Friday, August 23, 2019

The Hippo at the End of the Hall by Helen Cooper, 2017

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The invitation was delivered by bees. It wasn’t addressed to anyone at all, but Ben knew it was for him. It would lead him to an old, shambolic museum, full of strange and bewitching creatures. A peculiar world of hidden mysteries and curious family secrets . . . and some really dangerous magic.

Filled with her own wonderful illustrations, The Hippo at the End of the Hall is Helen Cooper's debut novel.

(400 pages)

I have a love-hate relationship with whimsical, quirky books like this one. On one hand, I love the idea of them. On the other, the execution often falls a bit flat and either feels like the author is trying too hard to stand out or it's just predictable.

I feel like The Hippo at the End of the Hall manages to rise above the most forgettable of this type of book. It's not going on my list of favorites, and part of me kind of thinks the story is a bit boring/contrived, but I actually got really sucked in while I was reading it and enough genuinely bizarre things happened that I could never really predict where everything was going (even if I had an idea of the overarching destination).

I think this is the sort of book that kids maybe five years younger than me would really enjoy. It's an interesting premise and fun with lots of animals, etc.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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