Curiosity House: The Shrunken Head by Lauren Oliver and H.C. Chester

Blessed with extraordinary abilities, orphans Philippa, Sam, and Thomas have grown up happily in Dumfrey’s Dime Museum of Freaks, Oddities, and Wonders. But when a fourth child, Max, a knife-thrower, joins the group, it sets off an unforgettable chain of events. When the museum’s Amazonian shrunken head is stolen, the four are determined to get it back. But their search leads them to a series of murders and an explosive secret about their pasts. – Goodreads

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1930’s New York is a lively setting for four orphans living in a Museum of Oddities to work together to solve a mystery.  Philippa, Sam, Thomas, and Max each possess unique qualities –  minding reading, super strength, elasticity, and deadly knife throwing.  Their lives are not glamorous though, their abilities are not fail-safe and they still go through the struggles associated with early teenage years – anxiety, shyness, and self-doubt.  Dumfrey’s Museum survives financially by attracting visitors to view the strange collection of worldly wonders as well as a freak show of sorts featuring the orphans and the array of odd inhabitants of the house.  Their fortunes begin to rise when an Amazonian shrunken head is procured for the museum however shortly thereafter the head is stolen and the museum is in danger of permanent foreclosure.

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I read a lot of YA (surprise, surprise) but I haven’t read too many middle-grade novels, including Lauren Oliver’s (Liesl and Po, The Spindlers).  Unfortunately, I couldn’t connect with the young protagonists or get behind their search for the thief of the shrunken head.  About a third of the way through the book, the plot seemed on repeat – do some digging, someone’s dead!, do some digging, someone’s dead! – literally everyone kept kicking the bucket.  The mystery (and murders) were solved in the end while leaving a larger mystery arc to be continued in the second book Curiosity House: The Screaming Statue, due out in 2016.  The Shrunken Head was likable enough, the story was a bit slow in the middle and the mystery reveal was a little predictable.  That said, I will probably read The Screaming Statue, picking it up from my local library.

In other Lauren Oliver news, the author shared that Before I Fall (one of my favorite novels from Oliver) is being made into a movie staring Zoey Deutch (Beautiful Creatures, Vampire Academy), see here.  There had been previous talks about developing the novel into a movie and then even a TV show with Emma Roberts.  Third time’s the charm?

Curiosity House: The Shrunken Head will be released September 29th, 2015.  A big shout-out to Harper Collins for sending me a copy for review ❤

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Sunday DragonCon Sunday

Whew!! I saw my two biggest panels today which means I spent a long time standing in line!  

 This morning I saw an Arrow panel – Katie Cassidy, John Barrowman, Stephen Amell, and Matt Nable – we missed you David Ramsey! I loved it – Captain Jack lights up a room, I could listen to him crack jokes all day long!

This evening I saw Karen Gillan – #squee Amy Pond!!! Her favorite Doctor is 10 and favorite companion is Rose. Be still my heart!!  

Mark and I also went to an author signing for Timothy Zahn, author of numerous Star Wars books.  

Favorite cosplay from today: Gwendolyn and The Will from Saga!!  

DragonCon Day 2

I had such a great day today at DragonCon!  I am so so pleased with my Cosima cosplay. First thing I did today was meet Chris Rankin aka Percy Weasley!  Chris talked about his audition process, his favorite Percy moments, and what he’s up to these days.  For his Percy application, Chris mailed in a postcard saying he was a prefect in school, a ginger, not a twin and 16 aka perfect for Percy.  His favorite HP character is Tom Riddle and he’d love to play Arthur or Horace in a remake.    His favorite HP moments: leading the first years to the common room, the breakfast scene at the burrow especially the hair and the ‘night dress thing’, the final battle (apparently the Weasley family danced to Saturday Night Fever!), and his absolute favorite moment was yelling ‘I’m headboy’ in Prisoner of Azkaban.

Chris earned his degree in media production and currently works in TV production.  Overall, I was pretty impressed with the interview! 

