Happy Memorial Day to my fellow Americans! I am spending the day at Six Flags with my family but didn’t want to miss out on posting an MMGM. Today’s review is on a title that kept jumping out at me, much as words do in the story itself :). So many people were recommending A SNICKER OF MAGIC by Natalie Lloyd, I had to read it, and I’m so glad I did.
Midnight Gulch used to be a magical place, a town where people could sing up thunderstorms and dance up sunflowers. But that was long ago, before a curse drove the magic away. Twelve-year-old Felicity knows all about things like that; her nomadic mother is cursed with a wandering heart.
But when she arrives in Midnight Gulch, Felicity thinks her luck’s about to change. A “word collector,” Felicity sees words everywhere—shining above strangers, tucked into church eves, and tangled up her dog’s floppy ears—but Midnight Gulch is the first place she’s ever seen the word “home.” And then there’s Jonah, a mysterious, spiky-haired do-gooder who shimmers with words Felicity’s never seen before, words that make Felicity’s heart beat a little faster.
Felicity wants to stay in Midnight Gulch more than anything, but first, she’ll need to figure out how to bring back the magic, breaking the spell that’s been cast over the town. . . and her mother’s broken heart.
Here are the five things I loved the most:
1. The voice – This is one of those books where the voice just jumps off the page. I could never write a voice like this, but I admire anyone who can. It reminds me of THREE TIMES LUCKY. Here’s a snippet:
“We just listened to the van per-clunkity-clunk, per-clunkity-clunk down the curvy road. And I listened to my heart, still singing Yes, Yes, Yes to all the questions I wasn’t asking. Suddenly, the per-clunkity gave way to a boom-clackity as we crossed over a long, narrow bridge.”
2. The magic – The premise of the magic is so unique, and it’s also interwoven with the voice, so I’ll just give you another example:
“The word slithered across the cafeteria table, which didn’t surprise me at all. Lonely had followed me around for as long as I could remember. I never caught that stupid word in my blue book, but it kept showing up anyway. I knew it didn’t make much sense to see lonely in a place like the Stoneberry cafeteria, because there was a constant clatter of noise: forks and spoons clanging, lunch trays smacking down against the tables, and people yelling things at each other like ‘Save me a seat.’ There were hundreds of people in there, or at least fifty, so I shouldn’t have been lonely.
“But there it was. I’m fairly certain lonely‘s most natural habitat is a school cafeteria.”
3. Felicity’s journey – Felicity is dealing with multiple insecurities at the beginning of the story. First, her family moves so much she has a hard time making friends. And second, she doesn’t know how to share her words. She learns how to deal with both of those insecurities during the course of the book, and I really enjoyed watching her grow.
4. The friendship – This friendship is so perfectly middle grade because of Felicity’s insecurities, plus the added hint of a first crush. I love the way she reacts when she first meets Jonah.
“He folded his newspaper and smiled at me. My heart kicked YES! as strong as a mule kick. My heart had never said yes over a smile before.”
The way their relationship grows over the story is incredibly sweet.
5. The ending –I don’t want to give anything away, so I’ll just say I appreciated how true to life the ending was. I am so holding in other comments that would be spoilery :).
So, this book definitely lives up to the hype. Go read it! It might be a couple of weeks before I have another MMGM as I have a backlog of YA and adult books on my TBR list, but when I do, it will probably be another giveaway :).