Beyond the Birch by Torina Kingsley. A review

4.5 stars.

Macy is 11 and lives in Grimsby, a small where animals seem to be their only friends. She’s loved by her parents and is shocked when her mother seems to have stopped caring for her and her parent are fighting because of a sheep that keeps on escaping. This is followed by a series of scary events and sudden discoveries about magical beings.

I wouldn’t be able to set if this book is character or plot driven because they’re quite intertwined, so I’ll state that they’re both equally well developed. I found that characters are congruent and their actions coherent with their personalities. I really loved Jay’s personality and how everything developed.

Macy is kind but sure of herself and her decisions. Which reader wouldn’t feel connected to a girl who loves books and the library? I found all characters made their mistakes and really loved the fact that not only the MC finds answers.

There were character tropes typical on children’s fairytales, but I was not at all bothered by them. On the contrary, they took me back to a time in which I did believe they were true and made me smile. We have the chosen one, the best friend that seems is not going to help but ends up being key, the mischievous fae, the magical tree, and some more.

Just missed much more information about the fae and how they became so mischievous, which I don’t think would have been so sudden as to from a simple battle.

However, there were three phrases that really bother me every time I find them because they’ve become too commonplace, and they are the breath you didn’t know you were holding and expressing a feeling that’s contrary to what you’re really thinking.

In general, this book is cute, magical, scary and interesting. It takes you back to your childhood fairy tales, but does it using new ideas that merge with the traditional ones perfectly.

I’d highly recommend reading this, especially if you want a lighthearted and beautifully told middle grade. Also, look at this stunning cover!!!

Hope you’ve found this review useful and please let me know here if you ever read this book.

Bear hugs!

Anne

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