The Adventures of Stanley Delacourt by Ilana Waters

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. The Adventures of Stanley Delacourt is a middle grade
fantasy novel written by Ilana Waters.
Summary: Ten-year-old Stanley Delacourt loves his quiet life in the
peaceful village of Meadowwood. At least, he does until his best friend is
killed. Then the town library—where Stanley lives and works—is burned to the
ground. The individuals responsible for both tragedies are a nasty group of
soldiers. They work for the kingdom’s new leader, Christopher Siren. With the
grown-ups too fearful to take action, Stanley vows to confront Siren. He plans
to get answers and demand justice. Little does he know that his journey will
involve sword-wielding knights, kidnapper fairies, and dark magic. 

Stanley has only two allies back home: a witch named Meredith, and a young
apothecary called Sophie. Can they help him discover the reason behind Siren’s
crimes and end this terrible reign? Or is Stanley set to become the next victim
in the tyrant’s evil plot?
My thoughts: I used to look at books like Artemis Fowl and you know,
Percy Jackson and imagine how much I would have loved reading them in my ‘middle
grade’ years. I relived those years, so to say, when I read almost all of Diana
Wynne Jones’s books in a week. This is another of the books that I am sure I
would have loved a whole bunch of years ago. Now, it took me a little time to
get past the way it was written. It sounded childish, which I know was
intentional, but it was something I am not used to reading. Being a child at
heart (the kind who still enjoys reading Enid Blyton’s short stories), though,
it didn’t take long for me to be hooked on the book.
The author has created a world with intricate detail and
what was surely a lot of research, but what I like the most is that she has
managed to avoid the one thing that spoils fantasy series more than anything
else: information overload. We get to know just enough at just the right time to
enjoy the book, while still being curious enough about the new world to read
the sequel. The characters are kind of typical in place, but I like the
contrasts in the characters. I especially like all the female characters in the
books. The word that describes the writing style best is: fun! I could tell the
author enjoyed herself thoroughly writing the book, with its poetic flow and the
actual comical poetry written in it. It was an honest effort and the style as
well as the magic in the book kept reminding me over and over of Diana Wynne
Jones’s books. I was almost entirely sure the writer had used her as an
inspiration. It wasn’t the perfect book I’ve read: I mean, there were thing
clearly inspired, arguably borrowed from other books, it wasn’t the most
original or unique and it wasn’t written quite as impeccably as I would have
liked, but it is a great book nonetheless.
For those of you, who are used to reading middle grade novels (i.e.
if you are actually that age or you’ve never quite grown up in your head, like
me) this would be quite an enjoyable book and I would certainly recommend you to try
it. Grab your copy right here! To know more about the author, check out this nice little interview.

Mini Review!

Books I wish I read when I was a kid. Yes. I read it right now. Call me crazy…!

When I was little, I read an awesome book at my aunt’s place. It was something about some bunnies…I can’t remember what. And it’s killing me. Ugh. Anyway, I also read Matilda back then. By Roald Dahl, of course! And I love it. Of course. I didn’t read any other books by Dahl though – a very stupid thing to do.

Anyway. I’ve always (firmly) believed that it’s never too late to read a children’s book! With me, it’s totally okay to read (and love) a children’s book – even when you’re nineteen, that is. So. I did! You know, like I read the likes of the Graveyard book by Neil Gaiman and found them nice. Now I finally read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

It was like being a kid again. I mean, it did seem silly reading the book now – but I can see how I would have totally loved it as a kid. Blame my house full of Enid Blyton books.

Just a quick summary: Five lucky kids win a day trip to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory – the biggest and the best in the world! A day long tour with Mr. Wonka himself, and a lifetime’s supply of Wonka chocolates. Then things go very wrong, as they usually do. But everything turns out fine, as it usually does.

It is one of the funniest and most fascinatingly whimsical children’s books I have ever read! And the most delicious one too!! And you know, there is that whole dark side to it. I guess it’s more obvious in the movies.
The descriptions are magical and when the chocolate doesn’t seem delicious enough (which is never) there are absurd Oompa Loompa songs to crack you up!

Unless you’re ninety, in which case you might not like it just as much, read this book! Go, now!

Teaser Tuesday #2

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page

  • Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

  • I wish I had come across this book sooner. Coraline by Neil Gaiman is a strange and slightly bizarre story, and a combination of two of my favourite genre: horror and fantasy. Written in 2002, this book has received many awards and has even been compared to classics such as Alice in Wonderland. It is known essentially as a children’s book, but it has a lot of offer even for adults. It is short and simple and the writing has a wonderfully eerie flow to it. This is my teaser from the book-

    “It was a rustling voice, scratchy and dry. It made Coraline think of some kind of enormous dead insect. Which was silly, she knew. How could a dead thing, especially a dead insect, have a voice?”