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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Season of Secrets: Plenty of Potential, Not Enough Wow Power

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

More than anything, young Molly Brooke wants her mother back. If she could turn back time, erase the brain anueryism that stole her mother's life, and return everything to normal, Molly would do it in an instant. Since she can't, she's stuck living at her grandparents' house while her father "figures things out." It's not supposed to be a permanent situation, but it's certainly starting to feel that way. While Molly's not as miserable as her older sister, who expresses her displeasure over the whole situation by complaining and throwing tantrums, she's still not happy about being abandoned by her father.

When Molly meets a mysterious man who lives in the forest, things begin to look up. Even if no one else can see her new friend, she knows he's real. He also has a special gift for making things grow, come alive, sometimes right in the palm of his hand. This otherworldly talent convinces Molly that she's found the mythical Green Man, the pagan god of summer. No one in the world knows more about bringing dead things to life than this magical being. Molly must convince him to help her - it's the only way to reverse her loss, to heal her fractured family, to restore the happiness and security she once felt.

Only one thing stands in the way of Molly's plan: the Holly King. As the temperature drops, his power grows, and the bloodthirsty god of winter hunts the Green Man, determined to end his rival's reign. Can Molly save her friend? Can he save her?

Season of Secrets by Sally Nicholls uses the myth of the Green Man to explore the grief-cycle of a young girl. It's an original idea, one I wish had been developed a whole lot more. The story has so much potential to be unique, magical and effective in a subtly moving way and it just didn't live up to what it could have been. It's not an unenjoyable story, it's just doesn't have enough wow power to make it anything more than ordinary. Bummer.

(Readalikes: Reminds me of A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness)

Grade: C

If this were a movie, it would be rated: PG for mild language and some violence

To the FTC, with love: I received a finished copy of Season of Secrets from the generous folks at Scholastic. Thank you!


  1. Well, it sounds good. I'm sorry to hear it didn't turn out so well.

  2. Sorry it disappointing. Don't you just want to love every book?

  3. Too bad. It sounded intriguing.

  4. It does sound like a great concept. And I love the cover. Very unique.


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