Thursday, October 27, 2016

ARC Review: Journey’s End by Rachel Hawkins

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I received this book for free from G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC Review: Journey’s End by Rachel HawkinsJourney's End by Rachel Hawkins
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on October 25th, 2015
Genres: Adventure, Paranormal, YA
Source: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
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New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins brings us a riveting middle grade fantasy-adventure, perfect for fans of Lisa Graff.

The town of Journey's End may not literally be at the end of the world, but it sure feels like it to Nolie Stanhope. Spending the summer with her scientist father in the tiny Scottish village isn't exactly Nolie's idea of a good time, but she soon finds a friend: native Journey's Ender Bel McKissick.

While Nolie's father came to Journey's End to study the Boundary--a mysterious fog bank offshore--Bel's family  can’t afford to consider it a threat.  The McKissick’s livelihood depends on the tourists drawn by legends of a curse. Still, whether you believe in magic or science, going into the Boundary means you'll never come back.

…Unless you do.

Are you looking for a spoopy read for the Halloween season? Have you considered picking up a delightful middle-grade Halloween-esque novel? If so, consider reading this charming novel. I am a huge fan of Rachel Hawkins’ Hex Hall and Rebel Belle series’ so I was all about this book but it wasn’t quite what I expected (not in a bad way.) It has a lot of the fun feel from her YA books but the characters don’t sound the exact same and I LOVE that. They aren’t just the same characters but a little younger and in a different setting.

Journey’s End is a small town located in the middle of nowhere Scotland but it is unlike most small towns because of the magical fog. I think we’ve seen enough scary movies to know that fog isn’t always as great as it seems and usually where all the spooky shit goes down.

The paranormal element of this book is well done and the setting is very atmospheric. Hawkins pays attention to detail and builds a believable world. I love the folk tales, myths and the characters’ stories that work together to create the “real story” of what is happening in this town. Everything is intermingled as stories tend to be. The best part about this novel is seeing the layers peeled back one by one until we get to the bottom of what is actually happening.

There is also an adventure element to this book and I always enjoy that. Adventures and mysteries go well together if I do say so myself 😉 Especially if there is some paranormal thrown in.

Journey’s End also features some of the best characters I’ve read in a while. Nollie’s visiting her father for the summer and Bel is a local of Journey’s End. Both of them are complex characters and I love that there is more to them than just meets the eye. Nollie is witty but also confused about where her family stands after her parents got divorced recently. Bel just got dumped by her best friend for some reason she doesn’t know(if you don’t think this is a big deal, you obviously never had that happen to you in Middle School and you can thank the stars for that because IT REALLY SUCKS) but she is more than the character whose friend dumped her. She is fun, down to Earth and I would totes hang out with her. There is also a third character whose name I won’t mention because spoilers but rest assured, they are fucking hilarious and I LOVE IT. These three kids are very different from one another but become fast friends (because of their situations, loneliness but also because they are perfect for one another.) They are brave, adventurous and lots of fun to hang out with them. Honestly, I have friend-crushes on all of them even though they are 5-6 years younger than me.

Everything just works well in this book. Journey’s End is so much fun to read and so quick too. It represents everything it is I love about a good Middle Grade novel and if you’ve gathered this from my ramblings quite yet, but I really liked this book. Its got good world building, good plot and wonderful characters. What else can a girl want? Basically, you should read it if you enjoy fun middle grade novels or pass it along to someone you know who enjoys fun middle grade novels!

Read this if you enjoy(ed): The Map to Everywhere by Carrie Ryan & John Parke Davis, adventures, spoopy stories.


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Rashika has been tired since 2013. There are very few things that spark joy for her besides a nice cup of tea, warm, baked goods, good books and good TV shows. She is here to pile onto your giant TBRs and to-watch lists. Offer her a cookie and she might be nice to you.

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