Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Last Present

The Last Present
by Wendy Mass
Scholastic, 2013
Reviewed ARC
Audience:  Grades 4 to 6
ISBN:  9780545310164
Publication Date: September 24, 2013

After 13 Gifts, Tara had succeeded in bringing her parents back to Willows Falls, making new friends, and giving David a beautiful bar mitzvah.  However, all is not well in Willow Falls as Grace falls ill.  She suddenly freezes with a look of complete awe on her face.  Now, Leo and Amanda have been charged by Angelina to fix Grace's past birthdays and hopefully fix Grace herself.  This is a fitting conclusion to the Willow Falls series and fans of the last three books will certainly enjoy this one as well.

I said last week that I was getting a little fatigued by Willow Falls.  While that's true, I still loved the story.  I've said before that there is just enough magic in Willow Falls to entertain, but not so much to make it feel fantastical.  Like all the people say, there's nothing normal about Willow Falls.  

As for the plot, it was lovely.  Amanda and Leo time travel with the help of their friends and try to fix benediction that Angelina could never get right.  But are they saving Grace or hurting her by doing this?  They finally get the answer to that question by traveling all the way back to Angelina's birthday and seeing what she does to protect the town.  

There is really no stone left unturned in this finale.  There are little conclusions to small plot points that will delight fans of the series.  The way that Mass ties up ends that didn't even feel loose is beautiful and just adds to the fullness of the series.  For instance, readers will find out why David's father was sick, how Riley came to find a killer rabbit, and more.  

I'm happy for all the characters in this book.  The ending left everything open and hopeful.  They can all go about their lives again in a place where nothing is ever a coincidence   

Happy Reading!

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