Ivy Mae Bloom’s goal is to find her ‘forever home.’ At thirteen (well, almost thirteen), Ivy wishes the magic of a place to settle on her and her mom so that they can stop the constant moving. Ivy’s mother is a fallen star who travels the globe to fix the magic that surrounds everything. Even magic needs repairing now and then.
But Ivy steals her mother’s supply of ‘wish jars’ and now the Blooms are stuck in Whistling Ridge, North Carolina. It’s not such a bad little town, Ivy decides, and hopes beyond everything that this can be her forever home.
There’s something going on in Whistling Ridge, though. Even Ivy can feel the magic draining away and her mother seems powerless to fix it. With some new friends and acquaintances, Ivy believes she might know what the problem is and how to solve it, but if the magic is restored, will her mother move them along again?
This book is incredibly poetic. Author Cindy Baldwin’s prose is lyrical and she makes it easy to be drawn in to the book. I didn’t pick up on the magic right away (a little more on that in a moment) and the subtlety of magic in a very real world added to the beauty of the story.
I received an advanced digital audio copy of this book. This is different from a regular audio book. In a regular audio book, a narrator reads the story with added inflections and pauses and sometimes different voices for the different characters. But this advance audio book uses a ‘synthetic voice.’ It’s a bit strange, listening to something that sounds real but emotionless, and it definitely took me out of the book early on, which is why I may have missed the early introduction of magic in the story.
The character of Ivy is really well developed. She’s strong (for her age), with just the right amount of youthful inexperience. She could easily become whiny, but she’s not, and she could easily be made almost super-heroic, but she is not.
Given that this particular audio did not really support the book, and yet I still found it easy to enjoy, I will look forward to picking up the physical book and/or the true audio edition.
Looking for a good book? Do your middle-grade/young adult readers a favor and put a copy of The Stars of Whistling Ridge by Cindy Baldwin in their hands.
I received a synthetic voice audio edition of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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The Stars of Whistling Ridge
author: Cindy Baldwin
publisher: Quill Tree Books
hardcover, 400 pages