quotes Elisquared likes

"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green


HARRISON SQUARED by Daryl Gregory (Review & Giveaway)

Title: Harrison Squared
Author(s): Daryl Gregory
Edition: Hardcover, 320 pages
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication Date: March 24, 2015
Source: Rockstar Book Tours 
Buy: Amazon Barnes & Noble - Book Depository - Inkwood Books

The Summary

From award winning author Daryl Gregory comes a thrilling and colorful Lovecraftian adventure of a teenage boy searching for his mother, and the macabre creatures he encounters.

Harrison Harrison—H2 to his mom—is a lonely teenager who’s been terrified of the water ever since he was a toddler in California, when a huge sea creature capsized their boat, and his father vanished. One of the “sensitives” who are attuned to the supernatural world, Harrison and his mother have just moved to the worst possible place for a boy like him: Dunnsmouth, a Lovecraftian town perched on rocks above the Atlantic, where strange things go on by night, monsters lurk under the waves, and creepy teachers run the local high school. 

On Harrison’s first day at school, his mother, a marine biologist, disappears at sea. Harrison must attempt to solve the mystery of her accident, which puts him in conflict with a strange church, a knife­wielding killer, and the Deep Ones, fish­-human hybrids that live in the bay. It will take all his resources—and an unusual host of allies—to defeat the danger and find his mother.

My Opinion

This book was unlike anything I have ever read.  I am not a Lovecraft lover; I find his books to be just on the side of too weird for me.  That being said, the summary of Harrison Squared pulled me in and I signed up for the blog tour.  I am so glad I did, because I really loved this book.  Daryl Gregory managed to imbue both humor and terror in equal doses within the pages, creating a town which I never want to visit, but that I didn't want to leave.

Harrison Harrison (or H2 as his Mom calls him), is just your average 17 year old with a prosethtic leg that was a result of a tragic boating accident.  Now the real question is, was this boating accident from a storm or a monstrous creature?  Either way, H2 lost his father to the accident, and it's just been him and his absentminded marine biologist mother ever since.  Now, in the middle of his Junior year, his mother moves across the country in search of giant squids, and H2 must deal with the very strange town of Dunnsmouth in the deal.

H2 is a good, solid protagonist.  I immediately like him for his snark and his heart.  He loves his mother dearly, and works to help her keep their little family together.  But at the same time, he gets angry when her "science-brain" takes over and she forgets things.  Their relationship is a very normal one, and that helps off-set the very weird events that take place in the dismal fishing town of Dunnsmouth, Massachusetts.  From the very beginning the reader is given little clues as to the true nature of the town, with it's high school at the epicenter of the weird.

The type of monster in the story is definitely a homage to Lovecraft, as it has a marine-dwelling kraken/squid type beasty, a cult, and some very shady characters.  But while there is obvious horror in the book, I feel that the story overall was still much more hopeful than anything Lovecraft wrote.  

Without the setting, the book would have such a different feel.  It had to be in a fishing village, and it had to be in some whole in the wall town.  The reader saw everything through a screen of ageing, making you feel as if there characters were straddling both the present day and the 1800s.  But my favorite part of the whole book had to be the characters.  H2, Lydia, Lub, and Aunt Sel are all great, and bring another aspect to the story that was really necessary.  H2 is the "hero" and demonstrates this well.  He stands up to people, he fights for what needs to be done, and he really cares about what happens to everyone else (well at least the good guys).  Lydia is like the commander of the operation, showing wisdom way beyond her years and a knack for getting the job done.  Lub is the comic relief, but is integral to solving the mystery; without him the whole thing would have never come together.  Finally, Aunt Sel is by no means a parent, but she is exactly the type of "authority figure" H2 needs when his mother goes missing; loving without being motherly, she allows him to do what he needs to do.

When I started Harrison Squared, I had no idea that it was a kind of prequel to one of Daryl's previous books We Are All Completely Fine, but I will be sure to read that book and all of Daryl's other books; maybe I will see Lovecraft in a new light after delving deeper into them!  Harrison Squared is fun, frightening, and delivers a punch at the end.  I suggest, even if you're not a "fan" of the horror/supernatural genre, you give this book a chance; it is well worth it!


