The Wizard, The Witch, and the Two Girls from Jersey, by Lisa Papademetriou, is about the epic adventure of a life time when two normal Jersey teenagers, Veronica and Heather, get transported into the fantasy world in the book titled The Queen of Twilight. The girls decide that the only way to get home is to help the story along and pretend to be part of the cast and save the kingdom of Galma.
I will admit that this book is a reread, but I still enjoyed reading it. I was surprised how much I have forgotten since the last time that I read it, which was about 9 years ago. I gave the book five out of five stars on Goodreads. If I was honest with my rating I would give the book 4.5 stars out of five for the following reasons below.
There were so many things that I love about the book. The first was the plot. I enjoyed the idea of sending two normal teenagers in a fantasy novel. When I first read this book it was a fun and new concept that I enjoyed getting to see. Rereading this book, I have seen how other books have used the concept, but I still enjoyed it and how our characters overcame their problems, both personal as well as literary (story, Queen of Twilight, plot). I also loved and enjoyed the cultural references, both literary as well as pop culture. For example we have Keebler elves that make cookies in trees as well as your normal elves that you imagine from Lord of the Rings. You also have other literary books that this book is a spin-off from, like Star Wars, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, and so on. The best way to describe it as one of those parody movies, but in a literary format without derogatory jokes, comments, and gestures. Even with the spinoff, Papademetriou had the characters make literary references to help them cope with their surroundings. Due to its spinoff nature, I found the book to be funny, and enjoyed laughing throughout the book, both times that I read it. One of the other characteristics that I liked about the novel was the characters. Since the book was published in 2006, the characters, Heather and Veronica, are believable for that time period. Their behaviors, actions, and responses fit to the time period. I realized after rereading the book how much we have grown and become use/addicted to the internet providing all of our answers. In 2006, the internet was used, but not that much. I remember needing a computer for high school, but not the internet. So Heather’s and Veronica’s fight for the last book makes sense. To continue one with the characters, I enjoyed seeing a diverse cast. You have one of our female leads that is Meso-American. You have a king, a wise and gallant king, that is described as dark and “cocoa” skin. Even in the beginning of the book, you see people leaving their lower stations to become something more. Our Keebler Elf went from a servant serving cookies to a hero saving the princess. Lastly, I did enjoy our setting. We did not get to see so much of the Jersey setting, but I did enjoy getting to be in Galma. I enjoyed seeing the different fantasy setting elements that you normally see, as well as the negative terms that are giving to such areas, like the Cave of Doom.
There were only two problems that I had with this book. One of the problems that I had with the book was the growth of the characters Veronica and Heather, especially Heather. Don’t get me wrong, I do love being with both Veronica and Heather, and both characters do grow from their experience in this fictional world, I just question about whether or not their growth actually meant something to be lasting. I just find it interesting that a person, Heather, who started off clickish is okay with being friends and has grown close to a person who would never be in her click. I know that Heather has her personal dialog about the situation, but nothing truly shows how the two girls made a bond beyond their survival of the fantasy novel. The other problem that I had with the novel was the end. Don’t get me wrong, I do love the end of the novel, I just wanted to know more beyond the story, like what happened in the normal world, and years later after the incident happened. The decisions that the girls have made not only affected the fantasy world, but the real world as well, and I would like to see what the result would be.
I do recommend this book to everyone. I believe that children, and adult, of all ages will enjoy reading this book. The fantasy elements, the humor, and the adventure is fun and enjoyable. This book is a fun summer read.