Wednesday, February 20, 2013

REVIEW: Between Two Ends by David Ward

Title:                       Between Two Ends
Author:                   David Ward 
Release Date:      May 1/2010
Genre:                Middle Grade Fantasy
Publisher:           Abrams Books
Page Count:        288
Acquired:            Library Borrow
Format:              Hardcover
Read From:         Feb 18-19/2013
Goodreads:         ADD
Purchase:           Amazon/Indigo/The Book Depository

In the musty library of his grandmother's strange, old house, Yeats reunites a pair of pirate bookends that turn out to be more than they seem. These salty-tongued rogues can magically transport readers directly into the books they read, though they won't necessarily help them get out.

Yeats, assisted by the pirates, navigates the unfamiliar world of the story of
The Arabian Nights-dodging guards and tigers and the dangerous things that lurk in the margins of the stories-in order to save a long-lost girl and bring peace to his family. But sometimes the magic of storytelling can be hard to break...


I picked up this book from the shelves at the library based solely on it's cover-do you SEE..that cover!? The artwork is INSANELY beautiful. I LOVE middle-grade cover art, like, to the point of obsession. When I finally got around to tearing my eyes away from the front of the book, I was more than pleasantly surprised when I read the synopsis. A musty library..pirates..transport directly INTO books!? Are you kidding me!? Yes..PLEASE.

I wasn't completely blown away by magic and fantastical feelings by the time I finished it, but this book made me nostalgic in so many warm ways. I loved the idea of the story line, and the author created a back story that transitioned very nicely into the adventurous part of the tale. There were definitely influences from InkHeart, and Aladdin, and I couldn't get enough of of the beautiful and vivid imagery that sprung to the front of my mind as I read and compared-Middle Eastern countries provide such extraordinary backdrops for fiction. Even the descriptions of Yeat's grandmother's house at the beginning were the exact right amount of creepy-I wish the story lingered there just a liiittle longer.

The main characters were, sadly, a little one-dimensional to me, especially Yeats. I know his family situation called for his character to be a little bit wise beyond his years, but with this being middle-grade fiction, I expected him to break out of the chains that held him down at home, and become a more carefree, adventurous 12-year old once he entered an unknown world. I also found it a little unrealistic how quickly he picked up on the speech patterns of that time, it was almost instantaneous. Two characters I absolutely ADORED however, were Skins and Bones, the pirate book ends. They were ENDLESSLY entertaining, and had me laughing out loud whenever they had dialogue-pirates, how can you NOT love they're blunt humour?

Overall, this story was cute, and gained major points for bringing me back to my childhood Disney years, but unfortunately, it fell short of fantastic. I'm fairly new to Middle Grade, well, as an adult anyways, so Between Two Ends was a short and sweet introduction into the genre. 

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