Friday, November 11, 2016

Fall Reading 2016 Journey's End


Wow! A typical summer vacation becomes a magical quest in this wonderful middle grades adventure. Nolie travels from Georgia to visit her father, who is studying and odd phenomenon in Scotland. She thinks it will jut be a chance for the two of them to reconnect after 6 months apart. Instead, she finds herself drawn into helping save the entire town from a curse hundreds of years old, while making some new friends along the way.

Living close to Dollywood and the madness that is the tourist season here in East Tennessee, I suppose I can relate a little to the townsfolk and their reliance on the tourists who come to see the "Boundary." But that commonality can only stretch so far, since we don't have a cursed fog that swallows up boats, people, and even pieces of the town. Nolie's fascination with ghosts and the supernatural is like that of many other who enjoy watching TV shows about paranormal investigators. It seems odd in comparison to her father's focus on science, but at least they are interested in the same thing, even if it is manifested in different ways.

This might have just remained a story of scientific vs. magical world views, except that the author also includes some very real descriptions of what friendship is like during late preteen and early teenage years. Nolie's new friend, Bel, has experienced the loss of her best friend to the new girl at school and has been dreading her summer alone. And both girls meet Albert and have to deal with the awkwardness of boys and girls being friends at that age when everyone seems so aware of gender differences. There is also the tension of parents and children not agreeing on the best way to solve a problem.

The characters are entertaining and at times tug on your heartstrings as you read. (If I say that Alice needs to go soak her head, am I being too judgmental?) I would enjoy seeing them tackle a new quest together, but I can also be satisfied with how things ended.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

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