Happy Friday everyone!
Today we have a book review, as usual, it is:
The Emerald City by J. A. Beard
Gail Dorjee just lost her parents, and her rich uncle sent her to boarding school, Osland Academy, so as to not have to deal with her.
She gets paired with a flighty girl named Lydia, who everyone calls ‘Brainless,’ and Leandra, a timid girl with many phobias nicknamed ‘Coward Queen.’ There’s a cute boy, Nick MacEvoy, who doesn’t display any kind of emotion, and Gail calls him heartless.
If you couldn’t tell by that short character summary, this is a Wizard of Oz homage.
Gail Dorjee is Dorothy, farm girl from Kansas, who happens to have the ability to manipulate water.
Lydia Wray is the scarecrow, a scatterbrained girl that is happy all the time, even as she mangles every famous quote known to man.
Nick MacEvoy is the tin man, a boy who seems to not have a heart.
Leandra Singh is the cowardly lion, the girl who stutters every single word, and quakes at the sign of more than 2 people.
There are tons of other references as well, from Africa, the dog statue on campus, to the Golden Way, a yellow path on campus.
So, there’s a mystery afoot, and Gail is trying to solve it while she’s on campus. The teachers act strangely, almost as weirdly as the students, though the thing that really gets Gail is her inability to cuss. Even as she thinks the words, they don’t come out. As she’s puzzling over that one, she realizes she can get water to do whatever she wants it to do. Change form, fly around, dance, it does as she commands.
After she figures that out, things really start to go down, but I won’t spoil it for you.
This book was interesting. I enjoyed the concept of the story, and what the plot could have been, but the book itself didn’t really go where it needed to to be a great read. The set up was really good, but the ending felt incredibly rushed. The writing was also a little difficult to get into. It seemed very immature at times. There was a lot of “I’m feeling this because that thing,” instead of actual emoting. The actions of the main characters was a bit strange as well. It seemed almost like they were acting like high schoolers act in the imagination of a middle-schooler, if that makes sense. The superficial similarities were there, but there was no actual experience or genuine emotion to back up the actions.
All in all, I liked this book. It was a quick read, and I kind of want to see a sequel to it, just to find out more about Lydia, the scarecrow girl. But I won’t be heartbroken if it doesn’t come to pass.
3/5 mysterious powers