Even & Odd

Author: Sarah Beth Durst

My rating: 4.3 stars

Audience: Middle Grade+

Even and Odd are sisters who live in the mundane world and can do magic, but only on every other day of the week, taking turns. Even would love to be able to do magic every day, especially since her sister, Odd, has zero interest in using her abilities on her own magic days. When the portal to the magical world unexpectedly fails while their mother is away on a business trip, and Even is stuck in the form of a skunk, Even and Odd, and their new unicorn friend, Jeremy, will need to find a way to get back home, and perhaps figure out why the portal failed.

This book gave me lots of Wizard of Oz feels – two sisters stuck in a magical land, trying to find their way home. There’s even a yellow brick road they walk down on their way to find a witch who can hopefully help them, and instead of lions, tigers, and bears, we have dragons and hydras, and other mythical monsters. There’s even a wicked witch, but stopping her will be a lot more complicated than melting her in a puddle of water or accidentally dropping a house on her head.

The story is narrated from Even’s perspective. She’s young, optimistic, cheerful, and loves everything to do with magic. Although Odd isn’t the narrator, she accompanies Even throughout the story, and I actually think her character matured more at the end. Odd finds her magic annoying and disruptive to her life. Being stuck in the magical world is awful for someone like Odd, who craves normalcy. I liked  both girls equally. They’re great supportive sisters, despite their differences. The sisters’ new unicorn friend, Jeremy, comes along for the journey as well, and has his own character arc.

This book was full of fun colorful magic, lots of optimism, adventure, and some difficult decisions. Most important of all was the book’s ultimate message: skunks are the best and cutest heroes.

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