Friday, November 9, 2012

The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls

The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand
3.5/5 stars
Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2012
343 pages
MG Horror Fantasy

Source: Received an ARC through Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review.

I had seen this book around the blogosphere but didn't know much about it beyond a comparison to Coraline (I've only seen the film but I can see how that works). Therefore I entered this with little expectations ready to be swept away.

I easily fell for heroine Victoria, who is orderly and perfect. She is best at everything and wants everything to be in its place. The one flaw in her perfection is her best friend Lawrence, who she mostly adopted as a project to improve and yet somehow they have managed to develop a friendship even if she doesn't want to admit it. Then one day Lawrence disappears and no one wants to talk about it. Victoria discovers that other children have disappeared and sets out to investigate the mysterious Cavendish Home, getting much more than she bargained for.

As I said, I liked Victoria and her devotion to order. I loved following her as she unwound the mysteries and practiced her admirable leadership skills. The entire town is involved in this conspiracy so there's a lot for Victoria to do. Once Victoria realizes she must confront Mrs. Cavendish, the tension ratchets up. She could be Mrs. Cavendish-there is that potential-meaning that they are worthy adversaries as we get to the root of this mystery.

But while I liked those aspects, I just wasn't feeling the complete story. This is simply a case of reader/book mismatch. Bugs play an important role and they literally appear on multiple pages. Despite knowing they were drawings, it still creeped me out. Furthermore I think this book could be classified as middle-grade horror and although that is aimed at children, it was still a little too much for me. I'm definitely a wimp!

Overall: I think this is a really good book-great for others, not as great for me. I still recommend that you check it out if it's interesting to you.


  1. I don't mind bugs and I think I'd like this one -- I wish I had more time to read middle grade!

  2. This book was more horrifying than I thought it would be! I thought it was charming though and I really do like Claire Legrand's writing. Glad you overall enjoyed it!


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