Odd & True
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.

Odd & True Details

TitleOdd & True
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 12th, 2017
PublisherAmulet Books
ISBN-139781419723100
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Odd & True Review

  • C.G. Drews
    January 1, 1970
    Ummmm someone just thumped an axe in my feels?! I was not prepared for this!! I actually had zero idea what to expect from this one, except (a) I wanted to try a Cat Winters book because several of my friends rave, and (b) it looks kind of like the 1900s version of Supernatural but with girls and axes WHICH IS MY AESTHETIC. It is absolutely that but also absolutely different. It's sooo ridiculously hard not to give spoilers!?! Like how the heck do I review this one.Basically it's not just the st Ummmm someone just thumped an axe in my feels?! I was not prepared for this!! I actually had zero idea what to expect from this one, except (a) I wanted to try a Cat Winters book because several of my friends rave, and (b) it looks kind of like the 1900s version of Supernatural but with girls and axes WHICH IS MY AESTHETIC. It is absolutely that but also absolutely different. It's sooo ridiculously hard not to give spoilers!?! Like how the heck do I review this one.Basically it's not just the story it says it is. It's not a 100% supernatural snack. It's got some brutally realistic undertones and you almost have to read the story happening BEHIND THE STORY and aafdjksl I can't even with how good the writing is for that.SMOL THINGS I LOVED:• it features SISTERS• both Tru and Od narrate and I love them both so so much?!• they're complex and interesting and powerful women who believe in magic and faerie tales• also can we take a moment for that freaking as heck awesome TITLE and COVER• A+++++ to those• disability rep that was amazing• dark woods and bloody axes DO make an appearance• they read tea leaves so never say tea is not powerful• romance is NOT the focus• it's actually so so heartbreaking omggggAlso let's talk about the disablity rep, okay?!Tru had polio at 2 so now she walks with a cane and often uses a wheelchair and can I just say how glorious it is to read about disabled protagonists whose plot is NOT coming to terms with their disability?! Tru dealt with her disability, with the pain of it and the struggles as well, but she never once had to accept herself. She already accepted herself and I just...ajfdksald. We need these narratives in books. We need them so much.So I absolutely definitely enjoyed it!! Buuut...it had some downsides.Sometimes I felt the girls' voices were a bit emotionally detached. And it was really frustrating how NO ONE WOULD TELL THE TRUTH. I get that, at the end, the lies were a huge part of the story, but it was so frustrating to read. (Probably the point though!? So idk maybe not a negative.) And the really early flashbacks were almost laughable with how the children were written. Like the comprehension and speech given to 4-hear-old-Od was like...yeah no. lmao. And a 4 day old baby just being looked after by the uncle for most of the day...lmao no. They eat like every 3 minutes. (view spoiler)[And no one broke Cy's neck at the end so THAT'S a downside ...that frikkin asshat. ARUGH I hate him. (hide spoiler)]It also is actually quite dark.And it talks about how women were treated in the 1900s and just how often naivety (because it was "improper" to talk about things like prostitutes, affairs and sex) put girls in a vicious cycle of having no idea how to protect themselves.ANYWAY READ THIS ONE. It's about monster hunters and epic sisters and brokenness and things that go bump in the night. It's like the sisters Grimm instead! And it's powerful! I wasn't always a fan of the detached writing style, but?!? Still. Good book is good.
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  • Sana
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars. (Minor spoilers ahead)This book was so weird and I mean that in the best way possible. It was bloody fantastic, I'm surprised by how much I enjoyed it. This book was so refreshing, my god!!!!This book is about sisters, devotion, and family. This book doesn't exactly have a "plot." From what I've read it involves weird monsters, and a whole lot of crazy mind fuckery. Odd claims magic and monsters are true, while Tru is raised to believe they don't exist and her sister is crazy.Now what 4.5 stars. (Minor spoilers ahead)This book was so weird and I mean that in the best way possible. It was bloody fantastic, I'm surprised by how much I enjoyed it. This book was so refreshing, my god!!!!This book is about sisters, devotion, and family. This book doesn't exactly have a "plot." From what I've read it involves weird monsters, and a whole lot of crazy mind fuckery. Odd claims magic and monsters are true, while Tru is raised to believe they don't exist and her sister is crazy.Now what in the fuck is true?? This book starts out slow and boring, but around the 25% mark, I was hooked. It's told in two perspective, the present and the past. The present told from Tru's POV and the past from Odd's POV. I, personally, enjoyed Odd's POV the most. The present wasn't nearly that exciting for me because I personally found Odd and Tru's family history and build up to the present much more enjoyable. I didn't really like Tru that much and couldn't care less for her POV. I honestly, didn't enjoy the present story at all. She was a very underdeveloped and dull character. She literally has no personality AT ALL. So she was very boring. BUTT, I do love how she had a disability and she didn't let herself be defined as the "crippled girl." She doesn't let her disability stop her from doing what she wants to do. I loved that about her. Odd, on the other hand, was a very intriguing character. Everyone thought she was crazy and delusional for believing in fairy tales and monsters. She was very kind and loving towards her sister and would do anything to protect her. I loved the sibling relationship. These girls loved each other despite their fucked up family history and would die for each other. Anyways, I loved reading about Odd's past. I loved how everything is revealed and it's just very intriguing for me. Overall, I freaking loved this, despite my issues. This book was such a surprise!I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Candace Robinson
    January 1, 1970
    This book was not what I expected it to be. It's about two sisters, Tru's chapters are the present while Od's are the past. There is a whole lot of sadness, but a beautiful bond between sisters. You go back and forth wondering if monsters are real or not. A great book that kept me captivated! Review on my blog https://literarydust.wordpress.com/20...
