Saturday, February 9, 2013

Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mademoiselle Odile - ESSENTIAL

Reese, James The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mademoiselle Odile, 353 pages, Roaring Brook Press, 2012. Language, PG (2 French swears, 0 "F") violence: PG13, Mature content: G.

For generations, the women in Odile and her little brother Gréluchon's family have carried some very strange powers, the use of "salts" and/or other items to perform what many people call witchcraft. Odile and Grel are alone in Paris during a Prussian siege and Grel is becoming increasingly ill, until a doctor Henry Jekyll shows up and takes an interest in them. Using the doctor's laboratory, Odile works on creating a brew that will give Grell the power to get better.
Grell, however, overdoses on the salts and turns into a hideous monster, running rampant during a critical point in the history of France, and it turns out the doctor has known all along what would happen. Odile, now caught in the middle of the catastrophe, must find a way to save the lives of those she loves and keep the doctor's hands off of the brew.

I loved this book. Aside from the magnificent as well as historically accurate setting, Reese included a powerful female lead with a complex plot. I adore his writing style as well, it added more of a sense of the time period to the story. Odile was so easy for me to relate to and all of the other characters were so well developed. I'm a fan of classic stories like "The strange case", and this definitely did the story justice. James Reese, a job well done.  

MS, HS - ESSENTIAL.  student reviewer: BT

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