Two sisters' reviews of Young Adult and Middle Grade books, inspired by their lovely library.
Have you ever loved a book so much that you wanted to cry when you realized it was over? That was how I felt with The Apothecary. This book is an amazing story of survival in hard times, with spies and magic wonderfully mixed in.
Series: The Apothecary, Book 1
Genres: Middle Grade, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure, Mystery, Romance
Rating: 5+ stars (even more than Harry Potter!)
It’s 1952 and the Scott family has just moved from Los Angeles to London. Here, fourteen-year-old Janie meets a mysterious apothecary and his son, Benjamin Burrows—a fascinating boy who’s not afraid to stand up to authority and dreams of becoming a spy. When Benjamin’s father is kidnapped, Janie and Benjamin must uncover the secrets of the apothecary’s sacred book, the Pharmacopoeia, in order to find him, all while keeping it out of the hands of their enemies—Russian spies in possession of nuclear weapons. Discovering and testing potions they never believed could exist, Janie and Benjamin embark on a dangerous race to save the apothecary and prevent impending disaster.
Have you ever loved a book so much that you wanted to cry when you realized it was over? That was how I felt with The Apothecary.
This book is an amazing story of survival in hard times, with spies and magic wonderfully mixed in.
In 1952, Janie Scott and her family move from Los Angeles to London. There Janie meets a fascinating boy, Benjamin Burrows, who wants to become a spy. But when Benjamin’s father disappears, they must use his ancient book, the Pharmacopoeia, to test out magical elixirs and prevent impending disaster.
While I was reading this book I felt like I was in it. I felt all the emotions that the characters felt; adventure, happiness, excitement, and fear.
This is a short passage that really captures why I love The Apothecary:
“I thought about Benjamin’s fascination with espionage, and his old disdain for his father’s work. ‘Do you still want to be a spy?’ I asked. ‘Or do you want to be an apothecary now?’
Benjamin thought about it for a second. ‘I’m not sure,’ he said. ‘Right now there doesn’t seem like much difference’” (pg 254).
Think Harry Potter crossed with Nancy Drew only better. You’ll love this book.