Friday Schedule

 After Chris Rankin, I attended a panel discussion about creating a safe space for female (comic book) readers.  It was a great conversation between Gwenda Bond and Laurenn McCubbins and I came away with some killer reading recommendations: Bombshells, Not Funny Ha Ha, Diary of a Teenage Girl, and On A Wire to name a few.I wrapped up the afternoon by going to an X-Files panel featuring the actors who played Deep Throat and Alex Krychek (Jerry Hardin and Nick Lea).  Sadly, Lea confirmed he will not be appearing in the new X-Files in Jan. 2016.Two of my favorite cosplays I saw today were a couple dressed up as the Grey Lady and Nearly Headless Nick and a woman dressed up as The Last Unicorn, my FAVORITE childhood movie. Last but not least – my fellow sestras and I being silly 🙂 

DragonCon Day 1

This is my first year going to DragonCon!!  

I’m really excited, I’m gonna try and do a post a day.

Check out these kick ass badges: 
Tomorrow will be my first full day.  I’m cosplaying Cosima from Orphan Black with two of my friends – I’ll have an Allison and Sarah to round out the clone trio. It would be great to find a Helena to take a pic with!  My co-worker offered to flat twist my hair to resemble Cosima.  

I’ll post my full cosplay tomorrow!!

Cat tax, my hair supervisor:  

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl

Chiik Chuuk Chik!  That’s Northeastern Squirrelese for you Squirrel Girl novices!

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I have no idea why I waited so long to read The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Erica Henderson and Ryan North.  Last week I bought Volume 1 (Issues #1-4) from My Parent’s Basement, Atlanta’s newest comic book bar.  Doreen Green (aka Squirrel Girl) is a college freshman with squirrel blood – she possesses the proportional speed and strength of a squirrel, oh and she has a tail.  One of my favorite lines in the first issue is I’m Doreen Green, completely regular college student who knows how to tuck her her tail into her pants… and who just happens to appear to have a conspicuously large and conspicuously awesome butt.  Let’s do this.

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I can’t sing enough of Squirrel Girl’s praises – Doreen Green is funny and brave, she wants to be a normal college girl while saving the world.  Her sidekick is Tippy-Toe, an adorable squirrel with a pink bow.  Nancy Whitehead is her college roommate who loves to knit and illegally keeps her cat Mew in the dorms.  Doreen has a crush on a boy named Tomas Lara-Perez with the dreamiest cheekbones.  North and Henderson do a phenomenal job of bringing Doreen and her friends to life, Doreen feels like a girl I could have gone to school with, been friends with.

Volume 1 contains some great extras too – the back pages show off some truly amazing variant covers, here’s just one example from Skottie Young.  The collection also includes Marvel Super-Heroes Issue #8 – Squirrel Girl’s first appearance in 1991.  Truth be told, Doreen’s original caricature is a little bit terrifying haha but you’ll just have to see for yourself.

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If you haven’t picked up The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl yet, what are you waiting for???

Last Week’s Comic Book Round Up

I got a little bit of everything in last week’s comic book haul – comedy, fantasy, superheroes, the works.

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Archie #2 – For a comic book all about Archie, all I got say is Jughead is hella hot.  Jughead is even getting his own comic book 10/7/15 from Chip Zdarsky and Erica Henderson – More than burgers but mostly burgers.

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Giant Days #6 – Love this cover!  Daisy and Esther are on a mission to find Susan after she disappears during Christmas break with some help from McGraw ❤2015-08-21 22.09.15

Rat Queens #11 – After falling in love with the trade volumes, I’ve crossed over into single issue purchases of Rat Queens!  I’m not over the moon with the new artist Tess Fowler, unfortunately Rat Queens has been plagued with artist problems after the original artist Roc Upchurch was arrested on domestic violence charges.  In other Rat Queens news, the series is being developed into an animated television series #squee!  You can read about it here.  Also I found out I’m missing the special on Braga – Imma gonna need that!

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The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 1 – I’ve heard so many good things about Squirrel Girl, I can’t wait to read it!  I picked it up on a whim at the new comic book bar in town – My Parent’s Basement, if you’re in the Atlanta area check it out!

The Runaways #3 – Runaways continues to be my favorite of the Battleworld comics ❤

Whatcha been reading??