THIS IS THE SOUND

From the stomach-wrenching perversity of Nine Inch Nails to the Celtic sound of the cranberries, the nine groups profiled here represent alternative rock's startling diversity, but this routine assortment of hype and soundbites does neither the music nor the musicians justice—and any survey that leaves out the likes of REM and Nirvana is bound to be seriously deficient. Acknowledging no specific sources and using language that ranges from inept (``They flat rejected all the big money offers'') to laughable (the group Belly ``was bulging with promise''), Reisfeld (Melrose Place, 1992, not reviewed, etc.) tells essentially the same story over and over: unhappy childhoods, serendipitous meetings with other teenage outsiders, a short period of obscurity, an album or three, huge success. The frontmen and frontwomen (``There are just as many women rocking just as hard as the guys''—oh, really?) contribute the usual platitudes about fans, money (``does absolutely nothing for you,'' says Eddie Vedder), and being true to themselves, and the taboo subjects—drugs, sex, business—are barely mentioned. At publication it will already be dated; stick with the sketches in Spin, Heavy Metal, and other periodicals. (b&w photos) (Nonfiction. 10-15)

Pub Date: May 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-689-80670-1

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1996

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THE TEQUILA WORM

Sofia, growing up in an urban Latino neighborhood in McAllen, Texas, has a chance to attend an expensive boarding school in Austin on scholarship. Like her father, Sofia lives the life of the mind, rich with story and possibility. How can she convince her mother to let her take this opportunity? By learning to dance and showing her that she can leave home and still learn to become a good comadre. Canales, the author of the story collection Orange Candy Slices and Other Secret Tales (2001), is a graduate of Harvard Law School, suggesting that Sofia’s story at least closely parallels her own. She is an accomplished storyteller, though not yet, perhaps, a successful novelist. The episodic narrative has disconcerting leaps in time at the beginning, and a sense of completion, or a moral displayed, at several points throughout—all lacking the tension to carry the reader forward. This said, the characters and setting are so real to life that readers who connect with Sofia at the start will find many riches here, from a perspective that is still hard to find in youth literature. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 9, 2005

ISBN: 0-385-74674-1

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Wendy Lamb/Random

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2005

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A bit of envelope-pushing freshens up the formula.

HOCUS POCUS AND THE ALL-NEW SEQUEL

In honor of its 25th anniversary, a Disney Halloween horror/comedy film gets a sequel to go with its original novelization.

Three Salem witches hanged in 1693 for stealing a child’s life force are revived in 1993 when 16-year-old new kid Max completes a spell by lighting a magical candle (which has to be kindled by a virgin to work). Max and dazzling, popular classmate Allison have to keep said witches at bay until dawn to save all of the local children from a similar fate. Fast-forward to 2018: Poppy, daughter of Max and Allison, inadvertently works a spell that sends her parents and an aunt to hell in exchange for the gleeful witches. With help from her best friend, Travis, and classmate Isabella, on whom she has a major crush, Poppy has only hours to keep the weird sisters from working more evil. The witches, each daffier than the last, supply most of the comedy as well as plenty of menace but end up back in the infernal regions. There’s also a talking cat, a talking dog, a gaggle of costumed heroines, and an oblique reference to a certain beloved Halloween movie. Traditional Disney wholesomeness is spiced, not soured, by occasional innuendo and a big twist in the sequel. Poppy and her family are white, while Travis and Isabella are both African-American.

A bit of envelope-pushing freshens up the formula. (Fantasy. 10-15)

Pub Date: July 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-368-02003-9

Page Count: 528

Publisher: Freeform/Disney

Review Posted Online: June 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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