Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Book Review: Has Anyone Seen Jessica Jenkins? By Liz Kessler

Title: Has Anyone Seen Jessica Jenkins?
Author: Liz Kessler
Published by: Candlewick Press (2014) 

My Rating: ✭✭✭✩✩

This book was just a classic fantasy from my opinion. The main character discovers she has some magical power, then (rather than freaking out or telling her parents) goes out and uses it to have some fun, like pranking people. Then she discovers the secret behind the power, and suddenly is out on an epic journey to 1) locate these other superpowered ones and 2) to stop the world from evil.

See what I mean?

None of this to say I didn’t like this book. In fact, I quite enjoyed it. It was fast-paced, intruging, and completely, one-hundred-percent fantastical, but what else can you expect from Liz Kessler?

Writing/Plot: However, this book was extremely unrealistic. Well, of course nobody can turn invisible. Let me explain my definition of “unrealistic”: Even when a book is a total fantasy that could never occur in life, I prefer when it is written well enough that you come away almost believing it could. This book, from the very first sentence to the last, was through-and-through fantasy. For example, Jess never told her parents about her power, but she had no issue telling her friend, a weird boy, and the most popular girl in class. She’s following around dangerous people, sneaking into other people’s houses, and rescuing kidnapped people, all without any—ANY—adult involvement. When she gets a message saying her friend has been kidnapped and is being held for ransom, she says, “We must save him!” rather than go to the police. Not that any of this is wrong, it’s just the elements that further prove my unrealistic theory. Normally I wouldn’t have a problem with the realism or unrealism in a fantasy—normally, I guess I’d overlook it—but in this case, it started out being written as if it were a real story. While in other books you know from the start they aren’t meant to take place in real life, this book seemed like it was, and then, when it turned into a full-fledged fantasy, I just kept looking for those signs of realism and instead found impracticality.

Overall, though, I did enjoy this book. It was fun, imaginative, fantastical, and a quick read, and I’d recommend it for anyone looking for a fun fantasy novel. You won’t be disappointed.

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