March 27, 2014

Review: A Snicker of Magic

First, let me say that if a cover has a large ice cream cone on it, dibs are I am going to pick it up. Period. I am a cover shopper, and nothing says, “Pick me up Hodgenator” like a giant ice cream cone.

Also, the title has the word “magic” in it. I am going to touch it.

In this case, I saw it on Netgalley and realized I needed this book in my life. Little did I know that while reading it, I did need this book in my life.

Title: ‘A Snicker of Magic’
Author: Natalie Lloyd
Pages: 320
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Available: NOW at your local library/book store
Source: Netgalley

Summary (from Goodreads):

Introducing an extraordinary new voice---a magical debut that will make your skin tingle, your eyes glisten…and your heart sing.

Midnight Gulch used to be a magical place, a town where people could sing up thunderstorms and dance up sunflowers. But that was long ago, before a curse drove the magic away. Twelve-year-old Felicity knows all about things like that; her nomadic mother is cursed with a wandering heart.

But when she arrives in Midnight Gulch, Felicity thinks her luck's about to change. A "word collector," Felicity sees words everywhere---shining above strangers, tucked into church eves, and tangled up her dog's floppy ears---but Midnight Gulch is the first place she's ever seen the word "home." And then there's Jonah, a mysterious, spiky-haired do-gooder who shimmers with words Felicity's never seen before, words that make Felicity's heart beat a little faster.

Felicity wants to stay in Midnight Gulch more than anything, but first, she'll need to figure out how to bring back the magic, breaking the spell that's been cast over the town . . . and her mother's broken heart.

My Thoughts:

This book gives me all kinds of feels. Seriously. I read it while I was in the midst of a terrible shingles episode, and this book made me feel like hope existed in my life, that at the end of everything life would be okay.

That is powerful people. Power. Ful. And magical. If you’ve ever had shingles, you know why.

Midnight Gulch is a magical place full of hope—and this seems to be something Felicity has always needed in her life. And her mother’s. After all, she is a girl on the move.

She has a mother who is always on the move; she cannot stand to stay in the same place long. Is this a symptom of the ever-vanishing magic in Midnight Gulch?

It doesn’t matter because they are back. And Felicity wants to stay. This word collector feels the magic in the air, and she feels that this is the place that is meant to be her home. Her mom just can’t take that away from her. She just can’t.

But the question is this: can Felicity help restore the magic that has been lost? And if so, how will this restoration affect her life (and her mom’s)?

What I enjoyed most about this book is Felicity. Felicity’s character is nicely developed, she is the novel’s star and she remains so throughout. There isn’t a single secondary character that steals her thunder; but those secondary characters serve to support her. Each has a specific role in Felicity’s life, and each brings out the best in her.

A note about adults in children’s books: usually I find that adults in a child’s tale are tricky. A lot of the time I find the adult gets in the way of the storytelling, but that is not the case in this tale. They are there as guidance, which is what all children need in their life. While the novel is on the fantastical side, the role of Felicity’s mom and grandma add a realistic feel to the story, and at times I found myself lost deeper in the text because of it, believing that Midnight Gulch is real—and that I too want to live there. To experience the magic.

Or at the very least, eat a bit of ice cream.

The plot of this book is nicely paced, especially for younger readers. It is engaging from the first page, and it holds readers attentions until the conclusion.

Do I recommend this book?

Absolutely. I recommend this to readers of all ages—and of all genres. This novel doesn’t just speak to a certain type of reader. It is for all readers.

Readers will connect with Felicity the word girl; they will be intrigued by Midnight Gulch; they will find themselves lost in the words, much like Felicity is when she is collecting them.

Have you read a great magical read lately, one with ice cream, cupcakes, cake? Comment below and let’s talk about books, especially those with sweet treats.
Happy Reading!

-      The Hodgenator

1 comment:

  1. I read this book I loved it. I like how you showed your feelings about the book. I never thought of some of your thoughts. Thanks!
    - The Cupcake Girl


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