Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Gothic Un-Valentine

Yes, I realize it's after the fact. But I couldn't let the Valentine Season go by without mentioning this book. The UnValentine by Sam Beeson and paintings by Jesse Draper (32 pgs, Shadow Mountain Publishing).

This book is a short little poem of sorts. Lily doesn't believe in love. And she certainly doesn't believe in Valentine's Day and the cutesy cards and mush that goes along with it. She writes in her journal about how she feels:

"Exactly midway through the frigid month of February
A day is celebrated by the dull and ordinary.
And all around me notes are passed by idiots and stupids --
Packed with sugar-mottoed hearts and naked, pudgy cupids.
This ritual, conducted under heart-shaped, crimson flag,
Does absolutely nothing for me, but to make me gag!"

I have to tell you, this little book is a treasure! When Patrick, from Shadow Mountain Publishing offered to send it to me, I was a little surprised. It didn't seem like something I would like. But Patrick must have been reading my blog, because my inner-goth girl fell in love with this poem!! The paintings are gorgeous and although the poem is rather simple in prose, the meaning certainly hits home!!

The best surprise of all comes at the end of the book. Included are 6 un-valentine cards that YOU can send out. Purely genius!!

I realize this isn't much of a review. There's not a lot that I can say without ruining it for you. But if you secretly (or maybe not-so-secretly) hate Valentine's Day, have a little goth in you, or just want to look at the beautful pictures, then you must buy this book!! That's the best recommendation I can give!! Next to a bouquet of black roses, this is the best Valentine I could imagine!! And many thanks to Patrick for sending this one my way! 5/5


Iliana said...

Ha,ha... that poem is great. I'll have to keep this book on my radar!

Ladytink_534 said...

That cover is creepy but it sounds like the book was pretty good!

Framed said...

I love the cover and I think I would love this book. I went off on a tirade about V-Day at work when my staff thought the day warranted an unscheduled casual day. As if. Usually I'm pretty indifferent to the Cupidity of it all, but this was over the top.

naida said...

sounds good!

Chris said...

I love this! Shadow Mountain is such a cool publisher...they're the same people who put out the Fablehaven series and I've found that they do so many awesome books. And Patrick's great isn't he? He sent me the third Fablehaven book and it doesn't even come out until April...and I got an interview with the author! Anyway, I'll have to pick up this little book even though I'm too late to send out the did your kids get the cards? ;)

Stephanie said...

Iliana - It IS cool! You'll have to find it. The pictures are just beautiful.

Tink - Yeah...a little creepy, but the pictures are really neat.

Framed - I'm with you on Valentines. I think that's why I liked this one so much!

Naida - Check it out sometime. It's really neat.

Chris - You are right. Patrick rocks!! He actually sent me the first Fablehaven book too. I'm hoping to read it this month!! Uh, no. The kids didn't get the cards. A little too dark for them. "I must admit, I can't resit, I wish this day did not exist!" Don't think they would appreciate them!

Melody said...

Wow, this book sounds like a must-read to me! And the cover art is beautiful!

Maggie said...

Hi Stephanie! I got this book in the mail, too! Great job on writing it up. :)

Chris said...

Steph, Yay! So glad you got the first Fablehaven...hope you enjoy it...if you do, the second one is even better and would be great for Carl's OUaT challenge. And the third one is due out in April! And yeah...I'm sure your kids wouldn't appreciate those cards :p

jpderosnay said...

wow! thats very cool.

and that painting is really just perfect. it so captures the tone of the writing.

Carl V. said...

I'll be on the lookout for this one in yon bookstore! Sounds delicious!

J Scott Savage said...

When I first saw this book, I browsed through it thinking it was going to have some kind of cutsey ending where the girl ends up loving Valentine's day. But nope, it really was dark. Then I laughed my way through it the second time.

Shadow Mountain really is having fun.