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Perpetual scaredy-cat Conor O'Neill has the fright of his life when a banshee girl named Ashling shows up in his bedroom. Ashling is—as all banshees are—a harbinger of death, but she's new at this banshee business, and first she insists on going to middle school. As Conor attempts to hide her identity from his teachers, he realizes he's going to have to pay a visit to the ...
Perpetual scaredy-cat Conor O'Neill has the fright of his life when a banshee girl named Ashling shows up in his bedroom. Ashling is—as all banshees are—a harbinger of death, but she's new at this banshee business, and first she insists on going to middle school. As Conor attempts to hide her identity from his teachers, he realizes he's going to have to pay a visit to the underworld if he wants to keep his family safe.
"Got your cell?"
"Yeah . . . . Don't see what good it'll do me."
"I'll text you if anything happens that you should know."
"Text me? Javier, we'll be in the afterlife."
"You never know. Maybe they get a signal."
Discover why Kirkus has called Booraem's work "utterly original American fantasy . . . frequently hysterical." This totally fresh take on the afterlife combines the kid next door appeal of Percy Jackson with the snark of Artemis Fowl and the heart of a true middle grade classic.
Posted September 6, 2013
I don’t review Middle Grade as often as I should and I constantly fear that I’m missing out on books as good as these. Texting the Underworld captures a part of the paranormal that typically gets ignored : the Banshee.
I could definitely tell that the demographic was aimed at someone younger than me, so it’s not one of those cross-generational novels that appeal to everyone. Still, it’s a book I would recommend for my sister’s fifth grade classroom, or give as a gift to my younger cousins.
It’s hard not to relate paranormal books to other paranormal books that are out right now. So, while I can’t compare it to other middle grade novels, I can say that Texting the Underworld, reminded me a lot like The Georgina Kincaid series, except for it’s target audience.
What makes it especially great, in my personal opinion, is how I don’t think it will be labeled as a “boy” or “girl” book. The cover doesn’t give much away, but certainly appeals to the generation that has grown up with smart phones. It is easily enjoyable for either gender and I appreciate how the marketing has chosen not to make it go one way or the other.
Conor is a strong main character, with realistic faults for his age. More than that, I loved the way Booraem chose to show how time can change a person, to the point that both people can be nearly unrecognizable to each other, without losing the essence of a person. While I feel like that is something adults have learned, it’s harder to express in books for children, who have only been alive for a decade.
For me, the female characters stole the show. Ashling and Glennie were both vibrant and outgoing, the latter’s brattiness more amusing than frustrating. While both characters had flaws of their own, they were interested in adventure and learning. They weren’t the main character, but they were just as detailed and personable.
I probably won’t be adding Texting the Underworld to my personal library, but I’ve been building up a collection for my eventual kids, and it will be added to that.
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Posted October 6, 2013
Posted August 28, 2013