Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Odds of Getting Even

 This is the third book in this series (yep, you heard me right...I'm reading a series before it's finished!).  I first encountered Sheila Turnage last year when I began reading Newbery Award/Honor books.  Turnage had won the honor for Three Times Lucky in 2013.  This is one of those times when an award book has led me on to better things and I have, with the greatest pleasure, consumed these books one after the other with great relish!
It was a page turner.  I liken it to the same feel and style of Fannie Flagg and Charlaine Harris (or maybe a Flagg wrapped Harris burrito).  The story just soothingly flows through (like the river that eleven-year-old protagonist Mo was found nearby when she was a baby) and is full of intrigue and mystery.  I can say that this first book has passed the most important test... DH read it aloud to his class this year and they loved it!  I can say from personal observation, that a kid will never voluntarily pick up a mystery book.  I have tried over the years to get even my strongest readers to have a look at a mystery, but have failed every time.  With the success of the first book, the whole set has been bought for the library (squee!).  
Number two, The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing, does not disappoint.  It is just as full and flowing of charm and intrigue because there are still enough questions left to be answered from the first book.  This is where I am strongly reminded of Charlaine Harris.  This time we have a little of the supernatural along with our mystery, a pleasant combination of genres which Harris has successfully done (many times!).  She (Harris) also has this wonderful ability to write a series that flows and captures interest right until the very end.  I have often felt bored and a little annoyed at writers of series because they either drag the story along or just plan a beginning and an end and fill the middle with enough sticky fluff to carry the story on for another book (kind of like an Oreo cookie).  That is not the case with these books!

The Odds of Getting Even is just lovely.  An excellent stepping stone to where Turnage is going to go next.  This is where I feel Fannie Flagg the most.  Flagg has always had this wonderful ability to write good and lovable characters that you can't help but care deeply for.  Her books have always been able to soothe me in a way I find hard to describe, despite the fact that there are some horrible characters (and there are some really ugly ones in her books).  There is an acceptance of people for who they are, and a kindness which is just a balm for whatever ails you.  Turnage's Tupelo Landing cast of characters is just another bunch of folks that you can instantly like.
I'm really happy with how the story is progressing so far and my interest has not faded in the least.  Bring on number four!

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