By Heather Vogel FrederickBlurb: An unsent letter in a first edition copy of Charlotte's Web leads to a hunt for treasure in this heartwarming middle grade mystery from the author of The Mother-Daughter Book Club.
Now that Truly Lovejoy's father has been injured by an IED in Afghanistan and is having trouble finding work back home, the family moves from Texas to tiny Pumpkin Falls, New Hampshire, to take over Lovejoy's Books, a struggling bookstore that's been in the family for one hundred years.
With two older brothers and two younger sisters clamoring for attention, her mother back in school, and everyone up to their eyebrows trying to keep Lovejoy's Books afloat, Truly feels more overlooked than usual. So she pours herself into uncovering the mystery of an undelivered letter she finds stuck in a valuable autographed first edtion of Charlotte's Web, which subsequently goes missing from the bookshop. What's inside the envelope leads Truly and her new Pumpkin Falls friends on a madcap treasure hunt around town, chasing clues that could spell danger.
Genres: Juvenile, Mystery, Realistic Fiction
Publication Date: November 4, 2014
My Rating: 3 stars
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I will admit that when I found out about this book, I squealed a bit. Heather Vogel Frederick is the author of one of my all-time favorite series, The Mother Daughter Book Club. Needless to say, I had some tremendously high hopes for this book because of that.
Sadly, this one did not live up to those expectations. It was a decent book, but I had been hoping for so much more than decent--not only hoping for it, in fact, but expecting it.
This one wasn't bad by any means. One thing I loved about it is that you can just tell that the author is a total bookworm. She will reference the Little House series one moment and The Wolves of Willoughby Chase the next. It's amazing. Books play a pretty major role in the plot, too, Charlotte's Web in particular.
The book also has likeable characters. I am sure others will love Truly; I had a really hard time connecting with her, because there are just not a lot of similarities between her and me. Also, while she was by no means a bad character, I never thought she lived up to the amazing MCs of The Mother Daughter Book Club. (I am fully aware that this poor book probably suffered from my frequent comparisons to it and the aforementioned series. For that I apologize, Absolutely Truly.)
The mystery, however, failed to capture my interest in the slightest. That was what really disappointed me about this book. The plot had a couple things going for it, mainly the fact that it was so wrapped up in books, but this lukewarm mystery was not one of them. It was not fascinating; it was boring. When the blurb claimed that they go around "chasing clues that could spell danger", I was intrigued, but I now totally disagree with that. There was about one scene that was even the slightest bit dangerous, and honestly, everything turned out to be fine.
Absolutely Truly was not the best mystery out there. I liked it mostly because I'm a book geek and the fact that so many of my favorite stories were referenced in here made me super happy. I was hoping for so much more from this book, and it's kind of sad that I didn't love this. Oh well.