So my name is Rashika and I am weird. I read a lot (duh) and I watch a lot of TV. I also like to review. Check out my blog (where I co-blog with awesome people).
What makes this book so tricky is my grown up mind (at least in comparison to the intended audience). It’s absolutely adorable but I also felt like it was trying to be more mature than it was because it was dealing with so many important issues. There were some pretty intense plot twists but I found myself giggling instead of being shocked because the book is too cute for me to gasp at yet if I were younger, I would definitely be gasping and thinking about how frickin awesome the book was.
There are a lot of stereotypical aspects to this book. We have terms like “the mean girl”, and “the mean girl’s accessories” being used, we have a main character who is introduced to us as the stereotypical “beautiful but doesn’t know it” and that worried me. I was worried that this book would turn out to be one big cliché but after these initial cliché-like introductions, the characters were fleshed out (including one of the mean girls to a certain degree).
Raine is an interesting main character, she has the ability to extract memories from sparkles. Before you laugh, sparkles are just the things that appear on certain objects that only Raine can see and thus only Raine (and her grandmother could) can read. I thought this was an interesting paranormal addition to the story although it made me wonder about the sparkles. Why sparkles? Why not just plain ole touching of objects?
Raine also happens to be surprisingly mature. There are things she has gone through that make her more mature than her peers but at the same time, she also acts her age, she will throw a fit and she will say something stupid or do something stupid. What I also liked about her that even though she started making new friends right away, she never forgot about Shirlee, who wasn’t as cool or popular.
This book deals with bullying and that worried me too! I was scared that maybe the book wouldn’t manage to pull it off or would portray it in some offensive way or even go down the lane of some really cruel revenge. Bullying is such a touchy topic in general but also specifically for me and while I won’t give the book an A+ with the way it dealt with it, I will say that it does manage to tackle bullying in a very healthy and not uncomfortable way.
There is also a slight romance in the book which I thought was absolutely adorable. I wish I could quote my favorite line (in terms of the romance) but alas it would kind of be a spoiler. You should know though that the romance isn't about falling in love but about having a crush!
I loved the plot in this book. This may be a book for kids but I become just as invested. None of the twists caught me off guard but I know, I KNOW that kid me would have adored this book and would have genuinely been taken in by those twists. The problem is that the predictability made it harder for me to take what was happening as seriously as I should have been taking it.
This book ended up being pretty intense for a middle grade novel and I had a lot of fun reading it. It may not be perfect but it is enjoyable and one I would say that you should give a shot if you’re looking for a light, adventurous, surprising, middle grade read.