Play Harrison Squared Dies Early
Harrison Squared Dies Early is a short interactive story that’s a companion to Harrison Squared the novel. Remember choose-your-own-adventure books? It’s like that, but with puzzles.
You play as Harrison as he sneaks into Dunnsmouth Secondary on a not-so-sleepy Saturday to track down a monster running loose. The art is by David Hinnergardt, and text and puzzles are by me.

We are giving away a finished copy of HARRISON SQUARED to 15 WINNERS
Giveaway is open to US ONLY
Giveaway ends on April 3rd

Final Rating

Book Cover: 3/5
Book Title: 4/5
Plot: 9/10
Characters: 10/10
Writing: 10/10
Ending: 9/10
Overall: 45/50: A-
About the Author

Daryl Gregory is an award-winning writer of genre-mixing novels, stories, and comics. His most recent work is the novel is Afterparty (Tor, April 2014) and the novella We Are All Completely Fine (Tachyon, August 2014). His first novel, Pandemonium, won the Crawford Award and was nominated for a World Fantasy Award. His other novels include the Philip K. Dick award finalist The Devil’s Alphabet and Raising Stony Mayhall, which was named one of the best books of the year by Library Journal.

Many of his short stories are collected in Unpossible and Other Stories, which was named one of the best books of 2011 by Publishers Weekly. His comics work includes the Planet of the Apes series, and Dracula: The Company of Monsters series (co-written with Kurt Busiek). He lives in State College, PA, where he writes programming code in the morning, prose in the afternoons, and comics at night.

                              WEBSITE | BLOG | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

Tour Schedule

Week One:
3/16/2015- Bibliophilia, PleaseInterview
3/17/2015- NerdophilesReview
3/18/2015- Mythical BooksGuest Post
3/19/2015- Spiced Latte ReadsReview
3/20/2015- The Cover Contessa- Interview

Week Two:
3/23/2015- Eli to the nthReview
3/24/2015- Word to DreamsGuest Post
3/25/2015- Passion ObsessionReview
3/26/2015- Bookhounds yaInterview
3/27/2015- Such a Novel IdeaReview

Week Three:
3/30/2015- Working for the MandroidGuest Post3/31/2015- Curling Up With A Good BookReview


Rockin' the Boat Blog Tour (Review + Giveaway)

I don't know about you, but history hasn't always been my favorite subject.  There are too many dates to memorize and too many people named the same thing.  But as I've gotten older and took more specialized history classes in college, I realized that there is so much more to history than dates and stuffy old white men.  There are radicals, there are megalomaniacs, there are humanitarians, there are dictators: any kind of person you can imagine, has been represented in some large way in history.

But today the revolutionaries are on call with one of the newest publications from Zest Books, Rockin' the Boat50 Iconic Revolutionaries from Joan of Arc to Malcolm X.  Written by Jeff Fleischer, Rockin' the Boat takes a look at 50 iconic revolutionaries, those regarded as villains as well as those regarded as heroes, throughout history and the world.

Rockin' the Boat: 50 Iconic Revolutionaries from Joan of Arc to Malcolm X
Jeff Fleischer
Zest Books
March  3, 2014
We love to root for the underdog, and when it comes to underdogs, few are more impressive than the world’s great revolutionaries. 
After all, it’s pretty hard to find a more powerful opponent than the world’s biggest empires and emperors. And that’s part of why we’re drawn to the stories of revolutionaries. Many of these men and women were born into virtual dystopias, and they fought throughout their lives, against all odds, to forge a path to a better future. And whether they succeeded, failed, or succeeded only to become a new kind of enemy, there’s something inherently fascinating about that effort to change the world. 
Rockin’ the Boat tells the stories of fifty such iconoclasts — including the gladiator Spartacus, the Carthaginian general Hannibal Barca, the inspired religious fighter Joan of Arc, the abolitionist John Brown, women’s rights icon Margaret Sanger, and Maori chief Hono Heke — from an incredibly diverse set of places and times. Each entry includes a mix of history, biography, and analysis, and is supplemented with photos, sidebars, and an incredible amount of trivia as well. 
As a result, Rockin’ the Boat provides a unique and powerful view of history — a view from the bottom up, through the eyes of people who dared to imagine a different world from the one in which they lived.
Sounds awesome right?

