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2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 25 books toward her goal of 175 books.

Book Review: The Marvelous Adventures of Gwendolyn Gray by B.A. Williamson

This was a cute YA/middle grade story about a girl who wants her world to be bigger and more exciting than it is (at least, at first blush). The concept isn’t a new one, per se, but the execution and details were fun and novel enough and quite entertaining. Gwendolyn’s quest to discover who she is and what she wants from life is an engaging one. There are creepy bad guys, helpful compatriots, and loads and loads of imaginative creativity. There is personal growth, self-realization, and more than a few madcap hijinks, all of which belong (to my mind) in the best YA/MG stories. And of course, there’s the obligatory red-headed heroine… (Why is it that spunky kids in books like this always have red hair?)

It read a little slower than I anticipated; I can’t tell you why, but it did. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it – it was a pleasant read. But already after only a few days, I am finding the details slipping from my mind. Perhaps I have fallen subject to the Greying of the world – Gwendolyn’s issues in that regard are certainly relatable! – or perhaps it ties into my one bit of dissatisfaction with the book as a whole.

The one constructive criticism I have is not about the story itself, but about the presentation. The book felt, to me, like it wanted illustrations – I don’t usually say that about books for this age group, but I think they would have helped bring the story a bit more alive. The cover was marvelous – it’s what initially drew me to the book – and a few, selective, full-page and contrasting black-and-white and full-color illustrations would really make this spectacular I think…

My review copy was provided by NetGalley. The book releases in the U.S. on May 15, 2018.

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