Solid Middle Grade

filled star filled star filled star filled star star unfilled
chronicallybookish Avatar


3.5 stars
This book is a fantasy that, despite the magic, reads much more like a contemporary in terms of themes and action. Don’t get me wrong—that is in no way a bad thing, but it is important to note. A child who prefers reading fantasy like Percy Jackson, Keeper of the Lost Cities, or Amari and the Night Brothers, could be easily bored by the slower pace and lower stakes in this book.
However, a reader who likes contemporary/realistic fiction would definitely enjoy this book—and many fantasy readers may as well, as long as they don’t go in expecting action and adventure.
I, personally, did enjoy this book. It wasn’t my favorite middle grade, but it was a solid read. It was a little slow at times, and there were a few tendrils of the plot that I felt distracted from the pacing and narrative, but I enjoyed the main plot.
At it’s core, this is a book about family, friendships, and starting over. Paloma has just moved to a whole new place, her family is at odds, and she needs to make all-new friends. All of these are common experiences for middle schoolers, and for the most part, I believe they were handled well.
The only complaint I have is in how the mother was written. I think she was a bit too dramatic. The other characters had the benefit of being pre-teens, but Paloma’s mom is a grown adult acting like a pre-teen. I hate when adult characters are super unreasonable, and you have no idea why the whole book, only for *big reveal reason* and then instantly everything is fixed, and this was one of the worst offenders I’ve had in a while. Adults can be unreasonable. They often are. But anyone doing a complete one-eighty and instantly fixing everything is unrealistic to me. And the reasoning for it in this book felt a little too convenient and didn’t (in my opinion) really make sense as compared to the amount of unreasonable she was acting.
For the most part, I did enjoy this book. While it wasn’t my favorite, I do recommend it.