01 October 2011

{Book Review} The Apothecary

By: Me My Shelf And I | 01 October 2011 at 12:00 AM | | | | | |


The Apothecary
Author: Maile Meloy
Pages: 368
Format: ARC Tour
Publish Date: October 4, 2011
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Rating: 4 Birds

It's 1952 and the Scott family has just moved from Los Angeles to London. Here, fourteen-year-old Janie meets a mysterious apothecary and his son, Benjamin Burrows - a fascinating boy who's not afraid to stand up to authority and dreams of becoming a spy. When Benjamin's father is kidnapped, Janie and Benjamin must uncover the secrets of the apothecary's sacred book, the Pharmacopoeia, in order to find him, all while keeping it out of the hands of their enemies - Russian spies in possession of nuclear weapons. Discovering and testing potions they never believed could exist, Janie and Benjamin embark on a dangerous race to save the apothecary and prevent impending disaster.

Together with Ian Schoenherr's breathtaking illustrations, this is a truly stunning package from cover to cover.

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First of all, thank you to Once Upon a Twilight for running this book tour!  I would otherwise have never known about this book if it weren’t for the blog!

My take: Again, I’m really not usually a person who’s all into things that are based in the past (unless it switches back and forth from present to past).  However, it was about London, and I just went “Yes, please” because I have a not so secret obsession with foreign lands.

Janie definitely became one of my favorite leading ladies in any book by the way she acts throughout this book.  She’s headstrong most of the time and she’s just this strongly (at least to me) written character that you wish you were like!  I mean, she’s just…awesome!

Benjamin – oh Benjamin.  You know, I don’t know how to feel about him because he’s so, there’s not even really a word for it, but you get him on two sides all the time.  He’s so up and down that you want to hug him, or hit him!  I’m starting to believe that a lot of authors are writing their male leads this way!

There are so many great minor characters throughout this book, and the best part is – they never overtake the story.  There are little quips here and there that had me going “ooh, that makes total sense” and “hey, you just made things easier/harder for Janie!”  It was kind of epic if you ask me!

All in all, this is a fantastic book!  It was great to get a sense of the era it was set in, as well as seeing a character who was headstrong for her time.  Fantastic, and totally worth the 4 bird rating.

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