[A quick note: I won this book as a giveaway on Instagram from the author and it was just so cute! It’s not something I would have found, since I don’t normally seek out middle-grade, even though I do read some MG occasionally. So it was nice to win a copy from the author. It was so cute, I ended up making my own fan-cover art for fun after I finished, incorporating some of the elements of the story like the sign post, and Chris the cat. A big thank you to Kerry Taylor for providing the copy to me. I’ve posted my fan cover at the bottom.]
Millie misses the days when she and her sister were close. Worse still, school has become something she dreads. Her bullies are relentless, and she can’t find the courage to stand up for herself. Until a strange portal shows up, transporting her to a parallel world. But this world is even more dangerous than the one she’s left behind. Will she find her courage when it is needed the most?
This cute middle grade story is perfect for anyone who fell in love with Narnia, Wizard of Oz, or Alice in Wonderland. It’s a heartwarming read that left me satisfied and happy. Millie’s character arc was a coming of age, where she was forced to face her fears. Being bullied isn’t easy, but she finds courage through the trials she faces in the parallel world. She learns to stand up for herself. And even gets a little bit of satisfying revenge before the end.
I liked the family dynamic portrayed. It felt real and believable. Millie had a strained relationship with her older sister. Time got the better of them and they changed apart. Millie just wants things to be the way they used to be. Carla struggles with her own secret during the span of Millie’s adventure, which we later find is linked, showing that she still has a soft side. But eventually Millie and Carla learn that they are stronger together. I loved this bond they were able to share.
The parallel world was full of whimsy and magic. I thought Whartorlli’s character was cute. Misunderstood, but cute. And Millie understood him in a way that others didn’t.
“𝐒𝐡𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝𝐧’𝐭 𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐲 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐝𝐢𝐟𝐟𝐢𝐜𝐮𝐥𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞 𝐚𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐝, 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐝𝐞𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐨 𝐢𝐦𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐠𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐟𝐚𝐛𝐫𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐝𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐚 𝐰𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐧𝐲𝐦𝐩𝐡. 𝐁𝐮𝐭 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐌𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐨𝐧 𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐭𝐫𝐲𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐬𝐨 𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐝 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐛𝐞𝐜𝐚𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐡𝐞 𝐝𝐢𝐝𝐧’𝐭 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐲 𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐬.”
She was patient with him. The other friendship bond I loved was Millie and Oliver. They made a good pair. Their joking texts were always entertaining. And Oliver was willing to do anything to save Millie.
Overall, this is a cute story for tweens and early teens. The MC is 13 years old, so anyone in that age group is a perfect audience. I think adults who enjoy middle grade (like myself) will also enjoy it. It’s just one of those feel good stories that are nice at the end of a long day. 𝗠𝗬 𝗥𝗔𝗧𝗜𝗡𝗚 𝟰/𝟱⭐️