One Jar of Magic
Reviewed by Meredith Burton
What if you thought you were always destined for greatness? How would the constant pressure from a beloved parent inspire you to practice to be renowned and strong? Corey Ann Haydu explores in beautiful imagery and insightful detail the theme of unfair expectations and the pressure we all face to be someone other than our true selves.
Rose Alice Anders, (Little Luck), lives in Belling Bright, a town where magic is everywhere. Magic is beautiful and fleeting. On New Year’s Day, the townspeople are allowed to capture as many jars of magic as they possibly can. Roses’s father, Wendell Anders, is the most celebrated magic catcher, and Rose is destined to follow in his footsteps. It is her destiny; an inevitable fact which she knows will come to pass. But, Rose only captures one tiny jar of magic, revealing family conflict, testing friendships and forcing Rose on a hard journey of self-discovery.
This is the best novel Corey Ann Haydu has ever written. Rose’s difficult realization that, perhaps, she is Not Meant for Magic is heartbreaking. However, magic cannot fix everything, and perhaps people who are Not Meant for Magic have a special purpose to fulfill. In this novel, things are not what they seem. Complex characters and the exploration of the abuse theme are examined in a beautiful way. My favorite aspect of the story is the relationship between Rose and her older brother, Lyle. I also love how Roses’s mother is portrayed. Wendell Anders, while he is a frustrating character, is empathetic in his own way. I always love how Haydu makes even her villains empathetic. It is refreshing to read a book where the greatest character is not the strongest. I love how Haydu explores the negative side of magic, a theme that is often overlooked in children’s literature. One Jar of Magic is an unforgettable and stunning novel of how we are all unique. It is a story of finding our place in the world. We may not meet other’s expectations, but perhaps we were meant for something greater. Even the smallest action can make the most difference. Thoroughly recommended.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR…
Meredith Leigh Burton was born on July 4, 1983. She is an author, motivational speaker, and English teacher. Meredith is a young adult author of fairy tale retellings. Her book releases include Rebekah’s Refuge, The Princess and the Invisible Apple Tree and Blind Beauty and Other Tales of Redemption. She loves volunteering in her community, helping with church activities and spending time with her family.