Top critical review
Reviewed in the United States on January 10, 2018
For the first time I hesitated rating a book and slept on it overnight before reviewing it. So many people love this book, and it's won some awards, so I kept thinking, "What am I missing?" Is THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON whimsical? Absolutely. Are there some beautifully written parts? Most certainly. Does the story have a lovely moral? It does indeed. But it's also overwritten, often nonsensical, with thinly drawn characters, and totally predictable. I also noticed even the people who liked it complained that it was slow in parts, especially in the middle, and in my opinion that's because it's a ten-page plot stretched to 400 pages through the use of flowery, redundant language. So why has it won so many awards? For the same reason summer blockbuster movies that are long on special effects and short on plot are so popular--people mistake sizzle for steak.
Please understand: I didn't hate this book. I applaud its message and the occasional beauty of its writing. And I LOVE fantasy stories. But this should have been a short story. Not to mention that its basic plot--a witch raising a girl with special powers--has been done before, and done so much better. Have you read Terry Pratchett's EQUAL RITES? If you haven't, give yourself a treat and do so. It's funny and fun, with amazing characters, and a well-drawn plot--and it was written long before THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON.
So would I recommend THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON? Sure, why not. It won't hurt you, and there are some very nice parts. Yes, the animism is a bit overdone, but it is a fantasy after all, and animism seems to be a staple of "witch" books, harking back to their Druid ancestry. Besides, everyone's taste is different--that's what makes life fun!--and you could very well love it.