ARC Review // The Girl with the Red Balloon by: Katherine Locke

August 30, 2017

"If you give a girl a red balloon she'll believe in magic and memory."

I really didn't know what to expect, going in to The Girl with the Red Balloon. I'd heard good things prior to me reading it but it truly does have a premise unlike any other. 
I can now confirm that TGWTRB is definitely worth a read!

The Girl with the Red Balloon is not only magical but is, in a sense, saddening as much as it is hopeful. You can definitely see parallels between 1988 East Berlin and the present day (which isn't particularly a good thing @ THE US)


I really enjoyed the variety of personalities we get within the book! We have Ellie-who's a Jewish descendant of a man who escaped a Nazi labor camp. When she finds herself transported back in time, she's hesitant; I can't say that I wouldn't be hesitant either though haha. She does have one of those traits that mc's sometimes get where she's told to do something THAT WILL KEEP HER SAFE and then does the exact opposite *glares times 1000*
But I did really love that her religion and her family *kept her grounded throughout this whole crazy ordeal. I'm not really a religious person myself but I usually find myself enjoying the inclusion of religion within YA. I guess it's kind of taboo? when it really shouldn't be. 

*Well, maybe not LITERALLY grounded because balloons, flying, time travel... I'll stop xD

We also have our love interest, Kai. I loved that he was broody but not stereotypical "I love myself so much I get all da women" broody. He's too precious and I ship Ellie and him 
H A R D. (What can I say? I'm just a girl who loves shipping fictional characters.)
Speaking of precious... MITZI. Mitzi is one of the main characters who is a fun queer badass with fabulous hair and a heart of gold.  I was also low-key shipping her and Ellie but NEVERMIND THAT. 

Something I really loved about Locke's characters is that each one has a deep backstory; there was nothing "surface-level" about anyone in this book. Kai, Mitzi, that random man who makes balloons... you name it!

Something I wasn't expecting was the 3 povs that we get in the book. I was hesitant at first when I saw them, I won't lie. I'm not big on multiple perspectives but I think it worked well with this one! I enjoyed all of the povs equally which is pretty rare for me :)

I don't like going too much into the plot, since I don't want to spoil anything. BUT I will say that I enjoyed the mystery aspect of the book. You never really know who to trust or what to think. The finale y'all... I was MESSED UP. Let's just say that...

Overall, I really enjoyed this one (as you can probably tell by the sheer amount of times I used "enjoyed" xD) If you're a fan of historical fiction/ books about magic then you'll probably enjoy The Girl with the Red Balloon too. The magic system was super simple to understand so if complicated magic isn't your thing then this one's for you!

Are you planning on picking TGWTRB up?

Thank you for reading and I hope you have a magical day!

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