What I really liked about the book was the diversity that Fleischer presented, making sure to incorporate people of color, women, and different socioeconomic statuses.  But as March is Women's History Month, I thought I would highlight the women included in this list of 50 revolutionaries.

First up we have Cleopatra
Pharaoh of Egypt, she fought for rule against her younger brother, and ultimately fought against the Roman Empire to try and keep control over Egypt.

Next is Boudica
A Queen of a Celtic tribe in Great Britain during the time of Rome, she avenged the ravage of her people by attacking the Roman overlords, and burning down what would become modern London.

Then we have Joan of Arc
One of the first women military leaders, she led part of the French force successfully against the English.  She was also made a martyr, and eventually a Saint, for her conviction of faith 

Next is Elizabeth Cady Stanton
She was responsible for the first American Women's Suffrage Movement, and worked tirelessly to gain equality for women.

Then here is Harriet Tubman
One of the most successful Conductors on the Underground Railroad, and an escaped slave herself, she rescued dozens of slaves, leading them to freedom and a better life.

Next is Mary Harris Jones
A dressmaker from Ireland, she devoted her adult life to changing labor practices and worked to create some of the first large unions, and was a founding member of the Industrial Workers of the World.

Here we have Liliuokalani
Last Queen of Hawaii, she worked tirelessly to stop the United States attempts to siege control of the Hawaiian Islands, but ultimately failed to regain her control of the country.

Up next is Kate Sheppard
A pivotal player in the fight for women's suffrage, she helped found the New Zealand chapter of the Women's Christian Temperance Movement and was pivotal in making her country the first to allow all women to vote.

Finally, we end with Emma Goldman
A committed Anarchist, she had a plethora of activism, including, but not limited to, the Russian Revolution, women's access to birth control, and opposition to the military draft; if there was a fight worth fighting, she took place in it.

And there you have it, 9 kick-ass female revolutionaries all waiting within the pages of Rockin' the Boat for you to discover!

Learn more about these amazing revolutionaries by grabbing your own copy of Rockin' the Boat: 50 Iconic Revolutionaries from Joan of Arc to Malcolm X at any of the below retailers:

About the author:

Jeff Fleischer is a Chicago-based journalist and author, who has written for Mother Jones, the Sydney Morning Herald, National Geographic Traveler, Mental Floss, and Chicago Magazine.


Enter to win:
1 Copy of Rockin' the Boat

Giveaway Rules:
Please read my general terms and conditions first.

- Must be 13 years old to enter.
- Must have a U.S. shipping address.
- No P.O. Boxes allowed.
- No International entries.
- ONE winner will win the prize above.
- Winner will be contacted by email.
- Winner has 48 hours to respond w/address
or a new winner will be chosen.
-Publisher will send the winner their prize.
-Eli to the nth claims no responsibility for lost prizes.


Teaser Tuesday (71)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Jenn of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following!
  • Grab your current read.
  • Open to a random page.
  • Share a few teaser sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • MAKE SURE NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (you don't want to give too much away and ruin the book for other readers)
Share the title and author too, so that other readers can add your book to their TBR list if they like your teaser!

Harrison Squared
Daryl Gregory
March 24, 2015

      I knew she was coddling me.  Pretending that everything was going to be all right.  Lying to children, I understood, was an adult's first job. (pg. 82)

From page one this book has had me hooked!  I am currently reading it for review through Rockstar Book Tours (check them out; I've gotten to read some great books through them), and boy, this one is gonna be good.  Really strange, and funny too, this book is haunting with (there is no other way to describe it) a Lovecraftian tone.  If you're into mysteries of the supernatural variety, this book will be right up your alley.  Dropping on March 24th, be sure to check out my review for the book on the blog March 23!

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