Size Doesn’t Matter (157): The Great Treehouse War; The Traitor’s Kiss

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Size Doesn’t Matter (157): The Great Treehouse War; The Traitor’s KissThe Great Treehouse War by Lisa Graff
Narrator: Ariana Delawari, Stephen Barbara, Brandon Beatty, Aaron Blank, Scott Brick, Cassandra Campbell, Danny Campbell, Karen Dziezonski, Andrea Georges, Benny Goldmintz, Ryan Graff, Michael Crouch, Kaleo Griffith, Lorna Henry, Sarah Jaffe, Ashley Kooblall, Nick Martorelli, Emily Parliman, Richard Romaniello, Amy Rubinate, Jennifer Rubins, Jill Santopolo, Robbie Daymond, Rebecca Waugh, Julianna Wilson, Lauren Fortgang, Felicia Leicht, Sunil Malhotra, Kathleen McInerney, Cassandra Morris, Tara Sands
Length: 4 hours
Published by Listening Library on May 16, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Humor
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible
Goodreads
three-stars

Kids vs. parents! An epic treehouse sleepover! An awesome group of friends! An exciting new book from National Book Award finalist Lisa Graff.

Winnie's last day of fourth grade ended with a pretty life-changing surprise. That was the day Winnie s parents got divorced, the day they decided that Winnie would live three days a week with each of them and spend Wednesdays by herself in a treehouse smack between their houses, to divide her time perfectly evenly between them. It was the day Winnie s seed of frustration with her parents was planted, a seed that grew and grew until it felt like it was as big as a tree itself.

By the end of fifth grade, Winnie decides that the only way to change things is to barricade herself in her treehouse until her parents come to their senses and her friends decide to join her. It s kids versus grown-ups, and no one wants to back down first. But with ten kids in one treehouse, all with their own demands, Winnie discovers that things can get pretty complicated pretty fast! Even if they are having the most epic slumber party ever.

In the newest novel by beloved National Book Award finalist Lisa Graff, kids have turned the tables on their parents, and all the rules have been tossed out the window. But does Winnie have what it takes to hold her ground and keep everyone happy?

This story, with a pitch-perfect middle grade voice and zany yet poignant situation, is perfect for fans of Sharon Creech, Louis Sachar, and Jack Gantos.

In no way is The Great Treehouse War something I would ordinarily read, but the full cast narration excited me, so here I am. As expected, The Great Treehouse War was a bit too young for me to fully appreciate, but it was a cute listen.

It’s funny how I feel like a bit of a dick when I review middle grade, because often I’m like “it was too young for me” but yo I’m almost thirty so, you know, that’s probably okay. Like, I struggled with the premise of this one, because omg what parents would force their child to spend one day a week living in a treehouse (albeit a nice one) because they needed to make sure they got precisely the same amount of custody in the divorce. What parents would compete so hard that they celebrated every holiday ever and gave their daughter no time to study, even though they’re both very well-educated, and so she’s failing fifth grade? I wanted to sit these parents down and give them a lecture, because MY GOD.

Then there’s the treehouse war part. Because Winnie’s treehouse was built on what was once the ground of an embassy to a since defunct country, people think maybe the treehouse is its own country. The logic of this does not hold up to any sort of adult scrutiny. However, if I were a kid, I think I would very much be down for it.

I appreciate the diverse range of interests these kids have, like an aspiring dentist obsessed with teeth, and it is cute how everything resolves with the parents making more of an effort but not caving to their kids’ demands fully. Probably this is a good one for parents to read along with their kids, because there are definitely some lessons on stifling your kid to be learned here.

The audiobook’s excellently produced, and I very much recommend it.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Size Doesn’t Matter (157): The Great Treehouse War; The Traitor’s KissThe Traitor's Kiss by Erin Beaty
Series: Traitor's Trilogy #1
Published by Imprint on May 9, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 344
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible
Goodreads
three-half-stars

An obstinate girl who will not be married.
A soldier desperate to prove himself.
A kingdom on the brink of war.

With a sharp tongue and an unruly temper, Sage Fowler is not what they’d call a lady―which is perfectly fine with her. Deemed unfit for marriage, Sage is apprenticed to a matchmaker and tasked with wrangling other young ladies to be married off for political alliances. She spies on the girls―and on the soldiers escorting them.

As the girls' military escort senses a political uprising, Sage is recruited by a handsome soldier to infiltrate the enemy ranks. The more she discovers as a spy, the less certain she becomes about whom to trust―and Sage becomes caught in a dangerous balancing act that will determine the fate of her kingdom.

The Traitor’s Kiss hasn’t been receiving particularly flattering responses for the most part, so I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

First thing: there’s been a lot of talk about this being Mulan with white people, and I don’t really see it. Aside from the first scene where Sage goes to visit the matchmaker and does abominably, I didn’t get Mulan vibes. Sage becomes a matchmaker’s apprentice and travels with soldiers as escort to a bunch of girls going to a matchmaking event; she doesn’t become a soldier, though she learns some fighting. She’s not trying to protect her dad, who died many years before. I found The Traitor’s Kiss more like Kiss of Deception meets Princess Academy. I didn’t pick up on much diversity, admittedly, aside from the Captain and Prince, who are both described as dark-skinned; apparently some of the villains are POCs, though I missed that. Check other reviews for this because I’m sure others have outlined this specifically.

The plot’s pretty typical, aside from the pathetic attempt at a twist. Actually, I wasn’t really sure if it was supposed to be a twist because the book almost overtly tells the reader who the undercover soldier Sage is hate-to-loving with is. I one hundred percent knew what was happening, and the big reveal was obviously anticlimactic. That said, I really enjoy the tropes this made possible for the romance, View Spoiler ». The ship totally worked for me, especially the fakeout makeout. The characterization across the board isn’t really strong enough to make it a SHIP, but ngl I enjoyed it a lot.

I quite liked both Quinn and Sage, in addition to their dynamic together. I thought it was cool how Sage’s talents work equally well for matchmaking and spying; she’s a bit Sherlockian, aside from putting together who the soldier is. *rolls eyes* However, the rest of the cast is pretty lacking in development. I mean, she’s traveling with a bunch of prospective brides, and I know the names of just two: the one who overlooks her low status to become her friend and the bitchy mean girl. By far the worst, though, is the villain. There should not have been villain POVs, which simply serve to spoil any surprise because you know exactly what the villain is doing. Plus, he’s just evil and there’s not much of a point to it since they don’t develop him at all. The surprise death View Spoiler » would have been more impactful with more development too.

Though I had bunches of fun, I’m hoping the sequel has stronger characterization and plotting. Worth a read if you’re shiptrash like me, but probably not if you’re more of a plot reader.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

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