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  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    January 1, 1970
    I summed up Odd and True as "supernatural but historical fiction with sisters" and I honestly stand by that opinion. This isn't necessarily the creepy horror novel that I expected - it's more of a character-driven romp. My biggest issue with this book was the plot taking so long to start. Due to the alternating plot threads, it takes around 70% of the book for things to really get started. I felt as if I wanted more from the plot development, to see more of this world and the worldbuilding. Why I summed up Odd and True as "supernatural but historical fiction with sisters" and I honestly stand by that opinion. This isn't necessarily the creepy horror novel that I expected - it's more of a character-driven romp. My biggest issue with this book was the plot taking so long to start. Due to the alternating plot threads, it takes around 70% of the book for things to really get started. I felt as if I wanted more from the plot development, to see more of this world and the worldbuilding. Why such an easy solution to the mystery? Why not more struggle? That being said, I was still intrigued the whole way through.What made this book so great for me was the character development and relationship between the sisters. This book very much focuses on the relationship between the two sisters, Od and Tru. They're two very different girls, but their bond was so effortlessly compelling to me. I also loved the casual disability representation feeling both realistic and healthy. Tru does need a brace, and it does restrain parts of her life, but the narrative emphasizes that she's not a lesser person because of it. There's a moment where Tru writes a letter to a younger disabled girl telling the girl how she'll grow up to succeed. I loved this moment; it's so small, but it made me so happy. VERDICT: While this book felt a bit pat, I loved the characters and ended up enjoying this quite a bit. This is a great read for anyone looking for suspenseful, character-driven, unromantic historical fiction.full, less-brief review to come!! and to be posted on netgalley and my blog :)Blog | Goodreads | Twitter | Youtube
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  • Inge
    January 1, 1970
    Odd & True is a remarkable story of two girls who are destined to be monster hunters. Guided by Od’s wondrous imagination and gifted storytelling, the girls create a handbook about monsters and how to slay them, never realising how much that book would mean one day.Then Od mysteriously disappears. Tru, her head filled to the brim with stories of monsters and fairy tales, finds herself feeling rather disappointed and silly. After all, how could she be destined to become half of a monster hunt Odd & True is a remarkable story of two girls who are destined to be monster hunters. Guided by Od’s wondrous imagination and gifted storytelling, the girls create a handbook about monsters and how to slay them, never realising how much that book would mean one day.Then Od mysteriously disappears. Tru, her head filled to the brim with stories of monsters and fairy tales, finds herself feeling rather disappointed and silly. After all, how could she be destined to become half of a monster hunting duo when polio has ravaged her leg? No, without Od whispering these stories in Tru’s ear, she can finally move on to lead a normal life. A normal, quiet, boring life.Her world tumbles upside down once again when Od returns years later, claiming to have fought a world of demons. She’s inherited her mother’s business. And it’s time for Tru to take her rightful place by her sister’s side, wonky leg and all. “We can face whatever we need to face, because we’ve done it before. We’ve already proved we’re strong, Tru. We’re lionhearted. Both of us.” Through flashbacks of when the girls were younger, we learn more about their parents, uncle, and aunt. This family has many a secret, and not all of the supernatural kind. I loved reading about this older generation, they reminded me of Harry Potter’s generation of the Marauders, which was a nice sentiment.With the past told by Odette and the present told by Trudchen, the reader swaps between two unique points of view. Each lens to look through is equal in value: Od, hardened by the world beyond their home but excited about the adventures to come, and Tru with a fresh and wary eye. Together, these tales weave together a story that’s hard to let go of.Since it is historical fiction, you also get a good idea of how women were treated in that time: with disdain, with condescension, with ridicule. They will rue the day they ever laughed at this pair of sisters, though. No obstacle is big enough to hold Od & Tru. I really loved their strong sister-bond and how they would do anything for each other. Their love seeped through the pages. “Life has a way of knocking the whimsy out of people, Tru. Make sure that it doesn’t happen to you.” The story eventually took a turn for the unexpected. I wasn’t sure what to think of it at first, but I found myself appreciating this turn of events as the ending drew near.In the end, I never fully fell in love with this story, but I had a lot of fun and also found it rather meaningful.Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy
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  • Sofii♡ (A Book. A Thought.)
