Francesca Zappia did it again! I wasn’t totally sure about this book but I loved Eliza and Her Monsters so much that I knew I wanted to read something else from her. It was a little bit more fantasy for me then I am used to but I still loved it. There are many reasons why this fantasy novel really hit home for me, but let me just focus on a few; characters, paranormal activity, storyline.
Characters are HUGE in my reading world. I know I am awful for remembering names but I really need to be able to relate or feel connected to characters or else I don’t like them and in turn dislike the story lol. What I love about the characters in this book is that they have the most unique names. Zora, Artemis, Ludwig, and Bach. They are just so different! My favourite is that in the beginning of the hardcover edition, the author includes these little character illustrations that allow you to visualize each character so much better. She also has a map too, which is fun! This story follows Zola’s point of view trying to save Addamsville from firestarters, and it shows that she has a very difficult and complicated life but she has a great group of people around her who believe in her. She is a very stubborn character but it’s great that her loved ones can pull her out of it.
I’m a sucker for ghost stories, they just make me happy. I love that this book talks a lot about ghosts and seeing the people in the town who have died. It is amazing how Artemis uses her paranormal and historical research to protect the town from tourists and also learn the stories of the ghosts. I think it really would help Zora who can physically see the ghosts, and knows how they behave but she cannot hear them. A really great twist to the story is that one of the characters learns that they can actually hear the ghosts but cannot see them. This makes for a great set of skills when they come together.
I think it is great that the paranormal are very central in the story. It makes the fantasy parts not feel so fantasy, if that makes sense. It makes the firestarters seem more believable and that they can possess people as well.
Story lines are key in my reading experience, I love a nicely flowing story, one that flows well and smoothly. I really struggle when a story swaps from one time to another and they don’t blend well. I think Francesca does a great job with moving the story alone. Her writing is just really great. When Zora does talk about previous memories about her mom I don’t get confused or uncertain about what I am reading. It is just well worded and everything has a purpose. The story doesn’t seem to have much or any filler, every little detail that is brought up in the book, it was wrapped up or lead into another problem or solution later on.
Overall I would rate this book a 4/5 stars. It is a great read for people who aren’t super into fantasy like me. The mix of paranormal and YA fantasy just really hit home for me and I am really glad that I read it. Also the cover is beautiful and colourful so I’m a bit biased.