Book Review | The Ugly Teapot
Title: The Ugly Teapot by Fred Holmes
Genres: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Adventure
Published by: Self-published (March 30th, 2016)
Fourteen-year-old Hannah Bradbury loved her father so much that she worried about him constantly. After all, he was a photographer who traveled to the most dangerous places in the world.
To allay her fears, each time he came home he brought her silly gifts, each one with supposed magical powers: the Seal of Solomon, the Ring of Gyges, even Aladdin’s Lamp. It was that lamp Hannah found the most unbelievable, for it looked like an ugly teapot. Nevertheless, her father assured her it was real, and made her promise to save her three wishes for something very special.
Then . . . six months later . . . the unthinkable happened. Her father was killed while on assignment to Baghdad. And so on the day of his funeral Hannah did something she never thought she would ever do.
She took out that teapot and gave it a rub . . .
The Ugly Teapot by Fred Holmes is a timeless tale, filled with magic and adventure. More importantly, it will make you believe in the overwhelming power of love.
What I Thought
*I received this book in exchange for an honest review. A huge thank you to the author!*
When I was asked if I would be interested in reviewing this book, I instantly said yes. The plot sounded so intriguing. Plus, it just looked like such a fun middle grade read. This book, while I ended up not loving it, still has a lot of appeal.
I want to start by saying, I really loved the premise for this book. It was really creative! I haven’t read many genie stories, but I did enjoy the way they were portrayed in this one.
Another thing I really liked about this book were the characters. Everyone was so unique! Hannah was such a great main character. I really felt for her, and found her to be quite well-rounded. I really loved the rest of her family, as well. However, I felt like Hannah’s mom was a bit too chill about her husband’s death. She was so ready to move on with her life. I understand that everyone grieves differently, however, for someone who just had the love of their life die, I expected a bit more emotion from her.
One thing I wished this book had more of, however, was a bit more explanation of things. At times, I felt like The Ugly Teapot was a little all over the place. While some aspects of the story flowed really nicely, there were other parts that just happened a little too fast, or just didn’t feel like they were fully explained. For example, Hannah’s dog, Griff, can talk to her. We do not get any explanation as to why he can talk, except that, for some reason, they can communicate to each other. Can other animals communicate with their owners? Or are Hannah and Griff the only two in the world? Is this some sort of Martha Speaks situation? I don’t know! Aside from Griff and, obviously, the Genie, there are really no other fantastical elements in this book, and so I just wish I knew about a bit more.
Aside from that, however, this book was a very exciting read. There’s a lot of action and adventure! It also has a lot of heart. I found myself tearing up while reading certain parts.
Also, I loved the reference to Ray Bradbury with Hannah’s last name. It was a really clever and nice touch!
Overall, this wasn’t the best book I ever read, but it definitely wasn’t the worst. This book, and series, has a lot of promise. I would definitely consider reading more of Fred Holmes’ books in the future! The Ugly Teapot is filled with heartwarming and heartbreaking moments, with so much adventure. I would recommend this book to fans of genie stories, or anyone looking for a quick and adventurous read.
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