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The Looking Glass

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  571 ratings  ·  125 reviews

That’s what Sylvie Blake’s older sister Julia renamed their favorite fairy tale book, way back when they were just girls themselves. Now, Julia has disappeared—and no one knows if she’s in trouble.

Sylvie is trying to carry on Julia’s impressive legacy at the prestigious National Ballet Theatre Academy, but Julia, ever the star of the show, can’t stay hidde
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published August 14th 2018 by HarperTeen
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April Sounds like it -- there are supposed to be storybook characters who start showing up in the real world.

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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  571 ratings  ·  125 reviews

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Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
4.5 stars. Absolutely stunning, oh my GOD. This was my second Janet McNally book and she just has such a knack for making New York City feel like a small town and I love it SO MUCH. If you're a fan of hard-hitting, whimsical contemporary you neeeeed to read this, like, yesterday.

TW: addiction
Kathleen Glasgow
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So poignant, imaginative, poetic, beautifully written and imagine--you will not be able to put this book down. It's drawn comparisons to Melissa Albert's "The Hazel Wood" and rightly so--a modern fable in the big city, a surprise road trip, adorned with fairy tales. If you missed McNally's debut, "Girls in the Moon," go pick that up, too, because she writes the kinds of books that are made for dreamy, rainy afternoons with nothing to do but read, read, read. ...more
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Looking Glass
by Janet McNally

4 out of 5 Stars.

I haven't got much to say about this book except that I liked it very much. the story was interesting, the characters were likeable, the chapters were short which are much appreciated nowadays, the plot was easy to follow and I devoured this book in a matter of couple of hours.

The story contains magical elements in it, poetry as well as Stevie Nicks with whom I became obsessed with a couple of years ago.
I loved how the modern world and fairy tale
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book comes out on my birthday and it is the perfect present.

Wispy, dreamlike, warm, and golden. A story about sisters and dance and Fleetwood Mac and fairytales and signs from the universe and random things we may read as signs from the universe.

It is a gentle, sweet, beautifully written daydream of book for those looking to bask in gorgeous language and well-drawn characters.

Don't read this book expecting to buckle up for a wild ride; read it in the grass under the sun, or curled up in bl
This is what I wanted the Hazel Wood to be like, but with a bit more mystery. This book was so nice to read especially bc ive been in a bit of a slump but it's so quick and short! like some of the shortest chapters ever! I think it was good to read at this time.

I gave it three stars because it was a solid book. The characters weren't to bad, the story was engaging enough, and it was just very easy to read. I don't like Jack though...or Jake..idek and I just finished this book. But overall this
Madalyn (Novel Ink)
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review originally appeared on Novel Ink.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Going into The Looking Glass, I wasn’t entirely sure of what to expect. I knew it featured some of my very favorite things– ballerinas, a road trip, hints of magic, and Fleetwood Mac. However, I didn’t expect the beautiful writing or how much of a hidden gem it would be.

The story follows our protagonist, Sylvie Blake,
Samantha (WLABB)
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sylvie described her sister as "a red giant, blazing scarlet". She looked up to her and idolized her, and then, Julie disappeared. When Julie sent Sylvie her childhood book a year later, Sylvie believed it was a sign she wanted to be found. But, sometimes a girl in trouble doesn't need or want saving.

• Pro: As someone, who has lost a loved one to addiction, I really related to many of the things Sylvie and her family were experiencing. The pain, the anger, the despair -- it was all there.

• Pro:
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Certain aspects of THE LOOKING GLASS were interesting enough for me to see it through to the end, but ultimately, this just wasn’t for me.
coffee ghost
Dec 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm not sure how Janet always to write the stories I long to read, and this book is no exception! A story of fairytales mysteriously popping themselves up into reality. It's a heartfelt adventure twisted into a magic-like adventure of looking for someone loved and gone. It's delightful, wonderful, poetic in ways I aim to write! Now, I'm off to have a Fleetwood Mac binge! ...more
Caleb Roehrig
More later, but this is beautifully written and exceptionally charming, and I can't wait to recommend it to people ...more
Brittany (UnderTheRadarBooks)
3.5 stars
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A story based on an intimate bond between two sisters but also the challenge of finding your place in the universe with gorgeous writing and hints of magical realism. I thoroughly enjoyed it but I wish the fairy tale aspect was more prominent because it would've made the otherwise simple plot more interesting. ...more
Meredith Boster
Dec 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Bueno!! Very easy read but I honestly wish that the ending would have been different or the loose ends would be tied up. It kind of felt like the story wasn’t over. Also, I was confused at several points but ah well whatevz.
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This story was sweet and sad, and as eager as I was to finish the book, I didn't want it to end. I did expect a little more ballet in action, but I appreciated the copious amounts of Fleetwood Mac, the road tripping, and the maybe-fairy tale characters appearing throughout.

I actually found the fairy tales more believable than Jack and Sylvie's visit to that camp, but that's a personal bias from my own camp experience.
Teenage Reads
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: advance-copy, 2018

On the outside, they were a perfect family. A father’s who is a wealthy businessman, a mother who throws the best charity dinners, a son and two daughters, who were both exceptional ballet dancers. The first crack in the family was when the son, Everett, dropped out of college to become a comic book artist. The second when Julia’ addiction to pain medicine hit the spotlight after the accident. The final crack was when Julia left in the middle of the night, never telling her family where she
Sep 02, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 1-star
Read my full review here!

