January 22, 2014

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy - Karen Foxlee

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy Karen Foxlee book cover
Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: January 28, 2014
Source/Format: Netgalley (Thank you!) || e-galley
[I received this book for review from the publisher. This in no way affects the thoughts expressed in my review.]

Unlikely heroine Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard doesn't believe in anything that can't be proven by science. She and her sister Alice are still grieving for their dead mother when their father takes a job in a strange museum in a city where it always snows. On her very first day in the museum Ophelia discovers a boy locked away in a long forgotten room. He is a prisoner of Her Majesty the Snow Queen. And he has been waiting for Ophelia's help.

As Ophelia embarks on an incredible journey to rescue the boy everything that she believes will be tested. Along the way she learns more and more about the boy's own remarkable journey to reach her and save the world. (from Goodreads)

I'm going to say this upfront: this book will not necessarily work for everyone. This has a lot to do with the story's tone, which makes it clear that this is a tale for younger readers. While I personally found it amusing, I'm also thinking that some people won't feel that way.

Other than that reservation, I'd certainly endorse Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy as a fun read. We've got a solidly likable main character in Ophelia. She's a funny little character, because she's incredibly serious and scientific in her approach to everything at the start. She certainly transforms when she starts realizing that it is possible for things to be unexplainable and magical, and that's part of what made this book fun to read.

However, the strongest quality of this book lies in its story. With the same imagination that fueled the works of Roald Dahl, the book Inkheart and the movie Night at the Museum, Foxlee wrote something wonderful. Ophelia's adventures in the museum, whether through the awesome-sounding exhibits or in the more magical parts, were delightful (and sometimes, nerve-wracking) to read about. Even though the twists are predictable to me, the entire affair was still one I found myself invested in.

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy is a fun, enjoyable fantasy romp. It might clearly be meant for younger readers, but this (slightly) older reader liked it, too. As a child, my favorite reads were all filled with whimsical worlds and characters who I wanted to be friends with. Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy was easily reminiscent of these stories, which is likely the reason I liked it as much as I did.


  1. This sounds great! I have this up next on Netgalley, so I'm excited to read it now. It sounds like something I would have loved when I was younger!

  2. This sounds like a really fun book. It is definitely something I would have read when I was younger, so it would be nice to read it now and reminisce on my those days. Plus the cover is so pretty!! I can't wait to read it.

  3. This sounds really good! I don't mind reading stories made for younger audiences -- really, they can't ALL translate well for all age groups. I love the cover of this one so much ... it's very pretty!

  4. This sounds really cute. I love books for young readers, and I used to read them all the time (as an adult), but nowadays I read a lot more teen. However, I am totally adding this to my TBR list right now. Comparisons ot Roald Dahl are hard to ignore!

  5. I'm going to be reading this one soon. Glad to see that you liked it, but like you mentioned, it's good to keep in mind the age group that a book is intended for. I (obviously) read a lot of books for young readers, so I'm looking forward to this one. I think my kids will like it too.

  6. This sounds like a book I had to read when I was younger. Magical with a good heroin. I'll be reading this one soon and I look forward to it, despite the young tone that's used to tell the story.


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