Book Review: Weave A Circle Round by Kari Maaren

I had neglected my TBR pile that I received from the OLA super conference in January so decided to pick up one of the YA novels that I had received. Kari Maaren was one of the first authors I met at the conference and I enjoyed speaking to her for a few minutes before I moved on so that the next person in line could receive her signed copy.

Weave a Circle Round is a debut fantasy adventure novel. The main character is Freddy, and she doesn’t want people to think that she is weird. Her family makes that difficult though: her deaf stepbrother is a geek, and her genius little sister is training to be the next Sherlock Holmes. All Freddy wants to do is survive high school without being noticed.

Freddy’s life changes when two odd neighbours move in next door. Cuerva Lachance and Josiah are definitely not normal. Neither is their house, which defies the law of physics. The presence of Josiah turns Freddy’s carefully crafted life upside down. Especially when she finds herself on an adventure thousands of years in the past with her very weird neighbours.

While on her adventures, Freddy comes to some realisations about her life, the way she is living it, and the choices that she makes. In the story, the characters Cuerva Lachance and Josiah represent this choice:

“If Josiah represented order, Cuerva Lachance had to represent chaos. That was the choice, then:order or chaos. Stability or change, predictability or mystery, the possible or the impossible. Pick one, and the world got a tiny bit more predictable; pick the other, and the world got a tiny bit less.” (p185, TOR – Macmillan Publishing Group, 2017)

As Freddy comes to realisations like these, we see a change in her character. Even though the reader is asked to suspend belief in the physical world and accept that travelling backwards in time does exist, we believe in the development of the main character. The emotional changes that Freddy experiences, her realisations and growth are reflected in what we see in developing teenagers in today’s world.

I enjoyed reading this well-written tale (after all, I enjoy reading fantasy novels). As I was reading it, I knew that my teenage daughter would enjoy it too. The characters would captivate her, and the adventure they experience enthrall her. I have set aside this novel for her to read once the school year is over. This novel is well worth the read if you enjoy reading YA fantasy fiction. It would make a perfect read for young teens as well – both boys and girls.

Do you enjoy reading stories in which the characters time travel?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This novel was the 16th in my 50 book pledge for 2018)

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