Graceful – Not a good standalone read.

Graceful (Willow Falls Series)

By Wendy Mass

Rating: 2/5 Stairs*

*Rating Disclaimer: This is based on reading this book as a standalone. I think I would have a higher rating if I had read the entire Willow Falls series first.

GracefulWe just got back from a road trip, and my son helped me pick out some audio books to take on the trip. We were a bit limited in selection, our local branch is smaller and doesn’t have as many choices on hand as the larger branches do. My son wanted a Wendy Mass book (specifically A Mango Shaped Space, which was not on the shelf), and our branch had Graceful available. Perfect.

I will say up front, both my boys enjoyed this book. I think I would have liked it…IF I had read the previous four books in the series. When we selected this book, we didn’t realize that Graceful was the fifth (and based on the ending, I suspect final) book in the Willow Falls series.

There are some series where you can pick up any book and jump right in. It’s okay if you haven’t read the previous books. Graceful is not one of these. It seemed like I had opened a book to a random page in the middle of the story. The characters kept referencing events from previous books, and it felt like I was the new kid at school, completely unaware of the character’s and town’s history that they kept continually referencing.

The series seems to have a fun premise – magic in the town of Willow Falls that continues to involve the local kids. The ending is a nice one for the series, letting readers know how the kids end up in the future. If you want to give the town of Willow Falls a try, I would suggest 11 Birthdays, the first book of the series. I haven’t read it, but it would be a much better place to start.

8 thoughts on “Graceful – Not a good standalone read.

  1. I like the cover with the pizza (maybe I’m just hungry)- but seriously I think I’ve heard of this series and that it was pretty good, I think my daughter mentioned 11 Birthdays… I’ll have to take a look at these.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is good to hear from the perspective of someone who has read the series! I suspected that the book would probably make a lot more sense if read in order, I just didn’t realize it was part of a series when I picked it up. Thank you! I have heard a lot of great things about Wendy Mass. Have you read “A Mango-Shaped Space?” I’ve been thinking of giving that one a try.


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