megs_bookrack's Reviews > Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia
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it was amazing
bookshelves: arcs-read

**4.5-stars rounded up**



Holy smokes!!! That was a debut???
Seriously???



Y'all, Tristan Strong is a hella ambitious first novel that felt like an entire world being constructed in front of your eyes. I am really dang impressed with this!



Okay, now with the initial swooning out of the way, let's get into the review.

Tristan Strong is a 7th grader who has had a tough time of late. After losing his best friend in a horrific bus crash, Tristan is struggling with his grief and feels like no one understands him.

His parents decide to send him to stay with his grandparents in Alabama for a month to help with his recovery.



Yeah, he's not super crazy about the idea either. Nonetheless, he heads off with them with only his best friend's journal, Eddie, to truly remind him of home.

On his first night there, the most bizarre thing happens. Some sort of little doll baby thing, with a nasty attitude, steals Eddie's journal from him and takes off.

Tristan gives chase. It's all he has left of Eddie. He needs that thing back. He follows the doll baby into some creepy woods and around the mysterious bottle tree.

There as he is wrestling to retrieve the journal, he inadvertently punches a hole in the fabric of the universe, opening up a hole to another world, named MidPass.



This is where things get crazy. I can't even go on to describe all that happens next, you will just have to read for yourself. This story is full of action, African folklore, mythology, African-American history, the power of words, stories coming to life and a boy finding the hero within himself.

I was so impressed with the level of Mbalia's writing. So detailed, so funny, so engaging. All of the things. You may wonder why I decided to give this 4.5-stars versus a full 5 and really it boils down to the scope.

I think the book was a little long for my taste. I sort of feel like this story could have been broken down into two books. There were moments too, that there was so much going on, I felt a little confused.



However, with that being said, that is such a minor thing and totally personal preference. This is such a fantastic, important story. I urge everyone to pick it up!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Disney Book Group and Rick Riordan Presents, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. I greatly appreciate it. Kwame Mbalia is a gift to the world and I can't wait to see what he comes up with next!
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Reading Progress

December 19, 2018 – Shelved
December 19, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
October 9, 2019 – Started Reading
October 11, 2019 –
6.0% "Ohhhh, Yayee!!!
There are creepy Woods in this story that Tristan feels drawn to enter!!!
Perfect for Spooktober 🖤🎃🧡"
October 12, 2019 –
14.0% "Hell yeah!!!
Bone ships!?!?
This is def a Spooktober read 🖤🙌"
October 14, 2019 –
24.0%
October 14, 2019 –
32.0%
October 16, 2019 –
40.0%
October 23, 2019 –
58.0%
October 25, 2019 –
65.0% "I know Gum Baby is suppose to look like a doll but every time she speaks, I picture the Gingerbread Man from the Shrek movies but in girl form...

"
October 26, 2019 –
75.0%
October 27, 2019 – Shelved as: arcs-read
October 27, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)

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message 1: by Leelynn (new) - added it

Leelynn (Sometimes Leelynn Reads) ❤ OMG you got an ARC of this already?! You're freaking amazing!! I can't wait to read your full review :)


megs_bookrack ❤ Leelynn wrote: "OMG you got an ARC of this already?! You're freaking amazing!! I can't wait to read your full review :)"
🥰🥰🥰 I am so excited and grateful. I have had a great experience with the Rick Riordan Presents imprint. I have received all of them early except for Aru Shah and have loved them all!!


message 3: by Leelynn (new) - added it

Leelynn (Sometimes Leelynn Reads) ❤ megs_bookrack wrote: "❤ Leelynn wrote: "OMG you got an ARC of this already?! You're freaking amazing!! I can't wait to read your full review :)"
🥰🥰🥰 I am so excited and grateful. I have had a great experience with the R..."


Seriously you are freaking amazing <3 I am loving the Rick Riordan Presents imprint. I'm so glad he did what he did with this. <3


megs_bookrack ❤ Leelynn wrote: "megs_bookrack wrote: "❤ Leelynn wrote: "OMG you got an ARC of this already?! You're freaking amazing!! I can't wait to read your full review :)"
🥰🥰🥰 I am so excited and grateful. I have had a great..."
Thank you. You are too kind. I appreciate it more than you know! Yes, me too. He has been crushing it. Such a great concept and the books have all been incredible!! I am looking forward to the one by Rebecca Roanhorse too!


megs_bookrack Javelyn wrote: "Aye!" It was an ambitious debut! Very impressive!


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