Sunday, January 14, 2018
Review: Nightbooks by J. A. White
And this book ended up being pretty disappointing for me. Which makes me so sad. But it simply was not meant to be. I have a lot of reasons for why I did not love this book, and I will be sharing all of them. Sadly this review will not be all that positive. Decided on two stars for this book. Also, plus side, I did not hate any of it.
But I also sadly didn't love any of it either. I felt that the story was good, that it could have been an amazing tale. Sadly, I was busy being too disappointed by the writing. Which was a bit shocking to me, as I loved his writing in all his previous books. They were also middle grade, but felt like they were written for all ages. This book, though, felt like it was written for really small kids. Which ended up being really disappointing for me. It was not the same type of writing as his first books at all. It's possible that I'm the only one who will notice this, but it was an issue for me. It makes me sad, because I adore this author, and I really wish I could say that I loved this book. But, I will always support him, and I will be reading his next books. Will always love his first series.
This book tells the story of twelve year old Alex. He is a pretty normal kid, whom is all kinds of obsessed with scary stories. He also writes his own stories, which I liked a whole bunch. Sadly, he has been kind of bullied because of his love for all things scary. And so this book begins with him waking up in the middle of the night, about to go burn all of his stories in the apartment block basement. But on his way there, the elevator stops on the wrong floor. He steps out of it. Where he ends up being enchanted to enter a room.
Which is where this story begins. It features witches and magic, though it takes place in our time. It is a mix of both. Sadly, I didn't find it all that exciting. I liked Alex a lot, but because I had many issues with the writing, I never grew to love him. Also felt like we didn't get to know enough about him at all. Yes, he loves everything scary. But what else? Would have also loved to know more about his family. But anyway. I did think that Alex was an interesting character to read about, just really wishing I had loved him more. Sigh.
This was a pretty short book, and took me such a short time to read it all. Which was good, but also bad, because I feel like if it had been longer, more would have been happening. Despite this, though, there are a lot of good moments in this book. Alex has been captured by a witch, and he is forced to read her his stories each night. Though he doesn't mind this at all. Another reason for why I didn't love this book was because the witch was simply not scary at all. Her way of speaking was so odd too, and did not feel real.
There were parts of this book that I liked, however. And one part that I loved, the cat. She was adorable to read about, and I loved how she was in the book almost all the time. I also enjoyed that this story focus a lot on books, and new friendships too. The girl, Yasmine, was interesting to get to know too. Nightbooks reminded me a lot of The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, my favorite middle grade book. Sadly, this wasn't the same. This was much more tame, and not the same type of scary at all. Wishing it had been.
I don't think there is that much more I can say about this book. Already written a lot more than I was going to. But oh, I must mention the ending. While I do love a good ending, I felt like this one was too good. And that bothered me. I wish it has been more gruesome, in a way. Like Cavendish was. The other books by J. A., those had horrible endings, and I loved them lots. While this had a good ending, I wish it had been more scary and more brutal, in a way. While not a perfect book, I did enjoy parts of it. But sadly, not most.
I do think that a lot of children will love Nightbooks. It's pretty scary at times, even though it wasn't really a story for me. Nightbooks was a book about friendship and staying true to yourself, even when it's scary to do so. Despite not loving this book, I'm so glad that I read it. There were a lot of parts that I liked about it, and I do think that a lot of other people will end up loving it. I'm just a bit sad that I was not one of them. I very much adore this author, though. And his first books will always be my favorite. They are all so good.