Friday, 2 January 2015

Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen




Arc provided by Henry Holt & Company through Netgalley
Release Date: February 3rd

I had to re-read this story immediately after I had finished it for first time, because with only one read, I honestly did not know what to say.

First of all, I loved its first pages: They had that bitter-sweet tone of well done magical realism, and they held so much promise.
We get immediately thrown into this family's live, and we can see that something isn't quite right. Besides the obvious that is...
 Page after page we get sucked into Sarah's life, and how in the span of a few days everything she knows gets replaced by something out of a fantasy book.
Sarah is only thirteen, and she's not ready for what is coming into her life...in fact, I don't think anyone would, because all of a sudden she finds herself surrounded by a strange reality and sharing an existence with characters that aren't exactly loving, or trustworthy.
This means that there's a lot of crying, which is comprehensible.
Especially since  this tale follows the path of the "old school of fairy tales", the one in which things happen because so...in which events mostly take a turn for the worse...where most characters are as flawed as possible, and finally where HEA is mostly a vague dream.

There are however some elements here whose presence, I found somewhat strange considering this is a supposed middle grade book ...
First Sarah has some serious tstl actions. Number one, the walking alone in a wood part, because doing things that adults say you shouldn't do are appealing...
 Then there's meeting an older boy in those same woods because so.
Yes, it is vital for the plot, but...
o_O
O_o
*shakes head*

For me this book has a serious identity crises.
First of all, I don't think this will appeal to the middle grade readers: the writing, the plot, the *oh, there goes my heart!* part. Too cruel for them, I think.
For the YA audience?
They want romance. Thankfully there isn't one in here. There's seeds _really strange seeds considering the characters ages. THE DIFFERENCE! _, but there isn't an actual romance.

Adults....
Yes, I think we are the most logical target, but once one starts analysing this and that.. *sight*
For instance, there's a part in which we are told that the curse affects the women and the man differently ...but in reality that's not quite so.
Then we have characters who apparently have thousands of years, and I wanted to know more about their lives.
I needed more backstory.

For me this had everything to be a five star book, but I could have used more development in certain parts of the narrative...however, _and especially with the re-read _ I have to say that despite the TSTL moments, and other elements, I ended up "falling" for this book.
And, now I am curious about the author's other works.


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