The Looking Glass

Featured
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
1266 0
The Looking Glass
Publisher
Age Range
13+
Release Date
August 14, 2018
ISBN
9780062436276

GIRLS IN TROUBLE. That’s what Sylvie Blake’s older sister Julia renamed their favorite fairy tale book, way back when they were just girls themselves. Now, Julia has disappeared—and no one knows if she’s in trouble. Sylvie is trying to carry on Julia’s impressive legacy at the prestigious National Ballet Theatre Academy, but Julia, ever the star of the show, can’t stay hidden forever. And when she sends Sylvie a copy of their old storybook with a mysterious list inside, Sylvie begins to see signs of her sister everywhere she goes. She may be losing her grip on reality, but Sylvie has to find out if the strange, almost magical things she’s been seeing have anything to do with Julia’s whereabouts. With the help of her best friend’s enigmatic brother and his beat-up car, Sylvie sets out to the beat of a Fleetwood Mac playlist, determined to return to New York with her sister in tow. But what Sylvie doesn’t expect to learn is that trouble comes in lots of forms—and that the damsel in distress is often the only one who can save herself.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

The Looking Glas
(Updated: August 10, 2018)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
THE LOOKING GLASS by Janet McNally is a young adult novel set in the highly competitive world of aspiring New York City ballerinas. The book begins on Sylvie’s birthday when she gets a mysterious gift from her sister, Julia, who’s been missing for a year. Believing this is a call for help, Sylvie decides to go in search of her to bring her home to safety. Jack, her unlikely ally and best friend’s older brother, is her chauffeur, and together they set off on a road trip, following what Sylvie believes to be a map drawn for her by Julia. Unsure of how to fully decode the map, Sylvie charges ahead like a prince on a white horse.

This contemporary setting is peppered with fantastical elements, blending genres with magical realism. Most of the otherworldly flourishes are cognizant woodland creatures and princess-like girls. When they appear, Sylvie, at first, thinks she’s losing her mind, but then, she believes they are trying to lead her towards her sister. After all, Julia’s gift to Sylvie is a fairytale book from their childhood. These moments definitely make the story unique, but they oftentimes feel forced, as though the author wants them there, as opposed to them needing to be there for story. These small escapes from reality occasionally drive the plot forward, but overall, they distract from the real substance. The book, on a whole, would have been stronger without them.

I love how McNally crafts Sylvie’s world so much, which is why I missed it when she strayed. The life of a training ballerina is so intriguing. From the ballet instructor’s quirks and sayings to how Sylvie saved her first three sets of pointe shoes, these behind-the-scenes details make the setting lush, elaborate, and easy to imagine. How McNally portrays New York City is also accurate and a nice glimpse into how the wealthy live. Though I must contest Ocean City, New Jersey smelling like anything other than fresh salt air, the rest of the road trip destinations are described well and make me feel like I'm along for the ride.

Occasionally, Sylvie breaks the fourth wall, so to speak, by being aware of the audience and addressing them directly. Every time this happens, I am completely throw off, because it’s not carried on throughout the novel in a consistent fashion.

With that being said, I love the blossoming romance between Sylvie and Jack so much. I root for them Mac after Mac song, and I really enjoy that the book ends in a way that feels like real life. The characters break through some serious traumas, and though there is a light at the end of the tunnel, more difficulties still lay ahead.

THE LOOKING GLASS is a great book for those needing to find a little magic in their day-to-day lives.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Elemental Manipulation is tricky. Only those with the power can...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
When fifteen-year-old Marlee Stanley joins her two sisters and the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
They call me the Dark Queen… Ryleigh...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Two friends in the 1980's were graduating from Cosmetology School....
Twisting Minds
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
How can you trust your heart when you can't trust...
The Art of Holding On
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Life happens, whether you’re ready or not. All you can...
Breaking Through: How Female Athletes Shattered Stereotypes in the Roaring Twenties
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Award-winning author Sue Macy offers a fresh and timely account...
Outlawed
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
OUTLANDER meets Robin Hood. Traveling through time...
The Path We Take
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
He’s alone He’s tattooed He’s badly burnt ...
Half-Blood Mage
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A cursed dragon hunter A half-blood mage...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
If genetic engineering could guarantee you and your family perfect...
Slayer (Slayer, #1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Into every generation a Slayer is born… ...
Magic Bound
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Starting a new school is never easy and this time...
When Wishes Bleed
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
One Prince. One Witch. One Fate. ...
Dealing in Dreams
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Outsiders meets Mad Max: Fury Road in this fast-paced...
Girls With Sharp Sticks (Girls With Sharp Sticks, #1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Some of the prettiest flowers have the sharpest thorns. ...

