Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Boy Who Knew Everything (Book #2) by Victoria Forester

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This review was written by: C
Received: Library
Publication Date of Book: October 2015
Pages: 416
Stars: 3.5/5


Official Summary:

Here is the long-awaited companion to The Girl Who Could Fly.

There is a prophecy.

It speaks of a girl who can fly and a boy who knows everything. The prophecy says that they have the power to bring about great change...

The boy is Conrad Harrington III. The girl is Piper McCloud. They need their talents now, more than ever, if they are to save the world—and themselves.


My Thoughts:

I have waited so long for this book to come out! I fell in love with The Girl Who Could Fly when it was first published way back in 2008. It is by far one of my absolute favorite Middle Grade novels. Piper was such an enchanting character, and Forester knew exactly how to create a fantastical tale that utterly drew you in. 

I was actually starting to lose hope that a second book would even be written. The Girl Who Could Fly had such a cliffhanger of an ending, and there was no second book in sight. All-in-all, I can't believe it took seven years for the second book to finally become a reality! I know that there are a lot of mixed opinions about the story. Some say that it was absolutely terrible compared to the first, but there are quite a few people who thought it was still as magical as its predecessor. I do have quite a bit to say, but I want to give you guys a bit more of an overview of what the story is about, mostly due to the fact that the official GoodReads summary really doesn't tell you much.

The Boy Who Knew Everything picks up where The Girl Who Could Fly left off. All of the kids are where they belong, and Conrad is living with Piper and her family. As time goes on, Piper attempts to gain Conrad's support in gathering all of the children in order to use their powers for good. Conrad doesn't really want anything to do with such an idea, and he's devastated and put into a permanent funk when  his parents pronounce him dead. 

Eventually a terrifying event helps Conrad regain his senses, and he agrees to become the great leader that Piper and the kids desperately need. He orchestrates their heroic activities and makes sure that the world is none the wiser that they exist. However, nothing can ever be simple, and the children may be in grave danger.

With the disappearance of Conrad's little sister, Piper and Conrad embark on a journey to save his family. Their adventures will lead them to a secret world where people with special powers exist in peace and harmony...or at least that's how this supposedly miraculous place appears on the surface. And little do they know that absolutely no one will be safe once Conrad's family's secrets are brought to light.

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With a better description of the story out of the way, let's get to my thoughts on the book. We all know that The Girl Who Could Fly ended on a cliffhanger with the invisible man, also known as J., explaining to Piper that all of the kid's from I.N.S.A.N.E. aren't safe and that they all belong somewhere with people that are special like them. However, you don't really know where or what this place is. As a result, I am happy to announce that you won't be disappointed to find out that you get to learn a lot more about J., his family, and the hidden place that he mentioned in the first book. However, there's still quite a bit of mystery surrounding him, and I do have to add that I find it strange that Piper utterly trusts him. Maybe it's the fact that he's a grown adult who often watches on her and the rest of the kids while he's invisible. I feel as if he gives off a creepy stalker vibe; however, his intentions are pure.

Dr. Hellion is also still in the picture, but she really isn't much use due to the fact that she's mentally insane and locked away. I really wasn't planning to see any redemption plot weaved in for her, but Forester did include a little subplot of this.

I was most excited to read about Piper again. Her southern charm and simple upbringing were a joy to read about in the first book. As Stephenie Meyer said, The Girl Who Could Fly really is a mix of X-men and Little House on the Prairie. However, it did take awhile for me to get back into the swing of her writing. It may be that I'm older and don't really read any Middle Grade novels anymore, but her writing didn't seem to possess the exact same pizzazz and style that I remember in The Girl Who Could Fly. However, I didn't let this prevent me from finishing the story, and about a forth of the way into the book, I got into the swing of things.

I do feel that the first book was the best, but stories have to evolve with each new installment. As a result, I  think that this is where some readers felt disappointed. (At least, by looking at some of the reviews for this book, this is probably what some readers got hung up on.) The first book was so exciting because you got to experience all of the joy, exhilaration, and danger that Piper felt while discovering her powers for the first time. Piper is a character like no other, and it was thrilling to share in her experiences.

The first book then progressed by introducing an organization that takes people like Piper and tries to destroy their uniqueness. That plot followed a classic formula with a unique twist to it that readers love, and it was also the book in which the reader discovered Piper's world for the first time. Everything felt so fresh and new, and I have to say that it's probably difficult to construct a story that's capable of bringing forth the exact same feelings that the reader experienced with the first installment.

With the second book, Forester had to build on everything that the readers fell in love with prior and weave a new scenario and villain that would capture her original audience. She also had to tie up loose ends that existed in the first book. I know that she was trying to progress the story in a way that she hoped readers would find interesting and thrilling. However, the new direction wasn't what I was hoping for. The story felt a little vague at times and some aspects were a little out there and rushed. I was also a little disappointed that Piper wasn't the main character. Forester chose to center the second book around Conrad. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed Conrad in the first book, but I love Piper even more. She's a character that I fell in love with as a kid, and I was hoping that she would be the main protagonist in the continuation.

I am glad that Forester continued the story, because then I would never have known what would have happened to Piper and the rest of the cast. Forester also probably wanted to change things up, and she was able to create a new plot by focusing on Conrad rather than Piper. It does make sense that she would switch to another character if the plot is supposed to revolve around a prophecy that involves both Piper and Conrad. Although, I did find it a little strange that there wasn't a direct prophecy written. All you are told is that there is one and it involves two people that fit Piper and Conrad's description. Maybe it's my love of Percy Jackson that created the need to have a solid, fleshed-out prophecy that I can follow and anticipate what will be happening next.

I also want to mention the covers. I don't really like the revamp that was done on the series:

Original:
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Revamp:
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Maybe it's just that the original cover looks more realistic (which I think is better), but I don't really like the covers with the cartoonish depictions of the characters that the publisher decided to go with.

In the end, I feel that The Boy Who Knew Everything did still have some of the magic that the first book possessed. There was also quite a bit of suspense built up for the ending, and I hope that this book will definitely open the door for a third installment! However, I hope that it comes out in less than 8 years!


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