⋟Kimari⋞'s Reviews > The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe
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it was ok
bookshelves: historical-fiction, magic, books-about-books, alchemy, united-states

This book felt like it was intended for middle-schoolers; pedestrian writing, uninteresting characters, and a connect the dots plot. The historical sections sounded like they came straight from Wikipedia.

Connie is contradictory and rather dim. One minute she barely remembers her grandmother, the next she vividly recalls a holiday with her. I could have overlooked that, if the story had been more convincing.

I am beyond baffled by Connie's inexperience with the library at the college she attends. As a Ph.D candidate in colonial history, she would have spent countless hours in the library. She should have known that the digital catalog only went back to 1972, and that anything older needed to be researched in the card catalog. Her unfamiliarity with colonial language, names, and commonplace spelling variants was perplexing as well.

There were several scientific and historical errors, and I found myself exclaiming in disbelief at the time, but the specifics elude me now. I only continued reading in hopes that the ending would be interesting. It wasn't.

If you liked (or wanted to like) this book, you might also enjoy:

The Minister's Daughter
A Discovery of Witches
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Reading Progress

December 15, 2010 – Started Reading
December 16, 2010 – Finished Reading
December 20, 2010 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by Lemongirl15 (new) - added it

Lemongirl15 I know that you were probably meaning that it was just bad writing, but really, written for middle school? Being a middle schooler, I actually do like good, well written books. I liked this book originally, but I flew through it so fast I didn't really notice those little errors except that you mentioned Connor being dumb. I noticed that, she doesn't get some things that I got immediately- dug things.

message 2: by ⋟Kimari⋞ (last edited Aug 13, 2015 08:06PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

⋟Kimari⋞ I certainly wasn't implying that young readers are incapable or uninterested in challenging, well written books; I believe quite the contrary in fact. Your interest in this book, which is outside the middle-grade genre, confirms my belief. :D

I was only referring to the writing and plot, both being rather simplistic. I don't often encounter middle-grade books in which the author believes the reader is intelligent and observant. Middle-grade and YA books frequently have easy to follow plots and unchallenging vocabulary, hence my clumsy comparison.

I just finished A Mango-Shaped Space, and it is a wonderful, intelligent, well written middle-grade book.

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