Book Review: Thornhill by Pam Smy

28107168Intriguing. Dark. Mysterious. Empowering. Thornhill is a book that I didn’t expect it to be. It is escalated in two timelines. One from the present which is narrated through illustrations and the other one is from the past which is introduced as a journal or a diary. I was delighted that I got to read this kind of book because this is my first time reaching out in one of the genres that I refused to read since I’m not really a fan of creepy things when it comes in a novel. However, Thornhill is pretty interesting when it tells a story about past and present alternatively and discusses the profound activity of mental violence, which I presume bullying.

It was a compelling book because the way the author arrange the sequence and the journal chapters intrigues me more that I could imagine and the illustrations! I couldn’t believe that the author, herself, do the illustrations and that was magnificent! Writing your own book and making your own illustrations is simply amazing. 

Thornhill, indeed, crept me out of the illustrations and I really think it was given justice accordingly and I love it. I never read a book like this and that twist in the ending. Yeah, I don’t want to spoil you, guys but that twist made me look up to the book and think, “How did the author think of it?” and I didn’t see it coming. It was a brave choice to plot a story like that and I would like to applause the author for executing it well on the book. 

Thornhill is to look out for, I’ve never read something like this. It offers more than you’ve seen and if you would ask me if I would recommend this to middle-grade students? Definitely! I would like their minds to work, I want them to think, to wonder, to conspire and above all to feel the emotions of the book. It could be scary at some point but I really hope that they will receive as much lessons from the story while it’s unfolding the mystery.


Pam Smy PhotoThis month’s Featured Illustrator is Pam Smy. Senior Lecturer of the Illustration Course for the Cambridge School of Art at Anglia Ruskin University, Pam is an amazingly evocative illustrator in her own right, and as a writer is about to release her first novel. Tomorrow (11th March) she’s running the SCBWI Masterclass workshop Building Words for Your Character at The House of Illustration near King’s Cross in London. 


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