Rating: 4 stars!
Thanks to Egmont Publishing for the review copy of this book, and to Write Reads for letting me join the tour – it has not affected my honest review.
Ebenezer Tweezer is a youthful 511-year-old. He keeps a beast in the attic of his mansion, who he feeds all manner of things (including performing monkeys, his pet cat and the occasional cactus) and in return the beast vomits out presents for Ebenezer, as well as potions which keep him young and beautiful. But the beast grows ever greedier, and soon only a nice, juicy child will do. So when Ebenezer encounters orphan Bethany, it seems like (everlasting) life will go on as normal. But Bethany is not your average orphan…
What did I think?
This was such a sweet middle grade story that it actually pulled me straight out of a vicious reading slump as I read it in one sitting. Ebenezer Tweezer (best name ever, by the way) and Bethany had a delightfully Despicable Me dynamic that I adored. The development of their relationship feels really authentic and beautiful and I loved to see it happen. There’s something about reluctant caregiver turned found family that melts my icy heart!
Bethany vacillates between outright rude and hilariously cheeky, but I did feel like she was well-rounded enough that she didn’t feel like a naughty kid stereotype – and to be fair, her pranks were pretty funny at points. This book is actually far funnier than I ever expected. Other reviews called it hilarious, but for some reason I didn’t believe it. I was wrong. There were several laugh out loud moments, not least of them Ebenezer’s complete lack of awareness of the value of money. Big ‘It’s a banana, Michael’ energy, and I would thoroughly enjoy reading this to my nieces when they’re a bit older – great for adults and kids alike!
I didn’t actually know quite how Dorian Gray this was going to be, and as Dorian Gray is one of my favourite books, it was a great surprise. The premise is simple, Ebenezer will live forever, as long as he pleases the beast. The beast wants to eat a child. Ebenezer does not like Bethany. Sounds like an easy solution – but of course in the days Ebenezer spends with Bethany, things get a little complicated. Add in exceptional illustrations and this is a wonderful experience. The growing relationship between Ebenezer and Bethany is lovely to watch and while I think this works really well as a standalone, I’m excited to read the next book and see, hopefully, some wonderful and no doubt mischievous adventures with the newly created Tweezer family.
Add it on Goodreads here!