Author: Julie Berry
Narrators: Jayne Entwistle
Length: 9 hours 29 minutes
Publisher: Audible Studios
Released: Sep. 25, 2018
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
From award-winning author Julie Berry comes a brand new middle-grade fantasy adventure full of humor and heart, exclusively from Audible.
Maeve Merritt chafes at the rigid rules at her London boarding school for “Upright Young Ladies.” When punishment forces her to sort through the trash, she finds a sardine tin that houses a foul-tempered djinni with no intention of submitting to a schoolgirl as his master.
Soon an orphan boy from the charitable home next door, a mysterious tall man in ginger whiskers, a disgruntled school worker, and a take-no-prisoners business tycoon are in hot pursuit of Maeve and her magical discovery. It’ll take all of her quick thinking and sass to set matters right. Maeve Merritt is one feisty heroine you won’t soon forget.
Julie Berry lives near Los Angeles with her family. The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place is an Odyssey Honor Audiobook, and The Passion of Dolssais a Printz Honor Title.
Julie Berry is the author of the 2017 Printz Honor and Los Angeles Times Book Prize shortlisted novel The Passion of Dolssa, the Carnegie and Edgar shortlisted All the Truth That’s in Me (2013, Viking), the Odyssey Honor title The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place (2014, Roaring Brook), and six others. Her latest novel, The Emperor’s Ostrich, released June 13, 2017 from Roaring Brook. Her forthcoming novel, Lovely War, will release from Viking Children’s Books in Spring 2019. She holds a BS from Rensselaer in communication and an MFA from Vermont College. She lives in Southern California with her family.
Jayne was born in the North of England and lived in a myriad of places (Vancouver, San Francisco, Tucson, Sequim, Seattle) before landing in Los Angeles. She is an avid improviser who hitched her space-work wagon to Patrick Bristow’s company, Improvatorium, where she studied, taught, directed and performed improv.
She is an award-winning audiobook narrator best known for her narration of the Flavia de Luce series by Alan Bradley. She also received the 2015 Odyssey Honour Award for The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry and the 2016 Odyssey Award for, The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.
When not inhaling books for work or pleasure, Jayne works in film, television and commercials. The biggest star she has ever worked with is Shaquille O’Neal. He is quite literally THE biggest star she has ever worked with. Ever. He’s really big!
I’ll start with the audio since this was my favorite part of this audiobook! Jayne did an excellent job with the characters. Everyone sounded different and it was pleasant to listen to them speak. I could tell instantly which character was talking through the narration. She did a great job with the emotions and with the overall pacing of the story. No issues sound wise that I could tell. I think my favorite character voiced by her was our heroine! I give it a 5/5 stars.
Berry did a great job with the novel as well. It was really cute and full of adventure. Exactly what I want from middle grade fantasy. There were also elements of fear for the characters. It wasn’t always happy go lucky. I worried for some of the more dangerous scenes how everything would turn out and that made the book for me! It’s sometimes hard to get across the reality of dangerous moments in middle grade stories but Berry did an excellent job with this. I also loved that each character was written with a lot of backstory and felt completely real. Though the words are geared towards young readers it didn’t feel dumbed down at all! I give it a 5/5 stars as well. I highly recommend 🙂
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Julie Berry. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
Author Julie Berry Interviews Protagonist Maeve Merritt
- So, Miss Maeve Merritt, why did your parents send you to Miss Salamanca’s School for Upright Young Ladies, instead of educating you at home?
Mother said she can’t bear the nightmare of hiring and training another governess for me, nor persuading her to stay after I’d snuck out to play cricket with the village boys once too many times. She thinks my name is on a governess’s blacklist somewhere. Miss Salamanca’s reputation for taming unmanageable girls was music to Mother’s ears.
- And what exactly were you doing at Miss Salamanca’s School when you found your wish-granting djinni?
If you must know, I’d been sentenced to garbage duty for two days. I was sorting through the dustbins, separating tin from rubbish.
- I see … is this normal behavior for students at Miss Salamanca’s School?
- Were you under some sort of punishment?
Only because I’d socked nasty Theresa Treazleton in the eye. And only because she deserved it, and worse. Really, I went easy on her.
- I suppose, if garbage duty led you to an all-powerful djinni, you made out handsomely in this transaction.
Then you don’t know much at all. A djinni’s proven harder to keep track of than a rabid mongoose.
- Why would anyone want to keep track of a rabid mongoose?
Wouldn’t you rather know where it is than wonder where it’s hiding?
- I suppose so. Are you sorry you found the djinni, then?
Who, Mermeros? No, I’m glad I found him. It’s been an education. More than I’d ever have gotten at school. I just wish I’d been able to keep him better hidden from so many rascals and villains. Beating them off at every turn was the hard part. The wishes themselves were pretty spectacular.
- Did you get your wishes granted, then?
That’s cheating. You’ll have to listen to my story to find out.
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March 21, 2019 at 11:47 pm
I picked this book out as an audible original because I do enjoy reading young adult literature although I am long past being a young adult. I truly enjoyed this book and its characters and if you are accepting votes hey, I vote for sequels. I want to know how the education of Maeve and Alice goes, and what’s going on with Tommy.