When I saw this at the library, I didn't want to read it. But finally, I was so inflamed with curiosity that I had to. Was this a feminist book whereWhen I saw this at the library, I didn't want to read it. But finally, I was so inflamed with curiosity that I had to. Was this a feminist book where the princess would loudly proclaim she needed no man and go off into the sunset by herself? Was this a just-plain-dumb book where the princess would marry some idiot prince? Or would this book show a princess meeting various unsuitable princes and then finding somebody else? To my vague irritation and amusement, I had to know.
This was the last option, making it a more appropriate picture of real life. There is nothing new under the sun with this general trope, so I can't say the book was creative, but the pictures were cute, and I was glad that it did not promote rejection of men or present an empty-headed princess who needed a man in order to have an identity. So, basically, if you HAVE to read a book about a princess looking for her prince, this is a good option....more
I usually avoid the juvenile books that get a lot of hype, because my natural assumption is that they are popular for dealing with Difficult Topics. II usually avoid the juvenile books that get a lot of hype, because my natural assumption is that they are popular for dealing with Difficult Topics. I don't like to read children's books that are heavy-handed, and feel that most award-winning books are more appealing to adults than children. This book is a delightful example of one that can appeal to a broad range of ages, offering a quirky, cute story, deep thoughts about life, and gentle sweetness without cloying sentimentality.
The basic premise is that Ellie's grandfather appears as a teenager, having found a scientific cure to make him youthful again, but I won't explain the story; it's so much more enjoyable to discover it by reading yourself. This book is one of the most unique that I have ever read, and I enjoyed how fresh and interesting it was, especially considering how the "different" aspects meshed so well with the familiar themes of growing up, dealing with changing friendships, and finding new interests.
The narrative voice was fresh and interesting, the author included just the right details to make the story and characters seem real, and the themes were gracefully handled throughout. The prose was well-written from a purely technical standpoint as well, and I appreciated the author's consistent use of semi-colons. They are already rare in adult books, and seeing them in middle-grade fiction was a thrill.
I was not sure what to expect from this book, but it was delightful, sweet, and clever, giving me a very satisfied feeling when I reached the end. The book is excellently relatable for its target audience, avoiding the trap of focusing on adult issues and instead addressing concepts from the whole spectrum of life: middle school friendships, finding a passion, willingness to take risks in relationships, and aging and loss. This book also inspires greater interest in science, curiosity about the world, and delight in living. As much as I love juvenile fiction, it is rare that I finish such a book desiring anew to live to the fullest, but this book makes me grateful for life and once again reminded how incredible it is to even exist....more