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The Year of the Beasts Hardcover – May 22, 2012


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100 Young Adult Books to Read in a Lifetime
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$13.00 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 3 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“…a poignant and entertaining mixture of storytelling and nightmare.”--VOYA

 

“…sophisticated readers will eat this….right up.”--Kirkus

About the Author

Cecil Castellucci is the two-time MacDowell Colony fellow and award winning author of five books for young adults including Boy Proof (Candlewick, 2005), The Plain Janes (Minx/DC Comics, 2007), and Beige (Candlewick, 2007). This year she also accepted a position as YA and children's books editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books, a newly launched online magazine. Cecil Castellucci's books have been on the American Library Association's (ALA's) BBYA, Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, Great Graphic Novels for Teens lists, as well as the NYPL Books for the Teen Age and the Amelia Bloomer list. Born in New York City, Cecil lives in Los Angeles and plays in an indie rock band under the aliases Nerdy Girl and Cecil Seaskull.

Nate Powell (b. 1978, Little Rock AR) is the author and illustrator of the graphic novels The Silence Of Our Friends (New York Times Best Seller; First Second, 2012), Any Empire (Top Shelf, 2011), Swallow Me Whole (an LA Times Book Prize finalist, the 2009 Eisner Award winner for Best Graphic Novel, and two-time Ignatz Award winner; Top Shelf, 2008), and Sounds Of Your Name (Microcosm, 2006).  He also performed in punk bands Universe, Soophie Nun Squad, Divorce Chord, Wait, and Boomfancy from 1992 to 2010. Nate lives in Bloomington, Indiana.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 18 years
  • Grade Level: 7 - 12
  • Lexile Measure: 640L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (May 22, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596436867
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596436862
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #454,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nicole's Book Blog on May 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Reviewed on April 6th, 2012:

"Year of the Beasts" was not what I expected. At all. However, that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Let me start by saying this: Did you happen to catch that little bit in the description that says that this book "will break your heart and crack it wide open at the same time"? `Cause it will. It most definitely will.

"Year of the Beasts" is a book that alternates between traditional prose and fantastic illustrations. What I liked most about this novel is that there isn't a big plot twist near the end. In fact, Castellucci lays out the ending early on in the story. It's right there, staring you in the face. But even though you know what is coming, it doesn't lessen the emotional punch of what happens between Lulu and Tessa. Watching their relationship fall apart and then watching as Tessa begins to drown in her sorrow...it'll definitely break your heart. My only complaint is that I think it could've been developed a bit more.

If you're looking for a quick and truly unique read, then definitely make it a point to check out "Year of the Beasts".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Heidi G on November 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I'll just say it, I was expecting something about a circus. Not that I'm crazy about them but the beginning sentences made me believe that the polot would center on a circus. Wrong. Told in alternating prose and graphic novel chapters, this is the story of teen angst, sibling rivalry, and grief. Tessa and her best friend let Tessa's younger sister, Lulu, hang out with them. When the circus comes to town and Lulu steals the heart of Tessa's crush, Charlie, Tessa tries to reign in her jealousy and begins to secretly see a bad-boy loner from town. The graphic novel chapters show Tessa as Medusa, her unruly hair as snakes, with a centaur and minotaur thrown in (guess which of the group of friends is each one?). The feel of the chapters seems jerky when gong back and forth the chapters. While I enjoyed the story for the most part, I don't see interest in it from my middle school readers.
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Format: Hardcover
Two seemingly different storyline, but one idea weave together to present this powerful and heartbreaking tale. Every summer the carnival rolls into town and for the first time ever Tessa is allowed to go to the carnival un-chaperoned with her best friend, Celina. The price to pay? Her younger sister Lulu gets to come along as well. All three girls hope to capture the eye of a boy for a summer romance, but jealousy enters their lives when the boy Tessa had an eye latches onto Lulu instead. A summer that began with promise spirals ever downward and tragedy strikes. In the other story, told in comic format, a young girl wakes up to a world that remains changed forever. They've all become beasts, characters out of Greek mythology, and she is Medusa. She wields considerable power, but all she wants is to be a normal girl again.

When I first started reading the story I was a bit confused. I couldn't figure out why it seemed like we were reading two different stories that just didn't seem to go together. But then...it blends. And the truth is revealed. This story really reminds of how "American Born Chinese" is laid out, with two seemingly different story lines and characters, but in the end they merge together masterfully.

It's a bit difficult to write about this book without revealing the plot twists, but I love how the stories are told and blended together into one and bringing in Greek mythology is a stroke of genius. That feeling of being an outcast, of being different, is something that we can all easily relate to. And the fact that its done with Nate Powell's gorgeous brush strokes is a treat.

This is the type of story that is perfect for young and old. And that once you get done reading it, you'll want to go back and read it again to see what you missed. 4 out of 5 stars.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fascinating exploration of a young girls' bittersweet relationship between sisters and over boys. The juxtaposition of prose and graphic novel (revealed through the novel's alternating chapters of one then the other) provide a dramatic and unexpected kick by the story's end. 'The sum greater than its parts' so to speak ... but the two parts are equally great prose and captivating visuals by themselves ... It's just TOGETHER they elevate the concept of prose/graphic novel fusion, a great example of that still-evolving artistic format imo.

I'll remember this one for a long time.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
With alternating chapters of prose and comics, Cecil Castellucci has woven a gripping tale of sisters, young love, a summer of changes and jealousy that will rip two sisters apart. Tessa and her younger sister Lulu have always hung around together and been very close. But this summer, Tessa is old enough to go to the carnival alone and not be embarrassed about what her parents look like, say and do. But Tessa will not be allowed to just hang out with her best friend, Celina. If Tessa wants to go to the carnival with her best friend, Celina---younger sister Lulu must come too. Tessa has had a crush on Charlie forever and this will be the night that they hold hands or kiss--Tessa can feel it. When she gets separated from Charlie in line, it is Lulu who goes into the sideshow with Charlie and emerges holding hands. This is the beginning of Lulu's first relationship and Tessa's mounting jealousy toward her sister. But Castellucci doesn't just paint these sisters black and white----there is irrational feelings and moods---Tessa loves her sister, and wants the best for her---just not with Charlie. When strange boy Jasper seems to keep popping up, Tessa begins a secret relationship with Jasper (made easier by the fact that he lives next door to Celina---where the sisters spend so much time)and as the summer rolls on---Tessa really cares for Jasper but still is angry with her sister because not only did she steal her secret crush; Lulu has gotten taller and needs more clothes and shoes. Her mother keeps buying Lulu new things but not Tessa. I really liked the allusion to Medusa, who turns anyone who looks at her to stone. You can see the inner turmoil of Tessa through Medusa's hair of snakes. Tessa hates herself for feeling this way; but she just can't help it.Read more ›
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