Monday, September 9, 2013

Middle Grade Monday | Review: The Year of Shadows - Claire Legrand

Middle Grade Monday is a feature started right here at Reading Nook. It's a way to share news or reviews of middle grade novels on a blog that doesn't exclusively post middle grade content. Feel free to join any time and link up.

Where I got it: Library
Rating: 4 stars  
Cover Rating: 4 stars (It's perfect for the book. I love the little embellishments.)
Genre: Middle Grade
Publication Date: August 27, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 406 p.
Add it: Goodreads

Olivia is not having the best year. Her mother left her with no explanation with her father and her father is too busy conducting his orchestra to care about her. He has in fact put so much into the orchestra that they have to move, into the music hall. Not only is it her and her father, but his mother too. Olivia's grandmother is old and fragile and now living in a drafty music hall. That's when Olivia meets the ghosts. While with one of the music halls ushers she sees them and they want help. Olivia is already having a tough year and she's not sure she can add their problems to hers. If she helps the ghosts though, she might really end up helping herself.

Another really fantastic read by Claire Legrand. I really just adore her characters. They are very honest kids and I just love them. The illustrations are also great. This is a middle grade novel though so the ghosts aren't as spooky as I may have liked.

The adults aren't fleshed out well in this novel, but that's probably because it's told from Olivia's perspective and she doesn't seem to really pay too much attention to them. Her and Henry are great characters though and it was great getting not know them.

Things got weird pretty fast in this story. One minute no ghosts, the next minute lots of ghosts and other spooky things. Some things didn't play out like I had expected them to, it was nice being surprised. One thing left me a bit disappointed that it never happened though. I really enjoyed this take on ghosts and the afterlife and how time in death is different.

I really felt as though I should have been listening to classical music while reading this. It may have added to the ambience of the whole story. Unfortunately I'd pay too much attention to the music and eventually stop reading and that doesn't help the story much. If you can listen to music and read at the same time, please listen to some of the music listed in the back of this book while reading and let us all know how it is.

I would definitely check this one out if you're looking for a strange middle grade read. Claire Legrand always likes to tip the ordinary and let loose a bit of mystery from it. 

First Line:
"The year the ghosts came started like this: The Maestro kicked open the door, dropped his suitcase to the floor, and said, 'VoilĂ !'"

Favorite Line:
"I screamed into the inky storm."

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)

1 comment:

  1. I enjoy reading Middle Grade books once in a while so I'm going to check this one :) Sounds original!


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