Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Marvelous Adventures of Gwendolyn Gray” as Want to Read:
The Marvelous Adventures of Gwendolyn Gray
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Marvelous Adventures of Gwendolyn Gray

(The Chronicles of Gwendolyn Gray #1)

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  175 ratings  ·  95 reviews
Gwendolyn Gray faces an overwhelming battle every day: keeping her imagination under control. It’s a struggle for a dreamer like Gwendolyn, in a city of identical gray skyscrapers, clouds that never clear, and grown-ups who never understand.

But when her daydreams come alive and run amok in The City, the struggle to control them becomes as real as the furry creatures infest
Paperback, 300 pages
Published May 15th 2018 by North Star Editions/Jolly Fish Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.31  · 
Rating details
 ·  175 ratings  ·  95 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Marvelous Adventures of Gwendolyn Gray
[Shai] Bibliophage
Gwendolyn Gray lives in a dystopian place where the only dominant colors are black and white. Unruly citizens and imagination are also strictly prohibited, and this is why Gwendolyn is having a hard time because of how she sometimes disobey and she likes to exercise her imagination.

Her life change when she saw a bright green leaf in an old and dead tree. Not only that, she tried to imagine one of her classmates, Missy, with floppy ears like a bunny and surprisingly it came true which the entire
+Digital ARC gently provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review+

Gwendolyn Gray is a twelve-year-old girl living in a gray city, under gray skies, with gray clothes and gray buildings. She doesn't want to grow up, after all the adults look all the same and didn't do anything different ... ever. But Gwendolyn has something that they don't - she has imagination.


This is a middle grade fantasy-adventure story. At the start it reminds me a bit of Momo de Ende. But later some characters
***Note: I received a copy curtesy of Netgalley and North Star Editions in exchange for an honest review.

Gwendolyn Gray is a 12yo girl living in a distopian gray world: gray sky, gray buildings, gray landscape, gray clothes, gray everything.
Her elaborate pencil box had every shade available—light grey, dark grey, medium grey, charcoal, ivory, smoke, ash, and a dozen other shades.
She’s unique in her city, as she’s the only one red-haired and also the only one with an imagination. And what a
B.A. Williamson
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Yeah, it's a pretty good book. I guess. I mean, it's all right.
Pop Bop
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
"Creepy!? Do you mean creepy good, or creepy bad?" (H. Wolowitz)

I mean creepy very good.

If this were an adult novel it would start as "1984" with a touch of the movies "Dark City" and "Metropolis", and proceed to an extended series of fantasy/action sequences. Since it is in fact an ambitious middle grade book it just has hints of "1984", and an opening touch of dystopia, but then a generous helping of sly fantasy that drifts into magical realism steampunk. Actually, in order to really get a sen
Lili  Marcus
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley-arc
Gwendolyn Gray is a twelve (going on 13) year old red-haired girl in a seemingly Dystopian Gray world and the only citizen who has an imagination and that's her problem. With her colored hair and vivid, colorful imagination, she's labeled as Rebellious and Rioter. And at first, she didn't even know the real danger of her imagination, or the real beauty of it. And as everything in Gwendolyn's Gray world turned clearer to her, she was also thrown into a perilous adventure that includes saving the ...more
Kal ★ Reader Voracious
🎂🎉Happy book birthday to one of the most imaginative and engaging middle-grade fantasy books I have ever read!

Let me preface this by saying that I do not read a lot of YA these days, but if more were as eloquently written, engaging, and surprisingly relatable as The Marvelous Adventures of Gwendolyn Gray I would definitely read them more frequently. I was hooked with the opening and continued reading with fervor.

The story follows Gwendolyn, a twelve year old girl with a wild imagination - one th
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-of-2018
*Thank you Net Galley and B.A. Williamson for the free copy of this book in exchange with an honest review*

I really really loved this book! I had no set expectations going in, but the writing really grabbed me from the first pages! I know that you may be wondering, why an adult would read a children’s book? Well, if every children’s book was as good as this one, more adults would read them!

The plot was fast, with the right amount of adventure and humour and with very nice vocabulary, which is so
Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for an eARC.

I really enjoyed this book. It was quite sweet and even as someone in their mid 20s, I remember feeling (and still do really) like the odd ball out or having trouble finding people that understand me or don't judge me.

