Monday, July 1, 2013

All About Middle Grade Review: The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls

The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand, August 28, 2012. 352 pages. Published by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers. Source: Won.
At the Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, you will definitely learn your lesson. A dark, timeless, and heartfelt novel for fans of Coraline and The Mysterious Benedict Society.
Victoria hates nonsense. There is no need for it when your life is perfect. The only smudge on her pristine life is her best friend Lawrence. He is a disaster—lazy and dreamy, shirt always untucked, obsessed with his silly piano. Victoria often wonders why she ever bothered being his friend. (Lawrence does too.)
But then Lawrence goes missing. And he’s not the only one. Victoria soon discovers that The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls is not what it appears to be. Kids go in but come out…different. Or they don’t come out at all.
If anyone can sort this out, it’s Victoria—even if it means getting a little messy.
First Sentence:
When Victoria Wright was twelve years old, she had precisely one friend. 
The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls was one of my most highly anticipated middle grade reads of last year, and it more than lived up to my expectations.

I have had some time to stew upon what I thought of Claire Legrand's debut, The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, and the more I think on it the more I love it. While thinking back on this book as I worked on my review, I couldn't help but think of Neil Gaiman's Coraline and how Ms Legrands writing brought to mind one of my favorite books of his.

It's true, I do enjoy a thoroughly creepy read and Ms. Legrand's The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls more than satisfied. While this was a supremely creeptastic read, I really enjoyed the layers to the story and how tings were not as they seemed in the town where Victoria and Lawrence lived.
 [Spoiler] I'll try to not spoil this book, but I find it so interesting to think that Ms. Cavendish, while truly the stuff of nightmares, was not acting against those in charge. It gave the book the feel of a classic tale...I'm sure there's a specific one, but it seems to have escaped me for the moment. [end of spoiler]

One of the reasons The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls was so good was that the characters  were amazing and multidimensional. I loved how Victoria and Lawrence were polar opposites of each other, and how Victoria's view of him changed throughout the book as she realized that they the two of them were in fact actually friends.
Victoria, was an interesting character because everything had to be just so and because she thought she could get by with no one. But what I really enjoyed about Victoria was that even when it threatened to miss up her perfect world, she still risked it all.

This is like the first time in a longtime that I cannot pinpoint what I loved so much about a book. But right there at the top is that Claire Legrand did a fantastic job of creating a truly creepy read that I could not get off my mind for days after I finished reading it. I loved how detailed everything was especially her description of the Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls because it was so creepy and just brilliantly done.

Even though I though I really loved this book it did have one pitfall for me as a reader. I was not really for it to end, even through you know what happens to both Victoria and Lawrence after their ordeal at the home, I was just not ready to say goodbye to two interesting characters and the writing of Ms. Legrand.

Final Verdict: The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, perhaps the creepiest book you'll ever read. Loved it!!!

The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.

1 comment:

  1. Love your review! I'll be checking this read out soon!


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