/ / Goodreads
From the author of Hour of the Bees comes another captivating story that deftly blurs the line between reality and magic — and will leave you wondering What if?
The Loch Ness Monster. The Frogman. Bigfoot. Twelve-year-old Miranda Cho used to believe in it all, used to love poring over every strange footprint, every stray hair, everything that proved that the world was full of wonders. But that was before her mother’s obsession with monsters cost Miranda her friends and her perfect school record, before Miranda found the stack of unopened bills and notices of foreclosure in the silverware drawer. Now the fact that her mom’s a cryptozoologist doesn’t seem wonderful — it’s embarrassing and irresponsible, and it could cost them everything. So Miranda agrees to go on one last creature hunt, determined to use all her scientific know-how to prove to her mother, once and for all, that Bigfoot isn’t real. Then her mom will have no choice but to grow up and get a real job — one that will pay the mortgage and allow Miranda to attend the leadership camp of her dreams. But when the trip goes horribly awry, will it be Miranda who’s forced to question everything she believes?
Disclaimer: Book Princess Reviews is a professional review site that receives compensation through affiliate programs (Barnes & Noble and Book Depository). We receive a percentage of commission from each purchase you make after following links provided on our site. Our promise to you is to always disclose affiliate links/buttons which you see above!
**I received an ARC of this book – thanks so much to Candewick Press for sending me a copy but it didn’t change my opinion!**
So, if you know me at all, you know I have to read allllllllllllllllllllllllllllll the YA and MG Bigfoot books. If I even see the hint of the big furry creature, this girl is 245% in. So, when I found a book that not only features my love AND other magical, crytozoological creatures? This girl had to put a lid on herself because she was about to spill over with the feels.
However, I didn’t quite expect what I fully got with this book. Like, this was dark, emotional Bigfoot???? Like Bigfoot was Bigfoot but he was also a symbol of some dark, emotional things that were going on with Miranda’s family situation. Like, I only thought I would be crying because I had too many Bigfoot feels, but I was crying because things were really sad and tense and panicky at parts??? Also this is magic realism that doesn’t pop up until halfway in the book? They were changes that I didn’t see coming with my innocent Bigfoot loving eyes, but it actually really really worked for this?
There was a lot going on in this little book, but it was all very intriguing and I was in deep with it. We’re introduced to our 12 year old heroine, Miranda, who is class president, academically smart and all about making a plan and getting it down. Basically, a kid after my own heart because lists are epic. Miranda is crushed, though, by the embarrassment that her mom brings by the Critter Mobile loads, her quest for perfection, and how she deeply desires to have a friend who isn’t scared off by her mom. When she finds a hidden drawer of stacked up bills with final notices, her panic goes in overdrive, and she sets up a plan to show her mom that if Miranda can’t find Bigfoot, all hope is lost and it’s time for Mom to give up the Bigfoot and grow up.
The characters were brilliant. I loved Miranda and Kat, her mother. I could easily see where both of them were coming from. I could see the desire to believe in the unexplained and do what makes you passionate, but also, I’m far more like Miranda where I see you have to go with your head instead of your heart. Miranda easily felt like the parent in the relationship, and my heart was so sad for all the stress on her. Yes, this book makes you feel so deeply with each of the characters that I literally am talking about these people like they’re real and LIKE, WHAT IS THIS. WASN’T I JUST HERE FOR THE BIGFOOT? They also had such an interesting and realistic dynamic, and it was beautiful and heartbreaking to see the struggle and journey they had to go on.
The writing was quite good as well. This book read like a cross between a YA book and a middle grade book. As I said, it got really emotional and kind of dark in parts that I sometimes was like, wow, I would have not appreciated this fully as a kid. I definitely think YA readers would like this to cross over into the genre or if MG readers are looking to start reading YA books. But Eagar definitely knew how to create a flow and feelings and had some great pacing since I was never bored.
The setting was amazing, too. Like, the descriptions were just AMAZING. I totally felt that I was in the forest that Kat and Miranda were in. I could feel the mist and the humidity and just I loved being in the woods in this book. It was brilliant, and I was just so immersed.
I also love the fact that I could never really tell where we were going with the book. I mean, it takes us about halfway to get to the real action of the story. I never really figured out if we were just here for the Bigfoot fun or if there was like some big twist – and trust me, there is a twist of sorts and we switch genres and it actually was really really cool. This is a genre that I can get behind and it felt very organic to the story, which could have been really jarring had Eagar not flowed it so seamlessly.
Also, there was a great amount of Bigfoot action, and I was all for it.
Overall, this wasn’t quite the book I thought I was getting, but it ended up being an emotional, magical book that I totally got behind. It was a quiet in its twists and turns, but I really connected with the characters, the writing, and the setting. There was just enough of a something to make it not a favorite for me – I think because of just how deeper and darker it was than I expected it to be – but it was still such a great read for me. 5 crowns and a Tiana rating!
What do you think? What was the most unique concept that you’ve read lately? Can you love a character more than you love a book? Let’s discuss in the comments below!