Publication Date: October 2nd, 2012
Page Count: 496 pages
Source: Local Bookstore
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Twelve-year-old Sophie Foster has a secret. She’s a Telepath—someone who hears the thoughts of everyone around her. It’s a talent she’s never known how to explain.
Everything changes the day she meets Fitz, a mysterious boy who appears out of nowhere and also reads minds. She discovers there’s a place she does belong, and that staying with her family will place her in grave danger. In the blink of an eye, Sophie is forced to leave behind everything and start a new life in a place that is vastly different from anything she has ever known.
Sophie has new rules to learn and new skills to master, and not everyone is thrilled that she has come “home.” There are secrets buried deep in Sophie’s memory—secrets about who she really is and why she was hidden among humans—that other people desperately want. Would even kill for.
In this page-turning debut, Shannon Messenger creates a riveting story where one girl must figure out why she is the key to her brand-new world, before the wrong person finds the answer first.
I'd been having people tell me to read Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger for awhile now, and I was in need of a quick read so I finally picked it up. Let me just say it was nothing like I expected it to be. Don't get me wrong, I fully understood that that I was reading a Middle Grade novel, which I usually enjoy, and I knew the themes and characters would be less mature than most young adult novels, but Keeper was just too.... dull. Also, there were way too many similarities to Harry Potter for me to chalk it up to mere coincidence. I mean, I honestly felt like I was reading a Harry Potter fanfiction knock off or something. I think Keeper of the Lost Cities was okay, I'd recommend it to a younger reader, maybe 8 or 9, but by the end I just had too many issues with it to enjoy it for myself.
Seriously, Harry Potter is one of the greater works of fiction from most of our childhoods. The series has sparked many of our passions for reading, and it's a hard read to live up to. Keeper of the Lost Cities has too much of a resemblance to Harry Potter for me to ignore that. Let me break it down for you:
Was that clear enough? I promise, the comparisons become more and more obvious the longer you read. Also, the writing isn't particularly clever or witty or elegant or poetic or anything that would make this story a more intelligent read. The dialogue is choppy and uncomfortable and the characters are bland and predictable. I'd say it's a fluffier version of Harry Potter and something you would want to give to a younger child who may not be ready for the more mature themes and darker events that occur in the world of witchcraft.
And another thing. The romance is creepy. Like... really unnaturally creepy. On Sophie's part, it's normal. She has a crush on an older boy (she's twelve and he's fifteen,) but there's also the fifteen-year-old's best friend who has an obvious crush on Sophie. WEIRD. Like, in what world is it natural for a boy two years older (he's fourteen because he was held back!?) to have a crush on a girl who's prepubescent?! It's not like Sophie's dressing seductively and enchanting him with her intense beauty. Although, she is described on more than one occasion to be incredible looking. So she's a sixth grader who looks like a high school chick I guess. Barf.