By Meg Shaffer
Publication Date: May 30, 2023
Jack Masterson is the biggest-selling children’s book author in the world. He wrote the Clock Island series and, in fact, lives on Clock Island with his illustrator, Hugo Reese. But several years ago, he stopped writing and no one had heard from him since. Until he announced a competition in which the winner will win the only copy of this latest book. The competitors are invited by Jack Masterson himself – and they are all children who at one point ran away to Clock Island, hoping The Mastermind could fulfill their fondest wish.
Lucy was one of those children, and when she receives an invitation to the game she knows it’s her one chance at the only thing she wants – being financially stable enough to adopt seven-year-old Christopher. Winning is a long shot but she has to try. Because sometimes a miracle will happen if you only wish for it hard enough.
Are you ready to cry a little? Okay, maybe a lot. I’m not a big cryer but I was at least teary eyed through the last three chapters of this book, and I think my heart grew three sizes larger before the last page. Honestly, this was perhaps the sweetest book I’ve ever read. From overcoming childhood challenges and family traumas, to loving others more than yourself, to facing your fears and demons, to the absolute kindness of others, this novel ran the gamut from wrenching my heart to making me smile in delight. I think I have a new favorite author when I need a book with all the sweet feels (sorry TJ Klune).
Based not so loosely on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Meg Shaffer has given us a world where wishes do come true, family isn’t based on blood, and we can always start anew.
I’m going to have to buy a hard copy once it’s released because I know I’ll read it again, and I’ll probably pass it on. This one raised the bar on my rating system. I’d give it more than five stars if I could.
If you like TJ Klune, you don’t want to miss this one. It is fabulous.
5/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine for providing the ARC ebook. I’ve left my review honestly and voluntarily.
Until next time, thank you for visiting.