Thursday, April 12, 2018

SERIES THURSDAY: The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters #1, #2 by Kara LaReau


ABOUT THE BOOK

This new series features the blandest sisters who ever embarked on a rollicking, swashbuckling, and entirely unintentional adventure

In the spirit of A Series of Unfortunate Events and the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series, The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters will captivate middle-grade readers looking for humor, hijinks, and a swashbuckling good time. Meet Jaundice and Kale Bland, two sisters who avoid excitement at any cost. Together, they patiently await the return of their parents, who left on an errand years ago and have never returned.

One day, the Bland sisters are kidnapped by an all-female band of pirates. They’re unwillingly swept into a high-seas romp that might just lead to solving the mystery of what happened to their parents. With whimsical illustrations and Roald Dahl–esque wit, The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters is the visually stunning, laugh-out-loud funny start to a new series for readers who are looking for an anything-but-bland adventure.

REVIEW

Jaundice and Kale truly live up to their names.  They prefer to stay home, eat cheese sandwiches, read from a dictionary, and darn socks.  They also have very specific rules to live by.  But when a mysterious voice at the door promises a surprise, they violate one of their rules and open the door to a stranger.  They are repaid by being kidnapped and taken to sea by pirates.  This throws off Jaundice's and Kale's routine's but they have no choice but to serve as deck hands and galley servants.  They discover to their surprise that the ship's captain, Delilah knows their parents.  This leads them to take a huge risk, much to their own surprise, in order to, hopefully, rescue their parents.    But being new to the whole thinking up and executing plans things don't go quite right.  I can relate to these two girls who really aren't interested in adventure, but do manage to make some friends along the way.  The very absurdity of the book is what gives the book its wry humor.  An entertaining, quick read.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Jaundice and Kale are back from their adventure on the high seas, and they are settling back into a quiet life in Dullsville, just the way they like it. The tea is tepid, the oatmeal is tasteless, and the socks are ripe for darning . . . until Aunt Shallot shows up and reveals herself to be anything but the dull relation they were expecting. Instead, she tells her nieces she is Magique, Queen of Magic, and she’s on her way to a big show and in need of two willing assistants. As Magique and the Bland sisters board the Uncanny Express, they meet a cast of mystifying characters. And when Magique goes missing, it’s up to Jaundice and Kale to solve the mystery—with the help of famous detective Hugo Fromage.

An inventive story in the tradition of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, The
Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters: The Uncanny Express has all the whimsy and humor that readers who are looking for an anything-but-bland adventure will love.

REVIEW

Once again the Bland sisters are sent on an adventure by their well-meaning adventurous parents.  This time they arrive at the train station to pick up their Aunt Shallot, only to be swept into an adventure involving magic, unusual passengers who all seem to be hiding something, a famous detective, a missing aunt, and marshmallows on the tracks.  As Kale and Jaundice try to cope with being away from their nice, boring life at home, they learn about magic and detective work. Kale's love of cleaning and Jaundice's full pockets come in handy as the girls endure their second adventure.  The dry wit and unusual nature of the main characters makes these books rather entertaining and a quick read. For those familiar with Murder on the Orient Express, similarities exist but have been turned on their head.

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