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This is one VERY strange book. It skirts the line between ridiculous and scary. It is in the same vein as A Series of Unfortunate Events, but there are scary moments. I guess the ridiculousness is to off-set the scariness. I added it to our Newbery list but now that I’ve read it I’m frantically trying to remember where I saw it. It’s on the list because some blogger that I trusted said it was a contender. Who? I can’t for the life of me find it...
AR level: 5.4
Grade appropriate: 4th and 5th grade
Overall: 2/5-- so odd. You spend the entire book wondering if it is fantasy or realistic. Sometimes that adds to the plot, but in this book it detracts from it.
Creativity: 3/5-- This is the story of an average girl who is snatched from her parents and held captive by two seemingly sweet great-aunties. They are actually murderers and planning to kill her.
Characters: 2/5-- I didn’t feel a particular attachment to any of the characters. Anastasia isn’t particularly lovable and everyone else is so far fetched that they are un-relatable.
Engrossing: 2/5-- Not one I was anxious to get back to...
Writing: 1/5-- The over-writing was intended to be funny in the vein of “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” but it misses the mark in my book. Much discussion of “tragic flatulence” and the like.
One reviewer said, “attempts to mimic ‘Series of Unfortunate Events,’ but lacks the satire which makes the other book so fun to read.” I agree 100%.
Appeal to kids: 2/5-- Fans of A Series of Unfortunate Events will give it a go. Time will tell if they will stick it out.
Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5