Friday, March 31, 2017

Lizzy's Review: Do You Hear Ticking?



"I think it would be better if you knew something about this clock business. I can't tell you all about it because I don't know all about it. In fact, there are times I think I don't know much about it at all. But I'll tell you what I know." 
~ The House With a Clock in Its Walls 



Lewis Barnavelt couldn't have prepared for life at 100 High Street in New Zebedee, Michigan. After losing his parents in a tragic car accident he was taken in by his eccentric Uncle Jonathan, whose mysterious three story stone mansion would be his home. Even though he's nervous, Lewis is excited to explore the interesting rooms and fancy parlors. But when strange occurrences start happening, he isn't sure what to think. Jonathan seems nice enough, but should Lewis worry about his uncle's odd behavior? When Lewis catches Jonathan going through rooms in the middle of the night stopping clocks, he needs answers. Jonathan and his friend, Mrs. Zimmermann, explain that the previous owner of the house was a dark wizard named Isaac Izard, and he concealed the clock inside the walls. It's been ticking towards something dreadful, but they don't know what or even where it is, only that the the wizard had plans to destroy the world. Lewis searches for clues, but once school begins, his thoughts turn to meeting kids. As usual, he isn't popular due to his abysmal baseball skills, and the fat jokes begin. After Lewis's only friend, Tarby, stops hanging around with him, Lewis plots to save their friendship by performing an impressive spell on Halloween night. Is it possible the magic will work? Will Lewis win Tarby back? Why is the clock ticking? Can one kind of magic beat another? Step into this twisty mystery to find out!

The House With a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs and illustrated by the master of mystery, Edward Gorey, is a spine-chilling delight! I absolutely loved this book, and I can't wait to read more of Lewis's adventures at 100 High Street. The mansion Uncle Jonathan lives in reminds me of the Begonia House, with all its secret nooks and crannies. Edward Gorey's illustrations conjure up the perfect mood, capturing the eerie essence of the manor. Lewis is nice, and I wanted him to succeed. I felt happy when he made friends with Tarby, and after their friendship began to break up, I could understand Lewis's reasoning for trying to keep it together, even if his plan involved a big risk. Lewis shows that he can be brave in the face of chaos and uses his knowledge of stories to try to save the world from being destroyed by dark magic. I would recommend this book to readers ages eight and up or anyone who enjoys reading from the edge of their seat.

Has anyone else read The House With a Clock in Its Walls? Or have you read another book by John Bellairs? We'd love to hear your thoughts!

*Thanks to the Little Shop of Stories for recommending this book. :)

Happy reading!
~ L




37 comments:

  1. Hi Lizzie and DMS - what a great post - and has definitely piqued my interest to read and take note of ... and I love the illustrations ... cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hilary- I hope you enjoy it! :) ~L

      Delete
  2. Unusual premise. Casting a spell to keep a friend probably isn't as effective as actually working at it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alex- It is a unique and unusual book for sure. :) ~L

      Delete
  3. This sounds wonderful, definitely right up my alley! Hugs, Valerie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Valerie- I loved it! I look forward to reading more by this author. :) ~L

      Delete
  4. This title rang a memory bell so I think I did read it once upon a time. Checked the publication date, and yes, this is totally possible.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tamara- Glad to ring the memory bell. Definitely an interesting book! :) ~L

      Delete
  5. I haven't heard of this one! Some aspects of this sound heart-breaking, but it sounds like a great story! The mansion reminded me of the Begonia House, too :-) Thank you for the lovely review!

    ~Mckenzie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. McKenzie- Someone had told us that the Begonia House reminded them a little of the house in this book, so I had to find the book and read it. It is a really interesting story for sure! :) ~Jess

      Delete
  6. Sure sounds like one to read as the clock ticks away

    ReplyDelete
  7. There is something decidedly creepy about a hidden clock ticking away...
    This sounds great.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EC- It is creepy! Definitely a fun read. :) ~L

      Delete
  8. This is a new book and author to me. What a great mystery though. Thanks for telling us about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beverly- It was a new author to me too> I was glad that someone told me about the book and the author. Always fun to read something new! :) ~L

      Delete
  9. This story sounds interesting with a great premise. Thanks for sharing about it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This sounds like a super fun read! Thanks for recommending it :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. What a charming concept for a book! It sounds great.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beth- The book is really unique! :) ~L

      Delete
  12. This books sounds like quite the mysterious adventure. What fun!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love the illustrations! The story sounds very intriguing!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Magic Love Crow- The story and illustrations go together perfectly! :) ~L

      Delete
  14. This has a great story line... I hope Lewis figured out how to stop the clock... it definitely sounds like an interesting book xox

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Launna- It is a page turner! I enjoyed it and look forward to reading more by the author. :) ~L

      Delete
  15. Great illustrations! (Is this the style that inspired Jess? I can see similarities there. :)) I'm curious about the clock, too, and the wizard's plan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Claudine- Good eye! You got it! I am definitely inspired by Edward Gorey. I love his work. When I heard about this book and the fact that he illustrated it I knew I had to read it. :) ~Jess

      Delete
  16. Replies
    1. Anna- I really enjoyed the book and the illustrations! :) ~L

      Delete
  17. This post makes me want to read a good mystery. I've long heard about The House with a Clock in its Walls, but I've never read it, will have to do so. I've been a Gorey fan for many years. Nice post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marcia- Have you ever visited the Edward Gorey House? It is in Cape Cod and very fascinating. I hope you get to read The House with a Clock in its Walls soon. :) ~L

      Delete
  18. This reminds me of reading R.L. Stine books as a kid. I think it'll feel somewhat nostalgic reading this on my own. The problem is that the boy in the illustration looks like this evil character in The Legion so I don't know if I can handle looking at him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Adriana- I loved the illustrations- but if the character looks like another evil character to you then the good news is that there are versions with different illustrations. :) Maybe you can give one of those a try! :) ~L

      Delete
  19. I always love a novel with some magic to it! The house sounds really cool - with something new to be discovered all the time. it makes it even more intriguing! Great review x

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for stopping by and commenting. We love to hear your thoughts! Fairday's Blog is no longer accepting awards. We appreciate all the nominations that we have received and are honored to have been mentioned! Happy Reading!

Twitter Bird Gadget Twitter Bird Gadget