion of this novel. I also found Seth really annoying and the perfect example of kids today. it seems most parents today don't actually parent; they never tell their kids "no" or show them that their actions have consequences. Seth's grandfather let Seth's failure to obey go unpunished and the consequences were dire. When Seth felt guilty, his grandfather told him it wasn't his fault, when it really was, and as a result, his grandfather nearly died. I don't understand how a caretaker of a large mythical village can be such a lousy grandparent.

Jess B - I loved loved loved this book! Seth was insanely annoying, but Kendra's strong will and amazing mind more than make up for it. There were some parts where it was like a train wreck - I couldn't look away, but shortly after I was drawn back in! I highly recommend this book for anyone who is having a hard time getting into reading.

Rebecca T - I really enjoyed this book. There were a number of moments where I was holding my breath or yelling at the characters - always a sign I'm really getting into it. I think that Lena was my favorite character, for many of the same reasons that Jenn N listed above. Kendra was also great. I identified with her as the cautious older sibling and loved how she had to step out of her comfort zone to save the day. Seth was a typical impulsive young boy and I did find his character believable. However, I would have liked to see a little bit of development toward the end of the book, but he keeps making the same error over and over. That's something I hope will develop over the course of the series. I loved the premise of the book and the mystical creatures were well drawn and intriguing. My favorite scene had to be the milking scene. Overall an enjoyable read with memorable characters.



For February we're reading Stolen by Lucy Christopher. The discussion post should be up on February 25th, and we'd love it if you read along and came back to tell us what you thought!

2 comments:

Jessica said...

So I wanted to share with our readers how our little Borders ended up getting Brandon Mull to do a signing! Usually when someone wants to do a signing at the store its a local author who not too many people have heard about (with a few exceptions). One day I got a call from a man who was the head of a local schools parent group. He said that Brandon Mull was doing a visit and the school and would we be willing to host him afterward. It was a no brainer! I had heard of him and knew it would be great for the store!

It was a great feeling that night when the event was over. Mr. Mull was by far one of the nicest authors we had at the store. I am very thankful for the experience and for the help the staff gave. Me that night!

Naomi Ruth said...

I enjoyed this book, too. It's been awhile, but I don't remember being as annoyed with Seth as y'all were. I must have blocked it.

Brandon Mull was a nice man. And insanely tall! I thought I would fall over when I looked up at his face.