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The Apothecary, by Maile Meloy

The Apothecary (The Apothecary, #1)The Apothecary by Maile Meloy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read a lot of young adult books in the course of my work as a middle school librarian, and I generally manage to find something to appreciate about all of them. Rare, however, is the book that I am so engrossed in that I fail to notice that we have reached the last stop on the train, or that every other passenger has disembarked, until the conductor has to come touch my shoulder. This book was one of those rare gems. I was hooked from the moment I began it yesterday afternoon, and hardly put it down until now, the following morning, when I finished it on the train back to work.

The storyline, with its mixture of history, science and magic, was fresh and original. And Janie’s voice managed to sound like she belonged in the era without being unrecognizable to modern readers. The pacing of the story, from the move to London, to the kidnapping and then the subsequent adventure to find Benjamin’s dad was just right.

And I LOVED Janie’s parents. This book made me want to live in her family. Which is testimony to the talents of Mailey Meloy, that she even made me love characters who really play a pretty minor role in the book. She does a fabulous job with dialogue too.

All in all, a fabulous book. I’m looking forward to reading the next two!! And I’m especially looking forward to the author visiting our school on Tuesday, November 10th, during 4th period! You won’t want to miss it!

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