Merin is a teacher, a book blogger, a baseball addict (Go Cardinals!), lover of music, movies and TV crime dramas, and YA/MG connoisseur. Follow me on my blog at http://ahandfulofconfetti.wordpress.com!
I was drawn to Root Bound for two reasons. One, it's a MG fantasy title, and as a librarian working with elementary students, I'm always on the lookout for MG titles they might enjoy, and two, the summary mentions mythology, and as anyone who follows my reviews can probably tell you, I love mythology. So, as far as I was concerned, this book already had two marks in its favor.
For the most part, I did enjoy this book. I very much liked Emma. Her father has a very transient job (he's a musician), and it's caused him and Emma to move a lot. I loved Emma's outlook and the way she just made the best of everything. It has to be so incredibly hard to pick up and move all the time, leaving behind friends and family, and constantly having to figure out how to fit in with a new place or group of people. Her thought process surrounding her first few days at her new school were spot-on and perfect and I felt so terrible for her, especially when she caught the attention of some truly horrible girls.
I also very much loved the world in Root Bound. So much thought and detail went into its creation and development, from the Brownie Burrows, to the witch and how she came into being, to the gift that Emma has and the special skills she possesses. I loved how the author weaved in the mythological elements, from Hades (in this case, Hades refers to the Underworld and not the god) and Ceres, and the way she was still suffering after all this time with having to give up her daughter for those six months. I also love how Emma uses her knowledge from a book to best the badies at one point!
However, that world-building was also what, for me, caused a bit of a ratings drop. Fantasy books need to have a strong foundation in order for the reader to understand the world and what's happening, but in the case of Root Bound, I couldn't help but feel that there was perhaps too MUCH detail. All of the description made the story itself drag in places, and I found myself skimming over parts. Don't get me wrong; the world and the characters populating Under and Emma's journey through this new land were a lot of fun to read, full of adventure and action, but I really feel that the rooms and places they visited perhaps could have done with a little less information in order to help the story flow a bit better. Of course, your mileage may vary, so take my opinion with a grain of salt!
While I think that ultimately this book may be a bit confusing for younger readers, I still very much enjoyed Emma's character and her cast of motley adventurers. I'm definitely curious about what's next for Emma and her friends!
A copy of this book was provided by Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
To see more of my reviews, please visit me @ Read and Reviewed!