My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Every now and then I read a book that I just can’t put down. This is one of those. The writing is literary and fascinating, the characters complex, the subject intriguing–I don’t know . . . Everything about this book worked for me.
It’s basically your standard YA fantasy at heart, but approached from a much more reality-based angle. What if the magical world the main character discovers doesn’t change his life for the better? What if the problems he had before–character flaws, unmet dreams, etc–still exist? And when you think about it, doesn’t that make sense? Why should walking through a wardrobe suddenly make everything else okay? Grossman has depicted a world where magic is very real, in all senses of the word.
The book is by no means a candy coated experience. It’s not a children’s book in the slightest, despite the fact that it covers the same sort of school experience as the Harry Potter series did. It feels very much like you’re reading a Work of Literature that happens to be fantasy, but I liked it all the more for that. I’d be interested to hear what other people thought of this one. I could see some people really disliking it–but for me, it worked great. Plus, it was the sort of book that makes you want to talk to other people about it once you’ve finished.