This is the story of Luna, a baby girl chosen as the yearly sacrifice to the Witch in the forest just outside the Protectorate. But when the Witch, Xan, finds her in the woods, she takes Luna under her wing. Despite the beliefs of the citizens of the Protectorate, the Witch is actually kind and caring. She takes each baby “sacrifice” every year, feeds them starlight, and gives them to a new family in a nearby city.
Instead of feeding Luna starlight, Xan accidentally feeds her moonlight and enmagicks her. Xan decides to keep Luna and raise her as her own. To keep Luna safe, as well as those around her, Xan locks Luna’s magic away deep inside her until her 13th birthday. Everything culminates on Luna’s 13th birthday when a citizen of the Protectorate is determined to kill the Witch.
This book is rich. It may be a middle-grade read, but it’s not just for young adults. The writing is my favorite part about this book. Kelly Barnhill’s amazing talent to bring characters, settings, and stories to life is incredible. Everything great about this book stems from Kelly’s fantastic writing.
Even though I categorize this book in the fantasy genre, the story doesn’t seem that far removed. The characters’ struggles are close to home, as Luna grows up and Xan learns about raising a child (a particularly wild one). The author follows a few different stories, and it can be difficult to keep up with each one, but it’s worth it in the end as each story meets up in the last 50 pages or so.
The ending felt a bit rushed, but that may be because there was such a long build up to it. It’s a happy ending, one that’s a bit predictable and short. But that’s my only complaint about this book.
Overall, I would recommend this book to a busy mom. Especially someone who’s looking for books to get their middle-schooler reading. I think it would be a great way to engage with a child who’s in middle school and needs reading as an escape. The Fantasy genre is always a great way to get away from reality.
Four out of five stars
If you enjoyed my review of The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill, you might also like The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan. Check out my review!
If you’re interested in purchasing The Girl Who Drank the Moon, here are some quick links to buy the book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. And, if you’re interested to see what others think, here’s the link to the book on Goodreads.