    January 1, 1970
    This is a fantastic reading, full of magic, that contains one of the most beautiful sisterhood ties I've read about.-look that cover. BEAUTIFUL!I want to thank NetGalley and ABRAMS Kids for providing me with this copy in exchange for an honest review4/5 StarsYou can find this one and more of my reviews on my blog A Book. A Thought.I thought it would take me longer to read this book, since when you first start with it may seem a bit heavy or slow-paced, but I quickly overcame it and I found mysel This is a fantastic reading, full of magic, that contains one of the most beautiful sisterhood ties I've read about.-look that cover. BEAUTIFUL!I want to thank NetGalley and ABRAMS Kids for providing me with this copy in exchange for an honest review4/5 StarsYou can find this one and more of my reviews on my blog A Book. A Thought.I thought it would take me longer to read this book, since when you first start with it may seem a bit heavy or slow-paced, but I quickly overcame it and I found myself flying through it, which makes me want to read something more about the author like right now! The story follows Od and his sister Tru. Od is always telling Tru wonderful and fantastic stories about monsters and magical creatures and how they are destined to hunt down these creatures, just as their mother did. Until one day Od disappears and Tru is alone trying to figure out how much is true in the stories that his sister has told her since childhood. I love the way the title plays with the names of the characters is very original and accurate. The story is told between leaps from the present to the past, the past with the POV of Od, where we know more about her childhood and the years she has spent away from her sister and the Tru's present POV, who is trying to hunt a demon which she thinks is prowling around the city.Both views make the story really catchy and exciting, but it also touches deeper topics such as family and loyaltyI've enjoyed meeting these girls, they are both strong and smart but at the same time they have completely different personalities and experiences which makes the book super interesting and gives us different perspectives about the things that are happening. I feel that there is a spooky touch in the book too and I've enjoyed that aspect a lot, especially related to the monsters and how some places are described is really goodI felt a little more drawn to the Od's point of view, I personally found it much more interesting than Tru's, but perhaps it's because I was much more interested in knowing about the past, and It's told in such a wonderful way, that mystery vibe that possesses has totally caught me, also I feel that I have bored a little with the Tru story , but this is only my opinion and in the end I feel that both stories and how they connect are greatI want to warn you that if you're looking for a book of kick-ass girls fighting non-stop monsters, may not be the book for you, I feel that although it has moments of action and are great, it's based much more on the aspect of mystery, the union of sisters and what family means. Which I've found great but I recognize that isn't what the book sells from the beginning so I was taken by surpriseOne of my favorite things about the book was the writing style, it's my first Cat Winters book but I know it will not be the last one, her writing caught me and has a style so unique and poetic that I think is ideal for this type of genre,especially for Historical Fiction. I feel that the clever way that Winters plays with what's real and what's fantasy makes this book unique and makes it very different from the other books that can touch this type of subjects So, of course I recommend it, I've enjoyed it a lot, especially if you're looking for some historical with fantasy and great ties of sisterhood, you'll love this, plus: The writing style has something definitely unique
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  • TL
    January 1, 1970
    Won a Galley of this and bookmarks from the author via a giveaway she had on her instagram (https://www.instagram.com/catwintersb... .. ended May 8th), Thank you Miss Winters!! :)(dunno if I was supposed to but I cut off the email she gave me to contact her, just in case)https://www.instagram.com/p/BTjly8rgM...---My reaction before receiving this book and after reading it:This one started slower than her other ones for me but it didn't long overall for me to be enthralled with the story of Od (O Won a Galley of this and bookmarks from the author via a giveaway she had on her instagram (https://www.instagram.com/catwintersb... .. ended May 8th), Thank you Miss Winters!! :)(dunno if I was supposed to but I cut off the email she gave me to contact her, just in case)https://www.instagram.com/p/BTjly8rgM...---My reaction before receiving this book and after reading it:This one started slower than her other ones for me but it didn't long overall for me to be enthralled with the story of Od (Odette) and Tru (Trudchen.. probably pronouncing her name wrong in my head) and their complicated family.We flip back and forth between present and past, with both Od and Tru telling the story (in equal turns) of how they grew up and what led to the lives they are now leading. On one side, growing up with tales of magic and monsters... and on the other, being told those tales aren't true.Which is the truth? Both girls have had upsets and troubles in their lives and have dealt with the cards been given them as best they can. Tru believes herself to be fragile while Od comes off as stronger but at times as a fragile air about her and a sadness she can't always cover up once she and Tru are back together.The sisters are different yet the same...Both are fierce in their devotion to the other.I went back and forth in what I believed as the story went on... signs would point either way, but I personally leaned slightly more to one side than the other. Suppose I was like Tru in that sense.. wanting to desperately believe Od's tales of magic and monsters.Enough about that before spoilers ;-PA thrill went through me when I saw the "Jersey/Leeds Devil" was being used... was on the edge of my seat waiting to see what the author would take :) Cy... was kind of standoffish with him. Not because he wasn't written well, but I got this vibe off of him that had me holding him at arm's length (view spoiler)[The way he treated Od was shitty too... I mean circumstances and all but he's still on my crap list. Think he was also half afraid Od would demand he marry her and help find their baby or something... coward (hide spoiler)]My heart broke for Od when (view spoiler)[she had to give up her baby and be sent away right after. I just wanted snatch Trudie back for her but at the same time I wanted her to face reality. I can't speak for her situation but that's my thoughts on it.Also, can't help but think that if her Aunt had just had some kind of "sex" talk with her, that Od wouldn't been in that situation. Od was naive a bit yes, but not talking about it didn't help either. (hide spoiler)].The scenes during the (view spoiler)[fight with the Jersey Devil. (hide spoiler)] were fast, tense, and exciting.. and over too quick *pouts* but still thrilling all the same.Repeating myself? Yup, don't care :-P.The ending had me smiling (and wishing I could read a certain something), squealing at one part, and cursing that it ended there. I want more of these two and their adventures... plus well, gah! No spoilers no spoilers haha... read it so I can talk about it with someone :)Once again, Miss Winters has a real knack for placing you in the time period she is writing in, everything feels/smell so real and the people... like you could reach out and touch them or go out to these towns and meet them in person. That touch of otherwordliness.. adds an extra layer to everything I can never properly put into words that satisfy me. It is always hard for me to drag myself out of one her tales and go back to the real world. And always over too soon *sigh* Never get tired of it
