WELCOME TO ANOTHER MARVELOUS MIDDLE GRADE MONDAY!
The Turnaway Girls is set in Blightsend where singing is not allowed. The Masters — men and boys — make music with instruments. Women and girls trapped underground turn the music into gold. Twelve-year-old Delphernia Undersea hates her life, especially Mother Nine, the abusive caretaker. Despite the dangers, Delphernia sings in secret. Then one day a Master claims her and takes the young girl above ground where mysteries abound.
This elegantly told fantasy is like a poem stretched to bring meaning to your true self through music. Delphernia take center stage as the first-person narrator and like her, readers will at times be thoroughly confused by what is happening. Thankfully, all is explained by the climatic end. The final sixty pages gave the plot a needed push and saved the story.
Like myself, I’m sure many teachers and librarians will gush over the lyrical qualities of the book. The problem is the targeted MG age group may have a hard time wrapping themselves up in this fantastical tale. Regardless, I look forward to what comes next for this debut author.
THE OFFICIAL BLURB (From AMAZON)
FIVE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT:
THE TURNAWAY GIRLS
- The cover does its job providing intrigue to what lies ahead for readers. Delphernia sings and in turn it raises your curiosity.
- Stereotyped gender roles and believing everything you hear are two of the powerful themes waiting for a discussion.
- The two antagonists, one above and one below ground, give you the chills at their nastiness. Well done villains are hard to create, but these two were fantastic foils.
- The prince was an interesting character I wanted to know more about. Bly’s presence was always welcome and his upbringing brought a satisfied surprise.
- Beautifully written and many of the pages will have you rereading to take in the mastery of the written word.
The wind catches the door again and flings it shut over the boy’s head. He jumps, but he keeps climbing down. And then we are held, the three of us, in the cloister’s quiet: me, and Mother Nine, and a boy who could have killed me.
A QUOTE FROM THE AUTHOR, HAYLEY CHEWINS
One polished draft and two rough drafts.
I’ve never done this before. I’ve always thought of myself as a one-project-at-a-time sort of writer. But if there’s anything I’ve learnt about writing (and life) it’s this: never assume anything you know about yourself is unchangeable. You can change anything if you really want to.
(For more about how Hayley writes three books at the same time, visit her blog).
I received a copy of the book for my honest review. Make a comment if you have time. I enjoy reading all of them.
If you missed Friday’s post, I’m giving a away a four book series on The Renaissance. Click here to read all about it with details on how to enter.