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Month in review

Reviews
The Alcatraz Escape by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
Better Off Read by Nora Page
Braced by Alyson Gerber
The Chosen Ones by Scarlett Thomas
Crossing the Tracks by Barbara Stuber
The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya
Fleep by Jason Shiga
The House on East 88th Street by Bernard Waber
I'll Save You Bobo! by Eileen Rosenthal
A Just Clause by Lorna Barrett
Karma Khullar's Mustache by Kristi Wientge
Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova
Love & War by Melissa de la Cruz
Malaika’s Winter Carnival by Nadia L. Hohn and Irene Luxbacher (illustrator) Merman in My Tub, Volume 2 by Itokichi
The Minotaur Takes His Own Sweet Time by Steven Sherrill
Murder Past Due by Miranda James
Nurse, Soldier, Spy by Marissa Moss and John Hendrix
The Outlaw Varjak Paw by S.F. Said
Ragtag by Karl Wolf-Morgenländer
The Road is Yours Reginald M. Cleveland Rooster Joe and the Bully by Xavier Garza
Runaways, Volume 1: Find Your Way Home by Rainbow Rowell
Ship It by Britta Lundin
Square by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen
Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella
Time Ghost by Welwyn Wilton Katz
Wandering Son: Volume 3 by Takako Shimura
White Night by Jim Butcher
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum: rereading for the American road narrative

Miscellaneous
Canadian Book Challenge: 2018-2019
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (June 04)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (June 11)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (June 18)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (June 25)
May 2018 Sources
May 2018 Summary
On counting books: stop policing other people's reading
Thirty-one years of tracking my reading

Road Essays
Ignoring the eight percent
There are 216 road narrative stories (that I'm interested in)
Traveling between utopia and uhoria: an introduction to the use of space and time in Oz and Night Vale
Who is Dorothy?

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5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish


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Labyrinth Lost: 06/01/18

Labyrinth Lost

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova is the first of the Brooklyn Brujas YA series. It's set up with a similar premise as the Love, Sugar, Magic middle grade series, but with darker themes and higher stakes. Alex is a bruja and she's to come into her own during her death day ceremony. Again, like with A Dash of Trouble, brujas are initiated into the family through a birthday ceremony that summons the dead relatives who then help recognize the new bruja's speciality.

Alex, the newest initiate, is reluctant. She believes her magic is nothing but bad luck. She's tired of seeing her family get hurt and she doesn't want to add to it. So on her death day ceremony she tries to protect her family by stripping herself of her magic. Except the spell goes horribly, horribly wrong.

Given the emphasis on family — even dead family — participation in the upkeep of magic, it's not hard to see why or how even the spell went wrong. Alex, along with everyone else living and dead that is related to, ends up in the Los Lagos realm.

The set up, done in the first quarter or so of the book, evokes through well-meaning misstep, orphan magic and changes the setting an otherworldly labyrinth, very much like the maize maze that the Lowriders have to navigate to find their missing cat.

Through saving herself, navigating through Los Lagos, and reuniting with her family, Alex comes to understand how her magic works and how family makes her and her magic stronger.

I read this book for my road narrative project. It is a labyrinth and monsters on- and off-road tale that evokes orphan magic as the means for solving the labyrinth. I will write further about the symbolism of the book later.

The second book in the series, Bruja Born comes out on June 5th.

Four stars

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