Monday, September 12, 2011

Review: The Undrowned Child - Michelle Lovric

Where I got it: ARC from AmazonVine
Rating: 3.5 stars  
Cover Rating: 5 stars (Very beautiful, original and just awesome.)  
Genre: Middle Grade
Publication Date: August 9, 2011
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 440 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon

Teo dreams of visiting Venice. As a book worm she spends days pouring over books with detailed descriptions of what a wonderful city it is. When her parents get a letter that says they are needed (they're scientists) in Venice, Teo leaps at the opportunity to tag along. Unfortunately her parent's colleagues are bringing their daughter Maria along. Maria only cares about fashion, she scoffs at Teo who always has her head in a book. Luckily they come to an arrangement where their parents will think they are together, but they don't actually have to be around each other. This works for awhile until Teo gets dreadfully sick and must be taken to hospital. There, very, very strange things start to happen, and then Teo wakes up somewhere else. All she has with her is a book with a smiling mermaid on the cover that seems to read her thoughts and answer her questions (vaguely). When she finds her way back, it seems that no one can see or hear her except for some children and one boy in particular. Something odd and terrible is going on, sick kids are dying every day. Teo may need to team up with this one boy in order to save the city on the water from becoming the city underwater.

Venice, mermaids and other supernatural and fairytale folks and happenings. The makings of a great book. I wish this book wasn't so long though. I really loved it, but at times it felt a little tedious. As an adult book it would be okay, but I feel like some kids may loose attention, unless they are particularly fascinated with the subject matter (as I was). All in all though, this was a thoroughly enjoyable read. I loved Teo, she was such a fascinating character and full of life and questions. I love it when people are full of questions, ready and eager to learn. It makes it so that you can learn through them what is going on and also some other interesting facts. I also adored Renzo, even if he was a bit of a snob. He was still such a marvelous character. Compassionate and a total bookworm. Teo and Renzo truly made a great pair. Lussa's speech bothered me though. I don't get why some of her words were capitalized while others weren't it sort of reminded me of teen girls online, you know the ones who TypE LiK tHiS. Bleh ;) I loved that this had lots of Venetian history, it was interesting to learn about these pieces of history I hadn't ever really heard of. A lot of research went into this book or at least a lot of knowledge of the history of the city, and it shows. If you are a lover of historical fiction pick this one up. This was a smart, enticing read that takes you to the very heart of Venice.

First Line:
"The fog that fell upon Venice that evening was like a bandage wrapped round the town."

Favorite Lines:
"Teo felt the air squeezed out of her chest. Until this moment the violent story of Bajamonte Tiepolo had seemed rather like a fairy tale gone wrong, something to read in an old book curled up on a rainy day, nothing to do with Teo herself. Suddenly, it felt personal."


  1. I'v never heard of this one before, but the concept sounds fresh and original, and heck...I love me some mermaids! Great review :)

  2. Ooh, I've never heard of this one, but it sounds really good. I'm not a huge historical aficionado, but I tend to love MG books with a historical twist to them. That opening line is perfection too. I'm off to add this to my wishlist.

  3. I have this book and looking forward to read it; does it have a 2nd part?


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