Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Tara Nikkel and the Dream Mage (Tara Nikkel #1) ARC Review

Tara Nikkel and the Dream Mage

Author: R.A. Sapp
Average Rating: 4.36/5.0
Personal Rating: 3.0/5.0
Page Count: 285
Finished Reading: April
Published: 6 January 2015

According to Goodreads

Meet a teenager with some serious issues. Tara Nikkel is a girl with a ton of problems: cerebral palsy, asthma, and a severe peanut allergy (just to name a few). And if all that weren't enough, Tara’s also an orphan with two clueless foster parents who live like professional couch potatoes. But everything changes for Tara when she ventures out on a stormy night to find her beloved beagle, Pudgy. Through an unexpected series of events, Tara finds herself in a magical realm known only as the “really real world”, a place where literally anything is possible.

Come join Tara on an adventure filled with magic, goblins, zombies, dragons—and more!

My Opinion:

I received an e-ARC copy in exchange for a review, but in no way does that have an impact on my opinion. 

I want to start off on a positive note by sharing with all of you the things I did enjoy about the book. I loved how the main character has cerebral palsy, because that provides a connection to readers who have to live with the struggles cerebral palsy creates. There's not a lot of books out there with a main character living with a life-altering health condition like cerebral palsy. I also loved the ending. I definitely didn't see that twist coming even though it was kind of random. Unfortunately, these two things are about the only things that I liked about this novel. 

I felt the pacing was extremely slow. It was almost like I was laboring through the story sentence by sentence. There were big events sprinkled throughout the novel, but there wasn't really any buildup to them. Basically, you were laboring through the many meaningless words and then all of a sudden there's this big event. The event lasts for a few pages, and then it drops back into the labor-intensive reading.

As I mentioned above, I really enjoyed the fact that the character had cerebral palsy, because of possible connections made between character and reader. However, I felt Tara Nikkel was written poorly. She was constantly whining and doubting herself. She couldn't make up her mind. One minute she would be speaking like she's 25 then the next like her proper age. Tara was portrayed as a weakling. I'm not saying that it's not okay to be scared or doubt yourself. We are all human here, and it's nature for us to have those negative feelings. Kids need positive energy around them, and not constant whining and self-doubting. 

I'm not a huge fan of not recommending books to people. To me, this book wasn't the greatest. The ending did perk up my interest level, so I may go ahead and read book two. If the summary sounded good to you then by all means read it!

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