Showing posts from June, 2024

Book Review: Ghost Station by S. A. Barnes

Dr. Ophelia Bray is a psychologist trying to escape her past. The unwanted daughter of an infamous family, she is shunned by those who know her real identity, even though she is more victim than perpetrator. When something gruesome happens, it’s easier to blame the closest target. In order to propel herself beyond her childhood trauma, Ophelia has dedicated her life to studying what she believes was the cause - ERS, which is a space-induced form of madness that drives people to murder. The most famous case resulted in the brutal murders of twenty-nine people. An opportunity arises to accompany a small exploration team who have recently lost one of their own, and she takes it, hoping to redeem herself by saving them from further loss. The team is reluctant to have her (an understatement) and Ophelia struggles to fit in. Things only get worse as something - ERS, madness, something else - begins to affect the crew and they turn on each other. Dr. Ophelia Bray takes the idea of a “flawed p

Series Retrospective: The Baby-Sitters Club

  In April 2024, the graphic novel adaptation of Baby-sitters Club #19 Claudia and the Bad Joke was the #1 kids book in Canada, and that warms my heart. When I was a kid, the Baby-sitters Club (BSC) was my favourite series. My obsession with the books was borderline unhealthy and I spent hours reading and rereading my favourites. I eventually outgrew the series, but it still holds a fond place in my memories, and I love that a new generation is enjoying this wonderful series. The BSC series was published from 1986-2000, consisted of over 200 total books, and sold over 180 million copies. Ann M. Martin wrote about 60-80 of them herself and oversaw a team of ghostwriters who penned the rest. The series is about a group of friends, aged 11-13, who form the titular baby-sitters club after Kristy Thomas (president and founder) watches her mom call the entire neighbourhood one night in search of a baby-sitter. Kristy asked herself “what if people could call just one phone number and get a wh

Stolen: A Letter to my Captor by Lucy Christopher

 Review originally written in 2014. I was wary of Stolen at first. The premise was of a young teenage girl who gets kidnapped by a handsome stranger and he holds her hostage in the Australian Outback until Stockholm Syndrome starts to sink its teeth into her mind. Too often, I find, stories (esp. young adult) try to sell that stalking=love, and typically with older men and young girls. "He's just SO IN LOVE with her that he can't help but be obsessed with her - isn't that romantic?" That kind of thing bothers me on a fundamental level. So, I entered this book worried. And at first, the book did nothing to soothe those fears. I listened to the book in audio format during a couple of long drives and my solitude as I cruised down road amplified the story in an unpredictable way. The vast majority of the tale is spent with only Gemma and Ty, her kidnapper, alone in the harsh Australian desert. The audio book, which is performed by Emily Gray, I think is the best way t