January 27, 2014

Review: Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy

After seeing that cover—and that title—I knew I needed this novel in my life. I mean, with a character named Ophelia, what could go wrong, right?

I am glad I read this. I devoured the story.

Title: ‘Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy’
Author: Karen Foxlee
Pages: 240
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Available: January 28, 2014
Source: requested from Netgalley

Summary (from Goodreads):

A modern-day fairy tale set in a mysterious museum that is perfect for readers of Roald Dahl and Blue Balliett.

Unlikely heroine Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard doesn't believe in anything that can't be proven by science. She and her sister Alice are still grieving for their dead mother when their father takes a job in a strange museum in a city where it always snows. On her very first day in the museum Ophelia discovers a boy locked away in a long forgotten room. He is a prisoner of Her Majesty the Snow Queen. And he has been waiting for Ophelia's help.

As Ophelia embarks on an incredible journey to rescue the boy everything that she believes will be tested. Along the way she learns more and more about the boy's own remarkable journey to reach her and save the world.

A story within a story, this a modern day fairytale is about the power of friendship, courage and love, and never ever giving up.

My Thoughts:

The plot of this novel is simple, and yet not so simple at all. Ophelia spends time with her father at his new job, working in a strange museum. As young children are apt to do, Ophelia feels this place is one worthy of exploration.

This is how she encounters The Marvelous Boy. Except, what is so marvelous about him?

This is what the reader discovers as he/she devours this exciting tale. There is much to discover about The Marvelous Boy, the predicament he is in, and the time that is ticking away.

Can Ophelia save him? Or will she find herself another victim of The Snow Queen?

Oh sweet Ophelia, how do I love thee? No really, I absolutely adored her character. This was her story to tell, but Foxlee did a terrific job of balancing the development of Ophelia and her cause with the past of The Marvelous Boy and how he came to be in the clutches of The Snow Queen.

The story of the Marvelous Boy is what readers will devour as they race to the finish line of the novel with expectations of discovery of the true identity of The Snow Queen.

After all, throughout the reading I was questioning whether the Marvelous Boy was a real person or just a figment Ophelia dreamt up to pass the time.

And the Snow Queen? There is nothing I can say about her character without a revealing any kind of plot line. I will say this—it’s good.

As a whole, I enjoyed taking the journey with Ophelia. It was fun to run throughout the museum, searching for the best time to rescue the Marvelous Boy, hiding from the Snow Queen, and delving into a magical world that is nothing like my own. I felt like I was Ophelia, experiencing all the magical wonder that was that magical museum.

Goodreads says this novel will appeal to fans of Dahl, and I completely agree. I also believe this novel will appeal to those who enjoyed ‘The Apothecary’ by Meloy. It has the same feel for world-building.

I definitely recommend this novel to all readers/enjoyers of children’s lit, but most especially those aged nineish and above.

Have you read anything magical lately? If so, comment below and let’s talk about books.
Happy Reading!

-      The Hodgenator

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