Friday, November 8, 2013

The Path of Names

The Path of Names is a middle grade contemporary fantasy novel by Ari Goelman.

Dahlia Sherman doesn’t want to go to a sleep away camp highlighting learning Hebrew and focusing on her Jewish roots.

She loves magic – magic tricks, sleight of hand, math and video games.

Yet her parents did not give her much of a choice when they dropped her off at Camp Arara.

Amidst her glowering and sulking, Dahlia can’t help but acknowledge that there are a few things of interest going on. Such as two little girls who appear to walk right through the wall of a cabin.

Also, she starts to have vivid dreams of a young Jewish man decades ago being chased through New York. Someone she’s never seen in her life.

Not to mention a huge maze with a mysterious caretaker that won’t let anyone near it…

Dahlia figures she can manage a few weeks at Camp Arara if she has something to do.

The Path of Names lacked the humor, zaniness and quirkiness I expected from the cover and premise, sadly.

It focused a lot on Jewish mysticism but didn’t make it compelling – in my opinion.

Plus, I can’t say Dahlia was the most likable character either. She doesn’t seem all that nice to her brother or her parents – and is often moody. Again, this was just my view.

I ended up skimming The Path of Names after giving it over 100 pages to grab my interest – and didn’t. It just wasn’t as fun as I expected!!

Of course, there are many bibliophiles who will gobble it up and be great fans of The Path of Names, though!

So check it out for yourself and see what you think!

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