Publication Date: October 25th 2004
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Violet has always been in the shadow of her mesmerizing, controlling brother Will -- by turns delightful and terrifying. Now that Will has learned a shocking secret about his own past, things seem to be getting worse. Violet retreats further into her fantasy world built around the fairy characters created by her favourite author, Casper Dream. The arrival of Jasmine, a new girl at school who immediately befriends Violet, seems like it might change Violet’s life for the better and allow her to break free of Will’s spell. But is Jasmine a true friend?
Jacqueline Wilson was one of the most influential authors on my reading life. Her novels lit the spark to my love for reading and I knew I needed to read this novel as one of her only "classics" that I had not yet read.
The novel centered around Violet, a thirteen year old girl with a love for fantastical worlds and her favourite author Casper Dream. Violet was a really well written main character. Jacqueline definitely captured the odd internal conflict of being a girl at that age, of wanting to hold onto your childhood but also wanting to be an adult and feel more adult as a teenager.
I loved her connection to her favourite books and almost felt her love for her favorite author Casper Dream was so similar to the people reading this novel and their feelings towards Jacqueline herself. I was kind of expecting a twist to occur in the novel but it didn't happen which was disappointing.
Another aspect I loved in the novel was something Jacqueline does very well in most of her novels- modern family relations depiction. Jacqueline captures the non picturesque sides to family life in such a brilliant way. The fights, divorce, abuse, bad parents etc are all aspects Jacqueline writes so very well. In the novel Violet and her brother Will have a very up and down relationship and Violet is trying so hard to cling onto their comradery they had as children and wants nothing more than to rekindle their friendship. I loved seeing this improve over the course of the novel- although I found Will to be a very odd and creepy character at times.
Overall this book is great, fun, eerie and atmospheric with important themes. I felt the book would have been more enjoyable if it was considerably longer but the novel was enjoyable. I wish I had read it earlier but it has stirred up my interest in reading Jacqueline Wilson again and I may read some of her newer releases soon.