by Carol Goodman

Reviewer Rating:


I have long been a fan of Carol Goodman's books for adults, so I was excited to see that she has branched into Young Adult fiction. I had high hopes for Blythewood, and I was not disappointed. Though the book navigates familiar teen book territory (magical boarding school, orphaned prodigy with unusual talents, etc.), Goodman manages to make it all feel fresh. After her mother dies suddenly, a series of strange events engulf 16 year-old Avaline Hall. When she is sent to school at Blythewood, she comes closer to unraveling several pressing mysteries, including the identity of her father, the reason her mother left Blythewood without graduating, and the reason that her mother was so afraid before she died. Incorporating some real world incidents of the time, like the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire and the sinking of the Titanic, strengthens the narrative and creates contrast with the magical world that our heroine Avaline is increasingly drawn to. Definitely recommended for older teens.

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