July 13, 2017

Of Moonlight & Starlight: Macky Reads The Girl Who Drank the Moon

The Girl Who Drank the Moon book cover
I’m writing this review minutes after finishing this book, because I want to capture this moment. So few books have managed to obliterate me and render me unable to function on a personal level. The Girl Who Drank the Moon is one of them.

How do I describe the beauty of the words used and the skill with which this tale was crafted? Where do I start with how simple yet amazing the characters and their relationships are? This book is a fairy tale, and an allegory, and a mini-anthology of poems wrapped up in a fantastical story about a little girl who didn’t know she drank the moon as a baby and how an honest mistake changed the lives of an entire town. The writing style, the embedded poetry, the way this story has stories woven into it… and most importantly, the way story ends… I’m an absolute wreck and I love it. 

And then, there's the lore. My goodness, the lore. It’s the kind of world-building that is so simple but profound and thus serves the story and themes more than it does anything else. The themes break through the narrative and basically smack you in the face with an existential two by four. Makes you think. Makes you reevaluate your life. And if all that self awareness goes over your head, there is still, at the core of this tale, a beautiful basket of journeys that intertwine and eventually converge in beautiful, poignant patterns. 

Also, there is not one throwaway character in this book. Granted. there are so few but they were all on point and served the story so well. Plus, dragons and swamp monsters, witches, magic legendary tales. Who doesn’t love these things? Put them all together and… well… I mean it’s basically everything that ever got me into reading ever. 

This is the perfect example of a modern fairy-tale. Simple enough that any child could read it, but profound in its portrayal of love, grief, life and family. Kelly Barnhill deserves her 2017 Newberry Medal. Deserves.

“So, is it as good as everyone says it is?” Alexa asks right after I calm down from sobbing hysterically on our living room couch. I sniffle and say, “Yup. You betcha.” *sniffles again*

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers | Publication Date: August 9, 2016
Source: Hardcover borrowed from the library


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