“By choosing our path, we choose our destination.”
~Thomas S. Monson
If you haven’t already, I recommend checking out my previous Maryellen book reviews before reading this one:
- Book Review #15: “The One and Only: A Maryellen Classic”
- Book Review #16: “Taking Off: A Maryellen Classic 2”
- Book Review #18: “The Finders Keepers Rule: A Maryellen Mystery”
In 2014, when American Girl first announced the relaunch of their historical characters into the BeForever line, I was skeptical of their revamping of the books. For nearly 20 years, I was used to each historical character having six books that make up their story, set over roughly the course of a year in their life.
Now, they’ve condensed the shorter six books into three longer books.It still covers roughly a year in their life, and the number of pages are pretty close between the two.
The main difference is the third book in each collection is a choose-your-own-adventure style, where girls of today dive right into the historical girl’s world.
Although immensely skeptical, I was also immediately intrigued. I wanted to read them!
Maryellen’s stories are the first complete collection in the new format that I have completed. I’m planning to do the same with Melody soon – See Book Review #13 and Book Review #14 for more!
Going in, I knew the story started with a girl of today being transported into Maryellen’s world because of the sneak peeks in the previous books.
To my surprise, I found that you can read this book without necessarily having to have read the others, which is neat. But, I appreciated having read the three others first. Actually, I recommend it.
Our modern girl is a skier from the mountains of North Carolina. Suddenly, with the watch she wins from her race, she finds herself in sunny Daytona Beach. Bewildered, she meets Maryellen and her siblings. The adventure commences quickly, and soon the modern girl, and the reader, are swept up in the 1950s and carried away.
I enjoyed being able to choose my path along the way – It made me excited to see what could happen next. I appreciated the blending of both worlds as well.
The only criticism I had was there was a very small section toward the beginning of the book (just a few pages) that required you to skip several pages ahead and then go back to that part later, if you happened to choose that path. I recognized the intent of the author, but it was annoying and a bit confusing. I can see how it could be frustrating to younger readers.
However, despite that slight annoyance, it was a fantastic book. I quickly devoured the different stories and journeys in the span of one night! It’s a breezy read, and I enjoyed the style. I applaud the author, and American Girl, for this ambitious idea for their dolls. Plus, it’s a new spin on other books like this.
4 1/2 out of 5 stars.
Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂
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