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Meg Shaffer

Teoksen The Wishing Game tekijä

2 teosta 1,190 jäsentä 50 arvostelua

Tekijän teokset

The Wishing Game (2023) 1,024 kappaletta, 43 arvostelua
The Lost Story (2024) 166 kappaletta, 7 arvostelua

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“All books are magic. An object that can take you to another world without even leaving your room? A story written by a stranger and yet it seems they wrote it just for you or to you? Loving and hating people made out of ink and paper, not flesh and blood? Yes, books are magic. Maybe even the strongest magic there is.”

Last year The Wishing Game was one of my favorite reads and I’m glad to say that with The Lost Story, author Meg Shaffer does not disappoint.

Set in the (fictional) Red Crow State Forest of West Virginia, the story follows our three protagonists Emilie Wendell, Jeremy Cox and Ralph "Rafe" Howell as they embark on a quest to find out what happened to Emilie’s long-lost sister Shannon, who, when thirteen, went missing from the area decades ago. Jeremy and Rafe are no strangers to the forest, having been found six months after disappearing while on a school trip fifteen years ago. What happened to them remains a mystery to everyone except Jeremy. Jeremy and Rafe, once close friends, have been estranged since the incident. Jeremy makes finding missing girls his life’s calling and when Emilie approaches him for help in finding Shannon, he eventually agrees. Rafe is a loner, traumatized by the incident, but with no memories of the six months they were missing. Jeremy convinces Rafe to join the quest with promises that everything will be revealed in the course of their journey.

“Nobody wants to admit they’re lost.”

Inspired by C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia, this “fairy tale for grown-ups”, is a beautifully written story with endearing characters (human and mythical), vividly descriptive with superb worldbuilding, that transported me to Shanandoah with Emilie, Jeremy and Rafe.

A story of friendship, found family, love, sacrifice and courage with adventure and intrigue, emotion and humor, magical kingdoms, enchanted forests and mythical beings – sounds just perfect, doesn’t it? If you agree, this book is a must-read. I should mention that this story is much deeper than a fanciful tale for children, with several dark and sensitive themes, including abandonment, homophobia, child abuse, PTSD and mental health woven into the narrative. I enjoyed the dynamic between the three main characters and thought that the supporting characters (even the unlikeable ones) were also well thought out. The pacing is a tad uneven, but this did not detract from my overall experience. I did feel, however, that there was a tad too much going on. With so many subplots, it is to be expected that not all of them would be explored in equal depth.

Overall, I found this to be a charming and incredibly moving story that I would not hesitate to recommend. Read this one with your heart and you won’t be disappointed!

Many thanks to Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine for the digital review copy via NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
… (lisätietoja)
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srms.reads | 6 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jul 23, 2024 |
A really great adventure/quest story. The characters and their adulthood post-childhood-Narnia-portal situation were fascinating, and there's a fantastic romance in there, too. Every so often there are narrator-speaking-directly-to-you chapters, which I found kind of took me out of the story more than anything, but by the end of the book I even liked those, and found they were worked in very well. I'm going to read it again!
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bibliovermis | 6 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jul 16, 2024 |
3 1/2 stars: Good

From the back cover:

Make a wish. . . .

Lucy Hart knows better than anyone what it’s like to grow up without parents who loved her. In a childhood marked by neglect and loneliness, Lucy found her solace in books, namely the Clock Island series by Jack Masterson. Now a twenty-six-year-old teacher’s aide, she is able to share her love of reading with bright, young students, especially seven-year-old Christopher Lamb, who was left orphaned after the tragic death of his parents. Lucy would give anything to adopt Christopher, but even the idea of becoming a family seems like an impossible dream without proper funds and stability.

But be careful what you wish for. . . .

Just when Lucy is about to give up, Jack Masterson announces he’s finally written a new book. Even better, he’s holding a contest at his home on the real Clock Island, and Lucy is one of the four lucky contestants chosen to compete to win the one and only copy.

For Lucy, the chance of winning the most sought-after book in the world means everything to her and Christopher. But first she must contend with ruthless book collectors, wily opponents, and the distractingly handsome (and grumpy) Hugo Reese, the illustrator of the Clock Island books. Meanwhile, Jack “the Mastermind” Masterson is plotting the ultimate twist ending that could change all their lives forever.

. . . You might just get it.


I read this via Book of the Month club. Its a familiar tale, of the Ready Player One variety, only this time with books, an author, a young woman and a good looking man. I enjoyed it quite well, it was fun and no "horror" aspect to it at all. It was very predictable and nothing bad happens to anyone, even the "losers" in the game who are all just fine and nice. It was very sweet, perfect for grade school kids. Plus its all about a love of books!

I'm going to give this away to a librarian (NG) for her school library.

A few quotes I liked:

"Hugo, always be quiet when a heart is breaking."

"Four kids came here because they read a book that inspired them to be brave enough to ask for help. There is nothing braver tha a child asking for help. And bravery like that deserves rewarding."

"Another thing I learned in therapy. The kids in dysfunctional families who act out and rebel are the ones who are healthiest mentally. They're the ones who see something wrong. That's why they act out. Because they see the house is burning down and they're screaming for help. "

Hate is a knife without a handle. You can't cut something with it without cutting yourself.
… (lisätietoja)
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PokPok | 42 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jul 15, 2024 |
A commercial fiction story with fantastical elements and a cozy vibe, though there are some tough topics within, this was a perfect gentle read for me, hitting so many of the things I love in a book: bookishness/allusions to well-known tales, fantasy, a queer love story, redemption, tenderness, fealty, sibling bonds, parent/adult child reckonings, and a happy/hopeful ending. Recommended if you like that stuff, though do note that this feels like commercial fiction, not like fantasy or romance, as genres. Just go in knowing what you're getting. Maybe think Stephen King's [Fairy Tale], but nicer, shorter, and without any horror/gore.… (lisätietoja)
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lycomayflower | 6 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jul 15, 2024 |



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