BOOK REVIEWS

Tuesdays at the Castle Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-06-27 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 263 user ratings
ISBN:1681192187
LANGUAGE:English

"First of all, I want you to know that I just rubbed my hands together in delight, because I am so, so excited to review TUESDAYS AT THE CASTLE, by Jessica Day George! This is such a marvelous book, by such a marvelous author. Jessica’s books are always utterly gobble-worthy...but there’s just something extra-special about this first title in her new middle grade series. Maybe it’s the setting...

The Land of Sleyne sounds picturesque, with its mountains and bowl-shaped valleys, but it’s the castle that serves as the home for Sleyne’s king (Glower the Seventy-Ninth) and his family that thrills me. After all, what child (or young-hearted adult, for that matter) doesn’t long for secret passages and magic? The layout of Castle Glower is in a constant state of flux, so it’s like one gargantuan maze of secret passages, built through magic. Now that is my idea of a fantastic setting—a castle that can alter its form at will. And yes, I said at will, because Castle Glower has a will. The castle is a key character in TUESDAYS, and come to think of it, maybe it’s the array of characters that has me gushing over this book.

The castle is like a human in so many ways, even suffering from boredom! But unlike humans, who tend to eat potato chips and watch movies when bored, Castle Glower “stretches,” resulting in an added turret here, a room there, and sometimes even a whole new wing. This seems rather whimsical of the castle, but don’t be fooled. Castle Glower is not a character to be trifled with. Those who visit the castle had better mind their Ps and Qs, or they could end up like the Ambassador of Bendeswe, who found himself walled into his bedroom once the castle found out he was a spy.

Another character to love is Princess Celie, who is spunky, courageous, and smart. She also possesses an atlas of the changing castle, and it is for this reason, perhaps, that the castle pays special attention to Celie’s needs, even growing escape routes when she needs them, and boy, does she need them! This is a girl who attracts adventure, for sure. I can’t wait to read more about her in the other books in this series!

There are also lots of other wonderful characters in TUESDAYS, such as the handsome Pogue Parry, the odd-but-loveable Prince Lulath of Grath (and his doggies), the spine tinglingly evil Prince Khelsh of Vhervhine, and, of course, Celie’s family. I love the relationships between Celie and her siblings, in particular. Her older brother, Rolf, is the second son of the king and queen, but the castle “chose” him to be King Glower’s heir, by moving his suite of rooms next to the Throne Room. Celie’s older sister, Lilah, is capable and a bit bossy, but proves her worth many times over in TUESDAYS. Celie’s oldest brother, Bran, was sent to a college for wizards after the castle kept furnishing his rooms with books and astrolabes. It is, in fact, on the journey to witness Bran’s graduation that Celie’s parents (who sound like the best king and queen ever) are ambushed and...well, you’ll just have to read the book if you want to know what happens to them and to Celie and her siblings as a result.

I do love the setting and the characters in TUESDAYS, but there is so much more to love, too! Jessica’s writing is simple, but vivid. The story moves quickly—there is never a dull moment. There is so much to love, and every element of the book works with every other element, creating a tight adventure story that any reader will enjoy.
" said.

" I loved this book. It was charming and funny, a real delightful castle-y princess adventure. Reminded me of Ella Enchanted, but geared a little younger. " said.

" This book was really good!! A little hard to get into, but once I did, it was great. :) can't wait to read the others. " said.

"Originally posted at Small Review


Six reasons I loved Tuesdays at the Castle


1.Family

I thought Tuesdays at the Castle was going to be all about Celie, and while Celie is the main focus (the third person narration has a focus on her), her older brother and sister are just as important.

I loved this! The interaction between the siblings was sweet and fun. I actually loved Celie's brother and sister so much that I would read the story all over again told from each of their perspectives.


2. Pogue

This is a MG book, so the romance is really, really minimal (like, only implied), but Pogue is where it's at and his devil-may-care, charming and flirty personality makes him a character to watch.

Maybe we could get a book told from Lilah's perspective so I can get more Pogue (Pogue has a little thing going on with Celie's older sister Lilah)? I could go for that!


3. A character who owns a pile of puppies 

Puppies! I'm firmly in the camp that believes puppies make everything better.


4. Celie

She gets a sleepover party invite! Celie is everything I want in a MC--she's inquisitive, determined, and she so gets the value of secret passageways.

And, yeah, maybe after watching the requisite scary movie at our sleepover party we'd both pull out our childhood stuffed animals that we told all our friends we got rid of ages ago but really we didn't. But that's ok because we both understand that sometimes nothing can offer comfort like that old stuffed animal friend.

Basically what I'm saying here is that Celie may be super awesome for standing up against some pretty rotten characters, but she's a real girl with courage AND fears and I could totally relate to her while also admiring her.

Plus, she's a princess, so there's automatic points for that.


5. Castle Glower

If I hadn't already been sold on reading Tuesdays at the Castle because this is a Jessica Day George book and I'll read anything she writes, that castle that magically adds new rooms and features would have cinched the deal.

Half the reason I read so many castle/mansion books is because I get to explore big houses! The idea of a castle that is constantly growing and changing and adding new cool secret passageways (can you tell I have a thing for secret passageways?) and magical objects is just so full of win that I think they need to invent a new level of awesome just for Castle Glower.

