Saturday, July 1, 2017

Crown Review #54 - The Girl with the Red Balloon

The Girl with the Red Balloon - Katherine Locke

Rating: 4/5 Stars
Series: The Balloonmakers, #1, Standalone
Length: 288 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

Thank You Albert Whitman & Company & NetGalley for giving a copy in exchange for an honest review.

When sixteen-year-old Ellie Baum accidentally time-travels via red balloon to 1988 East Berlin, she's caught up in a conspiracy of history and magic. She meets members of an underground guild in East Berlin who use balloons and magic to help people escape over the Wall—but even to the balloon makers, Ellie's time travel is a mystery. When it becomes clear that someone is using dark magic to change history, Ellie must risk everything—including her only way home—to stop the process.

"If you give a girl a red balloon, she'll believe in magic and memory. If you give a girl a red balloon, she'll never want to let go."
When I first came across this book, I thought it was just another time-traveling story. After getting the full idea, I realized that it was not just a time-traveling story. It is a time-traveling story involved with magic and I knew that it was going to be different. This was definitely going to be interesting.

"If you give a girl a magic balloon, she'll become something else."
In The Girl with the Red Balloon,  sixteen-year-old Ellie is on a trip in Germany with a group of students and her best friend. When she notices a red balloon, a memory comes to her about a discussion she had with her grandfather and asks for a picture with the balloon to send to him. When she takes a hold onto the balloon, she disappears and reappears in 1988 East Berlin.

"If you give a girl a magic balloon, she will burn down the world."

One of the first things that I was impressed was the diversity in the book. There's Jewish characters, Romani characters, and even a queer character. Along with all the diversity, there is plenty of POV's as well. In the story, there are three characters who have their own POV's. Of course, Ellie is one of the main POV's. The other two belong to a Jewish character and a Romani character. You'll quickly notice that between the other two characters, the time periods are different. One is set in 1988 and the other is set in the early 1900's.

"If you give a girl a magic balloon, she'll rage against the machine."

When I first came across the different time periods, I was sort of confused on what the purpose was. There didn't seem to have an overall connection other than the magic that was involved in both time periods. Later on the story, more clues started dropping but some you do not realize until much later in the book. What is the connection exactly? I'll leave that for you to find out. All I can tell you that it is a good one. Almost sort of like a twist.

"If you give a girl a magic balloon, she'll never want to let go."

 The Girl with the Red Balloon is great story and magical. There is not much that I found wrong with the story and I just thought everything was right. Nothing was to much or to little, just perfect. I can pretty much guarantee anyone that they'll like this book if they like anything among time travel, magic, and/or some historical fiction. Pick up this book. It'll be a good one. Also, this book is both a part of a series and is a standalone. The author explained that the next book takes place in the same universe but it is not a sequel and it only features one minor character. Therefore, this book also a standalone.

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