Author: Fred Holmes
Pages: 205 (Ebook)
Release Date: March 30, 2016
Source: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way affected my opinion towards the book.
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When Hannah’s beloved father dies, she finds herself doing something incredibly silly: she rubs the lamp that he had brought her from Baghdad. In fact, it looked more like an ugly teapot, but when the genie appears, Hannah believes that she might finally be able to resurrect her father. However, wishes not always work out the way we want them to and the Magician won’t stop before he gets his hands on the lamp. Will Hannah be capable of using her last wish to ensure the safety of mankind?
“The Ugly Teapot”, written by Fred Holmes, is a beautiful story of the unconditional love that a girl has for her father and how far she is willing to go to have him back. Hannah’s father was always the adventurous photographer who travelled the world, bringing back amazing stories. On the other hand, Vivian, Hannah’s mother, worked hard in a decrepit dinner to sustain her three children and a house that was falling apart appliance by appliance. “The Ugly Teapot” shows how hard it is for a child to deal with grief, but what I appreciated the most was the development of Hannah’s relationship with her mother. In the end, she finally realizes that her mother was the true warrior of the family, even if she didn’t have interesting stories to tell.
Nevertheless, there were some parts of the book I did not enjoy that much, mainly because they seemed rather confusing. Hannah didn’t find it strange that her dog could talk to her through telepathy, but she refused to believe that the ugly teapot could in fact be a magical lamp. I also thought that instead of just mentioning that Hannah had ran away twice since her father’s death, the writer could have developed that further. Additionally, Fred Holmes leaves the writer with the impression that all this adventure was in fact a product of Hannah’s imagination, but then hints that the lamp is actually enchanted. My guess is that Hannah experienced a hallucination caused by the lamp which taught her to deal with her father’s loss. However, this is not exactly clear.
When it comes to writing style, I think that “The Ugly Teapot” was an easy read, with fluid writing. The descriptions were vivid, although there was quite an overuse of metaphors and similes. Nevertheless, Hannah’s voice was well depicted, with the insecurities and hyperboles typical of a fourteen-year old girl. I do believe that “The Ugly Teapot” read like a Middle Grade book, but I also thought that several scenes were extremely violent so it might also be considered an early YA book.
Despite these few issues, I think that “The Ugly Teapot” deals with an important yet sometimes overlooked part of teenagers’ lives: the loss of a parent. Unfortunately, these sort of things happen and it’s good to have a book that helps overcome this loss through an interesting and action-packed adventure. The amazing cliff-hanger at the end surely leaves the reader asking for more.