The fact that the castle is also effectively a character in its own right who loves the royal family just makes the whole thing explode with awesomeness even more. Do you rememeber Nana from Peter Pan? You know, the dog who watches over the children? Imagine if she was a castle and could create magical objects. Pretty neat, right?


6. Political intrigue

This is a MG book, but I think the political intrigue was still pretty entertaining. I really wished I could reach into the book and start slapping the bad guys. They cook up some nasty schemes, and I liked how new layers were peeled back, slowly exposing their duplicity.

Of course this is a MG book, so none of the bad guys got a (well deserved) actual skewering, but Jessica Day George gave me plenty of opportunities to laugh at their comeuppances.

And, while I knew everything would work out in the end (it's a Jessica Day George book--she never fails to give me the Happily Ever After I want), there were a bunch of times where I was so wrapped up in the characters' plights that I was practically plunged alongside them into the depths of despair wondering how in the world they were going to fix everything.


Stars off?

I'm kind of just a tensy little bit of an impatient reader (which is probably the biggest understatement of the year). So the slower beginning made me a little antsy. It wasn't like nothing was happening, but it felt like there was a lot of waiting around in the beginning.

Pogue also gets sent off on a quest-type mission and I'll admit that I pouted and may have even stomped my foot a little when I realized *I* wasn't tagging along.

Instead I was stuck in the castle (which, yeah, I know as far as consolation prizes go this one wasn't half bad. But, but, I missed out on a QUEST, with Pogue! It kinda felt like getting stuck at the kiddie table when all the grownups are discussing juicy secrets).


Bottom line

I am a fawning, pom-pom waving fangirl for Jessica Day George, and Tuesdays at the Castle just reminded me again why. Somehow she always manages to spin a cotton candy confection of fluffy happy goodness with a captivating plot, endearing characters, and seriously bad villains.

Lucky for me, Tuesdays at the Castle is just the beginning! There will be at least two more books about Celie and her magical castle (and her brother and sister? And Pogue? I hope!)

But, don't let that scare you off because Tuesdays at the Castle can totally be read as a standalone. In fact, if I hadn't read on Jessica Day George's blog that there would be sequels, I never would have thought there was more to come (but I am SO so looking forward to more!)

Originally posted at Small Review
" said.

"I love books with sentient buildings, and Castle Glower is a wonderful example. It adds, removes, and changes rooms, sometimes at a whim, other times for very good reasons - like imprisoning enemy spies, or making it obvious who it wants to be the next king. The Castle's preferences are why it's the King's second son that's the Crown Prince (the eldest is training to be a wizard instead). But its favourite is the youngest of the King's children, Princess Celie - who loves it in return, and knows the ways around it better than anyone else.

And this partnership of Celie and the Castle becomes crucial when the King, Queen and eldest son are set upon by bandits and the Crown Prince finds himself surrounded by a Council that doesn't seem to quite have his - or the Kingdom's - best interests at heart.

A lively story with engaging characters; I'm so glad it's the first of a series!
" said.

"Reminded me a lot of Half Magic - and I love that the castle is as much a character as the people!

---
4th grade booktalk
Ever wish you could change something about your house? That your house could read your mind and give you, in house or room form, whatever you need? For those of you who are Harry Potter-familiar, think the Room of Requirement. Well – Castle Glower, where Princess Celie and her Royal Family live, does just that. On Tuesdays, anyway.
For example: the castle once removed the doors to a guest’s room. The King was really angry about it – but then he learned that that particular guest was there to spy on him – so, handy the castle knew, eh? The castle also chooses the kings of the kingdom. So when King Glower and Queen Celina disappear on their way to a neighboring kingdom for a meeting, and the castle doesn’t redecorate their rooms, Celie knows they aren’t dead. If they were, the Castle would change the decoration in their rooms!
Unfortunately, everyone else seems to think that the king and queen are dead – so how can Celie convince them to send a search party? As long as the Castle seems to think her parents are alive, Celie will too… but how long will that be? And what really did happen to the King and Queen?
Read the first book in the Castle Glower series to find out…
" said.

" Friends, I LOVE it when setting is a character and Tuesdays At The Castle by Jessica Day George just fuels this love. When King and Queen Glower disappear and are considered to be dead, a few opportunists try to shove out Celie and her siblings Lilah and heir Rolf. Celie, however, turns to Castle Glower in her time of need.Read the rest of my review here " said.

"I was genuinely surprised at how much I liked this one. I did it for the PopSugar reading challenge (book with a day/month in the title, obviously) and I wasn't hugely looking forward to it, but it was really, really fun.

The adventures that the royal kids get up to are engaging and while the book ultimately stuck to its MG basis, I was also surprised at how serious things got. This book could easily have been some kind of psychological horror if Jessica Day George had let it go YA or New Adult or something, what with having your actual home murdered (kind of) and being trapped inside. (Like a reverse haunted house? Where the house is the thing being haunted? It was a creepy situation, I don't know.)

The ending wobbled - it was too short, and everything settled itself too nicely, too easily. I was really hoping the mystery would go on through the next book, at least, if not through both of the next ones. It was disappointing, so why do I still feel like this books deserves four stars? I'm not usually so generous. But... come on. The siblings are so cute. I really couldn't guess where the plot was going, which is rare in MG. Prince Lulath was wonderful. Princess Celie is the first 11-yo protagonist that I've really loved for a long time.

It's just a fun book, last 5 pages notwithstanding. It's just a fun book.
" said.

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