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  • Eve Recinella (Between The Bookends)
    January 1, 1970
    I ADORE the cover on this one. Fabulous representation of the story. Great use of graphics. Great composition and title work.What a delightful little book this turned out to be. I thought going into this one that I was going to get something along the lines of the TV show Supernatural just with two sisters that chase monsters. What I ended up getting was very different than that and in my opinion so much better. This was a book about sisters who would do anything for each other. About the twists I ADORE the cover on this one. Fabulous representation of the story. Great use of graphics. Great composition and title work.What a delightful little book this turned out to be. I thought going into this one that I was going to get something along the lines of the TV show Supernatural just with two sisters that chase monsters. What I ended up getting was very different than that and in my opinion so much better. This was a book about sisters who would do anything for each other. About the twists and turns their lives took. About one sister who spun these fantastical tales and about another sister who despite being disabled isn't afraid to forge her own path forward. The sister bond in this book was one of the best I have read to date. Told in dual POVs that jumps back and forth in time (usually, something that I find off-putting but worked incredibly well in this book) this story kept me captivated from page one. It was fantastically well written and paced. It was magical and heartbreaking. The characters were engaging and well developed. I love the folklore the authors weave into the plot as well.Not much more to say about this one. I loved it, and if you are looking for a beautiful, unique, and magical book with strong females characters, then this one should be added to your list ASAP. Two HUGE thumbs up from yours truly.
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  • Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
    January 1, 1970
    I've always loved Winter's stories. The pure imagination that goes behind them as she merges both a historical feel and a paranormal element to every tale she weaves. Her latest, True and Odd Tales has to be one of my favorites yet.Told in both Tru and Od's point of view as it weaves both through the past and present tenses, this story magical unfolds as each girl comes to find out not only about herself and their family secrets but about their past as well and what it means to be a Lowenherz an I've always loved Winter's stories. The pure imagination that goes behind them as she merges both a historical feel and a paranormal element to every tale she weaves. Her latest, True and Odd Tales has to be one of my favorites yet.Told in both Tru and Od's point of view as it weaves both through the past and present tenses, this story magical unfolds as each girl comes to find out not only about herself and their family secrets but about their past as well and what it means to be a Lowenherz and the legacy that was left for them. I love that this story isn't just about hunting monsters, in fact it isn't really about that at all. In truth it is a story about growing up and dealing with the situation and circumstances that both Tru and Od have to go through as they get older, grow up and really learn about their family secrets. It's about Tru dealing with being crippled by Polio and Od's adventures, heartache, and having to deal with being the older sister and everything that comes with a family that isn't all that it seems and has secrets not only from the girls, but from each other as well. This was a fabulous coming of age story rip with intrigue and mystery and just enough of a touch of the maybe paranormal to get fans of both genres interested and curious and eagerly turning the pages. *ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
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  • Brooke — brooklynnnnereads
    January 1, 1970
    This book is a difficult one for me to review because even after reading it, I don't feel as if I came away with much from the story. I know that there was a story (I read it) but unfortunately, there wasn't any characteristics within the story or the characters to keep me invested throughout. It was not a novel that I will remember due to its mediocrity and it lost my attention multiple times while reading. Unfortunately, I think the author was attempting too much for this story. It felt like i This book is a difficult one for me to review because even after reading it, I don't feel as if I came away with much from the story. I know that there was a story (I read it) but unfortunately, there wasn't any characteristics within the story or the characters to keep me invested throughout. It was not a novel that I will remember due to its mediocrity and it lost my attention multiple times while reading. Unfortunately, I think the author was attempting too much for this story. It felt like it was trying to hover the line of multiple genres (historical fiction, fantasy, thriller, horror, etc) and in the act of doing so, it wasn't successful with any of them. I did like the dual perspectives but it did get confusing when a perspective would be in the past. Even with the dates, it was hard to keep up with the story. I really was hoping to enjoy this story because it did seem promising in the beginning and the graphic design is absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately, the overall novel seemed too scattered without a main focus and with many loose ends. Also, the novel was...boring. Nothing about the characters or the story kept me invested or made me want to retain the story within my memory. It will be a novel that I will quickly forget solely because of its mediocrity. **Thank you to Hachette Book Group for sending me a physical copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**
