BOOK REVIEW: Relatively Normal Secrets by C.W. Allen

60191693._SY475_Title: Relatively Normal Secrets

Author: C.W. Allen

Audiobook Length: 5 hours and 11 minutes

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure, Children’s  Middle Grade

Read Start Date: August 17, 2022

Read Finish Date: August 19, 2022

Number in Book Series: 1

Brief Summary of the Plot from Goodreads: Tuesday and Zed Furst are perfectly normal children with perfectly strange parents. Their father won’t discuss his job, their mother never leaves the house without her guard dog, and the topic of the family tree is off limits.

When a last minute “business trip” gets the adults out of the way, Zed and Tuesday decide to get to the bottom of things once and for all. Too bad some thugs with shape-shifting weapons have other ideas. Their escape leaves them trapped in the modern-meets-medieval Falinnheim, where everyone insists their father is a disgraced fugitive. They hope whoever is leaving them coded clues may have some answers, but they’re not sure they’re going to like what they learn.

If they ever want to see their parents again, they’ll need the help of a smuggler with a broken compass, their unusually talented dog, some extremely organized bandits, and a selection of suspiciously misquoted nursery rhymes.

Zed and Tuesday may not have all the answers, but one thing is certain: when it comes to normal, everything is relative.

My ReviewI received this audiobook from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This book is absolutely delightful! It is fun, cute, and creative and reminds me a lot of A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (without all the Christian undertones). I could imagine when my baby is old enough (she is only 1 year now) listening to this book in the car on a trip. I think that she would find it very interesting and engaging — there is a lot of action, riddles (that are easy for adults but maybe for challenging for young children), and a happy ending.

The book ends on sort of a cliff hanger, so I wonder if there will be a second book. I’ll be watching and waiting with fingers crossed!

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Friday 56, August 19, 2022

Welcome to Friday 56! Hosted by Freda’s Voice, you turn to page 56 or 56% in any book or reading device and pick a sentence that grabs you.

One of them explosions send a bunch of shit flying into our pit an them boys on the far side get hit with it an start screamin an yellin an bleedin an grappin at theyselfs. It were all too apparent that the pit was not a safe place to be hidin. Sergeant Kranz suddenly appear over the edge of the pit, an he holler for all of us to get the hell out of there an follow him. There is a little break between explosions an we haul ass out of the pit. I come over the top an look down an godalmighty! Lyin there is four or five of the fellers who was squirtin the hose on us. They is hardley recognizable as people–all mangled up like they has been stuffed thru a cotton baler or somethin. I ain’t never seen nobody dead, an it is the most horrible and scary thing ever happen to me, afore or since!”

Forest Gump by Winston Groom

At this point in the book, Forrest has been sent to Vietnam (he was drafted), even though he is of below average intelligence (and even though they did not accept him in the first draft). This scene describes when they were being shelled in the foxhole and upon getting out, Forrest sees dead American soldiers, who were hosing down Forrest and others because they hadn’t bathed in over a week.

This particular passage shows the horrors of war, and really impacts events in Forrest’s life later on in the book.