Yes I am a grownup. I don’t know why I went on a Young Adult reading kick. It’s springtime, and I had read some pretty heavy stuff in the recent past. I think I was just looking for some guaranteed light and fun reads. I went with Fablehaven by Brandon Mull, Anne of Green Gables by Lucy M. Montgomery, and Never Never by Brianna Shrum before switching back to adult books. Here are my thoughts.
Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
Kendra and Seth’s grandfather reluctantly accepts their parents request for the kids to come stay for a visit. When Kendra and Seth finally arrive at their grandparent’s home, they find themselves at a house in the middle of nowhere with a pristine lawn and their grandmother nowhere to be found. They soon learn their grandparents are caretakers to an undiscriminating sanctuary for magical creatures. So while Fablehaven is an exciting place, it can also be very dangerous.
This is recommended for readers ages 9-13 and is a part of a 5 book series. As a fan of good fantasy, I can tell you I enjoyed this. I can also tell you, I would have LOVED it if I had read it when I was a kid. It is jam packed with action and adventure. It would be perfect for a summer read for your kiddo or even reading aloud as a family.
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy M. Montgomery
I think my mom may have read this aloud to us when we were kids. If not I know for sure we watched the CBS mini series. While I don’t really remember anything about the show specifically, I do remember that I liked it. So when I learned that Netflix is going to be premiering their own adaption on May 12th, I was inspired to read the book.
It is the early 1900s on Prince Edward Island when Matthew and Marilla decide to adopt an orphan boy to help with manual labor duties at Green Gables. Matthew was surprised when a talkative, red-headed little girl was sent instead. Matthew and Marilla decide Anne can stay, and the tales of a bright and imaginative child in her new home follows.
There was one point towards the middle of the book that I thought Anne of Green Gables may be too juvenile for me to read and enjoy. I am glad I kept with it though. That slump in the story was short, and by the time I finished my heart was full. I think this too would be a good summer read for kids or to read together as a family. It’s recommended for readers ages 9-12.
Never Never by Brianna Shrum
Never Never unfolds the back story of Captain Hook. We learn how he got to Neverland. We see another side to Peter Pan, and Tiger Lily is a more involved character. I am a huge fan of Peter Pan and enjoy when character development or backstories challenge the traditional roles of good guys/bad guy. So I thought Never Never would be a win win. It was not.
It may be my fault. I may have placed too high expectations on the book going into it. I think I was looking for something like the movie Hook, where it is different but familiar and fun but still endearing.
Never Never is for readers ages 13 and up, an older audience than the age range for Fablehaven or Anne of Green Gables. It felt like it tried too hard to deal with some adult themes, like violence and sex, while still being a young adult book. Maybe a 13 year old would enjoy, but it missed the mark for me.