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  • Minx -The Genre Minx Book Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    Odd and True is brilliantly written! I was kept on the edge of my seat always wondering what was going to happen next, if the monsters were real or not. This story gave me the whole “what is hiding around the next corner” feeling. It was tantalizing to my spidey senses. When I chose to read this book, it was because I really wanted a fast and furious monster hunt with maybe even a little gore. That is not what this story was about and I will admit I was disappointed. What this story really is ab Odd and True is brilliantly written! I was kept on the edge of my seat always wondering what was going to happen next, if the monsters were real or not. This story gave me the whole “what is hiding around the next corner” feeling. It was tantalizing to my spidey senses. When I chose to read this book, it was because I really wanted a fast and furious monster hunt with maybe even a little gore. That is not what this story was about and I will admit I was disappointed. What this story really is about is the bond between two sisters, their love for each other and what family really means.As children, some of us are told fairy tales and clinging to those ideas of magic and mystery as a child is wondrous. As we grow though, we realize that life is not made up of fairy tales and monster hunts, that is of course unless you are Odette and Trudchen Grey. They grew up their whole childhood being told they descended from monster hunters. They believed that their mother and her siblings were great monster hunters and that their legacy was to continue hunting those very same monsters. I thoroughly enjoyed all the ways the sisters would try and stave off the monsters they knew trying to get to them.When Od & Tru were little, the sisters would go around collecting tales of monsters that terrorized their local neighbors. Writing down the tales and illustrating them was how the girls were planning on identifying the monsters that they would someday slay. I loved reading about how the girls spent their time together planning how they would have grand adventures where they would help those in need. They spent every day together until for reasons unexplained to Tru, Od was sent away by their Aunt Vik. Without her sister’s unfailing faith, Tru slowly began to question if everything that they had been told was true.After she left, Od would write letters to Tru detailing her adventures but Tru always felt that something was missing. It was not until Tru’s fifteenth birthday that Od came back to see her by way of Tru’s window. Od had returned to get Tru so that they could go off on a grand adventure, together, as it should be. The adventure that they embarked on was something wondrous and miraculous but at the same time misconceptions were revealed and neither girl would ever be the same.Although this story was not what I desired I appreciated it all the same. The relationship between Od and Tru was funny, endearing, and frustrating. I felt that the writing was captivating and creative. I was brought into the world of Od & Tru and it was a place of wonder where the lines between reality and fantasy blurred. There was heartbreak, monster hunts, and this story is character driven. The pacing can slow down at times but when you finish this story you will find that it was not what you thought it was going to be but that it was an enjoyable read nonetheless.This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.Find this review and more at The Genre Minx Book Reviews
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  • Eilonwy
    January 1, 1970
    When Trudchen Grey was a child, her older sister Odette told her stories of how Tru was born in a castle in California, and how their mother, aunt, and uncle traveled the United States fighting monsters as teenagers. After Od runs away not long after Tru's 13th birthday, Tru begins to doubt her tales. After all, Tru has spent most of her life in Oregon with strict Aunt Viktoria, who brooks no talk of folklore or monsters. Mama left when Tru was small, and she's never even met Uncle Magnus. But t When Trudchen Grey was a child, her older sister Odette told her stories of how Tru was born in a castle in California, and how their mother, aunt, and uncle traveled the United States fighting monsters as teenagers. After Od runs away not long after Tru's 13th birthday, Tru begins to doubt her tales. After all, Tru has spent most of her life in Oregon with strict Aunt Viktoria, who brooks no talk of folklore or monsters. Mama left when Tru was small, and she's never even met Uncle Magnus. But then Od returns on the eve of Tru's 15th birthday, and the two sisters set out to find their own monster to defeat. I would give this book 4 stars for ambition, and 2 for how it actually worked out. Most of my disappointment stems from the cover, which, while it accurately illustrates a scene from the book, also seems to promise a monster-tail-kicking story featuring badass heroines. But nope, this is not that book. Despite its being set 100 years ago, I'd file this under "gritty contemporary." I'm not sure what cover would convey that, but just about anything else would have felt less misleading. The first quarter to one third of the story was very strong. The chapters alternate between Tru's account of what's happening "now," in 1909, while Od's chapters start with her recollection of Tru's birth in 1894 and work forward. I hung on every word, desperately trying to reconcile the two stories. There's a lot of psychological suspense and a sense of a deep family mystery, along with lots of references to monsters. But by halfway through the book, not a single monster had made an appearance, the pacing began to feel long-drawn-out, and Tru's and Odette's voices, which had seemed distinct for the first few chapters, began to blend together so I had a harder time remembering whose chapter I was reading. A lot of ugliness began seeping into that family mystery. And I realized that I was not at all reading the book I thought I had signed on for. I took a couple days' break from this to adjust to the book it turned out to be. And that book is an okay book. There's a poignant story in there about how ugly reality can be made more bearable by turning it into a fairy tale with actual monsters instead of monstrous human beings. There's a lot of sadness and disappointment, many losses of innocence, but there's also a beautiful story of sisterhood and teamwork. Tru suffered from polio as a young child, and her right leg still doesn't work well. Od, five years older, grew up seeing herself as her little sister's Protector. By the end of the book, they've become a team, able to see each other as they genuinely are, and as equals. So I can see what the author was trying to do with this book, and I really admire that. It makes for a highly unusual, hard-to-classify story, especially as a paranormal plot thread involving the Leeds Devil of New Jersey does come in at the end, and does seem to be real. ((view spoiler)[: But is it? What happens with Od and Tru in the woods seems to exactly reflect what happened with their mother, Uncle Magnus, and a "monster" back in Oregon ... (hide spoiler)]) Mirrors and reflections play a big metaphorical theme in this book, as the past keeps reflecting itself into the present, and Od and Tru keep a hand mirror with them at all times as part of their protection against monsters. But the paranormal and gritty-reality parts of the book never really meshed together comfortably for me; the whole Leeds Devil monster stuff felt a day late and a dollar short: too much "odd" and not enough "true" to this particular story. One of the biggest weaknesses for me was that (view spoiler)[at some point Od is described not as having "left" for those two years, but as having been "sent away," which immediately told me what had happened to her, so that sucked that particular suspense right out of the story much too early. I'm pretty sure my teen self would have caught that phrase, too. (hide spoiler)]This book was a truly mixed bag for me. I may consider rereading it in a year or so that I can read the book I now know it is, rather than the book I hoped it would be.
