Remarkable, by Elizabeth Foley; Breadcrumbs, by Anne Ursu; Under Wildwood, by Colin Meloy, with illustrations by Carson Ellis

Remarkable. Elizabeth Foley. Book Review. 4 stars

In the town of Remarkable, everyone is just that—remarkably talented, remarkably intelligent, remarkably strong or even remarkably good-looking—except 10-year-old, completely ordinary Jane Doe, who is of remarkably average height, weight, attractiveness, intelligence, and skill. Jane has trouble standing out in her family and her community (where she is the only student remaining at the non-gifted school, yet is still regularly forgotten by the teachers), but when certain events transpire—including Jane getting the sudden attention of the remarkably dastardly Grimlett twins, the arrival of pirates on Remarkable’s shores, and the potential exposure of Remarkable’s own secretive lake monster—Jane may turn out to be just the person Remarkable most needs.

Remarkable. Elizabeth Foley. Book Review. 4 stars

This book, about an ordinary girl rising to the challenge of a remarkable situation, is super fun and full of zany comedy. The word “remarkable” has lost all meaning, hasn’t it?

Good for: This fun, comic, and somewhat madcap tale of adventure will appeal to fans of series like The Incorrigible Children and Alex and the Ironic Gentleman.

Under Wildwood. Colin Meloy. Carson Ellis. Book Review.

After saving her brother and all of the Impassable Wilderness from the evil machinations of the Dowager Governess, Prue McKeel can’t seem to return to the interests (few) and responsibilities (boring) of everyday life. Her mind is constantly drawn back to the adventures she had in the Impassable Wilderness, and the friends she left there—especially Curtis, now a bandit-in-training, whose family outside does not know his whereabouts. Separated from her friends, Prue has little idea that although the coup she led was successful, she is not safe, and neither is the Wood.

3 stars

This sequel to Wildwood is not as good as the original: it suffers from long, boring stretches where nothing much happens, and frequently succumbs to telling rather than showing. It reads as though, in the rush to get this sequel out in good time, there was no time for editing and rewrites which may have tightened the prose and livened the story. It is not a terrible book by any means, but in future I think it will only provide a bridge from the engaging first book to the—hopefully superior—third.

Good for: Fans of the first book in The Wildwood Chronicles series will want to know what happens next.

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