Review and Blog Tour! The Screaming Statue by Lauren Oliver and H.C. Chester

Hi guys! I’m participating in a blog tour today, and I have some fun things for you all to read after my review (wait- does that mean my review isn’t fun to read?? 😉 )!

First, though, visit the previous tour stop HERE and tomorrow’s poster HERE!

screaming_statueThe Screaming Statue
Series: The Curiosity House #2 (#1)
Written by Lauren Oliver and H.C. Chester
Illustrated by Benjamin Lacombe
368 pages – ages 9+
Published by HarperCollins on May 3, 2016

Synopsis from Publisher-Four orphans with extraordinary abilities and questionable pasts—Pippa, Sam, Thomas, and Max—are happy to be out of harm’s way now that the notorious villain Nicholas Rattigan is halfway across the country in Chicago. But unfortunately their home, Dumfreys’s Dime Museum of Freaks, Oddities, and Wonders, is in danger of closing its doors forever. 

But their troubles only get worse. The four friends are shocked when their beloved friend, famous sculptor Siegfried Eckleberger, is murdered. As they investigate, they find clues that his death may be tied to the murder of a rich and powerful New York heiress, as well as to their own pasts.

In this second book in the exceptional Curiosity House series by bestselling author Lauren Oliver and shadowy recluse H. C. Chester, the four extraordinary children must avenge their friend’s death, try to save their home, and unravel the secrets of their past . . . before their past unravels them.

What I Thought- First, I want to say that these books are on the darker side of things. There is murder/death/etc. discussed freely throughout the book, and the characters are usually in dismal situations. It’s a unique perspective for a murder “mystery”, as most of the characters seem sort of used to sudden death, and just take it as a part of life.  Add in the fact that the world sees them as freaks, and you can see why everyone seems grumpy. Having said that, the authors have skillfully crafted a quirky, enjoyable story. The characters are unique, well-developed and, despite most being “oddities”, are rather realistic and believable. I really liked the feel of the world that was created, I imagine it about early 1900’s (I couldn’t tell you when exactly, though – and I like that!). This writing duo writes with an edgy, sarcastic type of humor that skates the line between funny and dark.  I can’t wait for book 3!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks


There’s more!

I have an interview with the authors! AND ONE OF THE CHARACTERS!

First, the authors!


The authors; Lauren Oliver and H.C. Chester

1. How did you get the idea for this series?
HC Chester: The idea actually originated with Ms. Oliver, who had come upon some rare postcards from Dumfrey’s Dime Museum in Paris, France, and tracked them down to my archives.  I merely provided her with my extensive, not to say encyclopedic knowledge, of all things related to the subject.
2. Which of your characters would you most like to sit down at a diner to chat with?
Lauren Oliver: Sam, because I could show him pictures of all my pets and he wouldn’t get bored! 
HC Chester: I fear that I do not enjoy sitting down to dinner and chatting with anybody. I much prefer the company of my faithful canine, Trudy, who makes few conversational demands upon me during our nightly dinners together.
3.  Do you have any new books coming out that you would like to tell us about?
Lauren Oliver: Yes! REPLICA, the story of two girls connected by fate and science, is my new Young Adult book coming out in October. I’m very proud of it, and so anxious to have everyone read it! Replica is a science fiction “flip book” that contains two stories in one. So you can read Gemma’s story, flip the book over, and then read Lyra’s story. You also have the option of alternating between the two! It’s kind of like, two books in one, and it has the most amazing cover!
HC Chester: Yes, I am very excited about my forthcoming tome, A COLLECTOR’S GUIDE TO ANCIENT BABYLONIAN BELT BUCKLES, which I believe will prove to be the definitive work on the subject.
4. If you had a talent, what would it be? 
Lauren Oliver: I would love the ability to be in two places at once. That way I could always be doing something fun. 
HC Chester: Do you mean besides the many talents I already possess?  Let me think: I suppose X-ray vision would be useful in helping me retrieve the prehistoric mastodon bone that Trudy pilfered from my collection last week and buried somewhere in our back yard.

CH_Illustrations_PippaNow for the character interview with Pippa!

1. What’s it like living in Curiosity House?
Well, I don’t exactly have much to compare it to, do I? It’s all right except for all the NOISE. Sometimes, I can hardly hear myself think–much less hear other people’s thoughts! And I wish Max would change her socks more often.
2. When did you find out you could read pockets?

Oh, well, I could always read pockets, I suppose. To me it was just like looking at someone’s face, and noticing a quirk of the eyebrows or a mole growing on a cheek or something. It’s only when I’m nervous that I can’t do it.

3. How do you plan to “move up” to reading minds? Would people’s bad grammar scare you too much to ever try it?
Psychic impressions are more of a visual language than a lettered one, so I don’t think grammar will be an issue. It’s more like…dreaming, actually. I get flashes of things, sounds and images and impressions. 
4. What do you think about Max?
She’s filthy, disgusting, rude, smelly, and has terrible table manners. But she’s all right. I mean, she’s one of us.
5. What have I got in my pocket?
I can’t see into your pocket from here, just your browser history. You’ve been procrastinating!

