Monday, June 3, 2013

Maureen Johnson's "The Madness Underneath"

I don't know if you've had the opportunity to meet Maureen Johnson (I totally call her MoJo when I'm talking to myself, or taking book notes) but as much as I enjoyed her books before I met her, I find them even more enjoyable after having met her. I don't know if this is because I now know she's hysterical, or if I'm just reading them in increasing orders of awesome, but whatever.

I wasn't sure about reading The Name of the Star because it sounded scary (yes, I'm 36 and I'm afraid of the dark) but I finally went for it and I enjoyed it. And yet when it came time to read the sequel, The Madness Underneath, I hesitated. And as always happens when I read a MoJo book, it was way better than I expected and I deeply enjoyed it. I actually liked it even better than the first book. There's something about her books where I read the descriptions and I think "meh, that sounds okay" but I always like them way more than I originally think I will. I guess it's just hard to convey her awesomeness on a book cover. 

Favorite quote from the book!

"You can't curl up on the sofa and deny life forever. Life is always going to be a series of ouch-making moments, and the question was, was I going to go all fetal position, or was I going to woman up?"

There are also things Rory thinks that I think are probably pretty on par with who MoJo is as a person. Such as:

"The hairs sprouted, and they were kind of cute. So i just let them go to see what would happen, and what had happened was that I had a fine web of delicate hair all over my legs that I could ruffle while I watched television, like some people absently pet their cats. I was my very own fuzzy pet."

And then there's the other MoJo thing that I think she may have written about my daughter.

"(Oh the ongoing love affair between hands and mouths. Hair always goes for the mouth. The mouth opens, and hair says, 'I'm going in! I'm going in!' lie a manic cave diver.)" 

Here's the Goodreads description:

After her near-fatal run-in with the Jack the Ripper copycat, Rory Devereaux has been living in Bristol under the close watch of her parents. So when her therapist suddenly suggests she return to Wexford, Rory jumps at the chance to get back to her friends. But Rory’s brush with the Ripper touched her more than she thought possible: she’s become a human terminus, with the power to eliminate ghosts on contact. She soon finds out that the Shades—the city’s secret ghost-fighting police—are responsible for her return. The Ripper may be gone, but now there is a string of new inexplicable deaths threatening London. Rory has evidence that the deaths are no coincidence. Something much more sinister is going on, and now she must convince the squad to listen to her before it’s too late.
In this follow-up to the Edgar Award-nominated THE NAME OF THE STAR, Maureen Johnson adds another layer of spectacularly gruesome details to the streets of London that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. 

It's a good book. Go read The Name of the Star, and then The Madness Underneath. If you want more MoJo, you can also read the Scarlett books and The Blue Envelope books. All super cute. I have Girl at Sea and it's signed but I still haven't read it. Slacker me, drowning in books. Joyously drowning in books.

Big thanks to Semi Circular Vegan, who is friends with MoJo and, like a good friend should, went on and on about her great author friend's great books. 

Here's a video of MoJo and Steph Perkins at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh. MoJo is talking about how someone was complaining about those fancy cut uneven pages, and she demonstrates how she would personally cut them all herself. She's so funny. Worth a drive to wherever she visits that is closest to you. Steph Perkins is worth it too, and I'm so glad I got to see them together because they're extra cute together! 

ETA: I want to add a song to each post that reminds me of the book in that post. Here's #1.

1 comment:

  1. I totally forgot how I always put my hair in my mouth too when I was younger. When your post brought that memory back, I remembered the taste and everyting