Saturday, 23 February 2013

Root Bound Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

Hey everyone, today is my stop of the Root Bound Blog Tour. For this awesome tour, I will be reviewing the book Root Bound by Tanya Karen Gough and there will also be TWO generous giveaways, both open INTERNATIONALLY! You can enter these at the bottom of this post. Thank you to Tanya who provided me with a hardcopy of the book for review and for Giselle for organising the tour. To follow the rest of the tour, find the schedule here.

Root Bound by Tanya Karen Gough (Fantasy/Adventure)
Publication date: June 3rd 2012
by Baba Yaga Press

"A lighthearted, whimsical confection that will delight both kids and their parents’ inner child." - Kirkus Reviews

How far will you go to find your way home?

Emma and her father are always on the move, travelling from place to place as her father’s work demands. Their new home, however, is different. There’s a frightening woman who lives down the hall: she bears an uncanny resemblance to a witch. A mysterious light comes from her apartment, and a small boy seems to be trapped inside.

School in this town is no happy place either, with an odd principal and a gang of girls who make tormenting Emma their special project. And strangest of all is the fact that there seem to be brownies - basement brownies, in the air vent in her bedroom.

Haunted by visions of her mother, Emma travels through the brownie burrow to the valley of Hades to visit with the goddess Ceres, following a series of clues that lead her across the sea of memory to the centre of the world.

There, on an inhospitable rock floating in a sea of steaming lava, Emma must find a way to release her mother from the sea of memory and restore magic to both the brownie burrow and the human world above.


Tanya Karen Gough was born in Montreal, Quebec and raised in New England, where she developed a healthy appetite for ghosts and things that go bump in the night. An avid reader from a young age, she quickly worked her way through Alice in Wonderland, the Magical Monarch of Mo, Andrew Lang's Fairy Books, all of the Tintin comic books, Nancy Drew, and most of the other books in the children's library.

Finally, at the tender age of 10, she produced this poetic masterpiece:

"Whene'er you get a wandering leg
And feel that you must roam
Remember this and don't forget
The best place is at home"

To date, she has moved more than 25 times. Along the way, she earned two degrees in English Literature, taught overseas, became the owner operator of the Poor Yorick Shakespeare Catalogue, and contributed to a number of Shakespeare-related publications. Root Bound is the first of four books in the Emma and the Elementals series.

Author Links:

My Review:

Rating: 3.5 stars

This is an adventurous and meaningful book written well for middle-graders mainly. I was quite excited to read this after reading the synopsis for the book. Adventure, magic and a coming-of-age book? What more can I ask for? This book certainly is a pleasant break from the YA books I have been reading and reviewing lately. The innocent tone of the book as well as the building friendships really brought the story close to me. 

Tanya hooked me right in from the first page. Unlike some of the middle-grader books I have read, there's no boring banter or useless introduction, action starts right off. The reader immediately meets the main character Emma. As soon as I meet her, I can feel how lonely she is and the fact that she doesn't like to be on the move all the time with her dad. As a reader, I can relate very deeply with the fact that she has to re-start everytime she moves, therefore being the bottom of the social food chain without any lasting friends. When I was little, my family moved around quite a bit too, so I had personal experience at making a new beginning and new friends. Sadly, not everyone is nice and I too, felt lonely at times. Emma is a very likable character with lots of hidden spunk. She starts off quite timid and a pushover, but throughout the story she develops and realises she has her own power. I admire her determination and the caring nature she shows towards others. 

I really liked the idea of Emma finding her home. Do you have a home or are you a drifter? Home is such an important part of people's lives, without home, we would be lost. This is exactly what Emma felt at the beginning of the book, and through her quest home, she finds other values that worth a lot in life. 

The magical aspect and mythologies are well woven into the story and add a cute aspect to the book. I especially liked the parts when Emma meets the basement Brownies and trys to figure out what to do. When Emma realises that her house is special, and so is she, the reader sees a big change in her personality. The whole story lifts from that point on. If you like Greek and Roman mythology and magical adventures, you will definitely this an appealing and lovable story.

Lastly, the writing is brilliant! The language and techniques in this book takes take of every single little detail of actions, characters and the setting. I thoroughtly enjoyed the words and description of places and actions in this book. However, I think that it can be a little too much at time. Some descriptions are a little bit over the top and I think middle graders might be bored by this. 

Overall, this is a very enjoyable and light read, full of magic. The ending was a bit of a "WHAT?" for me, but then again, there's the next book. There is no romance in this book, but it felt right and it was a relief from the heart-wrenching and turbulent or not-good-enough romances from recent YA books I have read. If you want a light and fun read, definitely recommended!

Now onto the giveaways! The first giveaway is for an ecopy of Root Bound, open internationally.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The second giveaway is the tour wide giveaway for a signed copy of Root Bound, also open internationally.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I would write a middle grade novel. I love children's books. If they are done well, they have some excellent stories without all the cliche's that come with young adult or adult novels.

  2. Aw, this sounds like an amazing book :D I adore middle grade books. Sigh. Thank you for your awesome review :) Glad you mostly enjoyed this book :D Thank you for sharing. <3

    1. I would write YA. But I would also love to write Middle Grade books, because I just love them so much. <3 But yeah. YA. Because I love reading about romance, and I need some YA romance in my book too :)

  3. Sounds like quite an interesting book. I don't know whether I'd read it as it is middle grade, but the mythology aspect of it does appeal to me. (weirdly enough, the Percy Jackson series is one of my favourites)