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Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

*The Glass Casket* by McCormick Templeman- young adult book review  
The Glass Casket
by McCormick Templeman
Grades 8+ 352 pages Delacorte Press February 2014 Hardcover    

I love picking up a book at random and discovering a new author to fall in love with—not to mention a story that captivates me to the point of not wanting to stop reading way into the early morning hours. I made just such a discovery with The Glass Casket, a novel by McCormick Templeman that falls under the Young Adult category. I can honestly say that this novel was much more engrossing and much better written than many of the adult novels I’ve read lately, so don’t let the YA label fool you.

From page one, the author draws you in seductively with gorgeous imagery and rich, enigmatic characters. Before you know it, you are no longer in your world but now in the mystical-tinged world of the mountain village of Nag’s End, where a horrible tragedy has just stunned the villagers who live there. Rowan Rose is a lovely young woman caught up in what soon unfolds into a horrific series of murders that appear to be the work of some ungodly beast—and soon her best friend, Tom, and her newfound cousin Fiona are caught up in an ancient “magick” that threatens to unravel the entire village unless some old fashioned witchcraft can undo the curse and stop the slaughter. When the tragedies get too close to home, Rowan must find the courage to stand against an age-old evil as the lives of those she loves hang in the balance.

Though I am not usually a fan of romantic fantasy, I found that this novel is both yet neither. Instead, it is a haunting and atmospheric story of new ideas clashing with old traditions, fantasy with reality, and love with hatred and death, done against a purely magical backdrop of a village on the edge of sanity, for there are monsters in the woods just beyond the boundaries of the known. That there is also a love story embedded makes The Glass Casket an even richer experience, and again, one that readers beyond the YA age group will thrill to. (I ain’t no spring chicken!)

With all the fuss about the big YA novels out there, such as Hunger Games and Twilight, it’s so much fun to finish a book like “The Glass Casket,” that holds court to its own kind of magic and intrigue. Like the Grimm fairy tales of old, this story captivates, haunts and sticks in your mind for a long, long time.
Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

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