Monday, January 20, 2014
**I use Grammarly because that little part of my brain dedicated to catching grammar mistakes has been taken over by my precious children's many demands. I have had to say "Goodbye" to proper comma placement and "Hello" to potty runs and poo diapers! Grammarly is a dream come true for a sleep deprived, blog post writing momma. ;)
Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee
Knopf Books for Young Readers (January 28, 2014)
My Rating: 4/5 stars
I snatched up this book for its beautiful cover. I knew nothing about it beforehand, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover it is a retelling of The Snow Queen.
As one might suspect from the title, in this story, we meet Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy. Ophelia has recently lost her mother, and she is still grieving. She is a quirky little girl, who tugs on her hair when she is nervous. She struggles to find her courage in the creepy museum where she spends her current days. Her dad is an expert on swords and that is just what the museum director needs. Ophelia's sister is changing more and more in the museum, and not for the better. When Ophelia discovers a boy behind a locked door, she is forced to learn just how far she is willing to go to save her world.
This is a dark, yet fun story! Parts of it were creepy, and along with some of my other creepy reading at the time, left me feeling a little spooked. I AM easily spooked, despite my love of darkish children's books. That said, I still feel it is not so creepy that most children won't be perfectly fine with it. I imagine some would laugh at the fact that I found it a bit creepy. (I did read it at night, in the dark!)Other than the creepy part, though, it was the perfect read for me at the time I read it! An adventurous, middle grade fairy tale re-telling? I'll gladly add more to my reading stack any day!
As much as I liked this story, I was disappointed in the ending! There was one particular mysterious aspect of the story that had been built up, and at the end, it was thrown under the rug without satisfying my curiosity. Maybe that means a sequel of some sort? The Marvelous Boy's story is gradually told through flashback stories. In the end, I wanted to know more about him, though.
Overall, this book had me turning the pages at great speed, and I'll gladly pick up more middle grade books by this author, in a heartbeat!
*Thanks to Knopf Books for Young Readers and Netgalley and for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.