Saturday, June 18, 2016

2016 book 108

Virginia Zimmerman's The Rosemary Spell
First of all, I really think the publishers did this book a disservice with this cover--it looks like a cliched YA book about witches, when actually it's a sweet middle grade book about book nerds, growing up, family, Shakespeare, and a little bit of magic. (It also namedrops Rebecca Stead and Edward Eager, two of my favorite authors, so I know the author here is a kindred spirit.) It centers on thirteen-year-old Rosemary, her best friend Adam, and Adam's older sister--they've always been a trio of kids reading and talking about reading, but now Shelby is sixteen and doing teenage things and Rosemary feels left behind. Which is of course when she discovers an old book with what seems to be some magical properties, and things quickly go awry. Not in a wacky Edward Eager way, either. I felt like this book pulled some of its punches but that was sort of a relief, I guess? I really liked the writing here--it felt very natural--and enjoyed the characters a lot--it came really close to being GREAT. I will definitely read whatever Zimmermann does next. B+.

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