Thank you Pippa…I think. Your honest opinion is always…appreciated. And thank you Ms. Oliver for writing this book, and stopping by. You, too, Mr. Chester – I guess. Well, good luck with your up-and-coming book, anyway. I’m sure those Ancient Babylonian Belt Buckle collectors will enjoy it.

Anyway, please check out the Curiosity House website! Enjoy the rest of the tour! 

April 14th
Kid Lit Reviews
Max, The Knife Thrower
Max is a world-class knife thrower and never fails to leave the museum without a set of blades in her pockets. She once shaved off a man’s mustache from a distance of seventy-five yards (at his request; she was paid a nickel for it.)
April 15th
Read Now, Sleep Later
Smalls, The Giant
Nearly 8 feet tall, Smalls has a near-constant bump on his head from grazing the ceiling. An aspiring poet, Smalls has published several of his own original works (including “Ode to a Toaster” and “The Elegy of an Unknown Dust Bunny”) in a literary magazine he publishes and circulates himself.
April 18th
This Kid Reviews Books
Pippa, The Mentalist
Pippa is the museum’s Mentalist. Her greatest desire is to be able to read minds, though so far she has only been able to read the contents of other people’s pockets. She enjoys reading quietly, proper grammar, and tea with lemon.
April 19th
Howie The Owl Boy
With his brighter-than-the-sun smile, perfect hair, and enormous eyelashes, Howie looks more like a model than a freak…until he swivels his head around 180 degrees to check his back for Kick Me signs
April 20th
Literary Rambles
Thomas, Rubber Band Boy
Thomas is known alternatively as “The Rubber Band Boy” and “Human Putty.” Able to twist, bend, and contort himself into various positions, he is also known for his great love of puzzles, word games, and riddles.
April 21st
Middle Grade Ninja
The Alligator Boy
Now seventy-four (or perhaps seventy-five, or even seventy-six, or possibly eighty) The Alligator Boy has been performing on the circuit since he was actually a boy. Bad-tempered and plagued with bad dandruff, The Alligator Boy spends most of his time railing about the way things used to be.
April 22nd
Mundie Kids
April 25th
Always in the Middle
Sam, Strongboy
Sam is billed as the Strongest Boy in the Country although it is doubtful that there are boys stronger than him anywhere in the world. He once lifted a car–one-handed–to save a dog trapped beneath it, and in fact he loves animals and is desperate for a pet (preferably a dog, cat, or rabbit, but he would even be happy with a turtle).
April 26th
Middle Grade Mafia
Betty, The Bearded Lady
Aside from combing and plaiting her luxuriant beard, Betty’s hobbies include singing, sewing, and listening to the radio. Extremely popular and widely admired, she is constantly turning down requests for small cuttings of beard hair that her many suitors can keep as souvenirs.
April 27th
Literary Hoots
Danny, The Dwarf

Technically, Danny is slightly too tall to be considered a dwarf, but never tell him so unless you’d like an undersized fist poked in your eye. Originally from Ireland, Danny is very musical and plays the flute, violin, and bagpipe beautifully.

April 28th
Unleashing Readers
Phoebe, The Fat Lady
Weighing in at half a ton, Phoebe is tremendously proud of her size and keeps up a rigorous diet regimen that includes toast soaked in bacon fat and whole sticks of butter. The scariest day of her life was when she discovered, that due to the flu, she had lost ten pounds.
April 29th
Me, Myshelf, and I
The Great Goldini
The Great Goldini is the museum’s resident magician, although he often disappears the coins he is supposed to be producing or pulls, instead of a rabbit, a half-eaten ham sandwich from his hat. He enjoys Broadway musicals and dreams of opening a turtle sanctuary.
May 2nd
The Reading Nook Reviews
A neighborhood fixture, Chubby has been, by turns, a newspaper boy, a shoe shine, a pickpocket, and even a bookie. His real name is Leonard, but don’t let him catch you using it.

Categories: Age 9+

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10 replies

  1. Thanks for your thoughts on the book and I loved your interview questions. I’m looking forward to sharing Sam (THE STRONGBOY) on my blog next week.

  2. It’s always such fun to get to know more about the authors and the characters of their stories. And your review was certainly fun 🙂

  3. The Screaming Statue looks wonderful, I thought the appeal of this series was that it is kinda dark and the characters are all intriguing. Lovely interview and especially enjoyed getting to know Pippa better.

  4. Nice review and interview, Erik. I like Max the knife-thrower. Shame she and Pippa don’t get along over a couple of stinky socks. Max mentions this tiff but doesn’t seem ready to change any time soon.

  5. I really enjoyed the first book in the series and I’m glad to hear you liked this one too. Great interviews! I love how the four kids each have a different talent, but they all work together to solve mysteries.

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