Saturday, December 18, 2021

Review: The Memory Thief by Jodi Lynn Anderson

 Today's read head back into the world of witches. I just got my hands on the first one in the series, which was released earlier this year, but also have the ARC of the next one coming out in the next few months (so, keep your eyes peeled for that review!). Let's just say that after reading this book, I'm hooked and will have to fight myself from immediately diving into book two. Waiting is always hard, isn't it?

Thirteen Witches, Book 1
by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Simon & Schuster
Middle Grade Fantasy
335 pages
ages 8 to 12

“This expertly crafted story thrums with magic, love, and tense action.” —Booklist (starred review)

Perfect for fans of The Girl Who Drank the Moon, this fantastical and heartfelt first book in a new trilogy from critically acclaimed and New York Times bestselling author Jodi Lynn Anderson follows a girl who must defeat thirteen evil witches.

Twelve-year-old Rosie Oaks’s mom is missing whatever it is that makes mothers love their daughters. All her life, Rosie has known this...and turned to stories for comfort. Then, on the night Rosie decides to throw her stories away forever, an invisible ally helps her discover the Witch Hunter’s Guide to the Universe, a book that claims that all of the evil in the world stems from thirteen witches who are unseen...but also unstoppable. One of these witches—the Memory Thief—holds an insidious power to steal our most precious treasures: our memories. And it is this witch who has cursed Rosie’s mother.

In her quest to save her mom—and with her wild, loyal friend “Germ” by her side—Rosie will find the layers hidden under the reality she only thought she knew: where ghosts linger as shades of the past, where clouds witness the world, and a ladder dangles from the moon leading to something bigger and more. Here, words are weapons against the darkness, and witch hunters are those brave enough to wield their imaginations in the face of the unthinkable. The knowledge of her beloved stories is an arsenal in this world, but to unlock their power, Rosie must dare to have hope and believe in herself in the face of daunting odds.

AMAZON   /    GOODREADS    /    B&N    /   KOBO


While weaving a world of evil and good with magic and a girl, who's determined to save the mother she never had, this is more than just a book to keep the reader on the edge of their seat.

Sixth-grade Rosie hears her best friend, Germ, when she explains that they must slowly let go of childish things, but with a mother, who doesn't remember anything and barely notices her, Rosie's imaginative stories are more than just words. They've been a part of her emotional support. When she agrees to get rid of them, a real and more dangerous world moves in. A witch has caught Rosie in her sights and is determined to destroy her as she's been doing with her mother. While Rosie does have a few clues thanks to a generation-old book, it's not enough to stop the witch. In fact, according to everyone she talks to, stopping a witch is an impossible task. But Rosie isn't about to go into hiding and leave her mother behind. She's determined to discover the secret no one else has.

I love the descriptions in this read. The author has a whimsical way of wording some things and that with an original twist. The tale flows extremely smoothly and knows how to keep the tension high from beginning to end. While the book does start with a very grabbing scene, it then, allows the reader to get to know Rosie and her situation. I did appreciate this, especially since it's done in an intriguing way. Rosie comes across as a quiet but strong girl, who is pretty normal and has her own problems, too. It shows a close friendship between the two girls, but not one without its strains. Both come across naturally because of this and are easy to sympathize with...which makes it no problem to root for them when the action really kicks-in.

This is not a sweet story but carries a layer of darkness. The witches are not good in any way and wear the atmosphere of nightmares. It's clear that Rosie is taking on an impossible task, and one that the author doesn't allow to be solved easily.  Add the wonderment of magic and fantastical beings, which only the imagination can bring to life, and this was a read I didn't want to put down. 

The second book is coming out in the next months, and I'm really looking forward to see where Rosie and Germ go next because the adventure isn't over yet.

And here she is...

Jodi Lynn Anderson is the bestselling author of several critically acclaimed books for young people, including the May Bird trilogy and My Diary from the Edge of the World. She lives with her husband, son, and daughter in Asheville, North Carolina, and holds an MFA in writing and literature from Bennington College. 

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