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30 October 2012

Review: The Toadhouse Trilogy, Book 1 by Jess Lourey

Product Details 
Jess Lourey contacted me via email and asked if I would be interested in reading her first MG/YA book, The Toadhouse Trilogy.  When I read the description, I jumped at the chance to read it!  

Summary and image from Amazon:
Aine believes herself to be a regular teenager in 1930s Alabama, but when a blue-eyed monster named Biblos attacks, she discovers that the reclusive woman raising her isn't really her grandmother and that she's been living inside a book for the past five years. With her blind brother, Spenser, she flees the pages of the novel she's called home, one terrifying step ahead of Biblos' black magic. Her only chance at survival lies in beating him to the three objects that he desires more than life.

As she undertakes her strange and dangerous odyssey, Aine must choose between a family she doesn't remember and her growing attraction to a mysterious young man named Gilgamesh. Only through treacherous adventures into The Time Machine, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, A Tale of Two Cities, and the epic Indian saga The Ramayana will she learn her true heritage and restore the balance of the worlds... if she can stay alive

So, just by reading that, I'm sure you can see why I was so excited to read it.  I LOVE retellings of old stories and myths (a la Rick Riordan and Adam Gidwitz).  And to have one that uses classic literature as its basis, gold!  

So when I read something like this, I try to recall the original and look for similarities.  I admit, I had a hard time linking some of the stories, but I'm thinking that may just be because I've never read The Time Machine or The Ramayana!  It wasn't a hindrance though, the story made perfect sense without knowing those other books.  

I really liked the character of Aine (especially once I figured out how to pronounce her name.  I was having Hermione flashbacks)  She took care of her brother, and Tru, without smothering them (too much).  I liked her quick thinking and cool head under pressure.  Most teenage girls aren't like that.

I do wonder from what time period she and Spenser are actually from.  Like the summary says, she thought she was living in the 1930's in Alabama (To Kill a Mockingbird), and then traveled to several other stories.  The prologue made me think they were in ye olde medieval times, but I just wonder....

I will also be 100% honest with you guys, I had no idea what a toadhouse was.  I wasn't sure if it had something to do with fairy myth, and when I tried to google it, all I got were people trying to sell me tiny little houses for toads on ebay.  I didn't think that was right.  But, once I started reading, I figured it out to be a tiny little house that the characters use to travel through time and space.  

I can't wait to read the other books in the trilogy.  I have to see what happens to Aine and Spenser.  I also have a feeling (holding out a hope) that Tru will make another appearance.  

Many thanks to Jess Lourey for sending me a copy of The Toadhouse Trilogy, Book 1.  I really appreciate it! 

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