Author: Kathryn TanquaryEdition: eGalley courtesy of NetgalleyRating: 4 Stars
I received The Night Parade from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This is a quick reading middle grade novel that follows Saki who, on a trip to her grandmother's house to celebrate an important Japanese holiday, ends up getting herself caught up in a death curse. In order to break the curse she must spend three nights at the Night Parade, each night with a different guide trying to get her to meet the Midlight Prince.
I actually really, really enjoyed this story! I actually picked it up before learning what it was about (the cover was just so pretty!) and was pleasantly surprised by the concepts. I don't know a bunch of Japanese mythology, but from the small amount I did know this all seemed really legit, and it also helped expand my horizons on what's out there. From the very first page I was captivated by the story, honestly, and found myself eager to read this book between classes.
The writing was very good, as well! It's simple, but not condescending, and she is able to deftly weave a description without taking a paragraph to dissect everything. I think my only major problem came from the fact that, besides Saki, the other characters aren't too defined.
Speaking of Saki, she starts off a bratty and shallow city girl who's part of the popular/mean crowd. Over the course of the novel she undergoes pretty significant (and believable) character growth thanks to her time in the spirit world, and I really enjoyed watching her change and grow. Also, I was a bit of a bratty kid (though not as bad as her, but one might describe my younger self as spoiled... those were dark times...) and I was able to easily connect with her.
This is definitely a book worth picking up, and if you have a younger reader, this is one to give them! Not only does it feature a diverse main character, but the story is top-notch, and it's a quick and pleasant read that leaves you with a smile on your face.