|For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle
I actually enjoyed this more than I was expecting. Earlier this year, I listened to Neil Patrick Harris' Choose Your Own Autobiography, which I had mixed feeling about. I saw this at the library and was intrigued by the premise (and of course the fact that it was written by Neil Patrick Harris).
This is a great book. Though it starts out pretty dark, it picks up quickly. Parts of the plot at predictable, but it is still a fun read. A great adventure tale that ties in magic, morals, and friendship.
I also really enjoyed how Neil Patrick Harris set up the book. Carter is basically homeless, a pretty common tenant in magical adventure stories. However, it's not all fun and games for him. I like how Harris works in the negatives of Carter's existence (eating out of the trash, having to look for a safe place to sleep, the fear of someone stealing his things while sleeping, basically having to hide his existence). This is a wonderful contrast to those books that make homeless kids seems cool and free (like how Tom Sawyer envies Huckleberry Finn). I think this is a good handling of Carter's situation instead of glamorizing it.
Secondly, I really like how Harris gives Leila two dads and it's no big deal. The two dads part is nothing groundbreaking, but the no big deal part is awesome. Leila explains that she had two dads so casually that it seamlessly fits into the story. It isn't a pivotal point in the novel, it doesn't lead to any other plot points. She just has two dads and it's totally normal. This is awesome and makes Leila instantly relateable to those of us who come from LGBTQ families. (Also, I love his dedication of the book to his kids.)
Overall, a great start to a series. I'm really intrigued to continue reading and see when happens next to the Magic Misfits.