Monday, July 22, 2013

The Water Castle (2013)

The Water Castle. Megan Frazer Blakemore. 2013. Walker. 352 pages. [Source: Review Copy]

There were things I really liked about The Water Castle, and there were things I really did not like about it. My favorite part of The Water Castle was the unfolding historical story of Nora Darling; this story was set around 1909. My least favorite part was all the "science."

The Appledore family is returning to the town of Crystal Springs. The father has suffered a damaging stroke. The mother is doing the best she can to help him receive the best medical care or treatment. The three children (Price, Ephraim, and Brynn) are settling in to a new school and new town. Ephraim is struggling more than the others. The Water Castle is his coming-of-age tale. It is a busy tale with themes of friendship, family, exploration, and immortality. A lot of questing going on! 

I did like the focus on friendship. Ephraim does not make friends easily. Neither does Mallory Green. And Will Wylie, well, he almost chooses to be disagreeable. These three kids are very unlikely friends, and yet, they come together supposedly to work on a history report on Arctic exploration, but it is so much more than that. They are fascinated with the legendary stories of The Water Castle and the supposed quest for the fountain of youth.

I would have preferred a magical or fantastical explanation for the "fountain of youth" story instead of the "science" one. There were elements in this one that I just did not connect with at all.

It is a slow-and-steady story of friendship and perseverance. You might like it more than I did.

© 2013 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.

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