“An elephant never forgets…but Lexington Willow can’t remember her past. When she was a toddler, a tornado swept her away from everyone and everything she knew and landed her near an enclosure in a Nebraska zoo, where an elephant named Nyah protected her from the storm. With no trace of her family, Lex grew up at the zoo with her foster father, Roger; her best friend, Fisher; and the wind whispering in her ear.
Now that she’s twelve, Lex is finally old enough to help with the elephants. But during their first training session, Nyah sends her a telepathic image of the woods outside the zoo. Despite the wind’s protests, Lex decides to investigate Nyah’s message and gets wrapped up in an adventure involving ghosts, lost treasure, and a puzzle that might be the key to finding her family. Can Lex summon the courage to hunt for who she really is–and why the tornado brought her here all those years ago?”
I got an ARC of this book.
I got this because there was an elephant on the cover. My family is an elephant family. We feed the elephants at the zoo every chance we get, we have elephant art work (the ones painted by elephants, not paintings of elephants), and more. I got this so I could read it and hopefully think my grandmother would like it to get for her. My grandmother does not have a reading level that matches her age. She loves reading though. So a middle grade book about elephants sounded perfect for her.
The problem is this book is boring. That is sadly the nicest way I can say it. The writing feels disconnected and emotionless. There is no reason for me to care about the mystery. It reads as a adult novel in tone and pacing. There are so many unexplained things that I had to force myself to read it. I ended up stopping around 73% of the way. I just couldn’t force myself to read any more. So I don’t know how it ends and I just don’t care. If I don’t care by this point in the book I doubt I ever will. I am done torturing myself.
With my normal reading speed, I should have been able to finish this book in a sitting or just a few hours. Instead I have been attempting to read it for over a week. I just can’t focus. There is nothing to focus on. The characters are flat that there really is no explanation for why they do what they do or any desire on my part to know. There is too much trying to hide plot points to reveal them later (like the names that Lex was called in school). If you erased about every other chapter from the first quarter of the book, the book would read smoother and I wouldn’t have been as bored. There is no reason to have a chapter to hint that she was bullied at school. Just tell me she was bullied and move on.
If there were an adult book, then I might have overlooked some of this as adult books often have way too many details and have pacing that just isn’t conducive to binge reading. But this is middle grade. This is supposed to be for younger readers and it is just boring. How can you make a telepathic elephant boring?
1 out of 5 stars. I would not recommend this book.
You can buy the book here.