I know, I know, it’s been 100 years. I’m a bad blogger. I’m really sorry! I’m going to AIM for more consistency. But it seems that once I get one line of content running smoothly, the other falls apart.
Definitely check out my other content streams, because I like to try a little of everything! Anyway, enough about me, let’s get back to the review!
I wanted to wait until #Believathon before I started this book for a couple of reasons. The first is, I don’t read Middle Grade or Children’s books very often, and the other is, when I have read Middle Grades or Children’s, they don’t evoke the same wonderment as the children’s books I read when I was – you know – a child. I can read YA for days but there’s always been some marshland I can’t find my footing in when it comes to Middle Grade.
Believathon is a readathon created by Gavin Hetherington (Although everyone knows him by his Booktube title: How To Train Your Gavin) to encourage readers to engage with Middle Grade. I’ve got 4 books lined up alongside The Unadoptables, and I’m hoping (with the use of his gorgeous map!) that I’ll be able to finally navigate those marshlands and discover some Children’s books that can rival those of my childhood.
I can see why other reviewers have compared The Unadoptables to Lemony Snicket, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchet. It’s whimsical, charming and fun. The narrative is perched in the perspective of Milou, the leader and escape artist of the group. This is going to be a story of ‘found family’ and daring adventure.
There were times when I wondered if my enjoyment of the book really rested on its own shoulders. Maybe because I’d seen the comparisons before I went in, I noticed them more readily. How often the phrasing or plot seems familiar (to the point of taking you out of the story a little bit), and how predictable certain narrative points were. I really enjoy Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchet and Lemony Snicket. So is that why I enjoy this book so much? Possibly. Is that a problem? Not really. Hana Tooke has taken the elements I enjoyed as a child and reimagined them for an audience of 2020. And that’s just fine with me.
I’m sold. It was fun, and lively. Tooke’s Amsterdam feels like the real thing, although I’ve never been so I don’t know how helpful that is to you.