My dear bookish friends!
It’s finally here – the ultimate blog tour featuring Amari and the Nightbrothers by B.B. Alston – quite possibly up there in my top three favourite books of the year!!! I can’t wait to share my thoughts about this amazing and wonderfully magical middle grade book with you! But before I do that, I wanted to give a big shout out to Dave at TheWriteReads who has outdone himself with all the amazing blog tours this year! I was blown away with every single one of them, and Amari is no different there. So, let’s have a look at what it is about, shall we? And then straight on to my review!
Quinton Peters was the golden boy of the Rosewood low-income housing projects, receiving full scholarship offers to two different Ivy League schools. When he mysteriously goes missing, his little sister, 13-year-old Amari Peters, can’t understand why it’s not a bigger deal. Why isn’t his story all over the news? And why do the police automatically assume he was into something illegal?
Then Amari discovers a ticking briefcase in her brother’s old closet. A briefcase meant for her eyes only. There was far more to Quinton, it seems, than she ever knew. He’s left her a nomination for a summer tryout at the secretive Bureau of Supernatural Affairs. Amari is certain the answer to finding out what happened to him lies somewhere inside, if only she can get her head around the idea of mermaids, dwarves, yetis and magicians all being real things, something she has to instantly confront when she is given a weredragon as a roommate.
Amari must compete against some of the nation’s wealthiest kids—who’ve known about the supernatural world their whole lives and are able to easily answer questions like which two Great Beasts reside in the Atlantic Ocean and how old is Merlin? Just getting around the Bureau is a lesson alone for Amari with signs like ‘Department of Hidden Places this way, or is it?’ If that all wasn’t enough, every Bureau trainee has a talent enhanced to supernatural levels to help them do their jobs – but Amari is given an illegal ability. As if she needed something else to make her stand out.
With an evil magican threatening the whole supernatural world, and her own classmates thinking she is an enemy, Amari has never felt more alone. But if she doesn’t pass the three tryouts, she may never find out what happened to Quinton.
What if all the magical creatures we read about, what if magic itself was real?
Wow. Just wow. Amari and the Nightbrothers is an incredibly imaginative and very magical read. Amari is devastated ever since her brother has gone missing. She spends her days posting his pictures all over the internet – in the hope that anybody might know where he is. Even though people believe him to be dead by now, Amari can’t bring herself to think that. No, Quinton must be out there somewhere! But where?
That is not Amari’s only problem though. Her mother is working 12-hour shifts at the hospital, and her classmates in the posh school she can only afford to go to due to her scholarship, are bullying her. Badly. As the only black girl from the other – the poor – part of town, Amari is standing out. After an incident with a very mean girl, the school pulls the scholarship back. What now?
I felt with Amari from page one. She is such a strong, such a lovely girl, and I was rooting for her all throughout the book! All she wants is to find her older brother Quinton whom she loves so dearly, and that he went missing made my heart hurt. But then, all of a sudden, Amari reveives a special delivery. A delivery from Quinton! But how is that possible? Where is he? And what exactly is the secretive Bureau of Supernatural Affairs he tells her about?
Amari sees things she has never thought possible. Trains on the ocean floor, ships flying in the night sky, let alone all the supernatural creatures she had only read about in books until now! Will Amari find Quinton? Will she be strong enough to endure the mean girls at her school? And will she be able to win the tryouts in order to get into the summer camp that the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs offers?
So many questions, and you will get the answers when you read this book, which I HIGHLY, highly recommend you do! You get a great heroine that you root for from page one, a main character that asks the right questions at the right time, and acts like you would in her situation (I hate when book characters act totally weirdly!), and a girl that loves her family and friends. I loved Amari’s values and norms, and how she didn’t give up on her brother and watched out for her mother. Such a lovely girl!
The descriptions of the two different parts of the town made it easy to imagine the social clash that adds to the reality feel of the book. As much as it’s about magic, this book is also very real, very raw, and emotional, which I absolutely loved. It addresses social problems in a way that makes it approachable for children and teens to read about, and I can imagine it could pave the way nicely to have great discussions with them about these topics. Furthermore, it is also a very deep and enjoyable read for adults! The only slight negative I could mention was that for me, some scenes were cut off a bit too quickly at some points. I would have liked for them to go on a bit longer, or find completion with a sentence or two more. That would have been the sprinkles on top of the ice cream, but it already has a cherry and chocolate sauce on top!!
An amazing read that everyone will enjoy – for book lovers of all ages!!! 4.5 magical stars from me!
Thank you all so much for reading!