As someone who has made their thoughts about YA very clear, it might seem strange that I enjoy reading Middle-Grade books so much. Maybe it’s because there’s a further distance between me and the intended audience? Maybe it’s because I’m still a child at heart? But I suspect that it’s because children’s writers aren’t trying as hard to fit in with their audience. One of my main criticisms of YA is the way that teenagers are represented. I can’t connect with it. I feel like Middle-Grade fiction is written to both entertain and, in some way, to explain certain aspects of life. It makes it easier for me to stomach. Does that make sense? Probably not.
As is so often the case for my second book review of the week, I’m reviewing a short book because I needed to finish something quickly. It’s not necessarily a bad strategy as there are some really good short books out there but it still feels like a bad reason for picking something up. Although, I don’t think I’d ever regret picking up a Neil Gaiman. Well, I didn’t like The Ocean at the End of the Lane when I read it but I suspect I missed something there. After all, the majority of people rave about that book. I keep meaning to give it a reread but I’m still wary. But that’s beside point. This time, I went back to a classic Neil Gaiman story. One that feels so Gaiman. There’s Norse mythology, an odd (literally) protagonist, and Chris Riddell illustrations. I decided to listen to the audiobook at the same time because I needed the comfort of his narration.