Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Review: Here Where the Sunbeams Are Green by Helen Phillips

Here Where the Sunbeams Are Green by Helen Phillips
Published: November 13th, 2012 (Delacorte)
Pages: 304
Source: for review
Challenge: Debut Author Challenge 2012
Series: none
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Mad's dad is the Bird Guy. He'll go anywhere to study birds. So when he's offered a bird-tracking job in Central America, his bags are packed and he's jungle bound.

But going bird tracking in the jungle and disappearing completely are very different things, and when the Very Strange and Incredibly Creepy Letter arrives, Mad can't shake the terrible feeling that her father is in trouble.

Roo, Mad's younger sister, is convinced that the letter is a coded message. And their mom is worried, because the letter doesn't sound like Dad at all. But Mad is sure it's a sign of something sinister.

The only way to get to the bottom of it is to go to Lava Bird Volcano and find their dad themselves. Though they never could have imagined what they're about to discover.

The synopsis intrigued me and I was very excited to be able to read it months before the release. Here Where The Sunbeams Are Green is a joyful, lively tale of adventure and discovery. Rich with imagination, it’s sure to enthrall young readers and draw them into the place where the sunbeams are green.

Sisters Mad and Roo get on a plane with their mom to go and visit their father, who is studying a species of nearly extinct birds in the middle of a rain forest. Mad and Roo have a feeling that something more is going on since their father is acting Very Strange, writing Very Strange and Incredibly Creepy Letters and not sounding like himself at all. When they arrive at the island, everything slowly unfolds. The two sisters take on the task of unraveling what is going on and try to bring their family back together. Along the way they make some unexpected friends, see some unexpected creatures and plants and feel a bit bedazzled by the beauty and power of the rain forest. They are quickly drawn into the middle of the plot their father is in and have to find a way out..

This is one of those brilliantly built up tales that didn’t really work for me. While the writing was lovely, the storyline very imaginative and the feeling around the story great, it just didn’t connect with me the way I wanted it to. There were some moments that I absolutely adored, but there were also moments that I would want to skip over to get to the next part. I can’t really put my finger on it what that is exactly, but for me, it wasn’t the amazing tale I was hoping it to be.

Having said that, the whole ambiance in this story is brilliant. I loved the magical feel of the story, the way the Lava Bird Volcano was worked into the story and how everything worked together to create the plot. It’s a story of discovery, both for the girls themselves as for the discovery of what is going on and what is in this strange forest, and I’m sure this story will appeal to both boys and girls.

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