For our Flashback Wednesday, we've picked Maureen Johnson's The Madness Underneath.
Flashback Wednesday is where we review books that are at least six months or older.
Hardcover, 290 pages
Published February 26th 2013 by Putnam Juvenile
Format read: Physical copy (owned)
Synopsis: (via Goodreads)
In this follow-up to the Edgar Award-nominated THE NAME OF THE STAR, Maureen Johnson adds another layer of spectacularly gruesome details to the streets of London that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.
Things that worked:
- The pacing. The second book starts off almost immediately after the first book. Events are kept fresh.
-The frank exploration of mental illness. Johnson is very upfront about having Rory experience PTSD and depression. I think her readers will appreciate this.
-Rory's determination to get to the bottom of things. Despite what she's been through, she still remains curious and determined to get answers.
Things that didn't work:
This detracts away from the book in two ways:
- Inconsistent characterization. I refuse to believe that the Jazza from book one, wouldn't have been at Rory's side day and night, trying to get her back on track.
- Over reliance on book one. There are a lot of details that you would only understand if you've read the first book. Makes it difficult for people to get into the series.
- The ending. I can appreciate the idea that Rory still has a journey to go through before the final book, but I felt that the loss of a key character basically ensures that Rory will *never* be okay now. No matter what she does in book three, I feel like she's just lost way too much in her short time with the Sight, to fully recover.
Also, the loss of that key character also potentially opens up the path for miraculous!super natural!hijinks to ensure a happy ending, and I really don't want that to happen either.
(I'm not opposed to the swoony, romantic ending, I just feel that it wouldn't be true to the tone of the books.)
About the author:
Many of the adventures Maureen's characters face in her books are based on real-life stories. Maureen has traveled all over Europe, and is a Secret Sister to vlog brothers Hank and John Green.