Monday, 13 April 2015

"West of the Moon" by Margi Preus | Review

SOURCE: ARC (which they sent me last year but I never got round to reading)
TYPE: Paperback 

TITLE: West Of The Moon 
AUTHOR: Margi Preus
PAGES: 213


Astri's life has never been easy, but she's always had her sister and her talent for telling stories to keep her company. However, Astri and Greta are soon separated when their aunt hires out Astri to the local goat herder. Under the thumb of her unforgiving new master, Astri takes refuge in a world filled with myth, magic, and possibility. But when she discovers that she's not the only captive hidden away by the goat herder, she devises a plan that will free them both, rescue Greta, and lead them on a perilous journey towards a new life in America.

Firstly, I really liked the length of this book. The story was detailed enough that you could get to know the characters, but wasn't so long that you felt like it was years between pages. That was a major positive in my opinion as it kept the story moving.
The book is broken into three sections and each section divides into chapters. This is particularly good to see when taking the book's target audience, middle graders, into consideration. It makes picking up and putting down the book easy at convenient moments, and that's always a good thing.
Throughout the story, you definitely get a sense of the desperation that Astri feels, as well as the contrast between herself and her sister, Greta. They're almost complete opposites in their approaches to life and that's really intriguing to read.
I felt that the narrative ended really well, making for a pretty well rounded story.

At times, the plot line did get a little confusing, with the introduction of seemingly 'random' characters. Of course they were explained as the plot went along but in my opinion they just all sort of 'appeared'. I didn't find their introductions all that convincing but I suppose that's probably because of the fact that the book isn't really aimed at me and perhaps it would be more appropriate for the audience it was intended.

I gave this book a total of three out of a possible five stars. Why? Because I felt that it was just not really my kind of book. The characters were lovely but, as I mentioned, their appearances seem almost forced at times and that took away from the story for me. 

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