Thursday, July 16, 2015

ARC Review: Diary of a Mad Brownie - Bruce Coville

Diary of a Mad Brownie by Bruce Coville
Genre: Middle Grade, fantasy
Published on June 30, 2015
Published by Random House
Pages: 208
Read From: 07.07.15 - 07.08.15

Meet Angus! Angus is a brownie - a MAGICAL creature from the Enchanted Realm that secretly loves to do chores for humans. 
Meet Alex! Alex is an ORDINARY kid. 
Angus as a temper problem. Alex has the world's messiest room. 
For better or worse (and things are going to get a whole lot worse!), the two are about to be thrown together by a centuries-old curse. 
Featuring diary entires, newspaper clippings, police transcripts, grumpy cats, annoying older brothers, terrible poetry, daring rescues, ancient magic, the occasional fit of temper, and more, Bruce Coville brings fantasy, adventure, and humor together in a one-of-a-kind tale of family and friendship that will have readers laughing out loud!


Dear Diary of a Mad Brownie,

I'm always open to Bruce Coville and Middle Grade novels. So when a friend handed you to me, I was all for it! Plus, you were a quick read; perfect for a breather between some of my longer novels. You were a treat read.

You're narrated through the journal of Angus, a brownie that's been cursed to serve the same family forever - or until the curse is broken. Angus doesn't mind it so much, until the current woman he lives with dies and he's forced to travel all the way to America to serve the next girl in line. Alex could use a brownie. She's been deemed the world's messiest girl by both her family and her teacher. It's a job that only a brownie as courageous and hardworking as Angus could accomplish. But there's one problem: Alex doesn't want a brownie. And unfortunately for Alex, she has no choice, for the curse won't allow Angus to leave. To make matters worse, the curse also has a bad side effect for the male members of Alex's family. So unless Alex wants to end up homeless, she and Angus must set out to break the curse once and for all.

Angus is a thoroughly amusing, fun narrator; I just loved him. And Alex is full of spunk and intelligence. Combined with Angus's short temper and penchant for mischief, the two make for quite the dynamic duo. I am a sucker for the journal-narration style, and this narration was also interspersed with letters, relevant newspaper clippings, some journal entries from Alex, and various notes exchanged between other characters. I really don't know what it is about this narration style, but I love it.

The plot itself was really fun, too. You could be accused of being preachy about being tidy, but it was done in such a humorous way and the plot of the curse became so prevalent that I really didn't care. You were just a fast, fun, humorous read that I really, really, really enjoyed.

Feeling amused,
~ Mara A. ~

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