Why I bought it? (This is going to be an official part of my reviews for the marketing people out there.) I was trolling for some fun books for my kids, and I saw the bright cover and picked it up. I liked the artwork and title, so I thought I'd see what it was about. The back was enough to hook me. "What if your Grandpa moves mountains, one of your brothers causes hurricanes, another creates electricity, and now it's your turn?" I didn't even open it and read inside the front cover (which I will generally always do with an unknown author and title). I knew my daughter would love this book (as long as it delivered--these kind of supernatural things happening are right down her alley), and she did and insisted that I read it.
It's definitely more of a MG book than YA. The MC, Mibs, is a 12 yr. old girl turning 13. Her father has been in an accident and is in critical condition. The mother and oldest brother go to be with him at the hospital leaving the rest of the family behind with the grandfather. Mibs, two of her brothers, and 2 friends hop on a pink bible delivery bus to make it to the hospital 90 miles away. This initial premise is terribly far-fetched to me. It seemed crazy that there would be no plans made for bringing the younger kids to see their father in the hospital, but it didn't bother my daughter. There are some crazy antics and interesting developments as the trip progresses and as Mibs gets her "Savvy."
It's pretty funny and a bit outlandish, but I think that is what my daughter particularly liked. I had a harder time overlooking the parts of the story that were not realistic, and I don't mean the supernatural parts. I mean the stupidity of many of the adults in the book. Of course, kids do seem to like the adults being clueless in their entertainment. Not really one I'd read again.
My rating: 3 1/2 stars
My daughter's rating: 4 1/2 stars
Why I bought it? Robin McKinley wrote it. I like most of her books and love some of them, especially The Blue Sword which is one of my all time favorites. I saw it on a display table at the B&N and snatched it right up with anticipation.
This is more of a YA book. Mirasol, the MC, is a humble beekeeper and becomes the Chalice when the old Chalice and Master die unexpectedly. The new Master has been in training to be a fire priest and is no longer quite human. This is a problem because the Master needs to be human. They must work together to help keep their homeland from falling apart. It's an interesting premise and the interactions of Chalice and Master push the story forward. I found it slow going, especially at first, and it took me a while to get into. There was very little dialog. In some ways, this reinforced the idea of peace coming from the Chalice, but it slowed things way down. The language and imagery is well done as you would expect with McKinley.
I liked it, but I didn't love it. I would like to read it again though to see if it improves with familiarity. This is where being someone like Robin McKinley works for you. I'm willing to cut her a little slack and read it again thinking that maybe I was too distracted when I read it the first time to truly appreciate it.
My rating: 3 1/2 stars with potential for a higher rating later
This is getting to be a trend. I promise next time I won't give 3 1/2 stars even if I have to pick something I read ages ago.