Friday, 10 April 2015

Book Review: Doll Bones by Holly Black

Doll Bones by Holly Black
Illustrations by Eliza Wheeler
Publication Date: May 7th, 2013
Format: Hardcover from Library

Zach, Poppy and Alice have been friends for ever. They love playing with their action figure toys, imagining a magical world of adventure and heroism. But disaster strikes when, without warning, Zach’s father throws out all his toys, declaring he’s too old for them. Zach is furious, confused and embarrassed, deciding that the only way to cope is to stop playing . . . and stop being friends with Poppy and Alice. But one night the girls pay Zach a visit, and tell him about a series of mysterious occurrences. Poppy swears that she is now being haunted by a china doll – who claims that it is made from the ground-up bones of a murdered girl. They must return the doll to where the girl lived, and bury it. Otherwise the three children will be cursed for eternity . . .
I would have loved a book like this when I was younger. And, when I say 'younger', I mean probably... middle school, hah. It made me think of the days where I used to role play (a short simple way of saying that I've written stories collaborated with friends- not actual live action role playing) a lot when I was younger. This story hit home to me and it hit me right in my heart. So, yeah, I might be a little emotionally attached to this book. Oops? That seems to be a reoccurring theme, I've been noticing, lately. It's either that, or, I've been writing way too many book reviews at once.

But still, this book is simple and creative. I fell in love with Zach, Poppy, and Alice. They're three brave little kids who decided to go on an little adventure to save a doll. Oh, I know, that sounds incredibly simple... and potentially a little childish. Okay, it sounds completely childish. After all, what child wouldn't want to go on an adventure... unsupervised, right?

But Poppy and Alice believe that there's actually something different with this doll and it's not just because of how it seems like it likes to give creepy stares at night. It wouldn't help, though, I'm sure. Both girls are convinced that this doll is full of bones- human remains- and they belong to a girl who is craving for peace and for her bones to return back to the grave. All of this knowledge comes to light... after Zach refuses to return back to the role-playing these friends have been doing for a long while.

One more adventure for all three of them... and, oddly enough, they seem to coincide between the story that's been told through this doll by a dream and the story they all created together.

I love magical realism. I could probably say this a lot and never get tired of it. I love love LOVE magical realism and I could definitely read more about these sort of books and rarely get tired over it. Although, admittingly, I could stand for a new break once in a while. As it stands, though, I could use more magical realism in my life. I also have a love for children's imagination and I wish I had that sort of imagination back.

Do I feel like kids around these ages would do something like this in the real world? I would like to think not. But I can imagine that, if I ever become a mother, I would probably be incredibly protective over them at all times. Even now, with my current niece and nephew, I'm already protective over them. I get protective over a lot of people, actually... but that's besides the point. Even if kids have wild imagination, I can't imagine any child agreeing with traveling to a place that they've never been to before without supervision and sneak into buildings or... even have the funds to do all of this.

Still, it was cute, as long as you don't overthink it. It was still a courageous move for Zach, Poppy, and Alice to give the girl her last dying wish... even if they only knew about it through a dream... or a nightmare, maybe?

Yeah, no overthinking, pffft.

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