Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell

17350491Rooftoppers started out brilliantly; the first chapters were full of whimsy and a sense of randomness that I completely fell in love with. The beginning of the story, which chronicles how our heroine, Sophie, is found as a baby floating in the ocean in a cello case and adopted by the kind-hearted scholar, Charles, was a pure delight.
However, once the book became plot driven, with Sophie and Charles going on a journey to find her mother, it lost its magic for me.
Also, Rooftoppers ended extremely abruptly. As I neared the final pages, I kept flipping ahead in confusion, thinking, “the story can’t end this soon, can it?” But yes, Rooftoppers seemed to accelerate to a rollicking conclusion, and then come to an abrupt halt.
Perhaps the pacing of the story was a conscious attempt by the author to mimic the theme of racing music.  Cello music played double time is actually an important plot point in Rooftoppers. However, even if, interpreted in the most flattering light, the plot pacing was meant to replicate the musical theme, as a reader, I still found it to be unsatisfying.
In the end, I felt that the beginning of Rooftoppers reminded me of the important things in life, the idea that love is much more important than acting “proper” or “normal.” But the rest of the book was not much more than a middle-grade, plot-driven, journey story.
Despite this, Katherine Rundell is clearly a talented author with a unique voice. I hope that she shares her vision in future novels, and perhaps considers using her sense of whimsy in tales for older readers.

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