Thursday, April 16, 2009

Review: The Willoughbys

Title: The Willoughbys
Author: Lois Lowry
Genre: YA / Children's Fiction
Published: 2008
Pages: 174
Rating: 6 / 10
Challenges: YA Reading Challenge, A - Z Reading Challenge

Synopsis: (from the book flap)
"Shouldn't we be orphans?" one of the Willoughby children suggests one day. The four are, after all, part of an old-fashioned kind of family, and their parents - well, their parents are not all that one would hope for. Recalling literary heroes and heroines such as Anne of Green Gables, Pollyanna, and James with his giant peach, the Willoughbys concoct a diabolical plot to turn themselves into worthy and winsome orphans. Little do they know that Mr. and Mrs. Willoughby have already begun to formulate their own thoroughly despicable plan inspired by another favorite bedtime story: the tale of Hansel and Gretel...
Villains, benefactors, no-nonsense nannies, abandoned infants, long-lost heirs, and late-life romance all make their appearance along with the irrepressible Willoughbys as the Newbery Award-winning author Lois Lowry pays playful homage to classic works of literature in this hilarious and decidedly "old-fashioned" parody.

My Review: I won this from Chris last year. I actually read it a few months ago; I've just been really bad about reviewing, especially books that I'm not super-psyched about. And, sadly, this book falls into that category. It's an interesting enough story and a very quick and easy read, but I just didn't love it as much as I thought I would. The children are complete and total brats, and I just couldn't get past that. I understand it's a parody and meant to be making fun of them, but I just didn't like the kids. As they are the protagonists, it makes it difficult to like the book. I did like the adult characters, though, and even found myself sympathizing with the Willoughby parents, which I'm pretty sure wasn't supposed to happen. Maybe I was just in one of my childfree hardcore moods when I read this (I don't actually post on that community, fyi, but some of the stories are amusing), or maybe I just didn't "get it," but I vastly preferred A Series of Unfortunate Events and would recommend that series over The Willoughbys.

Other Reviews:
1 More Chapter

If you have reviewed this book as well, leave me a message in the comments and I'll link to your review.


Nymeth said...

Sorry to hear this one was disappointing, Jessi!

Beth F said...

Thanks for the honest review -- always appreciated.

Rhinoa said...

Sorry to hear you weren't that into this one. I hope it doesn't put you off Lowry, she has some fantastic books out there.