Latest Member Reviews

The Secret Key (Agatha Oddly)
 
4.0
"Agatha loves the work of Detective Hercule Poirot. He's actually her imaginary friend and she uses his work to influence..."
Starfell: Willow Moss & the Lost Day (Starfell, #1)
 
4.0
"STARFELL is a charming and magic-filled middle grade fantasy that sweeps young readers away into another world. Willow Moss seemed..."
Journey of the Pale Bear
 
5.0
"What an adventure I just had! From the moment, I opened the book, I was transported to the 13th century..."
Hey Grandude!
 
4.5
"'Hey Grandude!' by Paul McCartney, illustrated by Kathryn Durst, is a fun, colorful, and exciting adventure. The illustrations enhance the..."
The Peacock Detectives
 
4.0
"THE PEACOCK DETECTIVES is a story told by a young narrator, who is in Grade 6 but reads at a..."
Big Nate: Back to Back Hits: On a Roll and Goes for Broke
 
5.0
"This is a combination of two Big Nate novels; Big Nate on a Roll and Big Nate Goes For Broke...."
The Fowl Twins (The Fowl Twins, #1)
 
5.0
"I have never read the original Artemis Fowl books but now I absolutely intend to. The Fowl Twins is highly..."
Amelia Bedelia & Friends: Beat the Clock
 
5.0
"Brilliant. This was the perfect book to read with my five year old niece. It's every bit as..."
Amelia Bedelia & Friends: The Cat's Meow
 
5.0
"Cute and Fun There's no end to the adorableness of Amelia Bedelia and this book is no different. Amelia..."
The Monster Hypothesis
 
5.0
"THE MONSTER HYPOTHESIS is a really fun middle grade investigative mystery. Kick is living with her grandmother, a fake psychic..."
Carnevil (Monsterstreet #3)
 
5.0
"Ren and Kip aren't sure what to expect when they visit their Aunt for Halloween. She works at an Old..."
Stuffed
 
4.0
"STUFFED follows Clark and Foon. Clark is a boy who loves stuffed animals and feels that they keep him safe...."
The Edge of the Word (Mightier than the Sword, #2)
 
5.0
"THE EDGE OF THE WORD is another absolutely delightful interactive story, where you are the main character in the book...."
Rat Rule 79: An Adventure (Yonder, #1)
 
5.0
"RAT RULE 79 is charming, ridiculous, and completely engaging. Fred is about to turn thirteen in a new place, as..."
Magic Tree House Deluxe Holiday Edition: Christmas in Camelot
 
4.0
"Jack and Annie get an invitation from "M" to spend Christmas in Camelot, which excites them since they haven't heard..."
Awesome Dog 5000 (#1)
 
4.0
"Marty Fontana and his mother move to a new town for her job, and have a house that belonged to..."
The Big Game
 
4.0
"Danny lives in Texas with his mother and former Pittsburgh Steelers player father, who now sells farm machinery. The father..."
Pippa Park Raises Her Game
 
4.0
"Pippa loves to play basketball and struggles a tiny bit in school. She lives with her much older sister, Mina,..."
Superman of Smallville
 
4.0
"Clark Kent is trying to be an ordinary thirteen-year-old boy but he has a very extraordinary pastime. He loves saving..."
Magic Tree House Deluxe Holiday Edition: Christmas in Camelot
 
5.0
"Jack and Annie are so excited when they receive a Royal Invitation to attend Christmas in Camelot! However, they only..."