Juniper Berry, by M.P. Kozlowsky

One of the nice things about putting the stickers on library books is that I get to see these books before they make it out to the shelves, and often before regular library-goers even know these books exist. Sometimes I have no idea why the library buys some of these books. At better times, I go “oooooooh shiny want” and pull out my smartphone and put the book on hold so I can get it first!

This is, obviously, one of those books, and what struck me about it first was the cover, which is delightfully stylized. Then I saw the bit about “a tale of terror and temptation,” and then I looked at the back which reads only “Be careful what you wish for.” I didn’t even have to read all the way through the book flap to know I wanted this book to come home with me. Phone! Hold!

Now, the book is not quite as exciting as all that, unfortunately, but I still found it rather adorable and worth a read by the braver children in your life. Juniper Berry is our protagonist of the amusing name, and she’s the daughter of some very busy acTOR parents who have been acting increasingly weird of late. She is isolated in her giant house surrounded by forest, but one day she meets a boy called Giles in her backyard who is worried about his own strange-acting parents. He followed them to Juniper’s yard, where they disappeared. Juniper and Giles set off to find out what their parents are doing, and it turns out to be a lot more creepy and sinister than they might have imagined.

It’s sort of like a Coraline, I’d say. Very sort of, actually, but the mood is similar and I think it is looking for the same audience. In this case, it’s the parents who have gone off looking for that elusive greener grass, but Juniper is still the one who has to set everything right because, you know, parents are useless. This book is also a little more obvious with its message of “no seriously just chill and make the best of the life you have because the life you want can kind of suck,” but it’s still a totally valid message.

Recommendation: For those who like kick-butt kids and creepy demon types.

Rating: 7/10
(A to Z Challenge)

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