Friday, October 3, 2014

Book Review: Courage for Beginners by Karen Harrington

Title: Courage for Beginners
Author: Karen Harrington
Published by: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (2014) 

My Rating: ✭✭✩✩✩

I think most people will enjoy this sweet story; there isn’t anything necessarily wrong about it. Just for me, I was looking for something better, a story where something actually happens. While it’s not my type of story, I think most people will enjoy it thoroughly.  


Plot/Characters:In reality, Courage for Beginners is not a story about a girl who makes something happen; it is about a girl who gains the courage to decide to make something happen. And while I get the concept of the story, I didn’t particularly enjoy it.
There was nothing I directly disliked about Courage for Beginners, but there was nothing I really loved, either. To me, the story was boring; absolutely nothing changed throughout the course of the book. The main character, Mysti, starts her story with her dad in the hospital, her mom being agoraphobic, and her best friend ignoring her. The story ends with her dad in the hospital, her mom agoraphobic, and her best friend ignoring her. Very disappointing.  True, Mysti has decided to do something about it by the time you reach the last page. She has decided to change her story. But before we can find out how exactly she will do so, the book ends.

Other positives: For good points: I have to love Karen Harrington’s creativity at 1) giving her character a name like Mysti, and 2) making Mysti a person who thinks she is legimately a character in a book (ha, ha) when that is, in our world, exactly what she is. Mysti herself was lovable and determined. Her friend Rama was well portrayed of the role of an encouraging friend. I admired Mysti’s determination to help her family. Overall I did understand the whole story idea, that she is working to gain the courage to change her story; I just would have enjoyed it a bit more if there would have been included a section where she actually went through with it. An epilogue would have been amazing.

I feel bad giving this book such a bad review when it really isn’t a bad book, but I truly just did not enjoy it. 2.5 stars.

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