Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Wig in the Window by Kristen Kittscher

Young and Yang Mysteries #1. HarperCollins (June 2013) Library
Best friends and seventh graders Sophie Young and Grace Yang have made a game out of spying on their neighbors. On one of their midnight stakeouts, they witness a terrifying, bloody scene at the home of their bizarre middle-school counselor Dr. Charlotte Agford (also known as Dr. Awkward).

At least, they think they do. The truth is that Dr. Agford was only making her famous pickled beets. But when Dr. Agford begins acting even weirder than usual, Sophie and Grace become convinced that she’s hiding something—and they’re determined to find out what it is.                  
                                                                                                 Soon the girls are breaking secret codes, being followed by a strange blue car, and tailing strangers with unibrows and Texas accents. But as their investigation heats up, Sophie and Grace start to crack under the pressure. Will solving the case destroy their friendship?



Discovering this book a while back on a blog devoted to Middle Grade books I knew that The Wig in the Window was going to be a fun, mystery book but even after anticipating reading it for so long I didn't expect how much I would love it. More specifically how much I would love Sophie's growth in the story from shy follower to fearless leader. It's the kind of book that inspires the shy reader reading it to take some chances, maybe not as extreme as going searching for clues in a suspected criminal's house but, I'm sure they still get the point of Sophie and her will to be braver. 

So our narrator is Sophie, the quite girl who follows her friend Grace whenever she gets a wild idea into her head. For a while now Grace has been convinced that there is something strange going on with Sophie's counselor who they have nicknamed unaffectionately Dr. Awkward. What with Dr. Awkward's weird ever-smile, snarky remarks, deadless eyes, and massive fake breasts everything about her spells trouble. But, that doesn't stop Grace spying on her with Sophie in tow. And what they discover might just be the beginning of a real mystery in Luna Vista - one where they'll be in the center of it all.

Again my love for Sophie's character knows no bounds. The way she was treated because she liked different things than your average tween? teen? (I was never really clear on how old she was) made me like her even more. Just because she likes different things doesn't mean Grace or any others had to laugh at her or roll their eyes. She likes reading books about feng shui, worrying over her chi, practicing tai chi, and hearing quotes on Sun Tzu from her grandfather. I found her endearing and I loved it when her lights lit up when she was presented with a gift only she could love. She was just the best narrator to this really crazy thing that was happening that you don't really know everything to until the very end. It's actually very real and what happened was very tragic. The Wig in the Window should be really read by only tweens and teens, not kids any younger than that just because the realness of the story can be too much for younger audiences. Saying that the mystery of the story was really great and it had be wondering what was going on throughout the story. The author even provided some great twists toward the end so you didn't know what to think although I had a feeling I was right about a certain character.

Grace is Sophie's best friend and the story revolves around not only Sophie's growth as a character but their bumpy friendship. Grace could be pretty amusing with her crazy antics and fashion sense. She had me chuckling at times but I didn't appreciate her seemingly non-caring attitude towards Sophie with some things. Grace did grow in this story too and friendships at that age can be a bit tough so I liked that element to the story. 

I also liked the addition of Trista as another friend for Sophie because Sophie had no other friend other than Grace while Grace had two fashion conscience ones. Trista was someone who said it like it was. She stood up for herself and is seriously has to be the most inventive kid ever. She knows things from all ranges of topics and is like a mad genius with gadgets. I like to see that she looks like she is going to be included more into the next book, The Tiara in the Terrace, than she was in this one. I also liked that in this story she didn't jump to conclusions and was the more logical, cautious side to their operation. They are really going to need her for future missions and I'm excited about that. I'm excited by this book in general and I can't wait for the next mystery to roll around which I'm sure I'll probably be waiting a year for... but, no matter. I can wait for another great mystery like this one because I want it to be just as good with great character development just like in The Wig in the Window.

13 comments:

  1. I love mysteries and The Wig in the Window sounds like a book I will love. It sounds SO good and the trailer is awesome. So glad you enjoyed this one and I am glad you are excited about the series. :)
    ~Jess

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    1. I know right!? I love that trailer and this book was such a great friendship/mystery book (:

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  2. I love the title, The Wig in the Window, haha. Anyways, sounds like a fun mystery. I'm glad to hear the characters were so well developed and really made you love this story that much more.

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    1. The title is actually what got me to stop and look at what it was all about.

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    1. Awesome! I'm glad you're adding it to your TBR list (:

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  4. I haven't heard of this but but it sounds like a great middle grade book. I love fun and mysterious reads and the characters here seem great. Great review :)

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  5. I absolutely love the cover for this book. The trailer is pretty cool too! I hadn't seen it before so thanks for sharing. I don't often gravitate towards MG books, but I think I could enjoy this one. Sophie sounds fantastic. I'm glad that you could appreciate the character development so easily. Great review, Adriana! :)

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    1. You've got to give MG book a try! There's actually a lot of great ones out there (:

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  6. There's another WIG book (actually, a series) that came out a several weeks before this one.
    It's for ages 9 & up and is available on amazon (and other places).
    It's a 5-STAR series so maybe you'd like to check it out.
    THE WIG: Crazy Summer
    THE WIG: New School & Other Stuff
    THE WIG: Happy Holidays

    (The protagonist's name is Sofia too.)

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