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  • Stacee
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this synopsis and that cover and I wasn't disappointed at all. Love love loved Od and Tru {and especially loved how their names became the title.} They're both so strong and devoted to each other. Their dynamic and faithfulness was quite delightful. Plot wise, it's a bit of a slow burn. The story unfolds with a bit of quiet anticipation and instead of it being annoying {because I have no patience}, it really works. I enjoyed the past chapters from Odette's POV and by the time the ending I loved this synopsis and that cover and I wasn't disappointed at all. Love love loved Od and Tru {and especially loved how their names became the title.} They're both so strong and devoted to each other. Their dynamic and faithfulness was quite delightful. Plot wise, it's a bit of a slow burn. The story unfolds with a bit of quiet anticipation and instead of it being annoying {because I have no patience}, it really works. I enjoyed the past chapters from Odette's POV and by the time the ending came, I was easily swept up in what was happening. Overall, it was an intriguing read that grabbed my attention from the very beginning. I would have liked just a bit more from the ending, but the epilogue was perfection. **Huge thanks to Amulet Books for providing the arc free of charge**
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  • Megan (YABookers)
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: I received a copy free from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.Trudchen grew up hearing stories, from her older sister Odette, about her monster-slayer mother and a curse that was placed upon the family. Tru is older now, and Odette has been absent for a year, seemingly sent away by her aunt. Tru doesn’t know whether she should believe in the stories her sister told her, unsure whether they were just lies used to comfort her. Until one day, Od reappears with Disclaimer: I received a copy free from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.Trudchen grew up hearing stories, from her older sister Odette, about her monster-slayer mother and a curse that was placed upon the family. Tru is older now, and Odette has been absent for a year, seemingly sent away by her aunt. Tru doesn’t know whether she should believe in the stories her sister told her, unsure whether they were just lies used to comfort her. Until one day, Od reappears with an old suitcase that supposedly has a magical weapon in. She promises to battle the monsters on the way to attack Tru. The sisters’ start search for their mother which leads them to a face-off with the Leeds Devil. Tru then starts to believe that perhaps monsters do exist, and she might, in fact, have magic. I’ve read most of Cat Winter’s books, and I am a huge fan. Her books are magical, haunting, and atmospheric. So, I had high expectations for Odd & True and it did not disappoint. What I usually love about Cat Winters books is the subtlety of the paranormal aspect, and Odd & True was no different, yet had a little twist to it.The synopsis is a little misleading as this isn’t necessarily a book about hunting monsters. At the centre of Odd & True is a story of family, sisterhood, and secrets, which made this a charming and captivating read. This book was very character driven compared to the rest of Cat Winters’ books but I loved it nonetheless. Od was a very fierce and likeable character. She was, at heart, a storyteller but also a protector and I loved her fiercely. Tru was just as fierce but she was full of scepticism. I loved their relationship and how it developed throughout the book.Tru was also disabled, she has to wear and brace and/or use crutches due to having polio as a child, but I can’t speak for the representation. Odd & True was written in alternative POVs. Odette’s chapters were set in the past, and Tru’s were set in the present, which was seamlessly done and I loved how the mystery of Odette’s past was slowly revealed into the present day plot.Overall, Odd & True was an immersive, magical, and atmospheric read with fierce sisters at the centre of the story.
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  • Emily May
    January 1, 1970
    I have loved every book by Ms Winters until this one. I just seem to be completely unable to get into it. All of the author's other books have had such a strong historical atmosphere and a central character that has made me care about what happens to them. I didn't get that here.Trudchen bored me, even sometimes annoyed me. I found myself not caring about the truth behind her sister's stories, nor about what would happen to the two of them. I also got much less of a sense in this book that I'd b I have loved every book by Ms Winters until this one. I just seem to be completely unable to get into it. All of the author's other books have had such a strong historical atmosphere and a central character that has made me care about what happens to them. I didn't get that here.Trudchen bored me, even sometimes annoyed me. I found myself not caring about the truth behind her sister's stories, nor about what would happen to the two of them. I also got much less of a sense in this book that I'd been taken back to the early twentieth century. I feel like the author's other work placed me right in the centre of a part of history that I knew little about. Winters' strengths, in my opinion, come from her strong sense of place - the history, the atmosphere - and it didn't come across as strongly in this book. I was simply bored.
