Monday, May 23, 2016

The Girl in the Tower

The Girl in the Tower. Lisa Schroeder. 2016. Henry Holt. 256 pages. [Source: Library]

I definitely enjoyed reading this children's fantasy novel. Violet has spent almost all of her entire life locked away in a tower. Though she didn't grow up alone. Her and her mother have been locked away together in this tower. The two are visited by Maggie and George almost daily, they bring food among other things--news, forbidden luxuries like books or pen and paper. George, the palace gardener, even finds a way to help Violet escape the tower and find time in a secret garden, depending on the season. So Violet's life hasn't been completely absent of joy, but, it is difficult for the both of them who do long for freedom and reunion. Violet has never known her father. He left his pregnant wife at the castle, or near the castle, as her time of delivery was imminent. He returned the next day, I believe, or perhaps the next-next day, to find no real trace of them. They'd vanished. Of course, readers know what happened. But not all of what happened.

So the villain in this one is "Queen Bogdana." In her quest to be beautiful, I believe, she's willing to do anything--no matter how cruel or evil. And it is this quest that leads to Violet's unhappiness.

This has a very fairy-tale feel about it. And for young readers who can't get enough of fairy tales and adaptations and retellings and such this one will please and satisfy. It is a lovely well-written book. I thought the illustrations were charming.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
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