Friday, May 13, 2016

The Girl in the Tower by Lisa Schroeder {review}

The Girl in the Tower
by Lisa Schroeder
♦publisher: Henry Holt & Co
♦release date: March 29th, 2016
♦hardcover, 256 pages
♦intended audience: juvenile/middle grade
♦source: from publisher for honest review
Ever since she can remember, ten-year-old Violet and her mother have been locked away in a tower by the evil Queen Bogdana, who has the kingdom under her spell. The queen has everything she wants except for one thing -- beauty. Violet possesses this beauty. She also has a secret: although she is very small, both her spirit and her heart are mighty.

When Violet is summoned by Bogdana to start training to become a real princess, it seems as if her life might be taking a turn for the better. But hope quickly fades when Violet's mother is banished from the castle, and she and Violet are forbidden to see each other ever again. With everyone's lives in the balance, it's up to Violet to break the spell and reunite her family.

Review: The Girl in the Tower is a quick fun read that will lighten the hearts of any who read it.  It bears a lot in common with so many classic stories that we all know and love: a girl held captive in a tower who all the birds and butterflies are drawn to, an evil witch who desperately wants all the beauty and power, a secret garden. What it initially lacks in originality, it more than makes up for with a whimsical style that feels like the fairy tales of old, a cast of engaging characters, a few good surprise twists, lovely little illustrations, and lots of sweetness. 

I loved Violet for her imagination, her bravery, and her kindness. She proves herself incredibly self-reliant when it comes to standing her ground, but also willing to sacrifice for the happiness and safety of others. I thought the sides of good and evil were a little too black and white, Violet and everyone helping her were good, good, good, and the Queen was just plain evil, even despite showing a little twinge of wanting to be loved for a moment.  But still, it was simply charming. Wondering how Violet would triumph over the queen and be reunited with her family kept me eagerly turning pages.  I read this one in one sitting and, as a lover of fairy tales, this made for a delightful way to spend an afternoon. :)


Lisa Schroeder is the author of more than a dozen books for kids and teens. Her latest young adult novel is ALL WE HAVE IS NOW, and the latest novel for 8-12 year olds is THE GIRL IN THE TOWER. She lives in Oregon where she spends her time reading, writing, baking yummy treats, and hiking with her family.

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