I now blog over at The Eyre Guide! This blog is an archive of my past posts.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Review: Braving the Brontës

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , , ,
Braving the Brontes (Carly Keene Literary Detective #1)
by Katherine Rue
Middle Grade Mystery

Plot Summary:

"Voracious readers who share Carly’s wish to end up in a literary adventure will enjoy exploring the world of the literary sisters."–School Library Journal

Carly Keene is a twelve-year-old from Alaska who has always longed for adventure. She gets her wish when she is transported back to 1846 and finds herself living with the Bronte family in England. There is a mystery surrounding the Bronte sisters, and until she solves it Carly is stuck in the past. Will adventure be what she thought it would be? Will she ever get home?


This was a very sweet and endearing read!  I was already interested because of the link to the Brontes but the author managed to bring the Bronte history and the era to life so well, which was surprising for such a short read.  I think this is a wonderful start to Carly Keene's adventures!

Carly (whose name must be inspired by Carolyn Keene, the pen name for the author of Nancy Drew) is a very believable and likable protagonist.  The Alaskan setting, Carly's family, and her best friend Francesca, give Carly such a distinctive personality as well, because through these things, you can understand why Carly is so quirky.  It's also fun to read how Carly copes with 19th century England with all of it's less savory aspects (like the food, poor hygiene, and the lack of plumbing) as well as her delight in wearing period dress and in exploring the beautiful countryside.  These little details really captured the time and place, and felt so true to how someone would feel traveling out of their own time. This book made the time travel aspect very satisfying because it felt so realistic.

This story reads more like an adventure than a mystery to me.  Perhaps later books in the series will explore true mysteries, but this book was more about Carly helping the Brontës be true to themselves and finding out more about their lives than any mystery surrounding them that Carly has to solve.  (Although I may feel this way because I am pretty familiar with the Brontes' lives already.)  There is a supernatural aspect though that felt very true to the Brontë legacy which I really appreciated.  I think kids will enjoy Carly's adventure and spirit and adults will appreciate the authentic details, the multi-dimensional characters and the nostalgia of reading exciting books like this when they were young.

(I received this book from the publisher or author for a fair and honest review.  I was not compensated for this review.)

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  1. Looks cute. I've not seen this one before. Thanks.

  2. This sounds really really cute! I love books like this.

  3. How cute! This looks like fun. Are the Brontës young like Carly in the book?

  4. Tabitha (Not Yet Read)June 7, 2014 at 11:54 AM

    This definitely sounds like a cute story and way to mix in the Bronte family with a little girl from the future. Sounds good since I normally do prefer the adventure mg ones above the mystery ones.

  5. This is so much fun - I'm looking forward to more books in the series!

  6. The Brontës are older - Charlotte is Carly's governess in the story (which is also a fantastic way to integrate Carly into the story!)

  7. Oh, that's great, I think they did a wonderful job with making this a believable MG adventure story!

  8. Yes, I think you will enjoy it! Most of the Bronte books are mentioned, but Jane Eyre is more the focus in this story! :)

  9. This was a really fun read, I hope you enjoy if you get a chance to check it out!

  10. This sounds like fun I want to check it out!