Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Weird Assortment Wednesday

Tack, Karen and Richardson, Alan. What's New, Cupcake.
I can't imagine anyone actually MAKING any of the cupcakes in this book; wow. The ducks on the cover involve constructing the duck out of a doughnut hole and half a marshmellow, then dipping it in melted frosting. Having once constructed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to look like teddy bears picnicking on the beach, I know to "Just Say No" to this sort of thing. The cupcakes are beautiful and clever, and this will constantly circulate in my library, however, for the same reason that I still have my mother's c. 1960 Wilton's Modern Cake Decorating (shown) book. It is just fun to look at sometimes, and wonder if people really have that much motivation to wrap wedding cakes in spun sugar. Follett offers an e book version of this, which I do not understand.

Patterson, James and Charbonnet, Gabrielle. Witch and Wizard.
Wisty and Whit Allgood are torn from their home and parents in the middle of the night by government agents and a snarky classmate, under the accusation of being witches. They have no idea what this is about, even though Wisty occasionally bursts into flames and can shoot lightning bolts out of her fingertips. They are sent by The One Who is the One and the New Order to a horrible prison where other children are incarcerated and survive in part due to the help of Whit's missing girlfriend, who appears to him in dreams. They fight the system, of course, and it turns out that the twins are part of a prophecy feared by The One. The story is to be continued.

Strengths: Like most Patterson for YA, this has very short chapters and fast-paced action. Children vs. Evil as a main plot line is also popular.

Weaknesses: I'm not a book snob by any stretch of the imagination, but this was not well-written at all. Fraught with cliched and awkward phrases, this read like a comic book version of Brave New World or 1984. Very little is explained about the dystopian setting, and the characters seemed very cardboard. While this will appeal to reluctant readers, I almost feel bad handing it to them. I agree whole-heartedly with The Book Smugglers' take on this one.

Also polished off a couple of Simon Pulse Romantic comedies, which I usually love, but they were apparently not what I wanted to read last night. I want... a good, funny, realistic fiction book for boys. Or maybe something historical.


  1. My wife got the cupcake book for Xmas and will probably make some version of some of them. But and ebook? Only on an iPad I guess...

  2. Oh, dear. I had two kids today tell me they wanted me to order more in this series. Guess I'd better read it myself first.

    I do appreciate your reading all these books, Mrs. Y, and sharing your thoughts about them with us. It's so helpful.

  3. Witch and Wizard is the worst book I've ever read. It's like someone said, "Hey, you know what's really hot right now - witches, dystopias and James Patterson. Let's book all three in a book and see who buys it."

  4. I wouldn't make the duck cupcakes, but I did once make really cute pig cupcakes with pipe-cleaner tails and marshmallow noses!