Friday, January 29, 2016

The Maypop Kidnapping by C.M. Surrisi, 2015

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A mystery has washed ashore at the coastal town of Maiden Rock. Quinnie Boyd's teacher, Ms. Stillford, hasn't shown up on the first day of school—or the day after that. Quinnie thinks it's a kidnapping case. Her mom, the town sheriff, doesn't believe her, but Quinnie's going to follow her instincts—even if she has to tiptoe around her mom to do it.
Quinnie's investigation will take her through a damp marsh, a lobster pound, and more of Maine's messiest places. On the way, she'll have help from her glamorous new neighbor, Mariella from New York, whether Quinnie wants it or not. As the girls hunt for clues around Maiden Rock, they'll encounter a swarm of cats, two nuns with a speeding habit, and a group of tattooed rocker-types who've been pigging out on lobster fries at the town café. And if Quinnie's hunch is right, the search may lead them right into danger . . .

(304 pages)

I initially sent an e-mailed request to the publisher for this book because I thought it looked cute. When they told me they were out of physical copies but could approve it on Netgalley I took the plunge and joined up. That's right - I'm a brand-new Netgalley reviewer! Rah-rah team and all that. I feel like I'm quite on the in-crowd now - me and twenty thousand other reviewers. It took me like half an hour to get it set up so I could read Netgalley books on my iPad. This is normal, right?

Anyway, when I finally managed to download the Kindle app onto my iPad, set up the email address for it and then send the book over from the Netgalley website, what did I think of it? Well, I like it - a lot. It's a very fun, quirky read, and I enjoyed almost everything about it: the characters, the setting, the mystery . . . the only things I didn't really love were a) the way Quinnie kept setting her sights on someone and insisting that she just knew they were the culprit and b) the ending, which just feel that realistic.

This isn't going to be one of those reviews where I say, "I liked everything well enough, but it just didn't warm my heart because of these little flaws." No, this book most definitely did warm my heart - and I would be very happy to read a sequel (hint hint, Ms. Surrisi!). I'm just saying that there were things that could have made this into even more of a stand-out book. As it is, I enjoyed it and I'd happily read it again but in five years I'm going to have a hard time really remembering it.

Sometimes books set in quaint towns grate on my nerves, because they feel so obnoxiously "cute" that I just can't stomach it. The Maypop Kidnapping doesn't ever fall into that, though there were a couple times towards the beginning (especially when Quinnie's mother is introduced, with her different desks for her different jobs) when I thought it would. All played out smoothly, though, and Quinnie's tight-knit small-town life fits the story like a comfy old pair of warn-in jeans.

Quinnie is a great girl, very conscientious, and she tries very hard to obey her parents until her mother shuts her down one too many times and Quinnie decides she's the only one who really knows how to look for her teacher. I appreciated the fact that her parents weren't just obstacles to be overcome (as they are depicted in a lot of middle-grade novels) - instead, they're real individuals who love their daughter very much and just don't always communicate in the best of ways. Quinnie's not a brat to her parents and they're not inattentive to the point of negligence - both huge points in the book's favor.

If you think this book looks interesting to you, then by all means check it out -  I don't think you'll be disappointed!

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary eARC of this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing about your getting a book via the net! I just did that through BloggingforBooks site. Took a while, but I am reading my first book from them. I will look into Netgalley too!
    This book sounds like a read I would enjoy. Thanks for the review.
    Your neighbor at Semicolon.

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Being Woven One! I'm glad "The Maypop Kidnapping" looks good. I had a lot of fun reviewing it. :) Blogging for Books is the best! I really love the selection of books they offer. They've got some adult coloring books that I've had my eye on for a while. :) Netgalley is great, though it's all ebooks. I prefer hard copies of books, so that slightly diminishes its appeal. It's really easy to get books through Netgalley, though - I've probably been approved for like half of the books I requested, and my feedback ratio (which is how many books I review versus how many I requested) is insanely low because I just made an account and haven't had a chance to submit many reviews.

      If you're interested in read-for-review programs, you should definitely also check out BookLook Bloggers and MP Newsroom. They are both Christian review programs, so you can get quite a few books between them. Let me know if you have any questions about any of these review sites!

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