Oh my gosh. There are no words for how much I absolutely adore Keeper of the Lost Cities. It was an amazing debut and one of my favorite books by far--impressive, considering I rarely read Middle Grade in the first place! And honestly, if you crossed out Sophie's age, I could almost peg this as YA (except, of course, the cussing and stuff. So, umm, no worries there. I'm rambling. ON WITH THE REVIEW)
My friends can confirm that I was squealing so much while reading! There were plenty of hilarious parts (which I just had to read over and over and over, by the way) and I was beside myself with joy! From the blurb, Keeper of the Lost Cities, admittedly, sounded a bit typical, but OH, it was far from it! Talk about originality! I loved the world that Messenger created! It was well thought out, vivid, and detailed to the core! Not to mention the fascinating animals! (Seriously, guys. Can I have an imp?) I would've killed to see some artwork for this book! I especially loved Sophie's time at Foxfire because, while it did sometimes seem typical high school (or, umm, middle school? Migh School?), the classes and happenings were beyond fun. I loved discovering everything about Foxfire (Glowing fungus!) Academy and loved the classes and how Sophie handled them!
I loved the plot! Somehow I managed to blow through all 500 pages of this in a day and still have free time on my hands. I really don't know how. What I do know is that the plot was definitely one of my favorite parts! While it's not action packed, we get to see Sophie adjust to the school, her new life, and deal with being the odd one out. Which, trust me guys, was even better than action-packed. It was just so fun seeing the world through her eyes! And we still had our action scenes that almost gave me a heart attack! Also, conspiracies, rebellions, social standings, and more. What more could a girl want in her plot?
Characters? Oh they were absolutely wonderful. They were well developed and they each had their own personalities! And I could definitely connect with Sophie. (Okay, so that may have something to do with us being near-same age.) I actually cried at a certain part in the book that was heartbreaking for Sophie and I pretty much squealed whenever she did. Whatever she did, I pretty much had the same reaction! And I just loved that as a reader! She was a strong character and I loved her for the sacrifices she was willing to make so that others weren't hurt. She was such a determined character who would really do anything she thought was right and would help people.
Our secondary and supporting characters were amazing as well! Grady, Edaline, Aldine, Dex, Keefe, Fitz, Biana, all of them! (Oh, and I fun learning their names too!) They were fun characters who supported Sophie and I loved all their personalities to the core. Especially Keefe, who's our resident bad boy! Fitz was a bit oblivious though, but it was endearing!
Relationships were a big part of the book, and the biggest one was definitely my favorite. Sophie and Grady and Edaline. I loved their familial bond and I loved how they were all there for each other. They had a sweet family relationship going and I loved them so much for caring about Sophie like their own daughter.
Oh. And then, the crushes. I'm not really sure if Keefe had any crush on Sophie or anything, but I had to laugh at how oblivious Sophie was to a certain friend's crush and how Fitz was oblivious to her crush. I sort of wanted to push it, until I remembered this was an MG I was reading. Sorry!
Keeper of the Lost Cities, I can safely say, was one of my favorite reads of the year! I can't wait for book 2 so I can fall even more in love with the characters and the world. Honestly? I have to recommend it for any fans of Harry Potter. So, umm, basically? All of you reading this right now should go grab a copy. Seriously.