Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Grayling's Song by Karen Cushman

When I was halfway through this book, it occurred to me that I'm going to need to give this stars for Goodreads and I panicked. I had no idea whether I wanted to give it two stars or three. Which is to say, this book basically waffled between a two and a three the whole time that I was reading it. (Of course, I'll probably go for the higher star, but now you know)

Grayling is basically the story of a girl whose mother gets turned into a tree and their grimoire gets stolen and she has to go find it and save everyone. And to do there, she gathers a ragtag team of people with magic.

The good about the story: Pook, the shape-shifting, talking mouse was cute. Pook was basically what kept this at a two star level. And occasionally, there were scenes that made me chuckle, which was why it occasionally went into three star territory. Plus, the second half wasn't too bad.

The not-so-good:

First, the language. It's probably going to be one of those "I loved it" or "I couldn't stand it" type of language choices, and unfortunately, I was in the latter camp. The speech just sounded so awkward throughout the whole book, and I think I was about two-thirds done before I even got used to it. The language probably interfered with the characterisation too, because I remember getting annoyed with how Grayling was developing.

Second, the twist. I like to be surprised. I mean, I like to try and guess the surprise, but more often than not, I'm wrong and I'm glad I am. However, I basically saw the twist coming so early in the story. It's as though bad characters are incapable of being anything but bad, so even though I think there was supposed to be a surprise, I was totally unimpressed. It's a pity too, because by that point in time, I finally got used to the language and was ready to be entertained.

These two were basically the reasons why it never went into four or five star territory, and basically pushed it down to the two to three star area.

Sadly, this was not the book for me. It may have been the book for some people, but the language was definitely not something I enjoyed. If you're thinking of picking this book up (because the cover really is lovely), try and see if you can get a sample to read first.

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.

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