Review | The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

“Just because you don’t see something doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Some of the most wonderful things in the world are invisible. Trusting in invisible things makes them more powerful and wondrous.” 3.25/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: paper birds, elders, goat milk, abandoned babies, swamp monsters, volcanoes, tiny dragons, sycamore trees, boots, chatty crows, sorrow, birthmarks, tiger hearts, moonlight and star children.

I saw this book EVERYWHERE and everyone seems to love it, so I wanted to see what it was all about. And even though I liked the book overall, I still feel conflicted. On one side, I thought the story was magical and it made me dream, because it’s told like a fairytale and you get completely immersed in this fictional world. It is a very atmospheric book because the author does an amazing job on awakening your senses – I swear I could almost hear the birds chirping, smell the woods and feel the magic from the moon.

But on the other side, I found the pacing very slow at times and there were so many “important” points of view that at some point the story felt like too much. You have the witch, Luna, Luna’s mother, the boy who was an ex-elder, the “sorrow woman” and even other characters with smaller roles – like the creatures and the boy’s uncle. It was just too much. I personally think the core of the story is really good, but there were too many things that were added to the story that weren’t necessary. Maybe if the story was focused only on the three main points of view – the witch’s, Luna’s and the boy’s – and was kept simple, it would show it’s true beauty. The unnecessary complexity of the story was one my major down points for this book.

The characters were adorable, and I promise you will fall in love with a lot of them! I loved how there were two magical creatures added to the mix: not only do we get Fyrian – a tiny, adorable dragon -, but we also get Glerk – a swamp monster who loves poetry. And the witch was the sweetest woman with the kindest heart.. and the magical grandmother everyone wants in their lives. She was probably my favorite character!

It’s definitely a story that makes you dream and takes you to a magical place. It’s targeted as middle grade, but it’s really a beautiful story for every age. It wasn’t the best book ever, but hey, it was still pretty cute. Maybe I should consider reading more middle grade books?

xoxo, Neide

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