Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Book Review Jacob Wonderbar and the Cosmic Space Kapow






I eagerly awaited this book since I sort of have a writers crush on the author. Nathan Bransford was a literary agent with an amazing blog that taught me tons about the whole publishing world. He is no longer an agent, but his blog still has all kinds of helpful information. See his blog HERE

I was able to get the local library to get a copy of this book and was so excited to read it. When I did, I enjoyed it, but not as much as I had hoped to. I don't know what it was that felt lacking for me, but as I thought about it, I wondered if it was because it is a middle grade novel instead of Young Adult (the category I've found myself reading most frequently of late)
It is still an enjoyable read, and I think it's worth looking into.

Here's what the book has to say about itself:

Space travel is all fun and games until someone breaks the universe.

Jacob Wonderbar has been the bane of every substitute teacher at Magellan Middle School ever since his dad moved away from home. He never would have survived without his best friend Dexter, even if he is a little timid, and his cute-but-tough friend Sarah Daisy, who is chronically overscheduled.

But when the trio meets a mysterious man in silver they trade a corn dog for his sassy spaceship and blast off into the great unknown. That is, until they break the universe in a giant space kapow and a nefarious space buccaneer named Mick Cracken maroons Jacob and Dexter on a tiny planet that smells like burp breath. The friends have to work together to make it back to their little street where the houses look the same, even as Earth seems farther and farther away.

Here's what I have to say about it.

I liked the characters in it. I did giggle in places. The planets they visit are wildly imaginative. A planet with 30 second days, and 30 second nights. A planet entirely populated by scientist, a planet of substitute teachers. The planet where the King of the Universe lives sounds nice and too perfect. The space ships are fun and I'd love to be able to trade a corn dog for one myself.

Jacob, and his friends Dexter and Sarah have a great friendship, but find it tested as they go through some of the experiences in outer space. There are parental issues brought up. There are friendship problems brought to light and how to deal with making choices you are willing to live with, but done in a way that isn't too preachy.

I know that Bransford is a fan of the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, and a few places in the book reminded me a lot of that series.

Some places in the book confused me and I believe or hope they'll be cleared up in some of his follow up stories. I believe there are 3 planned for it.

Overall, it's a fun book and I'm sure the middle grade audience it was written for will love it. I enjoyed it, but at times found myself analyzing it as an adult instead of just letting myself really get into it.

Check it out for Amazon HERE

Check out Barns and Noble HERE

Check out his website again HERE

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

It's been a long time, but it hasn't been wasted.

I haven't posted in almost a month, and I didn't realize it was so long ago. I've been doing some reading, and writing, and parenting, and living, and so on. I probably have had time to do a post, but I haven't done it so now I'm setting a goal to do at least once a week. I did plan to post a couple times a week, and do some book reviews as I've completed books, but it just hasn't happened yet.

So I'm going to do a book review once a month, and do a post about writing once a week. Beyond that, we'll see what happens. Like I mentioned before, I am a mother. I have 5 kids that are more important than the extra things I'd like to do. Don't get me wrong, I'm not completely selfless. I will still do many things that make me happy. Some of that involves my kids and husband. Some of that will be writing related.

Writing does make me happy. The prospect of trying to get an agent, or have a publishing house makes me nervous. Putting my work out there for others to see isn't what gets me. It's the fact that the publishing industry is so subjective. My work might not be what they are looking for at the time, though that doesn't mean my story is bad, it just means it isn't for them.
That's okay. I still like it. And I'll keep writing more and more. Who knows, maybe someday, the whole world can read my thoughts.

Laura