Haphaven – Norm Harper and Louie Joyce
Alex, a twelve going on thirteen-year-old girl, lives her life by the painstaking rules of every superstition. She uses her encyclopaedia level knowledge of all things good and bad luck through everything, even her own thirteenth birthday is amiss (since thirteen is an unlucky number). The one time she chooses not to follow these rules, it breaks her mother’s back… really. “Step on a crack, break your mothers back” is a bit of a corny situation to occur seriously in a story, but it turned out a little funny and manages to bypass any major cringe by jumping right into the seriousness of Alex’s situation. The adventure she must embark on, to save her mother, takes her into another world.
The subversion’s and world are unique and interesting, though light on detail. The relationship between Alex and her family is sweet, believable and at times heart-warming. Alex herself is a brave, determined little girl, easy to like. I liked the art itself, gritty and dark toned. The main idea you go away with is a nice reminder for young audiences about the power in taking control of your own narrative, owning the cards you’ve been dealt and pushing through difficulties until you get to where you need to be. An important and empowering one for Alex in the end.
I enjoyed it though at times it felt rushed, jumping from one situation to the next with little breaks. I would recommend this for the younger range of YA readers who are after a fast-paced adventure story with some interesting little twists and surprises.
I have received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
3/5 – A quick YA read about loss, family and empowerment wrapped up in a supernatural adventure.
Buy it – Haphaven