Odd & True
Author: Cat Winters
Publication Date: September 12th, 2017
Publisher: Amulet Books
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Synopsis: Trudchen grew up hearing Odette’s stories of their monster-slaying mother and a magician’s curse. But now that Tru’s older, she’s starting to wonder if her older sister’s tales were just comforting lies, especially because there’s nothing fantastic about her own life—permanently disabled and in constant pain from childhood polio.
In 1909, after a two-year absence, Od reappears with a suitcase supposedly full of weapons and a promise to rescue Tru from the monsters on their way to attack her. But it’s Od who seems haunted by something. And when the sisters’ search for their mother leads them to a face-off with the Leeds Devil, a nightmarish beast that’s wreaking havoc in the Mid-Atlantic states, Tru discovers the peculiar possibility that she and her sister—despite their dark pasts and ordinary appearances—might, indeed, have magic after all.
Cat Winters might be my all time favorite author, and she’s once again published a magnificent book that I loved from the very first page! I’ve fallen in love with some of her other books – most notably The Steep and Thorny Way, so when I heard about her new book (and what it was about), I was head over heels super excited for the wonderfully written book that she was releasing next.
First off, did you guys see the cover for this? It’s so beautifully done, and it goes along awesomely with the synopsis, so I could tell right away that there was a real treat awaiting me. When I started reading, I was of course surprised at how much of a treat this book was, along with twists, turns, and surprises that are done only the way that Cat Winters knows how.
Trudchen is the younger sister of Odette, and she has grown up listening to her sister’s tales of all kinds of things that aren’t exactly happily ever after. Monsters, curses, and stories of their mother, who knew of all these things, were common bedtime tales for her. As she got older, she remembered the tales of course, but doesn’t think her own life is that awesome – she is permanently disabled from her run in with polio for one, so she often thinks back to her sister’s stories and wonders what life would be like if those stories were, indeed, true.
After her sister Odette goes missing for almost two years, she reappears to Tru, with a weird suitcase that she insists is full of weapons that will take out some of these monsters – and all Tru has to do is help her. Odette leads Tru on a journey that she never could have anticipated, full of magic, monsters, and curses that Tru never thought could have been real.
What I love about this book is that instead of just playing on your usual historical fiction, it also adds in some elements of fantasy and magical realism to make it even more exciting. The characters are some of the best that Cat Winters has written to date – completely full of life and personality and very easy to connect with during reading. Don’t even get me started on the plot of this book – not only is it one of the most unique, it’s so well executed that I honestly can’t say enough good things about it.
I don’t want to give away too many details (as this is a fun book to read and discover as you go), but this was probably one of the best that I have read in 2017. There is so much action, fantasy, magical realism, and an awesome sisterhood going on here that I can’t praise it enough! If you haven’t read one of Cat Winters’s other books yet, this is a great place to start, and I guarantee that you will fall in love with it.
Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Cat Winters’s critically acclaimed debut novel, In the Shadow of Blackbirds, was named a 2014 Morris Award Finalist, a 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults pick, a 2013 Bram Stoker Award Nominee, and a School Library Journal Best Book of 2013. Her upcoming novels include The Cure for Dreaming (Amulet Books/Oct. 2014) and The Uninvited (William Morrow/2015), and she’s a contributor to the 2015 YA horror anthology Slasher Girls & Monster Boys. She lives in Portland, Oregon. Visit her online at www.catwinters.com.
Photo by Tara Kelly
(3) winners will receive a finished copy of ODD & TRUE, US & Canada.
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