Saturday, June 14, 2014 16:45

Review 266. J.A White – The thickety.

18651970Title: The thickety: a path beings.
Author: J.A White
Pages: 496.
Published: May 6th 2014 by Katherine Tegen Books
Sort: Stand-alone, Middle grade.
Source: Edelweiss & Publisher.
Hand in hand, the witch's children walked down the empty road. When Kara Westfall was six years old, her mother was convicted of the worst of all crimes: witchcraft. Years later, Kara and her little brother, Taff, are still shunned by the people of their village, who believe that nothing is more evil than magic . . . except, perhaps, the mysterious forest that covers nearly the entire island. It has many names, this place. Sometimes it is called the Dark Wood, or Sordyr's Realm. But mostly it's called the Thickety. The black-leaved trees swayed toward Kara and then away, as though beckoning her. The villagers live in fear of the Thickety and the terrible creatures that live there. But when an unusual bird lures Kara into the forbidden forest, she discovers a strange book with unspeakable powers. A book that might have belonged to her mother. And that is just the beginning of the story.
Rating:

This was again a very entertaining Middle Grade book. It’s filled with witches, dark magic and a strong main character. I think this book contains some good messages, like how it depends on the person whether they turn good or evil.

Kara raises her brother Taff after her mother’s death the night she was found to be a witch. Her father is shattered by her death and all he does is scribbling tales in a notebook. Kara was tested, but she was free of magic; that’s what she has been telling herself too. But when she finds her mother’s diary, all the barriers break down and Kara finds out that she is good with animal magic. Grace is loved by the village, but she harbours a dark heart and bad intentions. She takes Kara’s grimoire away and starts a destruction only Kara can end.

If you have a sensitive child, I don’t recommend this book. It’s dark and can be scary for a younger audience. I personally loved that aspect. Kara is suffering from her mother’s execution. People are talking smack behind her back and everyone looks disdainful at her and her family. Her father’s mental break down doesn’t make it any easier. Taff is sick and Kara does everything to nurse him, even when that means she has to take everything from Grace. This girl might have the looks of an angel, she is evil. It was sad to see how bad people treat Kara and how easy they believe everything Grace tells them. It is also a realistic portrayal of life and I found Kara such an admirable girl. She deals with it and doesn’t let them take her spirit away.

It was interesting to see how the magic pulls her away from her friendly nature. Every chapter becomes darker and darker, until Kara is completely wrapped in dark magic. This reminded me of Rumplestiltskin:
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It’s a good thing Kara has support from an unexpected friend. It’s hard for her to battle against it, but she friends the strength; something Grace doesn’t have. This girl.. Even her last act of magic is one to punish Kara and I was very surprised by that twist on the end! I first wasn’t aware this was part of a series, but that ending shows me that a sequel is coming and I can’t wait.
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Mel@thedailyprophecy

Mel is a microbiology technician who is obsessed with Disney, fairytale retellings and fantasy. If she's not reading or blogging, she's either busy with gaming, hanging out with family or watching a TV show. She loves summer and bright nail polish. One of her dreams is to travel the world. She has found her Prince Charming and they are together for 7+ years.

23 comments:

  1. Great review Mel! This middle grade book sounds really great, with the fantasy, magic, and a good character. Darker themes in MG novels make me think that they may be targeted at the upper age bracket, such as Coraline (that was so creepy). Thanks for sharing!

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    1. It's definitely in the sphere of Coraline!

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  2. Oooooh.. sounds rather dark for a middle grade read! I would've been that sensitive child, haha! But glad to hear that you enjoyed it, and it's great that the book has a righteous protagonist and important and realistic messages for its audience. Lovely review as always, Mel!
    (and sorry for sudden flood of comments, btw >.< I'm usually busy during the week, so I only get to sit down during the weekend to catch up on posts)

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    1. I like how it's on the darker side, because that makes it easier for grown-ups to like it too :)

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  3. The cover of this book is a little too busy for my taste but the grittiness of it is so intriguing! Maybe I'll do a buddy read with my little brother, LOL. Thanks for the fantastic review!

