Friday, August 8, 2014

Book Review: The Real Boy by Anne Ursu (no spoilers)

Book: The Real Boy
Author: Anne Ursu
Publication: September 23rd, 2013
Source: Local Library
Read: July 13th-18th, 2014
Summary (from Goodreads):
On an island on the edge of an immense sea there is a city, a forest, and a boy. The city is called Asteri, a perfect city that was saved by the magic woven into its walls from a devastating plague that swept through the world over a hundred years before. The forest is called the Barrow, a vast wood of ancient trees that encircles the city and feeds the earth with magic. And the boy is called Oscar, a shop boy for the most powerful magician in the Barrow. Oscar spends his days in a small room in the dark cellar of his master's shop, grinding herbs and dreaming of the wizards who once lived on the island generations ago. Oscar's world is small, but he likes it that way. The real world is vast, strange, and unpredictable. And Oscar does not quite fit in it.

 But it's been a long time since anyone who could call himself a wizard walked the world, and now that world is changing. Children in the city are falling ill, and something sinister lurks in the forest. Oscar has long been content to stay in his small room in the cellar, comforted in the knowledge that the magic that flows from the trees will keep his island safe. Now, even magic may not be enough to save it

My Thoughts:
It has been a week since I finished this magical retelling of Pinocchio. It has taken me that long to form the words to describe this amazing book. I have also read Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu and I liked Breadcrumbs, but I wanted more from that novel. I wanted more detail and more adventure. All that was missing in Breadcrumbs was put into The Real Boy and more. 

Oscar is the shop boy working for one of the most powerful magician, Caleb. Oscar at times reminded me of Cinderella because he did chores, and he was mostly supposed to stay hidden from the customers especially the shining people which are the city people that have a lot of money. I love Oscar as a character because he had his weak qualities and his faults, he had stuff that he said he wasn't good at, but at the end of the day Oscar took risks and stuck his neck out for people. Then there is Callie who is a healer's apprentice. She is supposed to have the magic to heal, but Oscar knows more about herbs and healing people than she does. 

With the two of them together they go on an adventure and to dangerous links to help the sick city children. Along the way they discover many secrets about the city children and what is making them sick. The Real Boy was an amazing novel. I loved the magic and the mystery in this book. The characters were also another bonus for me and how the author weaved Pinocchio's story into the novel I thought was great. The artwork in The Real Boy was great, but there wasn't a whole lot so it added to the magical feeling of this book. Definitely one of my favorites of this year, so I highly recommend The Real Boy. 

The Real Boy was my June Random Read. The Real Boy was a magical fairy tale retelling of Pinocchio that I fell in love with and it will be on my favorites list of 2014. 


  1. This book sounds really really good. I just love that you are using the Random Read! I have been wanting to do this but I have so many books lined up I just don't have time for a random read. I love that there was artwork in this book which makes me want to read it even more.

    1. Angela you need to read this book! It was amazing and I think you would love it! I made random reads my goal this year and it has been such a great experience. I made my goal to do it for 11 months this year and I'm right on track so far.

  2. This book sounds so cool! I love fairytale retellings, may need to check this one out

    1. Yes so do it. This book is amazing and magical and beautiful.


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