WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE ENTIRE NOVEL. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED
Synopsis can be found here.
It has a unique premise. There aren’t enough stories about grandparents and their grandchildren. I think this is a shame since they often share such a strong bond and I, personally, have nothing but love for mine.
I love Granny! Granny was the rockstar of the whole novel, even though she died towards the beginning. I desperately want a prequel that follows Granny’s life and misadventures. They gave her a lot of backstory, but the character-writer in me was drooling for more. I saw the author wrote another book about Britt-Marie, who was way less interesting, so why not write one for old Granny as well? Based on what he’s created for her, he has material for days
It references Harry Potter and the X-men shamelessly. I loved Elsa’s obsession with stories, particularly Harry Potter. She wears a Gryffindor scarf all the time which says a lot about her character. She believes in heroes like Harry and wants to become one herself.
The characters were memorable. I wouldn’t say they popped off the page, but they each had depth and a sympathetic side. Even the ones that Elsa (and I) found the most annoying. I’d have to say Elsa’s mom is my second favorite character. She’s just too cool and it was fun seeing her Granny side come out when she was giving birth to Halfie. Elsa’s dad was so lame and Type A, he made me laugh.
It had a satisfying conclusion that saw a fitting end for each character that lived in Elsa’s building. Some people might think the Epilogue went on for too long, describing the things that happened to everyone, but I liked knowing their happy endings.
Elsa was way too smart for a 7 year-old. Yes, I get that she’s supposed to be precocious for her age, but in many places the writer pushed my ability to suspend disbelief.
The repetition got old after a while. Sometimes it was cute and gave the piece symmetry. But after chapters and chapters of it, I got tired of hearing the same lines being repeated ad nauseam like “she hated him for that” or “she loved her for that.” I also got bored of hearing about Britt-Marie’s floral print jacket. It’s cool. You don’t have to remind us she wears that everyday. We get it.
……Sorry, I had to do that at least once.
The villain wasn’t really present for most of the story. I liked the idea of Sam, the abusive father to the boy with the syndrome, but I wished we’d seen more of him. He was characterized as a Shadow most of the time, which is why I think he didn’t have any speaking parts. Perhaps it shouldn’t bother me this much that he didn’t have anything to say. I just thought it would make him more human, which is what the point of the book is.
It’s like Granny said, no one is a complete shit or not a complete shit. We all have a little shit inside of us.
Or something to that effect.
Overall, I thought it was a good read. I recommend it to anyone that believes in the magic of imagination and a grandmother’s love.