Monday, March 19, 2012

Review: House of Dolls - Francesca Lia Block

Where I got it: Inter-library Loan
Rating: 4 stars  
Cover Rating: 4 stars (Very fitting for the novel I love the illustrations.)
Genre: Middle Grade
Publication Date: June 1, 2010
Publisher: HarperCollins
Page Count: 61 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon

There were three doll who all lived in a beautiful house. They were once treated grandly with new gowns and love from Madison Blackberry's grandmother. Madison does not really like the dolls having all the fun though, so she breaks them up in hopes that it will make her feel better.

This is a hard book to set and age range for. The brevity and illustrations lend an air of juvenile fiction to it, but the subject matter is complex and subtle which makes me want to stick it in with older kids. On the surface this book is a beautifully illustrated story about a girl who has some magical dolls, but doesn't like they she is ignored and so takes it out on the dolls. You will definitely find Francesca Lia Block's flowing writing within the pages and they are magical. This is the story of a young girl who wants attention and can't figure out how to get it. I liked how most of the story took place from the doll's perspective. They were witnessing the changes around them and weren't sure of Madison's intention. Madison makes some of the characters go off to "war" as revenge for being so beautiful and happy together. This was a very quick read, it took me all of 10 minutes. The illustrations were lovely and the story was quite good, but $16.00 seems a bit steep. As I said in the beginning too, I'm not sure the intended age range of this novel either. It was a good read though, and if you are a Francesca Lia Block fan, make sure you check this one out.

First Line:
"Wildflower, Rockstar, and Miss Selene lived in a house from another time, a white house with a red roof and red shutters and a red door."

Favorite Line:
"The combination of boredom and jealousy is a dangerous thing."

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