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  • JenLovesBooks
    January 1, 1970
    Odd & True had its creepy moments and supernatural dealings. It had me wanting more though, since the first few chapters promised so many more creatures and hauntings. Even with only a few spooky characters, it didn't take away from the chills that I felt when reading this novel. Like the story of "La Llorona" (The Weeping Woman) being told and having the wailing sounds fill the pages, or the spine-chilling entity that appears to crawl upward in one particular tea cup without stop.Then we ha Odd & True had its creepy moments and supernatural dealings. It had me wanting more though, since the first few chapters promised so many more creatures and hauntings. Even with only a few spooky characters, it didn't take away from the chills that I felt when reading this novel. Like the story of "La Llorona" (The Weeping Woman) being told and having the wailing sounds fill the pages, or the spine-chilling entity that appears to crawl upward in one particular tea cup without stop.Then we have the sisters, who really make this story what is and the kind of bond they have in the midst of it all. Odd is the best kind of sister to have, even if she confused Tru a little as she was growing up, she did it all to keep their minds from the truth and to protect her sister Tru from all the chaos that was soon to come. It's what makes this story even better and much more captivating than just having the mystical side of it involved.It's all made even more mysterious when the rest of the family is introduced, when the backstories of how they came to be and what they've had to go through resurface. There really are things that go bump in the night, that follow once steps when walking the streets all alone, that crawl up windows to wreak havoc but get stopped by magical mirrors. If that wasn't enough for the sisters to have to deal with, there is a physical impediment that could possibly make things a lot worse for them.This novel reminds me of different stories like those written by the Grimm brothers and the adventures that Sam and Dean have on Supernatural. I couldn't stop reading Odd & True! Even though there wasn't always a scary scene going on, everything else they went through, and what the were trying to accomplish on their journey, made it a great read. It's definitely a book I would recommend reading in October and will be adding a copy to my shelves.***I received this copy from Amulet Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.***
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  • Jess
    January 1, 1970
    My first Cat Winters book! And I'm eagerly picking up Yesternight now. I can vouch that this is a story unlike any other that I've read. A true original plot that was nothing like I expected. A few things that made me really adore this book: The sister bond that is built on love and loyalty. I loved reading the adventures they took together and where their journey brought them. I especially loved that Winters created a heroine that perseveres in light of her disability as a result of polio. You My first Cat Winters book! And I'm eagerly picking up Yesternight now. I can vouch that this is a story unlike any other that I've read. A true original plot that was nothing like I expected. A few things that made me really adore this book: The sister bond that is built on love and loyalty. I loved reading the adventures they took together and where their journey brought them. I especially loved that Winters created a heroine that perseveres in light of her disability as a result of polio. You don't see to many writers incorporating disabilities into a story line and I think it's time this happened. I especially loved that for the MAJORITY of this book, I wasn't sure what was fact or fiction. Winters keeps you guessing as to what is really happening or what is imaginary. Brilliantly done. The way she writes is absorbing and I had a hard time putting the book down. I also love that this WASN'T a YA love story. This was a story about two sisters, their love, and a journey towards their inherited destiny.
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  • Fafa's Book Corner
    January 1, 1970
    Mini review:DNF I received this E-ARC via the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I had been seeing this book everywhere. I decided to request it. Unfortunately it wasn't for me. In the beginning I liked it. The story was interesting and it kept me engaged. But then it went downhill. I didn't particularly care about anything afterwards. As this was a personal thing I still recommend.
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  • ♛Tash
    January 1, 1970
    *screeching* Another Cat Winters <3
  • Mel (Epic Reading)
    January 1, 1970
    I'm rounding up to 4 stars from 3.5. I think Cat Winters has a wonderful writing style. It's immersive, creepy and fits the 1900's time period perfectly. For this reason alone I will read more of her books (Odd & True was my first of hers). I also commend Winters for putting a disabled main character in an old setting where being disabled makes you expendable. Tru is a character that I think a lot of people will relate to and desperately want to be like. Which is only a good thing. This book I'm rounding up to 4 stars from 3.5. I think Cat Winters has a wonderful writing style. It's immersive, creepy and fits the 1900's time period perfectly. For this reason alone I will read more of her books (Odd & True was my first of hers). I also commend Winters for putting a disabled main character in an old setting where being disabled makes you expendable. Tru is a character that I think a lot of people will relate to and desperately want to be like. Which is only a good thing. This book is really a study in setting mood and developing characters. If you want plot you've come to the wrong place. Almost nothing happens in this book until the last 20%. I found this disappointing as the blurb certainly made it sound far more interesting and exciting. The blurb should probably have said something about how the monsters might be physical or emotional and Tru needs to be prepared for secrets to come to the forefront. Because a lot of this book is just revealing family baggage that isn't necessarily monster hunting related at all. Now 3.5 stars might feel like a high rating for a book with no plot. But honestly I can say the mood of the book was truly wonderful. I'm kind of hoping Winters has a sequel planned and I'll be one of the first in line to read it. The ending is a pretty good payoff but I think a lot of people may DNF long before they get there as the substance is really missing for most of the story. So if you can stick it out to the end you'll likely walk away somewhat satisfied; but I wouldn't judge anyone who chooses to give up on this one. To read this and more of my reviews visit my blog at Epic Reading Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.
