"Tween Tuesday" is a weekly meme hosted over at GreenBeanTeenQueen. If you're looking for a good middle grade book or have a review to share, be sure to check it out!
Lily's thirteenth birthday starts off with a bang. Literally. A present explodes on her porch . . . and soon after, a trio of leprechauns (yes, leprechauns) appears in her bedroom. They whisk her away to a land of clover, piskies, a new friend, a cute boy, and lots of glimmering, glittering gold. A world of Green.
It turns out that Lily—as her grandmother was before her—is in line to be keeper for the Clan of Green, in charge of all their gold. That is, if she passes three tests. And she has to pass them. Because if she doesn't? She may never get to go home again. She'll be stuck with the Greens.
Thoughts, Musings, Ramblings...
I picked this book up on a whim from the library. (You know those times when you don't really know what you want so you walk up to the J Fiction "New Books" section and just pick one? That was me.) I've been trying to read more books for the 8-12 crowd. (I work in the library but I'm only REALLY proficient at YA reader's advisory...I'm trying to fix that.) I tried to read this one last fall, but it couldn't catch my attention amidst my overwhelming amount of homework. Anyway, getting to the point--I'm glad I picked this one up (again). It was a cute, quick read!
To begin with, Lily is a very "relateable" (spell check says that's not a word, but it's all my tired brain can come up with this morning) tween character. Lily and her mom have moved around a lot so Lily doesn't have many friends and really doesn't feel like she fits in. She goes to gymnastics class basically because her mom told her to take it. She has one real friend, but that friend has another "best" friend, which leaves Lily alone the majority of the time anyway. While sometimes I find characters like this a tad "whiny," I didn't ever feel that way about Lily. She didn't whine and complain about not having friends; she just seemed kind of sad and got really excited about the one friend she did have.
The story is well-paced, although maybe a tad on the slower side for many tween readers looking for a fast-paced read. It starts off a tad slow with Lily's descriptions of gymnastics class and plans for her 13th birthday party. Things starts to pick up a tad when the leprechauns come and kidnap her. I thought Lily's reactions to the leprechauns were pretty well-written. She doesn't instantly accept their story and even as they are entering the Green meadow, she is trying to concoct an escape plan. I appreciated that she didn't instantly accept her magical heritage. She does eventually accept and even embrace her "destiny." The plot twists enough to keep you engaged as Lily battles through her three keeper tests, despite setbacks and manipulative leprechauns.
Overall, this was a pretty enjoyable tween read. Sure, there was some cheesy dialogue and plot lines, but what else would you expect with leprechauns? ;-) I would probably recommend this book to tween readers who like contemporary reads and a little fantasy mixed in. With the female lead, I would tend to recommend this more to 8-12 year old girls. A reader who enjoys the Magic Tree House books might be a good candidate for this standalone novel.