Saturday, 9 December 2017

Mini Review: A Girl Called Owl by Amy Wilson

A Girl Called Owl by Amy WilsonNetGalleyA Girl Called Owl by Amy Wilson (eProof) - It's bad enough having a mum dippy enough to name you Owl, but when you've got a dad you've never met, a best friend who needs you more than ever, and a new boy at school giving you weird looks, there's not a lot of room for much else.

So when Owl starts seeing strange frost patterns on her skin, she's tempted to just burrow down under the duvet and forget all about it. Could her strange new powers be linked to her mysterious father? And what will happen when she enters the magical world of winter for the first time?
From Goodreads.

A Girl Called Owl by Amy Wilson seemed like a perfect Wintery, Christmassy read for this time of year; the story of Jack Frost's daughter. Unfortunately, I was quite disappointed.

A Girl Called Owl is more upper middle grade, so where I thought it would feel like a children's book, full of that wonderful magical, enchanting feeling you get with reading some children's books (like A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig), it was missing from this one. And though it's a re-imagining of the Jack Frost legend - which, in my mind, is as intrinsically linked to Christmas as Winter - there is nothing of Christmas. This feels more like a younger version of a YA book about fae, though they are called fay in this - an introduction to fae, maybe. And that's one of the main reasons I wasn't a fan. There is a difference between what I call "children's books" - the kind an adult would read with a child - and books for children who are past that stage. I can handle children's books, because they appeal to my sense of wonder. But middle grade, more often than not, is too young for me.

And, because it's young (or at least that's my assumption), not a huge amount happens. I could easily summarise the entire book in a sentence, but won't because of spoilers. What I can tell you is that Owl discovers she is Jack Frost's daughter soon after frost patterns appear on her skin, and soon after, she can freeze a whole room without intending, too. All the while, there's a plot against her father by other seasonal figures that Owl finds out about. It sounds exciting, like there's probably a lot going on, but there really isn't, and it's so slow. Plus the characters believe in the magical so easily, hardly questioning it at all, or freaking out. So many questions aren't answered, or explained well enough. It was such a let down.

There's so much potential in writing a book about Jack Frost, but for me, A Girl Called Owl just didn't reach it. Sadly, it's just not a believable story. A real disappointment.

Thank you to Macmillan Children's Books via NetGalley for the eProof.

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Published: 26th January 2017
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Amy Wilson's Website

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