Thursday, March 25, 2010

Julie's Review: The Girl Who Chased the Moon

Summary: Emily Benedict came to Mullaby, North Carolina, hoping to solve at least some of the riddles surrounding her mother’s life. Such as, why did Dulcie Shelby leave her hometown so suddenly? And why did she vow never to return? But the moment Emily enters the house where her mother grew up and meets the grandfather she never knew—a reclusive, real-life gentle giant—she realizes that mysteries aren’t solved in Mullaby, they’re a way of life: Here are rooms where the wallpaper changes to suit your mood. Unexplained lights skip across the yard at midnight. And a neighbor bakes hope in the form of cakes. Everyone in Mullaby adores Julia Winterson’s cakes — which is a good thing, because Julia can’t seem to stop baking them. She offers them to satisfy the town’s sweet tooth but also in the hope of rekindling the love she fears might be lost forever. Flour, eggs, milk, and sugar... Baking is the only language the proud but vulnerable Julia has to communicate what is truly in her heart. But is it enough to call back to her those she’s hurt in the past? Can a hummingbird cake really bring back a lost love? Is there really a ghost dancing in Emily’s backyard? The answers are never what you expect. But in this town of lovable misfits, the unexpected fits right in.

Review: I'm hungry. Specifically I'm hungry for North Carolina BBQ. Oh and now I want to try a Milky Way cake and I don't even like Milky Ways!! Making you hungry now? Then be prepared to be hungry while reading Sarah Addison Allen's newest magical book The Girl Who Chased the Moon. While Jenn didn't really get into Emily's story; I found both her's and Julia's to be interesting but on different levels. I can't possibly understand what it's like to lose a parent when you are a teenager, it obviously adds a whole layer of complexity to already trying years. While I didn't identify with the loss of a parent, every one knows how hard it is to fit in especially when you are new. For Emily that is doubled because well Mullaby doesn't like her mom. She can't figure out why since her mom never even told her about the town she grew up in. Heck she didn't even mention that Emily still had a grandfather!!

I really liked Julia. She was interesting, quirky and troubled. She only wanted to be back in Mullaby for 2 years. That was her plan. Come and finish her dad's business and go rejoin her life in Baltimore. Well we all know that the best laid plans never amount to much right? Her's is an interesting story and one that has a couple twists. One I saw coming and one I didn't. Julia and Emily bond instantly. Julia takes Emily under her wings and shows her Mullaby.

I think my favorite secondary character was Vance. He was wonderful. I loved him. He was such an interesting character. Here he was a giant and he was the most gentile man. He only ever tried to do right by his daughter and because of unforeseen circumstances inadvertently led her down the wrong path. Although in the end, Dulcie turned out well and it was leaving Mullaby that did that for her.

There's a lot of other things that go on in the book but I want to leave it for you to discover the magic.

Sarah Addison Allen's books always deal with the past. For Emily it was coming to terms with her mom's past and not letting that define her. For Julia, it is dealing with the person who hurt her the most and loved her perhaps the most and realizing that life is something that happens when you aren't looking. (Yeah I know that's cliche but it works).

Julia's story was very personal for me for reason I can't say or it'll ruin the book. :) And then ending to it was so sweet and perfect, that writing the review I'm getting welled up.

I truly love her writing. The prose sucks you in and doesn't let you go. I finished this book last night and dreamt about it. I know it affected me.

I can't quite give it a 5 but it is on par with Garden Spells for me. Some of it was a bit too predictable but not in a bad way. You just can see it coming.

If you want to see what Mullaby looks like click here to find out.

Final Take: 4.75/5

Related Links: Jenn's Review


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