Title: The Spindlers
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: Hardcover; 256
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Intended Reading Group: Middle Grade
Content Screening: Mild Violence
HDB Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Young readers who love a good story and aren't afraid of a little darkness in their reading.
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One night when Liza went to bed, Patrick was her chubby, stubby, candy-grubbing and pancake-loving younger brother, who irritated and amused her both, and the next morning, when she woke up, he was not. In fact, he was quite, quite different.
When Liza's brother, Patrick, changes overnight, Liza knows exactly what has happened: The spindlers have gotten to him and stolen his soul.
She knows, too, that she is the only one who can save him.
To rescue Patrick, Liza must go Below, armed with little more than her wits and a broom. There, she uncovers a vast world populated with talking rats, music-loving moles, greedy troglods, and overexcitable nids . . . as well as terrible dangers. But she will face her greatest challenge at the spindlers' nests, where she encounters the evil queen and must pass a series of deadly tests--or else her soul, too, will remain Below forever.
I'm in love with Lauren Oliver's writing, and to be honest all I've read so far are her Middle Grade novels. If they are at all indicative of her overall writing style, I'm sold. Head over heels in love. Even as an adult reader The Spindlers captured my heart and mind. You couldn't have pried this book out of my hands.
Liza is our main character and I adored her from page one.Strong, stubborn, and braver than most young girls I know, she was a wonderful character to follow. Her belief in magic was sweet, and the relationship that she had with her brother Patrick was even sweeter. We all know that siblings bicker. That you can love the stuffing out of your younger brother or sister and still thing they are utterly obnoxious at times. I loved the reality of Liza's relationship with Patrick for that very reason. She knows what drives her crazy about him, and yet she sets it all aside to save him when he needs it.
What really sparked my imagination was the world that Oliver builds in the "Below". Liza must face some rather terrifying events and inhabitants to save her sibling. I loved how they were just the right amount of scary, without being too over the top. Also, they are offset by the cunning that Liza must use to solve puzzles in her quest as well. There was such a nice mix of trials for her to pass that, despite being an older reader, I found myself entranced by her journey. It reminded me slightly of Alice in Wonderland. A girl who is young and on her own, and yet does great things.
The Spindlers deals with sibling relationships, friendship, and finding courage within. Best of all, it does it in a format that is friendly to young readers. If you have a reader at home who loves adventures, or who believes in magic, this is a book for them. Actually, even if you are adult and have these same qualities, you'll love this book! I did, and I can't wait for more from Lauren Oliver.