Gwendolyn is an incredibly likable, enjoyable and intelligent character that I couldn't help but root for and want to protect. Her curiosity and strength were so admirable and definitely my favourite part of this book as a whole
Nov 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is for a younger audience, probably ages 9 to 14. I am an adult and I thought it was a beautiful story. Young Gwendolyn is 13, but does not want to grow up because adult life is so boring. She lives in a world of sameness and no color. Everyone has hair that is black or washed out blonde. Her whole world is in shades of black and white Gwendolyn is bullied because she's is different. She refuses to use her lambent, and instead let's her imagination run away with itself. She has no frie ...more
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I received an arc from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Middle grade fiction never ceases to amaze me, and this book is another fantastic example as to why I will NEVER stop reading 'children's books'. Gwendolyn lives in a boring grey city with boring people, but she refuses to grow up to be a boring grey person and who can blame her?! Adulting SUCKS! I loved coming home from a long day at work to read about her crazy imagination and the PIRATES 😍😍😍. I AM A SUCKER FOR PIRATES!

she does
Melissa Souza
**Thank you to the author and NetGalley for sending me an eARC in return for an honest review.

3 stars!!!

I was honestly expecting way more from this book when I got into it but sadly, it didn't live up to the mark. Let me elaborate further.

The book started out promising and I was really impressed with the prose. I found the worldbuilding, imagery and descriptions rather immersive and the language used was simple yet captivating. The world in which Gwendolyn lives is quite unique and I loved how t
Erica Mae Campos
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review is originally published on my blog:

The Marvelous Adventures of Gwendolyn Gray by B.A. Williamson is a fantasy read about a 12 year old girl whose imagination is vast. Gwendolyn, with her red hair, always stands out. She lives in a grey world where everything is dull colored and uniformed. The red-headed girl was special, although others look at her as a freak. Everything changed after Gwendolyn gave her classmate bunny ears.

B.A. Williamson is
Clare O'Beara
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult-sff
If there is any complaint about this book, it's that too much is packed in to the later sections that doesn't directly relate to the early chapters. Our young heroine Gwen has red hair but lives in an otherwise drab city, described in depth from her home and school life to the bullet train and the strange lurking men. She notices that certain kids disappear from her class. Because the other kids are busy being programmed with boring lessons, they don't notice, but Gwen does because she is not in ...more
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I took one look at this cover and HAD to know more about Gwendolyn Gray! I was captivated from the first page and was completely horrified when Gwendolyn gets attacked by school bullies. The misters in bowler hats, also completely terrifying!

Then Sparrow and Starling show up and the REAL fun begins!! World jumping, running from the bad guys, getting rescued by a pirate, and trying to stop the darkness from destroying everything on the map? Just outstanding! The world building is SO real, the rea
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was marked in the young adult realm, however, I feel its for middle graders. With that being said. I enjoyed the book immensely, it gave true emotions and I found myself laughing out loud a lot. Gwendolyn is a unique little girl living in the dullest city possible. She is the only spark of creativity and color in a world so Gray and unoriginal. So basically shes the spark of red in a black and white/grey world. I think it was a great twist on fantasy and dystopian.
Shae Petersen
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Managed to get through this book in a day! It lived up to my cute expectations, I was totally getting Disney vibes from it and it didn't disappoint. Merida from Brave definitely made an appearance in my head, stepping in to play the role of Gwendolyn :p
I loved the magical whimsicalness to it, while also the fantastical elements such as the Lambents and her imagination running away with her. I didn't even cringe at the cronies because it's just the type of cute middle-grade story this was :) Alth
Apr 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: e-arc
3.5 stars.

This one definitely left me wanting...
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Picture a pre-teen Merida (from Brave) with Mr. Smith (from Matrix) after her for daring to stand out and change her dreary, grey-scale world. Throw in some treasure island, the narration from Series of Unfortunate events along with some Easter eggs and this is what you'll get (along with other references I don't know, but other reviewers will). And I'm all for it.

Gwendolyn Gray is a mini Merida, with spunk and rebellion and independence, but in a world where everything is gray and bland and ord
There’s a reason that middle grade books are such a big part of my reading life in my 30’s, and books like this are exactly it. This was such an engaging story that kept me captivated from beginning to end. The style of writing was witty, conversational, and perfectly descriptive.

I loved the adventure, the characters, and especially the overall message of finding your own path and letting your imagination guide you. While his message is important for middle grade readers, it may be even more so
*thank you to Netgalley, North Star Editions/ Jolly Fish Press for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review*

4 stars.

Ohh this book was so so much fun and so so good to read! I really enjoyed it. It was also at times rather funny. I loved Gwendolyn. She reminds me of the girl from the Disney movie "Brave." She has such an amazing imagination with the ability to turn her thoughts into reality. The adventures she gets up to once she meets two other kids who she befriends. This is a middl
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Marvelous Adventures of Gwendolyn Gray.
(I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.)

