Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Bizarro Book Club: Mr. Underneath

It's that time again, BIZARRO BOOK CLUB!! Here's what went down last time. If you're new to the blog and haven't seen a bizarro post, here are the logistics:
  • We came up with a set of questions that will allow us to discuss the book without really giving anything away for those of you who haven't read it.
  • We both answer each question and we think of our answers beforehand so as not to be influenced by the other person's ideas.
  • We do have a chance for rebuttal or additional commentary after we've read what the other person wrote.
  • If you've read the book and you want to weigh in with your own answers, reactions to ours, etc. we'd love that! Surely one of these days we'll read a book that one of you have also read.

Do you remember our excitement when we announced we'd be reading Mr Underneath for this edition of Bizarro?  It's such a cool book!  I'm really happy that we decided to feature it here.  If you remember our last book, that one took me (Robyn) two months to trudge through.  This book on the other hand; I couldn't put it down!  I just wanted to read and read, and to me that's what makes a good book.

Now for a little bizarre conversation between Robyn & Whitney.

#1- If two books had a baby and the result was this book, who would it's parents be?

Robyn: This book had a Harry Potter/Spiderwick/Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe vibe (because of magic, Britishness, shape shifting, other worlds that exist unbeknownst to regular folks, secret passages...).  Three parents from me. 

Whit: I think its like the Percy Jackson series (because of the whole regular kid thrown into a frightening mythical quest) crossed with Alice's in Wonderland-- I mean he does follow a squirrel into the woods, and then 'the pipes' and a doors taking them different places...? Do you see it?  

Robyn: I totally see it!!!  Why didn't I think of those books?

#2- Who was your favorite character and why?

Robyn: I just adored Kyra.  She was such an interesting, spunky character.  She's extremely courageous and adventurous.  She was great fun to get to know!

Whit: I really liked Kyra too, but I think I'll say Hobnail. He's an unlikely allie for Jackson but he turns out to be a funny, and wonderful companion. I loved their interactions with each other!

Robyn: Hobnail was such a curious/cool character.  

#3- There are several wicked and/or frightening beings involved in this book.  Two of which included garden gnomes and large spiders.  Which of those did you find more frightening?

Robyn: I've been pretty freaked out by Gnomes ever since the premier episode of Gravity Falls (you know what I mean, right?!?) so yeah, gnomes are super freaky.  And the twist the gnomes take in this story, YIKES!  

Whit: Ummm, the spiders! HELLO! And, when you consider what the gnomes actually are and what the spiders actually are I think it makes the spiders seem even worse!! 
But you like spiders in real life, right Robyn? They don't freak you out....I can't say the same. (Oh, and I haven't seen much of Gravity Falls...though I do recall a gnome episode at some point? Sorry.) 

Robyn: (We're obsessed with Gravity Falls.)  I don't want to give anything away about this story, but I think what the gnomes actually are makes them (and more so, the major villain of this book) very frightening.  Granted in a different way than the spiders are frightening.  And it's not so much that I love spiders (hello, Aragog!!!  Most terrifying character in all of literature.)  But I'm not terribly afraid of them either... I will say these were scary spiders, I wouldn't want to have them crawling all over my banisters. 

Whit: Well I agree with your point that what the gnomes actually are makes the villian even more creepy...but still they were for the most part just sitting around, fallling out of the closet, etc.  They weren't crawling all over Jackson-- it makes me twicthy just thinking about the spiders.  

#4-The book includes shape shifting characters.  If you had the ability to shift into the form of one animal, what animal would it be?

Robyn: I love that Kyra shifts the way she does!  If I shifted I think it would have to be into a cat.  Though something that could fly would be really incredible.

Whit: Ha! A cat-- of course you would be a cat, how did I not see that coming? Would you be a domestic cat or a jungle cat?  (Just curious.)  
I think something that could fly would be amazing too. (I really did think that one of the best parts about Kyra's character was that she kept her bird like reflexes even in her human form.) However, I'm not a huge fan of flying in my human state, so what if that meant as a bird I would also be nervous to fly. That would just be pretty much the lamest thing ever. So, I'm gonna say dolphin.

Robyn: A dolphin!  That would be so cool (then again, I'm afraid of swimming in real life... so how would that cross over for me?  We have problems Whit!)  I would be a domestic cat.  Kind of like  Professor McGonagall.  :)

Whit: Ah, a cat like Professor McGonagall makes much more sense...I was thinking you'd be shape shifting as one of your own pet cats or something.

#5-Rate this book on a scale of 1-10, 1 being a can of wet dog food 10 a triple scoop ice cream cone.

Robyn: I'll give this book and 8, I really enjoyed it and can't wait to find out what happens in the next installment. 

Whit: Oh, I can't wait either!  I have lots of things I still want to know. I think this book was fresh and clever: imaginative creatures, interesting settings, and hero who is totally relatable! I'm normally not a big fan of creepy stuff, but this book was just spooky enough without going over the top.
I think I'm gonna give it a 9 on the bizarro scale because I think it's one of the best books we've read for bizarro. It's original, thoughtfully written, and I still want to read more!
There you have it!  Thanks so much for joining us for our usual crazy wackiness.  Anybody else out there read Mr. Underneath yet?  We'd love to hear what you thought.  What would you shape shift into?

Are you dying to get in on our Bizarro conversation?  If so maybe our next book is the one for you.  We'll be reading...

Bad Kitty Gets a Bath by Nick Bruel.  It will take you 30 minutes or less to read- we're keeping things light for our next installment.  :)  And we'd love to have you join the fun!  (oh, we'll post about it in a month or so... probably sometime in November.)

Happy Reading,
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ps Be sure to jump over to Silver Shoes and Rabbit Holes, our good friend Danzel just reviewed Mr. Underneath too- you don't want to miss what she's got to say!

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