Thursday, November 3, 2016

Journey's End by Rachel Hawkins {blog tour review}

Today the blog tour stops here for one of my favorite authors and her new MG title!  I've been a huge fan of Rachel Hawkins since her fantastic Hex Hall series won me over. No matter what age group she's writing for, this author knows how to write some fun characters!! Now I get to tell you all about Journey's End! Check out my review below! :D

by Rachel Hawkins
♦publisher: G.P. Putnam Son's BYR
♦release date: October 25th, 2016
♦hardcover, 304 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦ source: from publisher for honest review
The town of Journey's End may not literally be at the end of the world, but it sure feels like it to Nolie Stanhope. Spending the summer with her scientist father in the tiny Scottish village isn't exactly Nolie's idea of a good time, but she soon finds a friend: native Journey's Ender Bel McKissick.

While Nolie's father came to Journey's End to study the Boundary--a mysterious fog bank offshore--Bel's family  can’t afford to consider it a threat.  The McKissick’s livelihood depends on the tourists drawn by legends of a curse. Still, whether you believe in magic or science, going into the Boundary means you'll never come back.

…Unless you do. Albert Etheridge, a boy who disappeared into the Boundary in 1914, suddenly returns--without having aged a day and with no memory of the past hundred years. Then the Boundary starts creeping closer to the town, threatening to consume everyone within.

While Nolie's father wants to have the village evacuated, Bel's parents lead the charge to stay in Journey's End. Meanwhile, Albert and the girls look for ways to stop the encroaching boundary, coming across an ancient Scottish spell that requires magic, a quest, and a sacrifice.

Review:  What a fun adventure! I was so excited to read this one because I've adored Rachel Hawkins' books for years, plus Journey's End promised a quaint Scottish setting, a mysterious magical fog, and budding friendships,..and it heartily delivers on all of that!

 Before Nolie and Bel meet, they are both feeling a little adrift---one of them from her parents's recent divorce and the other from being suddenly abandoned by her life-long best friend. One of the things I loved most about this was the way their friendship grew. A little curiosity and a little caution; they are such opposites but they just fit. Then comes Albert, and he was such a fun addition to the mix. He's a big part of the mystery, but I love how he eventually fits in with Nolie and Bel. I also loved that these kids kids. There were some great moments that show perfectly that kids, no matter if they come from a different era or country or background, just want to be kids. :) This led to some really hilarious scenes and dialogue, but also some heartfelt moments, too, when it came to family and pasts, bullies and fears. The way the families were portrayed felt really genuinely, as well as how the girls handle it when their parent's butt heads. 

 I was also completely charmed by the Scottish setting and loved how Hawkins wrote in the dialect and pronunciations and let the girls discover the differences in their cultures and languages. It was a fun touch. The magic, mystery, and backstory in Journey's End was really well done. I loved how the story seeps out gradually through little snippets of a girl named Cait and what happened to her hundreds of years ago.  As the fog creeps toward the town, there are some definite surprises and scares, and I loved how Nolie and Bel and Albert seemed to make each other brave as they take on this great adventure to save their families and Journey's End!

Right now this one is a stand-alone story with a great satisfying end---but I do hope Hawkins brings this gang back together for at least one more summer adventure! I had such fun reading this and I couldn't wait to put in the hands of my 11-year-old! 


Rachel Hawkins is the author of Rebel Belle and the New York Times bestselling series Hex Hall. Born in Virginia and raised in Alabama, Rachel taught high school English for three years before becoming a full-time writer. 


Purchase the book:  Indiebound  •  BookDepository  •  Amazon

Be sure to check out the rest of the blog tour stops!
10/24: The Reading Nook (Review)
10/25: Buttermybooks (Spotlight)
10/26: Once Upon a Twilight (Guest Post)
10/27: Novel Novice (Mood Board)
10/28: In Wonderland (Reasons to Read)
10/31: Middle Grade Mafioso (Q&A)
11/1: Green Bean Teen Queen (Reasons to Read)
11/2: YA Bibliophile (Review)
11/3: Stories & Sweeties (Review)
11/4: The Book Wars (Guest Post)


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