This is a brilliantly witty story with a furry tail ending. One girl. One boy. One spell to be broken. Ondine de Groot is a normal fifteen-year-old who lives with her family in the European country of Brugel. She has a pet ferret called Shambles. But Shambles is no ordinary ferret...He's Hamish McPhee, a boy cursed by a witch. A witch who happens to be related to Ondine. When Shambles turns back into Hamish temporarily, Ondine knows that she has to help him break the spell. He is the most gorgeous boy she has ever met and her one true love! He just can't remain a ferret forever. Can he?
(Synopsis taken from goodreads.)
Title: Ondine: The Summer of Shambles
Author: Ebony McKenna
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: April 5, 2010
Source: Received from author. Many thanks goes to Ebony McKenna for sending me this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. Kelsey from The Teen Book Scene also deserves my thanks for setting up the tour for Ondine; in that regard, thank you Kelsey!
My Rating: 5/5
Ondine de Groot is a normal girl, residing in Brugel. She has adopted a ferret named Shambles, and is surprised to learn that he talks. She is further surprised when she learns that he was once a young man, and that a witch, related to her, had cursed him to spend his life as a ferret. She sets out to break the spell on him, but can she do it, or is he doomed to spend eternity as a ferret?
I absolutely loved this book. I found both Ondine and Shambles engaging, I loved their banter, and found myself immersed fully in their world. Shambles is a cheeky ferret, and it's quite easy to see how he got into trouble in the first place. His Scottish accent makes him all the more endearing, and his phrases will have you giggling in no time. I absolutely loved, and have never seen before in a fiction novel, the footnotes. They explained certain phrases, so we could follow along easily. Most of the time, the footnotes were tongue in cheek, and the explanations were just as funny as the original phrasing.
Somewhere along the way, I fell in love with the characters; and enjoyed getting to know Ondine's full family, as well as Shambles, and Ondine herself. Her parents, and siblings, as well as their respective partners kick up the action, and they keep Ondine on her toes. Things are quite lively, and I found the book refreshing. I cannot wait for the next installment in this series. I'm rooting for Shambles/Hamish and Ondine, and can't wait to see where McKenna takes them next. If this book is any indication, we are in for a treat.
All in all, McKenna's humour adds another dimension to the book, and leaves us begging for more. An excellent debut novel; one, that I think we should all read. It is a lighthearted, and vibrant read that will burrow itself into your heart. This is one book that I know I will be re-reading in the future. It is a feel-good tale that kept me involved, and guessing what would happen next. The next book isn't out until February 2011. February cannot come soon enough.
You can follow along with the tour over at The Teen Book Scene's Tour Page. Please check back tomorrow, as I will have an interview as well as a giveaway of Ondine posted!