Title: Matchbox Girls
Author: Chrysoula Tzavelas
Publisher: Candlemark & Gleam
Pages: Paperback; 326
Release Date: February 21, 2012
Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Mild Language
HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers looking for a paranormal that is unique.
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Marley Claviger is just trying to get her life together. Stumbling into an ancient conflict between celestial forces is going to make that a whole lot harder...
When Marley wakes up to a phone call from a pair of terrified children, she doesn’t expect to be pulled into a secret war. She rescues them from an empty house and promises to find their missing uncle. She even manages to feed them dinner. But she barely feels competent to manage her own life, let alone care for small children with strange, ominous powers...
And when a mysterious angelic figure shows up and tries to claim the girls, it all falls apart...
Plagued by visions of disaster, Marley has no idea what she's gotten herself into, but she knows one thing: magical or not, the kids need her.
Matchbox Girls threw me a loop, I tell you what! Not in a bad way at all. It starts off a bit like a book from the Series of Unfortunate Events. Two precocious young girls (who are eons ahead of other people their age in terms of intelligence) wake Marley out of a dead sleep to come and save them. Their Uncle has vanished, and they were instructed to call her if that ever happened. Doesn't bode well does it? Well rest assured that if that was your assumption you are right! What ensues is a story filled with dark corners, deep secrets, and all manner of angelic and demonic creatures. It's pretty fascinating!
Let's start with what I loved about this book. The characters. Marley is so sweet and broken. She feels like madness is constantly pressing in around her, and yet when the girls need her she finds the strength to press on. I adored her character. She was so mothering. The girls themselves are adorable, albeit slightly creepy at times. They are so smart. I was engrossed by them alone the majority of the story, trying to uncover their secrets. Add in all the other characters who flit in and out of the story, and you have a well rounded group. Tsavelas allows the reader plenty of time to get to know this group, and it is easy to fall in love with them.
What I didn't enjoy so much is the over abundance of information that is often thrown out at the reader in certain parts of this book. There are a lot of different creatures that correlate with the angelic hierarchy in this book. While I respected the want to share them all with us, and help us form connections between them, it was all very confusing. There were pages that I had to read, and then re-read, just to make sure I was really understanding what I was meant to. After a while, especially towards the end, I found myself just skimming to get the parts that were really important and pushed the plot forward.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.