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  4. I'm not a huge fan of MG books, but I do like the idea of witches and magic! (Even though this ones sounds quite dark for an MG book!) Great review Mel<3 Glad you enjoyed it!

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  5. 496 pages for an MG book is pretty impressive, though I'm not so sure middle-grade schoolers would agree, haha. Well, only if they were hardcore bookworms. xD But wow, I read the blurb and I love the sound of it so far -- it sounds like it could be YA novel, too. And I'm glad that it lived up mostly to your expectations!

    What I love most is that it's both dark and creepy-ish, which totally suits what I know about the book from the synopsis. And damn, the characters sound awesome as well, especially Grace. I don't think I've ever come across that kind of character in an MG book before. Plus, they all sound so realistically fleshed out! Maybe it's just me, but the MG books I've read don't really do well in character development. They focus on mostly on the plot, so the characters just appear flat and unreal, but this sounds like the complete opposite, and I'm glad!

    Overall, even though I don't read much MG, I'm really liking the sound of this. I think I might get it for my little sis! So thanks for putting this on my radar, Mel, and lovely review as always <3

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    1. But it reads very fast. I would have loved such a thick, dark book when I was younger :D

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  6. This really sounds like a book I would enjoy! I feel like I'd heard about it awhile back but for some reason forgot about it. Seeing your review here got me excited all over again! I love the way the book seems to deal with magic, as well as good vs evil! The added darkness and scary bits sound perfect for older readers too so I'll most certainly be checking this one out for myself :D Lovely review as always Mel ^^ xxxx

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    1. I'm happy I brought it back to your attention :D

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  7. Oh, this is the second positive review of this book I've read recently, and it sounds right up my alley! I like witches, and I like middle grade books that aren't afraid to address stuff (like the burdens that mothers leave on us, hah). I need to look into getting this soon.

    By the way, I quite like your header and button with the "where fairy tales come true" tag line! So lovely, and appropriate for you and your blog.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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    1. Thanks Wendy, I think that line really represents me and my blog :)

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  8. OOh I haven't heard of this one before however I do love the sound of this one already. Love the gif!

    Awesome review, lady! <33

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  9. I completely agree that this book is way more darker and twisted than what you would usually give to your children to read. Those who are more sensitive about darker themes should have adults with them so they can ask questions whenever they're confused about something. I loved this one a lot and think it's brilliant, and I'm glad to see you feel the same somehow, at least about certain aspects! :) The sequel can't come fast enough!

    Faye at The Social Potato Reviews

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    1. This makes an interesting bed time story, haha.

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  10. (A bit depressed that you didn't fully love this book like I did, lol :D) But still happy that you did enjoy it. <3 Ack. I really loved this book. Just full of awesome magic and heartbreaking stories and yeah. I loved it, lol :) Thank you for sharing your awesome review. <3

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    1. I definitely enjoyed it and I think I would have loved it when I was younger!

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  11. I don't read MG and probably never will (unless it's for my future kids), but I love reading all the reviews =) So the concept seems very magical. I'm glad you liked Kara as a character. And heh, Rumple :) I love Rumple! Oh, there's a twist at the end? It's good to be taken by surprise ;) Glad you enjoyed and I hope the sequel is even better :)

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  12. I've not heard of this one before, but it sounds like a fun, but sort of dark read. You don't find many dark MG books. Great review! I love a book with witches :)

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

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  13. Ooh, this sounds quite awesome, actually. I'm tempted to try it! I like MG, I've only JUST discovered I really like it (still...haha. But you never get too old for a good story) and I just finished A Monster Calls (which was brilliant) so I think I'll add this one on Goodreads!

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    1. A monster calls is high on my list. I also like a good MG every now and then :D

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  14. Oh this does sound like a really dark read and although I'm not usually one to pick up middle grade books, I really like the sound of this one. I'm also glad that this book left you wanting more. Lovely review Mel!

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