Friday Links: I WANTS!

Truth time -- I love childhood classics. I'm obsessed with them. I reread them when I'm a little sad, or a little happy, or when it's a special occasion. I used to read Little Women, Heidi, and Swiss Family Robinson annually. The sad part of this is the classics my mom bought me were clunky, ugly, hefty things.

But... what if my mother had bought me some of these?


Anthropologie is selling super sweet little canvas bound copies of the classics. They only have six, but at least three are regular reads still in my life.

What do you do once you have the sweetest classics ever? Put a bookplate on them so everyone knows they are yours and if they attempt to keep them while they are on loan, you'll attack. But, wait! Don't get an ugly bookplate to go with your super cute book. Get a cute bookplate from Sarah Jane Studios.


If you love to write as well as read, you might want to pick up one of her pretty little journals too.

Happy Friday!


Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison

Once Dead, Twice ShyI could not find a blurb on the author's website, though I did find an excerpt.  I will attempt to summarize myself:  Madison Avery is a young dead teenage girl with several problems besides being dead.  While at the prom, she got killed by a reaper, and she found out that Barnabas, the angel in charge of guarding her, had failed.  However, she managed to grab her killer's magical amulet, and now she's trying to make it work and avoid getting her soul destroyed (and her unlife ended) by her killer.

Let's start with the bad and end with the good, shall we?  Harrison throws you into this story without a life vest.  She throws you in without swimmies.  You've got to fight through the first few chapters, trying to figure out what the hell is going on because you don't know the characters, the world, what's happened to the main character to get her into the situation she's in, and you probably don't care.  Perhaps she does this on purpose.

But, it's not well done. 

It's aggravating and I almost gave up reading.  Why did I continue?  The little I could understand was interesting and easy to read, so I kept going.  Around half-way through the book, I realized I was into the story.  I was into the Grace, the guardian angel who composes limericks.  I liked Madison when she wasn't vrooming wildly between goth and faux-aggressive Buffy-esque chick.  The plot, when you threw away all the overly-dramatic bits, was pretty darned good. 

By  the time I got to the end, I was happy I had stuck it out.  I liked the resolution of the action and I found the premise interesting enough that I added the sequel to my library wishlist, and I looked for the novella that probably came before! Sure, the last chapter was sort of cheesy, but the chapters that preceded it were so strong that I was willing to forgive and forget.

Verdict: 6.  I'm glad I kept reading this book, even though I struggled through the beginning chapters.  I think if I had not finished it, I would have mentally given it a 3 or 4, but the ending showed so much promise, that I ratcheted up the score.

Thoughts:  I know that Kim Harrison likes to write in anthologies, but this is ridiculous.  The beginning of this book practically required that you had pre-read Prom Nights From Hell.  And from the small excerpt I read of that short story, she greatly changed the supporting characters, such as Josh, around by the time she wrote this book.  I'm almost angered by this whole fact.