Lies About Books: Beanstalk

The summer is Most Definitely Not Over, but July basically is, which means it’s that time again – time for me to tell bald-faced lies about a book I genuinely enjoyed! In the month of July, it was my supreme pleasure to read the novel Beanstalk, by E. Jade Lomax, first book in her Leagues and Legends trilogy.

Beanstalk follows the life of one Jack Farris, budding botanist. Since he was first able to reach for a spade, Jack has been addicted to gardening. He grew potatoes before he said his first word. He was picking berries before he could walk. By the time he was fourteen, he was known to grow the best tomatoes in the district.

But Jack’s one failing, his greatest regret, is his inability to grow beans. He has tried everything; he has planted beans, grafted snippings; he has tried to grow them in new earth, old earth, in a greenhouse, in water, in flowerpots – nothing works.

So finally, he gathers up his watering can, a pouch full of assorted seeds and a backpack filled with earth, and a pair of gardening gloves, and he sets out on a quest to learn how to grow a beanstalk, or die trying. This is the story of Beanstalk.

Filled to the brim with gardening tips and recipes that use home-grown vegetables, Beanstalk is sweet and funny, by turns lighthearted and suspenseful, rich with Jack’s special brand of earthy wit and wisdom. I recommend this book wholeheartedly and without reservation, to all fans of all ages of the plant kingdom, adventures, and friendship.

 

Lies About Books: Little Women

Hello and welcome back (a little belatedly) to Lies About Books here at Factually Deficient, your go-to source for truth-free book reviews! For the month of May, I will review Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott. Although I have not re-read Little Women in the past month, I have been watching The March Family Letters, which is essentially the same thing.

Little Women follows the story of four sisters who are all tragically no more than three inches tall. Although in their mid-teens when the story begins, the girls do not know–and their parents obstinately refuse to tell them–whether they were born this little, or whether it was the result of some unhappy accident. When a boy moves into the house next door and almost crushes the second-youngest to death by not watching where he stepped, the sisters resolve that something must be done about their condition.

Thus the four sisters–and their remorse-filled neighbour, who feels it is the least he can do to help them interact with the larger world after the pain he almost caused–embark on a quest to seek answers as to why they are so small, and whether something can be done to make them human-sized once more.

Rife with humour and sadness, romance and science fiction, Little Women is a rollicking ride. I would recommend it to fans of quantum physics, young love, and German professors–of all sizes!

Lies About Books: Poison Tree

Another month begins, and with it, of course, come Lies About Books, and an entirely fictitious book review of a very real book that I’ve read this month.

This month, I shall discuss the novel Poison Tree, by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, a book which I have a long history with and a particular fondness for.

Poison Tree, as the title suggests, is a young adult novel about a tree. It is a selfless, caring tree, which is filled with a desire to give and share and help others. It comes, therefore, as a horrible shock to the tree when, upon convincing a hungry passerby to eat of its fruit, it watches the stranger drop dead almost immediately after consuming the fruit: this is how the tree learns that it is poisonous.

Wracked by guilt, the tree embarks on a quest to somehow redeem itself for the death it inadvertently caused, impeded only by the fact that, as a tree, it is incapable of moving from the spot to which it is rooted. Eventually, a helpful fairy hears its pleas, and transforms the tree into a human shape so that it can seek out a way to right its wrong.

But the tree soon discovers that the family of the stranger it killed are angry, and out for vengeance. Finding itself lost in a world of assassins, politics, and revenge, will the tree be able to redeem itself before its past catches up with it?

Poison Tree is gripping, fast-paced, and botanically accurate. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys agriculture, shapeshifters, or tech support.