Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, today it is The Ugly Teapot: Book One by Fred Holmes. Thanks so much to the author for sending me an electronic copy of this book for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.

Ok, so basically, this is the story of a fourteen year old girl named Hannah who is struggling with the recent death of her father who was working overseas as a photographer during an assignment.

Right away, you see that Hannah is a little strange. She can understand and talk to her dog. At first, this really threw me off guard. I wasn't sure if she was actually hearing what he was saying or if she was just guessing at what he might have said, but I think she was actually communicating with her dog. And this, my friends, is just the beginning of a very strange story.

The story opens up on the day of Hannah's father's funeral and at that point she pretty much decides to use the possibly magical, mostly just ugly lamp/teapot to try and resurrect her father. Yup.

I think what struck me the most was just how fast we got right into the story. And I'm not sure I loved that concept. It was pretty much just ok he's dead, dog suggests lamp, no, thinks about it for 2 minutes, decides to rub lamp, boom genie. There wasn't the typical build up to the story, all that was pushed aside to dive in head first, and I think the story suffered a little because of that.

I won't get too much into the storyline itself, because I don't want to spoil anything, but I will say that I think the events were a little outlandish. There was just so much going on, 200 pages wasn't enough to fully flesh out what needed to be fleshed out.

Along the lines of pacing, this story was so fast paced I was still processing one thing and we were 3 action scenes ahead. There is so much to process, there is not real time to sit and question if the lamp is real or not. I know this is supposed to be a series, and I think the next book will be about the next girl who wields the lamp, but I felt like this one book could have been at least three if it was just a little more structured and organized. So much had happened by the halfway point that I wasn't sure what was going on, let alone if anything was real, and I think that took away from the main message, especially by the end.

Even though this is a story about Hannah's father's death, and her grief, I don't really think that is addressed. And maybe because she wishes her father back to life, and they go on this crazy journey together, both the reader and Hannah don't really see him as truly gone, but I didn't really see this as a story of grief. And I suppose that everyone grieves differently, so I guess this is just Hannah's way of doing it. It wouldn't be mine, but I couldn't help but feel like it was just business as usual, she wasn't really affected by it once they were reunited.

I think part of the problems I have with this book stem from the fact that I might be a bit too old for this book. Truthfully, it is a middle grade book, maybe a young YA audience, but for me, I felt like I was so skeptical and just couldn't enjoy the story as it was because I was looking at it from an older, more critical angle.

The writing in the book was very well done, it was descriptive but not tedious and I found myself able to picture the landscapes in which the story takes place.

I will say that I finished this book and read it in about two and a half hours, so I did enjoy it enough to finish it. I wouldn't say that it was my favourite book, but I can definitely see many people enjoy this story.

I had a major problem with the ending however. I still don't really know what happened, and not really in a good way. I mean I understand it, but at the same time, I don't. There were so many other things had hinted things would be something else than what they actually were.

Overall, I liked this book enough to finish it, but I wouldn't have picked it up on my own.