Kelsey Jacobs's Reviews > The Cardturner: A Novel about a King, a Queen, and a Joker

The Cardturner by Louis Sachar
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Jul 08, 12

Read in July, 2012

My reaction to this book came to me as a bit of a surprise. I deeply and infinitely loved Holes, from the first day my student-teacher read aloud the first chapter in the 3rd grade. I still do. I haven't read it for a while, but I know it's still good, because I loaned it to my dad when he was making a trip to China, and he loved it, too.

But when Small Steps came out, I distinctly remember being underwhelmed. To tell you the truth, I don't even remember that much about it. So when I saw this in the library, I just kind of ignored it. Until my mother saw it the other week, and forced me to check it out (my mother, like me, read Holes many times years ago, and loves it to pieces).

So I did. And I figured I would read it, you know, after she did. Sort of begrudgingly (the ratings on Goodreads didn't help). But after I found myself zooming through the Animorphs I'd also checked out of the library, I figured I should get all of the library books out of the way on my vacation.

And it turned out that it spoke to my soul.

Well, I would like to stipulate that the first half, or maybe the first 2/3s really, was stronger than the last portion. In that second whatever, I couldn't decide if it was just right for the tone of the story and all that had come before, or if it was too hokey. But it was still very good, very much an emotional catharsis.

However, I think that to read this book, you should have a background in cards. More specifically, Hearts and Pinochle. Because to me, Bridge felt exactly some the product of some strange marriage between the two. With Pinochle, you have cards that are 9 or higher, and nothing below. Hearts don't really have bidding.

So, I guess I understand why this book has as low of a rating as it does... that's okay. I can only hope that this book will inspire people to try some card games, and that the people who already enjoy card games will read this book. Because it packs an emotional punch.
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