Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Magruder's Curiosity Cabinet by H.P. Wood...

How I Heard About It:  While browsing NetGalley I came across this title and was fascinated by the title and the cover.  The "summary" of the story was also quite intriguing.  I requested it and was lucky enough to be granted an early electronic copy of the book.  

What It Is About:  Kitty and her mother land in the United States at Coney Island after traveling by ship from England.  Kitty finds herself alone with no money after her mother "disappears."  She isn't sure what she is going to do, but then comes across an "unusual" cast of characters from Magruder's Curiosity Cabinet located on Coney Island.  These new friends try to help Kitty locate her mother and find out what truly happened to her.  The crew isn't sure who to trust and who not to trust.  No one truly appears as they are.  During this time a "sickness" arrives on Coney Island and has an impact on all of its inhabitants.  The sickness turns this "dreamland" into a nightmare and everything begins to unravel for Kitty and her new "friends."  

What I Thought Of It:  This was somewhat a disappointing read.  At first I liked it, but quickly found it wasn't my type of story.  I could not keep the plot straight, I couldn't keep track of all the unusual characters, and I found myself struggling with the story.  I actually put it down several times, read something else, and then would try again.  Each time I would skim and scan the book to get an overall feel for the story.  I kept thinking it would eventually grab me, but it never did.  The whole thing was just too unusual for me.  I saw that there were many reviews that were positive, so it just must have been a case of a book not matching to the reader.  

Who Should Read It:  The story is adult with lots of mysteries, "odd" characters, and complex story lines that weave in and out throughout the novel.  If you have a passion for the unusual story line, this might be the book for you.  I wished I would have liked it more, but just didn't.  Maybe it was the wrong time to read it or the type of story a lover of realistic fiction just couldn't relate to.  The book comes out this summer and if you do read it, I hope it is a better experience for you.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  2 STARS out of 5 Stars

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