RachelAnne's Reviews > The Spell Book of Listen Taylor

The Spell Book of Listen Taylor by Jaclyn Moriarty
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's review
Mar 27, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: novels, magical-realism
Read in March, 2011

Caveat Emptor This is a revised edition of I Have A Bed Made Of Buttermilk Pancakes (see my sad, sad story below). Also, it is NOT a YA book unless you believe that every book which has any character under the age of 20 should be shelved in YA. This is a thoughtful adult novel, and nowhere near as hilarious as the jacket would lead one to believe. I love the germ of inspiration Moriarty had around the Zing family secret, but for my own enjoyment I wish she had focused more on that and on more whimsical, upbeat plotlines & themes rather than narratives of infidelity and betrayal. It is a beautifully crafted novel, but to market this as either humor or YA is simply going to create false expectations & disappointment, while people who might otherwise read the book pass over it based on the misleading jacket.

Evan & I love Moriarty's other books, so for a special birthday gift a few years ago, I special-ordered a copy of I Have A Bed Made Of Buttermilk Pancakes (paperback, with an ugly cover), which hadn't been published in the U.S. Then, in 2007, around Evan's birthday, I spotted The Spell Book of Listen Taylor and thought "Aha! A new Jaclyn Moriarty novel!" and bought him a copy of that novel-- only to find out that it was THE SAME BOOK. CHEAP TRICK! I would have gladly saved a bunch of money on importing a paperback had I known it would eventually be available here in hardback, and we were both hoping for a NEW BOOK. Is librarianship making me jaded, or are publishers increasingly trying to screw us all over? (Please feel free to comment)

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