The Shells of Chanticleer

The Shells of Chanticleer by Maura Patrick

(Summary taken from an email the author sent me)

“Come to Chanticleer, a magical land without chores or parents
that abounds with festivals and forests, bountiful buffets, and the deliciously
addictive warm caramel sugar that’s the only thing to drink. In Chanticleer
there’s no reason to worry as eliminating your childhood fears is why you are
there. But in Chanticleer it’s best to learn your lessons quickly and get out,
as those who can’t, or won’t learn, are subject to a hideous fate.

For Macy Winters, keeping one step ahead of the powers that be
seems easy enough. She has friends in the right places and a swooningly romantic
secret boyfriend who she thinks will protect her. Unfortunately, she has caught
the eye of Crispin Sinclair, the sinister artist whose creative visions make
Chanticleer both delightful and terrifying. Can she escape his plans for her or
will she discover that getting out of Chanticleer safely is harder than she
imagines?

Enter a world of secrets where no one is quite who they seem
to be, where what you dream comes true, and where what you fear …
happens.

A mysterious world that, like life itself, is more complicated
than it seems.”

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book, and I have to say I was surprised. The concept of the book is very different from anything I have read before. It was a little mysterious with some adventure and romance. It is an easy read, which I liked, and I do think it is young adult appropriate. I liked the main character. She was not perfect, but ended up not being too wimpy. She learned from her mistakes and became stronger as the book went on. The character development was good, and I liked a lot of the characters. There are some things in this book that are just strange, and a little creepy. The shells, for example, are creepy. I didn’t think that part of the book was resolved as well as it could have been. At first Macy thought they were creepy and wanted nothing to do with them, and then she was just okay with it? (Sorry, I don’t want to give it away, so this explanation will be a little vague.) And the whole concept of who the staff members are is strange. And, the whole thing about Macy having an “old soul” was a little creepy to me. I didn’t like that they allowed (and encouraged) her at such a young age to make such a monumental decision, especially if she wouldn’t remember making the decision……
I did like this book. It was entertaining and different. It had some good lessons about overcoming fears and being your best self. It was a little strange and a little deep in some places. It was not as dark and sinister as the summary makes it out to be. It is clean and that is why I think it is appropriate for young adults.
Rating: PG (It is clean-there was one swear word I think, but that is all. There wasn’t any “physical intimacy,” besides a kiss, and no violence.)
Recommendation: 13 or 14 years old and up. I think parents might want to read it first to make sure the concept isn’t too much for the younger or less mature readers.
Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 

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