Teaching My Baby To Read

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Suzanne Selfors

The Butchart Gardens in Victoria, Canada.

YA author Suzanne Selfors knows how to write about evil mothers!

In her book Saving Juliet, Mimi’s mother channels Joan Crawford, and Lady Capulet is evil enough to rival any Disney stepmother. In Coffeehouse Angel the main character’s mom is killed off before the story even begins. The Sweetest Spell has the worst mother of all, a wicked queen who is ashamed of her son’s love interests, and intent on enslaving her entire country. Oh yeah, and Emmeline’s mother was also killed off before the story even got going.


But back to my reviews, here ya go:

Saving Juliet

If you can handle a major suspension of disbelief, then you will be happily rewarded with this fun bit of fan fiction from Suzanne Selfors. Fan Fiction for Shakespeare? Yeah, just go with it!

In the middle of Mimi Wallingford’s flight of fancy through Verona, she meets all of the major players in Romeo and Juliet. Mimi also comes to terms with some real life issues that every teenager faces. What will she do with her life? Whom will she date? How will she get her mother to leave her alone?

I found this book to be fast paced and cleverly written. I am purchasing a copy for my 13 year old niece’s Christmas present, because I think she will enjoy it too.

Coffeehouse Angel

This fun, YA books has Pacific Northwest freshness on every page. Norwegian heritage? Check! Miserable weather? Lots of coffee? Slaves to organic? Check, check and check!

As previously mentioned the young heroine in Coffeehouse Angel is being raised by her grandmother in the wake of her parents’ death. When she shows kindness to a homeless guy sleeping in the alley next to her grandma’s coffee house, things start to get weird.

Without giving too much away, there is also a scene in this book involving a 40 pound rat. When I saw the Youtube clip recently about the gigantic earthworm discovered in somebody’s backyard, I wondered if there was a magic coffee bean involved.

The Sweetest Spell

The Sweetest Spell is a fantasy meets dystopian novel that reminded me a lot of the 1980s classic movie “The Princess Bride”. It tells the story of club footed Emmeline, who is an outcast in her town until it is discovered that she can churn cream into chocolate. In Emmeline’s world, beautiful is more beautiful, evil is more evil, and chocolate is more delicious than ever.

(This post is from my 2012 Salute to Pacific Northwest Writers.)

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