I’m freakishly excited to be part of the Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy blog-tour!! I have a
gushing logically scientific review and a giveaway at the end! Because giveaways are marvellous.
Also, just to be upfront, I’ve alternated at least a billion times between “marvellous” and “marvelous” (the later being the American spelling, which is on the book, but I’m an Aussie so I spell it with two Ls). Whatever!
Let the celebrations commence!
Unlikely heroine Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard doesn’t believe in anything that can’t be proven by science. She and her sister Alice are still grieving for their dead mother when their father takes a job in a strange museum in a city where it always snows. On her very first day in the museum Ophelia discovers a boy locked away in a long forgotten room. He is a prisoner of Her Majesty the Snow Queen. And he has been waiting for Ophelia’s help.
As Ophelia embarks on an incredible journey to rescue the boy everything that she believes will be tested. Along the way she learns more and more about the boy’s own remarkable journey to reach her and save the world.
A story within a story, this a modern day fairytale is about the power of friendship, courage and love, and never ever giving up.
Karen Foxlee is an Australian writer. She is the author of two young adult novels: “The Anatomy of Wings” and “The Midnight Dress”. Her first middle grade novel “Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy” is to be published in January, 2014. She lives and writes in Queensland, Australia.
This is a marvellous book. Okay, I admit! Pun totally intended. All the same, though, this is a fabulous and magical book. I ate it as fast as possible. (I’m a hungry reader like that.) And when I finished?
I’m very guilty of hyping myself up for books. Usually because I either a) love the author, b) love the cover, c) love the title/blurb or d) feel the need to get excited over something so I choose a book at random. But mostly it’s a combo of a, b, and c. Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy has the best cover and title ever. And I totally adore the author! (I loved The Midnight Dress! It absolutely broke my heart. See? Love that.) I was so freakishly excited for it, I wondered if I’d be disappointed?
I’m 100% a very happy snowman.
Note: I’m not actually a snowman and I’ve never seen snow. But Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy is set in a snowy place. Okay? Okay.
Writing? It has a very simple style. It’s clear, clean and uses bare but powerful description. I love that. Of course this makes the book very small…I finished it in a few hours. I want more, please?
Also, I particularly like how it NEVER acted condescending to the reader. I’ve read a few Middle-Grade books recently. The last three spoon-fed everything. Argh! Ophelia deals with a lot of sensitive issues that I’m pretty sure all children face at some time — being lonely, feeling ignored, the loss of a parent, not being believed, and saving the world. They’re all handled beautifully. Particularly the world saving issue. Very informative.
Though it’s not a horror or anything, it certainly has creepy parts. It reminded me a bit of Coraline…minus freaky not-parents with button eyes.
Characters? Ophelia narrates (in third person) and gosh, isn’t she just an adorable world-saving little mite who needs a big hug (no hot chocolate though, no no noooo)? I loved her! She’s not confident, she has asthma, and her glasses are always smudgy. I love she thinks, “What would Mum say?” all the time. It really attached me to her mother, although the mother is dead from the beginning of the story. (The mother was also a horror writer, which is a totally awesome detail.) Ophelia wasn’t brave, she was curious. It’s nice having unconfident characters…gives us smudgy-glasses-clad readers the belief we could face come-to-life statues and wield swords and help a marvellous boy someday.
Probably it’s only draw-back is how much like Coraline it was. I loved Coraline. But, you know, I’ve read it. I don’t want to read it again. Like in Coraline, Ophelia’s parent (her dad) was super involved in work and very uninvolved in her. She kept her adventures a secret. Her dad ended up very involved in the story (I love it when the parents get involved too). And it was simultaneously sad and happy at the end. But there are no button-eyes or cats in Ophelia.
You know what I really liked, though? This book got into my heart. Nope, I’m not frozen over or anything half so amusing. I’m just touched. Teared up a little? No, of course not, I never get emotionally attached to books. Ha, ha. That would be ridiculous and so unlike me.
PS. But the ending is kind of all sad and happy and…yeah. It is a beautiful book.
Monday 17 February
– AUS only
– winner must respond within 48 hours
– winner must wear a floppy yellow hat
– just kidding for the previous one
Cait is often confused between American spelling and Australian spelling. Like realisation and realization. The English language is difficult enough without countries quibbling over spelling! Seriously! Help a bookworm out. Currently, Cait is pretending to write, but really she’s reading BLINDSIDED by Natalie Whipple.