Monday, June 27, 2016

Review: Storyteller by Lisa Cresswell

Thirteen year old Lily knows she can make weird things happen, just by telling a story. It's a gift she can't always control, making her the queen of seventh grade outcasts. She can't make a million dollars appear out of thin air or make it rain cupcakes, but it's not for lack of trying. More than anything, she wants to see her mom, who's left her in the care of her unconventional grandmother, Gwendolyn, and her only friend, Peter.
When Lily finds a strange fairytale book, she's drawn into a fantasy world where her mother waits for her. When her grandmother admits to Lily they are fairies, hiding in this world from dark forces in another place, Lily is convinced the book she's been reading is real. According to the book, those dark forces now threaten to destroy her mother. What Lily doesn't know is they are already hunting her as well.
Despite the dire warnings of Gwendolyn and Peter, Lily embarks on a mission to find a way into the fantasy world to save her mom. The events she sets into motion with the telling of a story will change all of their lives forever.

Rating: 3 Stars

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Any book where a child has to go on a magical adventure, particularly when they have to save a parent, warrants a look-see from me. This book intrigued me because of the abilities that it assigned to Lily, the heroine. Being able to tell stories that come true sounds fantastic, but as Lily finds out, there's more than one side to a story and more than one way for it to turn out.

Lisa Cresswell, author, had a good handle on writing her characters. They were multi-faceted throughout and had a fair bit of development among them; it wasn't all saved for Lily or Peter (Lily's friend). I appreciated that because I find that sometimes, the strength of character within a book is distributed unevenly and then you have the super powerful heroine and lackluster secondary characters, which stinks because they're necessary to a good story.

The pacing was a bit muddy about halfway through the book and had a few moments where I wanted to set the book aside completely, but I didn't and I'm happy about that. Some books just have subpar middles but I think while this book dipped toward that it saved itself and went on to something greater.

There's a lot of fantasy adventure within this story that I think middle grade readers will like, but also older readers as well. It translates well between age groups, an important factor if a book wants to have staying power. I'd recommend it to fans of Narnia and The Great Good Thing.

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