This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.Odd & True by Cat Winters
Genres: Action, Adventure, Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Release Date: September 12, 2017
Publisher: Amulet Books
Purchase at: Amazon ◊ Barnes & Noble ◊ Book Depository ◊ IndieBound ◊ Books-A-Million
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.
Odd and True is brilliantly written! I was kept on the edge of my seat always wondering what was going to happen next, if the monsters were real or not. This story gave me the whole “what is hiding around the next corner” feeling. It was tantalizing to my spidey senses. When I chose to read this book, it was because I really wanted a fast and furious monster hunt with maybe even a little gore. That is not what this story was about and I will admit I was disappointed. What this story really is about is the bond between two sisters, their love for each other and what family really means.
As children, some of us are told fairy tales and clinging to those ideas of magic and mystery as a child is wondrous. As we grow though, we realize that life is not made up of fairy tales and monster hunts, that is of course unless you are Odette and Trudchen Grey. They grew up their whole childhood being told they descended from monster hunters. They believed that their mother and her siblings were great monster hunters and that their legacy was to continue hunting those very same monsters. I thoroughly enjoyed all the ways the sisters would try and stave off the monsters they knew trying to get to them.
When Od & Tru were little, the sisters would go around collecting tales of monsters that terrorized their local neighbors. Writing down the tales and illustrating them was how the girls were planning on identifying the monsters that they would someday slay. I loved reading about how the girls spent their time together planning how they would have grand adventures where they would help those in need. They spent every day together until for reasons unexplained to Tru, Od was sent away by their Aunt Vik. Without her sister’s unfailing faith, Tru slowly began to question if everything that they had been told was true.
After she left, Od would write letters to Tru detailing her adventures but Tru always felt that something was missing. It was not until Tru’s fifteenth birthday that Od came back to see her by way of Tru’s window. Od had returned to get Tru so that they could go off on a grand adventure, together, as it should be. The adventure that they embarked on was something wondrous and miraculous but at the same time misconceptions were revealed and neither girl would ever be the same.
Although this story was not what I desired I appreciated it all the same. The relationship between Od and Tru was funny, endearing, and frustrating. I felt that the writing was captivating and creative. I was brought into the world of Od & Tru and it was a place of wonder where the lines between reality and fantasy blurred. There was heartbreak, monster hunts, and this story is character driven. The pacing can slow down at times but when you finish this story you will find that it was not what you thought it was going to be but that it was an enjoyable read nonetheless.
*Thank you to NetGalley & Abrams Kids for this eARC of Odd & True*