Friday, January 30, 2015

A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd, 2014

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
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Introducing an extraordinary new voice---a magical debut that will make your skin tingle, your eyes glisten . . .and your heart sing.
Midnight Gulch used to be a magical place, a town where people could sing up thunderstorms and dance up sunflowers. But that was long ago, before a curse drove the magic away. Twelve-year-old Felicity knows all about things like that; her nomadic mother is cursed with a wandering heart.
But when she arrives in Midnight Gulch, Felicity thinks her luck's about to change. A "word collector," Felicity sees words everywhere---shining above strangers, tucked into church eves, and tangled up her dog's floppy ears---but Midnight Gulch is the first place she's ever seen the word "home." And then there's Jonah, a mysterious, spiky-haired do-gooder who shimmers with words Felicity's never seen before, words that make Felicity's heart beat a little faster.

Felicity wants to stay in Midnight Gulch more than anything, but first, she'll need to figure out how to bring back the magic, breaking the spell that's been cast over the town . . . and her mother's broken heart. 
(311 pages)

It's funny, I really liked this book while I was reading it, but I'm having a terrible time reviewing it. Well, not really a "terrible" time, because that implies I've actually made a serious attempt at writing a review at all. In reality, I've thumped down a sentence or two and then quit and worked on other projects. On another note, guess who just joined Blogging For Books?

Okay, focus. Time to write a review. I think the thing that's so hard about this book is that it's really cool and creative and fun, but at the same time it's . . . not. It reminded me of so many other "zany," "unique" books I've read, that I couldn't really pin down why exactly I liked this one. I mean, I had a lot of fun bing sucked into the story. But  I spent a lot of time wondering in the back of my head "when will this blow my mind? When will it wow me?" 

And it never really wowed me. It's sad, because this was not a bad book by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, it was a really good book! It just felt like a remix of some of my favorite quirky reads: Remarkable, Savvy, and Drizzle. If I'd read Snicker before reading those books, I would have fallen in love. But because I'd already read and adored them, I was a bit tougher to impress with this read. I needed more.

The characters are good, fairy well-rounded, and hold your attention. Felicity's mother has a case of wanderlust stronger than anything I've ever seen, and I felt bad that she couldn't even see what she was putting her kids through by constantly moving. Felicity was sweet, and cute, and I loved the way she collected words throughout the book. It made for a great descriptive device, giving the reader glimpses into other people's minds without straying from a first person narrative. That was probably my favorite aspect of the story, and I kind of wish Lloyd had explored it further.

I really did enjoy reading this, though I doubt I'll go out of my way to reread it any time soon. It's especially impressive as a debut, and I am definitely keeping an eye out for Lloyd's next book. If it sounds interesting to you, then by all means read it! Just because I didn't adore it to pieces doesn't mean you won't. It's well-written and engaging, with a meaningful story. If you do decide to read it, I'd love to hear your opinion of Snicker!


  1. This sounds like a decent read. I know which kind of books you are referring to - the ones that promise to be funny and unique but end up sounding the same as all those other ones that claim the same thing :/ Oh well. Also, I hope you enjoy Blogging for Books, it's a great community!

    1. Yeah, I can only take so many "unique" books before I stop seeing them as unique. Thanks, Olivia-Savannah! Blogging for Books is awesome, they've got a ton of great selections!


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