Leven Thumps and other ramblings.

I have a confession.I love YA fiction.

I love YA fantasy fiction even more.

It’s really the only fantasy I read. The adult stuff is just too pretentious. It helps that I spend about half my time at work in the children’s department, so I can justify my voracious YA fiction appetite as a job requirement.

Ten years ago I devoured Harry Potter. I would lay in bed at night, nose buried to the spine. And I would stay that way sometimes until two or three in the morning. Y’all, I’m incapable of functioning on less than seven SOLID hours of sleep. And I had an after school job at a daycare. Didn’t matter. I was finishing this damn chapter sohelpmeGod… oh, and maybe the next one too. I’ve read them each at least twice, and I should really just write a blog post about how much I love those books.

A few years ago, my brother Beau had to read The Lightning Thief as his summer reading assignment. Beau HATES to read. He’s allergic or something. Anyway, my mother asked me to read the book too, and write up little quizzes for each chapter so she could tell if Beau was ACTUALLY reading. Ugh, fine whatever. I picked up a copy at B&N… and got sucked into this amazing place where the Greek Gods not only lived, but like, interacted with people and made babies. And there was a CAMP?! OMG I love camp!

Yeah, ate those up too. Also another blog post.

This past spring, I decided to tackle The Books of Ember. Those are equally as awesome. Distopian future where people live underground? Yes please! But wait… they don’t KNOW they live underground? Even better! Warning: The movie is NOT that great. It’s pretty terrible. Don’t watch it.

I usually take my reading cues from the kids at work. If a book gets a ton of facetime with readers, then maybe I should check it out. This tactic has been a big help when doling out advise for parents. “Hey, my nine year old needs blahblah AR points(don’t get me started) at blahblah level. But he’s already read and tested on Harry Potter. Can you recommend something?”

Oh boy, can I.

I haven’t worked up the nerve to read The Wimpy Kid books yet, and I don’t think I will. They’re just not my style. AND they’re lingering in popularity. I hate that. Kids are JUST interested enough that they stay checked out, but not SO interested that the books are on a perpetual holds list. So every now and then, we’ll have a few returned but not yet shelved. And then I’ve got to schlep to the back and dig for it. This is really just my lazy nature. I don’t WANT to schlep to the back. Also – and since I haven’t read them, I’m not speaking as an expert – there’s better stuff out there to read.

But, I digress.

This week, I picked up Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo. I’ve had the paperback floating around the living room for a little while now, and it had a little demand a few years ago. I just hadn’t gotten around to it until now. Granted, I haven’t made it far, the first two chapters, but I like it. The narrative is smartly written in easy to comprehend but not totally dumbed down language. It’s sassy, ad it’s got a bit of an edge. The fantasy world helps. Old men running around in robes, planting strange seeds. An orphan (the titular Leven) stuck living with a crotchety old aunt after his mother dies in childbirth. Somebody snatches a baby and replaces it with another. Evil shadow/cloud people destroying a town in Oklahoma. Some precocious rat-type thing running around the hospital, scaring people.

And that’s all in the first fifteen pages. I kind of can’t wait to finish it. And then I’ll write a real review. I’ve never written a book review before. This should be fun!

Best part… it’s the first in the series, which means even when it’s over, it’s not necessarily over!

Pick it up and tell me what you think.


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