Friday, March 24, 2017

A Girl Called Owl by A.J. Wilson

Title: A Girl Called Owl
Author: A. J. Wilson
Genre: Middle Grade, Portal/Paranormal Fantasy
Source: PanMacmillan

It's bad enough having a mum dippy enough to name you Owl, but when you've got a dad you've never met, a best friend who needs you more than ever, and a new boy at school giving you weird looks, there's not a lot of room for much else.

So when Owl starts seeing strange frost patterns on her skin, she's tempted to just burrow down under the duvet and forget all about it. Could her strange new powers be linked to her mysterious father? And what will happen when she enters the magical world of winter for the first time?

A glittering story of frost and friendship, with writing full of magic and heart, A Girl Called Owl is a stunning debut about family, responsibility and the beauty of the natural world.
Review by Nara

A Girl Called Owl was a cute story that did not have a whole lot of depth. Thematically, it seemed like it would be more of a young adult novel, but in reality, felt much more like a middle grade novel. This was mostly due to the way the book was written as well as the characters and story itself.

The writing was quite simplistic, which in itself isn't necessarily a bad thing. It actually suited the style in which the story was told, with a linear plot and younger characters. It did feel like the book was a bit disjointed at times- in between chapters with POV from Owl, there were these fairy-tale like excerpts that I felt didn't mesh well with the rest of the novel as they were written with a more formal tone that didn't flow with Owl's simplistic POV.

The main character Owl was not particularly mature, but I felt that was not terrible in this particular novel. She seemed to make many stupid decisions despite several other characters giving her advice, but because this book was a combination of portal fantasy and coming-of-age, these decisions were somewhat more acceptable (although I must admit, they didn't make Owl particularly likeable).

I would be more inclined to recommend this novel to younger readers. Personally, I read a lot of epic fantasy targeted at adults, and that made it a bit more difficult to get into this relatively simplistic read. Middle grade level readers may find it easier to immerse themselves into this world.

It was okay
Overall: 4/10
Plot: 2/5
Writing: 3/5
World Building: 2/5
Characters: 2.5/5
Cover: 3/5