Rating: 4 stars
Cover Rating: 4.5 stars (It's quite lovely! I do appreciate the muted colors, makes it a bit more sinister.)
Genre: Middle Grade
Publication Date: August 28, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Page Count: 344 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon
Add it: Goodreads
One day Victoria's friend Lawrence goes missing. This does not fit in with her perfect plans to make him a bit less...rough around the edges. She also is sort of concerned for his well-being. His parents tell Victoria that he's visiting his sick grandmother, but something about this excuse seems a bit off. Maybe it's Lawrence's parents that seem off. Victoria decides it's up to her to investigate what has happened to Lawrence and the other kids who seem to be disappearing. Victoria has a sinking feeling that it all might have to do with the Cavendish Home. She's not sure what goes on there, so she'll have to investigate and what she finds will surprise her.
This was such a fun story. Plenty of mystery and intrigue and general creepiness. I loved the little bugs that were scattered throughout the story and the few illustrations made this story even more of a delight. Victoria was the kind of girl who needed everything to be perfect. She started hanging around Lawrence for the very reason of making him perfect. He was always quite disheveled with his head in music. Somehow though, Victoria managed to tolerate Lawrence and it seems she even grew fond of him.
Much of this book we are only with Victoria. Lawrence disappears quite early on, so we are tangled up in Victoria's rumination. She seems quite smart and able at this point. She's like a regular Nancy Drew, sleuthing around town. It helps that the grown-ups aren't their usual selves. There are a lot of great characters in this novel, some we only meet briefly but all of them play their parts and play them well.
The Cavendish Home is incredible. Every part of it left me feeling a bit creeped out. I really enjoyed it though, and could picture it vividly in my mind. I don't want to talk too much about it and spoil anything but it was a delight.
If you enjoyed Coraline of The Mysterious Benedict Society, this will be right up your alley. This is a smart, sinister read that will leave you guessing until all has been uncovered.
"When Victoria Wright was twelve years old, she had precisely one friend."
"The air stank of onion, and something worse, a heavy tang of rot."
This is a Middle Grade Monday Post feel free to link your middle grade reviews/news below :)
(doesn't have to be posted on a Monday)