The Wig in the Window by Kristen Kittscher: Funny Without Being Too Quirky and Well Thought Out

Best friends and seventh graders Sophie Young and Grace Yang have made a game out of spying on their neighbors. On one of their midnight stakeouts, they witness a terrifying, bloody scene at the home of their bizarre middle-school counselor, Dr. Charlotte Agford (aka Dr. Awkward).

At least, they think they do. The truth is that Dr. Agford was only making her famous pickled beets! But when Dr. Agford begins acting even weirder than usual, Sophie and Grace become convinced that she’s hiding something—and they’re determined to find out what it is.

Soon the girls are breaking secret codes, being followed by a strange blue car, and tailing strangers with unibrows and Texas accents. But as their investigation heats up, Sophie and Grace start to crack under the pressure. They might solve their case, but will their friendship survive?

Perfect for fans of The Mysterious Benedict Society, The Wig in the Window is a smart, funny middle-grade mystery with a REAR WINDOW twist.

Description taken from Goodreads.

Right from the very beginning, I loved how this book allowed for so much growth between Sophie and Grace. Spread throughout the course of this book are many different funny–and yet believable–situations. One thing that I’m starting to really appreciate in middle-grade fiction is quirkiness without ridiculousness, and it’s something that I continually found time and time again in THE WIG IN THE WINDOW. Not only does it maintain consistency and humor, it’s headed by two very different, strong female protagonists that I had a lot of fun with. While there are lots of fun “spy” bits that are a little less serious than fans of books like LAWLESS by Jeffrey Salane, there is also some realistic drama to this story that I didn’t feel was necessary, but still enjoyed due to it bringing out more in Sophie and Grace.

Not going to lie, I prepared myself for ridiculousness when I got to the part with Dr. Agford. There’s a few elements introduced there that I wasn’t sure I liked in the beginning. I don’t think that middle-grade readers will have a problem with it and eventually I drew to accept it, but there is some quirkiness there. Realistic (meaning it could happen), and it remained okay in my mind.

The only other problem I had with THE WIG IN THE WINDOW was the ending. I really wish there was a more solid punch there. So much of the book is funny while remaining realistic so I had high hopes for how Kristen Kittscher would end even though I could see it slowly going downhill as the pages thinned.

In the end, I would say that Kittscher is definitely an MG author to watch out for. I had a lot of fun reading her work and while the ending and a few key moments could have been pulled together a little more tightly, I think that this is one read that will be very fun and satisfying to it’s target audience and those above. The mystery built up very smoothly and I loved how the two main characters (as well as a few others) grew in this story. Overall, a very nice debut. 4 stars.

pg count for the hardback: 368

 

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Merry Christmas from TRT!

Merry Christmas, everybody!

I hope you all have had good breaks and a great morning. Looking back on the last eight months or so, it’s hard to believe that I’ve come so far with the blogs. Back when I first started, I didn’t even think I would get one follower, let alone all the readers I have now. The progress I’ve made with the blog is amazing, it is, but really–blogging and writing is really fun, and I’m glad you all enjoy what I have to say. Thanks to all my amazing followers, you guys rock! To show my appreciation, remember that this is the last day to sign up for the giveaway! For those of you who don’t know about this, I’m hosting a giveaway for all of my followers to enter where one of you will win a book of your choice ($15 or less) from B&N. You only get one entry per person, but it would be great if you could tweet about it! This is open to anyone who follows me via Bloglovin, RealityLapse, Tweens Read Too or The Blogger’s Guide. I hope you all check out the festivities on RealityLapse and have a great Christmas!

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

Carmen got the jeans at a thrift shop. They didn’t look all that great: they were worn, dirty, and speckled with bleach. On the night before she and her friends part for the summer, Carmen decides to toss them. But Tibby says they’re great. She’d love to have them. Lena and Bridget also think they’re fabulous. Lena decides that they should all try them on. Whoever they fit best will get them. Nobody knows why, but the pants fit everyone perfectly. Even Carmen (who never thinks she looks good in anything) thinks she looks good in the pants. Over a few bags of cheese puffs, they decide to form a sisterhood and take the vow of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants . . . the next morning, they say good-bye. And then the journey of the pants — and the most memorable summer of their lives — begins.

Haha, listening to Thrift Shop right now. Haha coincidence, cause you see, yeah. Okay, I’m done.

When I first heard about this book I was like, are you joking? I seriously didn’t get the concept or the idea, and I kinda don’t still. It was an interesting and original idea, but it wasn’t for me in the beginning of this book. It kind of grew on me by the end of the book, but even now, having read all of the books up until now, I still think the idea is really weird. Like I still have that mindset of are you joking. 

Despite that, this was still an awesome story. As the story progressed, I got more into this story and enjoyed it more. I liked how it followed the girls as they grew up, and tells the story of four different people. I appreciated Ann Brashares’ voice and how she told the story. A fabulous beginning to this story.

My only problem with this story was I felt that, as the story went on, Ann Brashares lost interest in some of her character’s stories, which really matters when you’re narrating a story through four different people’s point of view.

pg count for the hardback: 294

Series: Sisterhood