2019 Reading Challenge

2019 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 0 books toward her goal of 200 books.

Book Review: The Boy From Tomorrow by Camille DeAngelis

This was a really excellent story. It started a little slower than I wanted, but picked up fairly quickly and I’m so glad I stuck with it, because it was lovely! What lonely little kid hasn’t imagined they might one day stumble upon a friend, someone who would understand them and help make them feel more at home in their own skin? Now imagine if you could *actually* make such a friend – not an imaginary one, but one who is altogether real, albeit separated from you indefinitely by time and space?

Such is the magic of The Boy From Tomorrow.

Camille DeAngelis has crafted a beautiful, sweet, painful-to-read tale about the unique friendship that develops between Josie, a lonely twelve year old girl, and Alec, a slightly-less-lonely-but-still-searching-for-something twelve year old boy. Sounds fairly standard – until you add in the beautiful twist: for Josie, it is 1915, for Alec it is 2015. The beauty in the story arises as the differences between the children fade away, and the magic is wholly captured by the lovely prose in which DeAngelis lays out the burgeoning relationship between the two – a relationship that starts with a Ouija Board.

Josie (and her little sister Cass) live with a brutal, selfish, horrid “mother” who is a leading Spiritualist/Medium in early twentieth century New York City. The use of a self-proclaimed medium as antagonist was deliciously ironic, considering the magical twists and turns that the tale takes as true communication with “spirits” develops between the two kids. The story that unfolds is lyrical and moving, full of tidbits of history and family drama on both sides of the time divide (Alec’s parents have just divorced). The story is, at times (especially in the beginning and whenever Cass’s doll, Mrs. Gubbins, enter scene), eerie – until Josie and Alec figure out what is going on, there is a lot of confusion and fear, as one would expect if one was suddenly “communicating” with an actual Ouija Board. But the story unfolded at a solid pace, with just enough teasers about what was going on to keep me thoroughly engaged and curious to see what would come next. The supporting cast (particularly Danny, Alec’s new real-time friend, and Emily, the girls’ savior) was well-developed and provided a nice counterpoint to the main characters. And of course, the thoroughly distasteful Lavinia (Josie and Cass’s mother) provided an excellent foil – she was horrid, but at just the right points to drive the story in a positive direction (if that makes any sense).

This was a really well-crafted tale about family – the ones we are born with and the ones we make for ourselves – and the importance of believing, no matter how odd things may seem, that magic really is possible…

My review copy was provided by NetGalley.

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