I finished this book in 3 days—which given the pace at which I live (and the current imbalance in my work life balance), that is a definite compliment to the author. I loved Gwendolyn Gray—right from page one—and I thoroughly enjoyed this book about her. I give the book four stars, but it could be a three or a five depending
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.)

I finished this book in 3 days—which given the pace at which I live (and the current imbalance in my work life balance), that is a definite compliment to the author. I loved Gwendolyn Gray—right from page one—and I thoroughly enjoyed this book about her. I give the book four stars, but it could be a three or a five depending on your taste and fortitude. There is so mu
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Imagine a city where the sun never breaks through the clouds, where everything is meant to be done with the least amount of fuss. The most terrible thing is the way the schools are run. Teachers are actually only babysitters who sit and supervise the children. The actual teaching is done by stones called Lambents which the students stare into and receive any knowledge they need. And anyone who disturbs the smooth operation of the city and the school is persona non grata, bullied by the other chi ...more
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
In a world that is all black, white, and gray, things can become extremely boring! No one knows how that feels better than Gwendolyn Gray! She faces a very serious problem… she doesn’t think in black and white. She is the only person her age that doesn’t think the way everyone else does, and that leaves her as an outcast. As her parents and classmates continue to fall under the influence of the gray, dull society, Gwendolyn’s vivid imagination runs wild and naturally gets her in trouble. There a ...more
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Man, or rather the faceless gentlemen dubbed Mister Men, are trying to keep Gwendolyn Gray down. She possesses a colorful spark of imagination in a drab, gray, dystopian world that is void of freethinking, originality or creativity. Her imagination sends her on an other-worldly steam punk adventure with flying pirate ships, crystal-eating beasts, and a man-snatching abscess among other things.

The author did a great job pulling the reader into Gwendolyn's world. I felt the pain of her days a
Sheila  Quach
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recently I received an Advanced Readers Copy of
The Marvelous Adventures of Gwendolyn Gray
B.A. Williamson
from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, so let's go!

The story starts out with Young Gwendolyn Gray who is 12, who does not want to grow up because adult life is oh so boring and Gray. Yes, she lives in a world of sameness and no color. Everyone has hair that is black or washed out blonde and dresses in the same drab dull gray. Her whole world is in shades of black and white and give
Zaira Strom
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
The marvellous adventures of Gwendolyn Gray, is a middle grade read, filled with a large variety of fantasy elements, actions, friendship and pirates! Romance is also a part in this book but, it’s not so heavily focused.

And so, the whole story starts in a dull, rainy, black and white city, where people’s imagination is pulled out of their mind and they live their life to pay bills and go to work. Every citizen has a lambent, that is an obligation to use and everyone has either, jet black hair
Sue Plant
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
would like to thank netgalley and the publisher for letting me read this book

well what an adventure to be had whilst reading this book...younger readers will love this one but having an open imagination works just as well for everyone who reads this one....

it starts off dark and dismal because that is the world that gwendolyn lives in but shes a rebel and causes all sorts of mischief to happen and along the way the adventures start...
« previous 1 3 4 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Paris on Repeat
  • Stone Fox
  • Willow Moss & the Lost Day (Starfell #1)
  • Story Magic
  • The Girl Who Could Not Dream
  • Percy Jackson Collection. The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan's Curse, The Battle of The Labyrinth, The Last Olympian and The Demigod Files
  • Henrietta & Eleanor: A Retelling of Jekyll and Hyde
  • Skycircus (The Cogheart Adventures, #3)
  • Rumblestar (The Unmapped Chronicles, #1)
  • Waste of Space (Moon Base Alpha, #3)
  • Dead Voices (Small Spaces, #2)
  • What I Like About Me
  • Siren's Lament, Season 1
  • This Was Our Pact
  • Junie B., First Grader: Boo...and I Mean It! (Junie B. Jones, #24)
  • Three Faces of Me
  • The 13th Warning
  • The Secret Path (Spooksville, #1)
See similar books…
B. A. Williamson is the overly caffeinated writer of The Chronicles of Gwendolyn Gray. When not doing battle with the demons in the typewriter, he can be found wandering Indianapolis with his family, singing in a tuxedo, or taming middle-schooler actors. He is a recipient of the Eli Lilly Teacher Creativity Fellowship. Please direct all complaints and your darkest secrets to williamsonwriter@gmail ...more

Other books in the series

The Chronicles of Gwendolyn Gray (2 books)
  • The Fantastical Exploits of Gwendolyn Gray (Gwendolyn Gray, #2)

News & Interviews

It’s October, which means it’s the perfect time to scare yourself with a truly unsettling book. But if you’re a casual reader of dread and...
201 likes · 63 comments