Wednesday 5 May 2021

Book Review - The Girl Who Became a Tree

 Title: The Girl Who Became a Tree

Author: Joseph Coelho 

Publisher: Otter-Barry Books Ltd 

Release Date: 27 Aug. 2020 

ISBN-13: 978-1913074784



Daphne is unbearably sad and adrift. She feels the painful loss of her father acutely and seeks solace both in the security of her local library and the escape her phone screen provides by blocking out the world around her. As Daphne tries to make sense of what has happened she recalls memories of shared times and stories past, and in facing the darkness she finds a way back from the tangle of fear and confusion, to feel connected once more with her friends and family.   


My Review

This is yet another of the Carnegie shortlist, given to me to read as part of our school group. This is ANOTHER verse book- it seems to me that this is some sort of trend that authors are jumping on and I'm not quite sure why. I really enjoyed 'Run, Rebel' and thought the verse actually helped progress and deal with the story, but unless done in a particular way that allows the story to flow through the poems, it's very hard to get right. 

I read the blurb of this one and felt encouraged, it sounded fantasy style, set in a library - 2 of my favourite things, add onto that the fact that it's based on a Greek legend which i always like,  so I expected to enjoy it. My overall feeling of the book however was mainly confusion - I found it very hard to keep up with what was going on and why. I got that she went to the library after school to wait for her mum, she liked the place and the way she could escape, either in a good book or through using her phone. The whole 'journey into the hole in the shelves' confused me though - I wasn't sure at first if it was an actual journey or a metaphorical one, I had no idea what the creature was meant to be or why it wanted her there. The poems, for me, just didn't flow, I did not connect to the characters and didn't really care what happened to her. I still want verse books to hook me in and make me care, but this one just didn't. It was just weird!

I actually feel that this was a story that would benefit from more information, proper prose and description to fully immerse you in Daphne's world. This did nothing to entice me, and the only plus was that it is so short, I had finished it within half an hour. It's only 172 pages, and a number of those have 'illustrations' - strange pictures that also made no sense to me. And most of the poems are quite short so you will be done in no time. 

I would not pick this up again or recommend it to anyone, very disappointing and confusing. Maybe I've just missed something - but who knows?

 My Rating

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