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The Girl Who Chased the Moon is a good book, but sadly I cannot say it is ...
Reviewed in the United States on September 13, 2015
The Girl Who Chased the Moon is a good book, but sadly I cannot say it is better than that. This is one of those rare books that needs to be longer, not because it’s so enthralling that I wanted more to read, but because the story felt rushed; the magical realism that seemed so promising in the summary was thrown on top of plotlines rather than integrated into the world. The character development followed a predictable arc, and the world-building went only surface deep.
While this book was certainly cute and enjoyable – I would not bother reviewing a book if I did not take some grain of pleasure in reading it – it has potential but fails to deliver. For example, there’s a lot of buildup to a secret the romantic lead is keeping. However, they live in a strange town where surreal tidbits are fed to the reader freely. Therefore, when the secret is revealed, and it turns out to be no more magical than anything else read previously, it’s a disappointment. I was expecting more, and I don’t know why Allen chose to hide something that - compared to the magic of the rest of the town - is fairly ordinary.
In the back of my copy, Allen says that her writing process is “organic;” she doesn’t outline, and in fact had no idea that magical cakes would become such a major point in her story. I gently wonder if, perhaps, she had outlined, then the more imaginative parts of the story would have been given the time they deserve, and the less interesting parts been scrapped in past drafts. As it stands, I felt as if I were reading a rough draft rather than the final version.