I love high-stakes, murderously dark fantasy, and Kendare Blake delivered.
I really wanted to like this story, and I'm sorry to say that I was sorely disappointed. The summary of this book sounds wonderful. It's an adventure story, Liza is the only one who can save her brother, she gets to explore a dangerous, fantastical world that she's only heard of from her babysitter. Everything about this book sounds like it should be so good. Which is why it made me so sad that it just wasn't a compelling story.
"The sofa wasn't there on Monday but it was there on Tuesday." River, Freak, and Fiona discover a rare zucchini-coloured crayon in the sofa that mysteriously appeared at their bus-stop, and it quickly puts them in the centre of a dastardly plot to take over the world. Because of course it does.
I absolutely love bizarre middle grade novels. Most of the time they do such a fantastic job of capturing the wild imagination of a ten-year old child. And A Friendly Town definitely checks off all of the bizarre boxes.