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Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Looking Glass and The Lingering Grace by Jessica Arnold

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Review by Suze
Alice is staying at a hotel with her family. After an accident in the pool she discovers that nobody can hear or see her. When she wakes up she's still at the hotel, but it looks completely different. It's a more old fashioned version. She finds an old diary and starts reading. Elizabeth Blackwell lived at the hotel in the 19th century. She writes about the love of her life, a witch who inhabited her room before her and a curse. Alice is a prisoner of the hotel and she has to break it before she becomes another one of its permanent victims. Together with a boy called Toby she's trying to figure out if there's a way to save herself.
The Looking Glass is a great book about a spooky hotel. There's a witch in the mirror, a creepy diary and a scary painting. Alice is trapped in a magical world and she has to find a way to free herself before it's too late. I loved the idea of a haunted hotel and liked Jessica Arnold's descriptions of the place. It's the perfect setting for a story about powers and magic and I liked the choice. Slowly Alice discovers the truth and it was fun to discover the missing pieces of the puzzle bit by bit.
I like stories about witches and spells and I enjoyed this one very much. Alice has to be brave and smart and there's no time to feel sorry for herself as the clock is ticking. Toby is a sweet guy who has an interesting father. They're staying at the hotel because it's haunted and his father wants to write a book about it. Toby and Alice are a good match. They manage to make progress and keep finding small clues that bring them closer to the truth. It results in a fabulous and fitting finale. I loved the mirror aspect and the manipulative witch. The Looking Glass is a wonderful gripping story about self-confidence, love, curses and magic.
Amazon USA Amazon UK
Review by Suze
Alice and Toby see each other a lot. They are a couple and Alice is proud to call him her boyfriend. Her life is regular and normal again. A bit too much. Alice can't forget what happened to her and she is bored after the adrenaline rush of being trapped in the hotel. When she discovers an old spell book she takes it with her to see if she's able to do magic herself. This results in a friendship with the new girl in school called Eva. Eva's sister drowned in the pool of the home they only just moved into and she wants to bring her back. She needs Alice's help to accomplish that. Only Alice knows all magic has a price and the question is if she's willing to pay it or if she needs to try to talk Eva out of it.
The Lingering Grace is quite different from The Looking Glass. Alice now leads a regular life with school, homework and boyfriend time. Her friendship with Eva creates a whole different world filled with secrets. And can Eva be trusted? She's a fascinating, manipulative character and she has mood swings. It was interesting to see the developments in the story. Alice is a sweet girl and she's a little bit naïve. She doesn't have many friends and when she finds someone who's like her she thinks she's lucky, but is she really?
The Lingering Grace is another great story about magic. It was nice to see more of Toby. He always has Alice's back. Only there are things they can't tell one another. Alice isn't making the smartest choices, magic is more attractive than she initially thought. After her entrapment in the hotel she knows there is a price, but she also misses the thrill of it. Eva knows a lot more about spells than Alice and she can learn from her. Eva knows how to get things done and she's persuasive. Will Alice be able to stand her ground and do what she thinks is right? I couldn't wait to find out how the story would end. I liked the way Jessica Arnold set it up. I think The Lingering Grace is a good second book about Alice and her adventures with magic.

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