Wednesday, February 25, 2015

All About Middle Grade Review: Finding Serendipity *ARC*

Finding Serendipity by Angelica Banks, February 3, 2015. 288 pages. Published by  Henry Holt and Co. (BYR). Source: publisher.
When Tuesday McGillycuddy and her beloved dog, Baxterr, discover that Tuesday’s mother—the famous author Serendipity Smith—has gone missing, they set out on a magical adventure. In their quest to find Serendipity, they discover the mysterious and unpredictable place that stories come from. Here, Tuesday befriends the fearless Vivienne Small, learns to sail an enchanted boat, tangles with an evil pirate, and discovers the truth about her remarkable dog. Along the way, she learns what it means to be a writer and how difficult it can sometimes be to get all the way to The End.
First Sentence:
"Good-bye school shoes," said Tuesday McGillycuddy, dropping her battered black lace-ups into a bin full of lunch wraps and orange peel.

You know that feeling of picking up a book after a string of book fails. You know, where your nervous that you are about to start another 'meh' book. Well that's what I felt going into Finding Serendipity, yet, what I found was one incredible read that just pulled me in and blew away all the bad book blues. I would recommend reading this one without reading the synopsis just so that you can fully discover the world and characters with fresh eyes. Trust me on this!

This seems to be the year of blindly starting a book. In order to make books more surprising, I have taken to not reading the synopsis of books before reading them because I've really enjoyed starting them with a clean slate and no expectations. So, when I was searching for my next read, of which y'all all said, "read middle grade," I grabbed the first February middle grade release I set my eyes upon. Reading-wise, picking up Finding Serendipity was one of the best decisions I have made this month. This book had everything, and more, than I could have asked for in a book. It had action and adventure, a wonderful story, and characters that made me fall in love with the story. Let's not forget about the writing; the author did one fabulous job with this imaginative read.

One of the things that I enjoyed immensely about Finding Serendipity was the strong family ties between Tuesday and her parents. Sadly, it isn't often enough that you find such thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying family dynamics in books as that of the McGillycuddy family. What really made them such an interesting family to read about was how much they encouraged and bolstered each other. Ah, it made me so, so happy to read about them even though Tuesday spend most of the book off on an adventure. Seriously though, if you love books with strong family ties than this here is the book for you.
    My second favorite part would have to be the world that Tuesday gets swept into and how it takes her some time to realize that it's her story and not that of her mother's. Ah, how I enjoyed watching her go through the ups-and-downs and dangerous times during her adventure. I think she is one girl that readers will definitely enjoy reading about.

Going in, I had no idea what Finding Serendipity was about...and you know what, I am perfectly a-ok with that. As I had no idea what I was getting myself into, other than that it was a middle grade and the cover was super cute, I had no expectations or theories about what would happen. So, as I started delving into it, I found myself happily devouring page after page because the story was so fresh and new in my mind. Of course I was quite between wanting to zoom through to found out how the story ends for Tuesday and wanting to linger over this delightful read. I'm pretty sure Finding Serendipity has taken a small chunk of my heart because it was so good.

Final Verdict: Finding Serendipity- Yes a million times to this wonderful, beautifully imagined story. Tuesday and her parents are definitely going on my favorite fictional family list!

Finding Serendipity earns

 this book was received in exchange for an honest review

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