(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Also by this author: The Uninvited
Published by Abrams on September 12th 2017
Genres: 20th Century, Family, Historical, Monsters, Paranormal, Occult & Supernatural, Siblings, Young Adult Fiction
Trudchen grew up hearing Odette’s stories of their monster-slaying mother and a magician’s curse. But now that Tru’s older, she’s starting to wonder if her older sister’s tales were just comforting lies, especially because there’s nothing fantastic about her own life—permanently disabled and in constant pain from childhood polio.
In 1909, after a two-year absence, Od reappears with a suitcase supposedly full of weapons and a promise to rescue Tru from the monsters on their way to attack her. But it’s Od who seems haunted by something. And when the sisters’ search for their mother leads them to a face-off with the Leeds Devil, a nightmarish beast that’s wreaking havoc in the Mid-Atlantic states, Tru discovers the peculiar possibility that she and her sister—despite their dark pasts and ordinary appearances—might, indeed, have magic after all.
I had been waiting to get my hands on a copy of Odd & True by Cat Winters from the moment I knew she was writing this book. This book had such a wonderful feel to it and I can’t wait for everyone to read it. It is told from both Odette’s and Trudchen’s perspectives and I thought that helped tell the whole story. With that said, this review definitely won’t cover all the details as a lot happens and there are various things that I don’t want to give away.
Odette and Trudchen are sisters and I loved these two characters. They are both survivors and had such strength. Trudchen is the younger sister and she grew up on stories that Od told her about their mother and monsters. As she gets older, Tru begins to think the stories were just lies she told her. The more Tru learns about her mother and sister, the more she wonders who they really are. I enjoyed the historical feel to this book too.
As a child, Tru had polio and is now in constant pain and disabled. Living with her aunt, she wonders what she is destined for and whether she really has any magic in her like Od told her. I liked Tru – she was smart and it was clear she was looking for something more than just living her life locked away in her aunt’s house. When Od comes back after having been gone for two years, she jumps at the chance to be with her sister and attempt to find her mother.
Od hasn’t had an easy time of it while away from Tru. Heck, she didn’t have an easy time when she was a young kid living with her mother. She learns some difficult things early on about her mother and father. Now that she is older, when she was required to leave the farm and get a job, she finds herself in a difficult situation. Living with a family as a live in maid takes her away from her sister and she is introduced to a boy named Cy. It is clear that Od is lonely and when Cy starts to leave her books at her door, she finds him to be a comfort and an escape from the loneliness she feels during the day being away from her family.
When Od finally comes back to the farm for Tru, they jump back into their old roles but Tru has become a much stronger version of herself and while Od tends to direct them where they are headed, Tru gets her way and she wants to find their mother. They also decide they are going to find the Leeds Devil. When they run into Cy and some of his friends, they join his group to travel to New Jersey even though Od is definitely not comfortable with the whole situation. It is clear that Od is hiding something from Tru and Tru is motivated to figure out what it is. Turns out, there are a few things that Od hasn’t been completely forthcoming about.
The other characters we are introduced to add to the overall story and help to move things along. Their mother, their father, Aunt Vik, Uncle Magnus, and Cy…all played an important role in the overall story and I thought Winters did a wonderful job of tying their stories into Od and Tru’s stories.
I don’t want to say much more about this story as I want everyone to read this and see what happens on their own. Honestly, my review probably feels a bit sparse or choppy (at least it does to me) but I can’t help it. There is so much that I could say about this book but really don’t want to as I don’t think I would do the story justice. In the end this is about family and yes there is a paranormal / fantasy twist to this that only makes it that much more interesting. If you are looking for something a bit different from the other Young Adult books out there, considering checking this one out. This isn’t my first Cat Winters book and it will definitely not be my last. I really enjoy her writing and can’t wait to see what she writes next.
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the review copy.