I was left with one question and that was why the heck is this book titled 'The Looking Glass?'

I kept waiting for something actually whimsical to happen in this book and it just never happened. It was a letdown.

I disliked how Slyvie was always 'I've got it covered' or 'I know just where to go', none of it felt planned when the author was writing it. Why would they go to a zoo?

Another thing that annoyed me was how all of the sudden this character whom we can only assume
Harriet Reuter Hapgood
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: forever-books
Much like her ballerina heroine, Janet McNally makes her effervescent writing seem effortless. But there's grit beneath the glitter of this charming road-trip fairytale. Stock up on highlighters: you'll want to underline every perfect sentence. ...more
LaRonda (Flying Paperbacks)
Jul 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs
You can see my full review here!

*I received an eArc of this book from the Publishers through Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*

There was something about this story that was simplistic and charming wrapped up in a very pretty bow. It flowed and weaved together and before you know it, I was at the end. The very abrupt end. Sylvia as the main character was cool. She had her quirks, but she felt real to me. Jack was cool, too. I appreciated that he had his own issues he was dealing with and
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What an imaginative, well written story of sisterly love and so much more. I couldn't put it down. Janet McNally has a true command of poetic language! ...more
Feb 15, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! It took me on a journey that I wouldn’t have missed for the world.
Luke Reynolds
My favorite books are the ones that take you on journeys. Some are emotional, some transport readers to exciting new worlds, and others take place in a world like the one we inhabit. What's always fascinating is when authors blur the lines between these journeys and create something otherworldly yet steeped in reality, hard-hitting yet sweet. Janet McNally seemed to be going in that direction when the first synopsis for The Looking Glass was released. From ballet to a road trip to find a missing ...more
Oct 24, 2021 rated it liked it
The story concentrates on Sylvie, a future ballerina who decides to search for her missing sister, Julia, after receiving an old book from their childhood.

Overall, I like that book. It was an easy and fast read. You have short chapters which are divided into parts. Those parts are logical and help to know where the main character is in her own story. This book is about complex topics, but the way it's done is like you are floating or doing jetés.

However, some of the elements of the book weren't
Samantha Watson
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Once her older sister runs off, Sylvie is left to pick up the pieces. Trying to carry on Julia's legacy at the National Ballet Theatre Academy, knowing Julia can't remain hidden forever. When a package arrives for Sylvie from Julia, everything changes. Armed with a fairy tale book, her best friend's brother, and a Fleetwood Mac playlist, Sylvie sets out, learning the damsel in distress is often the only one who can save herself.

This book was cute. The fairy tale elements are strong, but also in
Sandi Van
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful book about pain and love and the lengths we go to for the people who hold our hearts. Sylvie is on a quest to find her sister Julia, who disappeared suddenly. Both girls are deeply dedicated to ballet, but there is a huge age gap between them and we quickly learn that Julia has an addiction to painkillers. The book travels in and out of the magical realm as Sylvie uses a fairy tale book - sent by her sister - to aid her on her quest. As most adventures go, it is more about the journe ...more
joanna ☀️
Jun 12, 2022 rated it it was ok
“𝐈𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐚𝐩𝐨𝐜𝐚𝐥𝐲𝐩𝐬𝐞 𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐬, 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐚 𝐛𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐚 𝐨𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐬𝐢𝐝𝐞.”

This really had the potential to be great but it fell way short for me unfortunately. The ending in particular was so anticlimactic and it honestly kind of ruined the whole book because we get so much build up and then nothing happened. I also don’t think there needed to be any romance and I though the inclusion of Fleetwood Mac was super weird. I’m glad I read this cause it’s been on my tbr for forever but honestly it wasn’t really
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, lib18
a really beautiful book, about sisters, and loss, and ballet, and young love, and trying to save someone only to find that they need to save themselves. It dances on the edge of fantasy, but never quite crosses over into the impossible. Lovely.
Laurie B
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya
After trying, and failing, to articulate my various thoughts about this book without rambling, I think I’ll keep it simple. This wasn’t the story I thought it was going to be, and, ultimately, it wasn’t my cup of tea.
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written, thoughtful and imaginative! A must read❤️
Oct 08, 2018 rated it liked it
The fact that this has chapters with Fleetwood Mac titles sold me. All in all a good book about a girl trying to find her sister Julia, who disappeared with the help of a boy in an old beat up car.
Mar 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
-the best book I have read all year
-writing so beautiful it felt like I was in a dream
-strong friendships and sweet funny boys and road trips and dancing and magic
-my heart soared (:
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Though her family is not rock and roll royalty, Janet McNally has always liked boys in bands. (She even married one.) She has an MFA from the University of Notre Dame, and her stories and poems have been published widely in magazines. She has twice been a fiction fellow with the New York Foundation for the Arts. Janet lives in Buffalo with her husband and three little girls, in a house full of rec ...more

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