Saturday, March 21, 2015

Book Review: The Strange Gift of Gwendolyn Golden by Philippa Dowding

A Karissa Review
The Strange Gift of Gwendolyn Golden by Philippa Dowding
Publisher: Dundurn
Publication date: January 2014
Pages: 200

Summary (from goodreads):
This morning, I woke up on the ceiling ... So begins the strange story of Gwendolyn Golden. One perfectly ordinary day for no apparent reason, she wakes up floating around her room like one of her little brother’s Batman balloons. Puberty is weird enough. Everyone already thinks she’s an oddball with anger issues because her father vanished in a mysterious storm one night when she was six. Then there are the mean, false rumours people are spreading about her at school. On top of all that, now she’s a flying freak.
How can she tell her best friend or her mother? How can she live her life? After Gwendolyn almost meets disaster flying too high and too fast one night, help arrives from the most unexpected place. And stranger still? She’s not alone.
Things I Liked:
The idea of this book is a cool one. I like that it keeps to reality – what it’s like to fly in a world of non-flyers. I liked the main character, Gwennie – she’s a solid character. I loved her best friend Jez, and her flying mentor, Mrs. Forest.

Things I Didn't Like:
I didn’t like the overall incomplete feel of the book. Towards the end, you realize the author is setting up a second book for the character, but I was very frustrated, because she didn’t do it well. It’s funny, in the book, Gwennie mentions reading the Harry Potter books, and I have to make an unfortunate comparison to them. One of the reasons Harry Potter was so successful was because of the completeness of each book. You are fully immersed in that world, and each book can stand alone. It has a solid beginning, middle, and end. You want more books because of the fullness of the world Rowling created, not because she leaves you hanging at the end of each one.  This book is not like that. It almost feels like the author should have spent more time on it. The first 2/3 of the book is very reality based, and then kind of suddenly in the last 1/3 it veers off into more fantasy-ish.

Abby Carnelia’s One and Only Power by David Pogue (a much more satisfying and fun read)
Things Not Seen by Andrew Clements (A really solid, powerful book)
(Both of these would get an Overall Rating of: ****)

s-factor: none

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: none

Overall rating: **

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. Well that sucks! I hate when books do that. Sigh!

    1. Yeah, me too! At least I won't have to bother reading it now, though :)


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