Monday, April 7, 2014

Book Review: A Snicker of Magic

Normally Young Adult is my preferred genre, but I have started falling in love with Middle Grade.  There is just something about that special balance of story that makes a good MG book that kind that stays with you forever.  Such is the case with this little beauty:

A Snicker of Magic
My friend Natalie Lloyd wrote this book, and it is spindiddly!  Here is the blurb from Natalie's website:

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.

This book is endearing and magical.  It will make you believe in hope and overcoming.  When I finished reading it, I started looking for words to flow out from the trees and to dance on top of people's heads.  I wanted to take a bite of Dr. Zook's Blackberry Sunrise ice cream and risk the memories that a taste of it would bring to life.

I must say, Three Time Lucky had won the top spot on my list of favorite MG books.  This book just took its place.  I always knew that Natalie would be a published author some day (Snicker just got a spindiddly review from the New York Times!).  I think one of the things I loved most about this book is that it is Natalie in book form.  I don't know any other authors personally (and really, I hardly know Natalie), but I love that she is there in every page: whimsical and fluttery sweet like cotton candy but completely solid like a hug from your best friend or a good meal fed to you by your granny.  If I had picked this up and not known the author I would have finished and thought to myself  "My goodness, this sounds like Natalie's words!"  Ever since I started writing myself it's been interesting to see pieces of myself manifest themselves in a story that isn't about me at all.

This book is wonderful!  Full of small town quirk and charm, unforgettable characters, and words that will stir up feeling in all of us.  A must read if you love words, stories, or ice cream!

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