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  •  ⇝LEAH⇜
    January 1, 1970
    3.8 Out of 5 "superstitious" STARSWhile steeped in the supernatural, I wouldn't necessarily call this a paranormal or supernatural story.  It's really a story about the love and the bonds of family and for Trudgen and Odette, it’s a story about the bond of sisters.  It's about believing in yourself and also a story of finding yourself.  If you're looking for an action-packed demon-slaying kind of story, you won't really find it here.  This is a one of those take your time and savor kind of reads 3.8 Out of 5 "superstitious" STARSWhile steeped in the supernatural, I wouldn't necessarily call this a paranormal or supernatural story.  It's really a story about the love and the bonds of family and for Trudgen and Odette, it’s a story about the bond of sisters.  It's about believing in yourself and also a story of finding yourself.  If you're looking for an action-packed demon-slaying kind of story, you won't really find it here.  This is a one of those take your time and savor kind of reads.  ๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏~MY RATING~☆3.8☆STARS - GRADE=B๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~๏~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~๏~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Plot~ 3.8/5Main Characters~ 4.2/5Secondary Characters~ 4/5The Feels~ 3.8/5Pacing~ 3.5/5Addictiveness~ 3.7/5Theme or Tone~ 4.5/5Flow (Writing Style)~ 3/5Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.5/5Originality~ 5/5Ending~ 4/5 Cliffhanger~ Nope. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~๏~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Book Cover~ Absolutely stunning…Setting~ Early 1900's Oregon, & Pennsylvania mostly.Source~ eBook (Scribd) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~๏~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Honestly it took me awhile to really get into this book. I just about gave up. But I decided to give it a few more chapters and I'm glad I did. I really loved Od and Tru! Their sisterly bond is so dynamic and strong! Tru having a bad leg and kinda oblivious to what her mother and uncle lived doing. And od has pretty much embraced what she needs to do and carry on! The story jumps around a little bit wonly to a young Tru and Od to the adult Tru and Od! I also found myself loving Uncle magnus too! Honestly it took me awhile to really get into this book. I just about gave up. But I decided to give it a few more chapters and I'm glad I did. I really loved Od and Tru! Their sisterly bond is so dynamic and strong! Tru having a bad leg and kinda oblivious to what her mother and uncle lived doing. And od has pretty much embraced what she needs to do and carry on! The story jumps around a little bit wonly to a young Tru and Od to the adult Tru and Od! I also found myself loving Uncle magnus too! His character was so manly and loving and fierce! I had some trouble adapting to their Mother and father though! All in all it turned out to be a very good book! I stayed up really late last night to finish this.And not to mention Cat Winters is one of my favorite authors!!
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    2.5-3/5 STARSUnfortunately, I have come to the decision to DNF this book at 35%.I have been trying to read this book for over two months and I just can’t bring myself to try anymore. I’ve picked it up, put it down, picked it up, put it down. I would read a chapter or two or a couple pages and then I would put it down and wouldn’t be fussed about picking it up again.I really liked the premise this book had and was so excited to read it, but I just can’t continue on with it anymore.I believe I set 2.5-3/5 STARSUnfortunately, I have come to the decision to DNF this book at 35%.I have been trying to read this book for over two months and I just can’t bring myself to try anymore. I’ve picked it up, put it down, picked it up, put it down. I would read a chapter or two or a couple pages and then I would put it down and wouldn’t be fussed about picking it up again.I really liked the premise this book had and was so excited to read it, but I just can’t continue on with it anymore.I believe I set my expectations too high which is why I feel a little dismayed that it wasn’t having the effect I thought it would have on me. I didn’t really enjoy the bouncing back and forth between past and present. To me it was quite disorientating at times. Don’t get me wrong, it was really good to read the past and how they came to be where they are now etc. but it was too long. I honestly just wanted to read what Od and Tru were up to now over the past flashbacks. I was having a hard time grasping the plot of the novel as well, which isn’t a great thing. I did love the relationship the sisters had with each other and that they were strong female characters.I also enjoyed the actual writing in itself, it was quite magical, you could visualise what was actually happening in the novel and that is when you know the writing is good. Maybe one day I will come back to this novel and try again.Thank you to the publisher for providing me an e-ARC of this novel through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Veronika
    January 1, 1970
    Find this & other reviews at The Regal Critiques"In the world of grown-ups, you see, practical thinking is king; dreamers are fools and madmen. How ridiculous that is. I've decided I'd rather be foolish than ordinary."I think a lot of you guys know that Cat Winters is one of my all time favorite authors. I adored each and every one of her books and I frequently gush about what an amazing writer she is. So, imagine my pleasure when I was approved for Odd & True on Netgalley. I was literal Find this & other reviews at The Regal Critiques"In the world of grown-ups, you see, practical thinking is king; dreamers are fools and madmen. How ridiculous that is. I've decided I'd rather be foolish than ordinary."I think a lot of you guys know that Cat Winters is one of my all time favorite authors. I adored each and every one of her books and I frequently gush about what an amazing writer she is. So, imagine my pleasure when I was approved for Odd & True on Netgalley. I was literally jumping around the house in excitement, eagerly waiting for a time when I could sit down for a few hours and savor Cat Winters's newest masterpiece in one seat.However, I was also a tad bit scared. Odd & True seemed fairly different from anything she has ever done before, and I wasn't quite sure if it would live up to my grand expectations. I should not have worried. Cat Winters didn't simply live up to said expectations, but exceeded them, as well.Odd & True is narrated by the two sisters mentioned in the blurb. Od tells us about the past, including their childhood and the years that were spent without each other, while Tru narrates the present. This type of narration allowed for the readers to be sort of left in the dark for a time, trying to guess what the hell the mysterious Od was up to, and if magic was real or not. Now, obviously, I'm not going to spoil any of this, because I want you all to experience the complexity of the story for yourselves and be as mesmerized by the build-up as I was, but rest assured, Cat Winters does this kind of narration in a fantastic way. The past/present jumps never feel awkward, while the different voices of the sisters spice up the story considerably. Speaking of the sisters, they were both incredibly complex and well-developed. I rooted for them through everything, and whenever something devastating happened to one or both of them, I was on the verge of tears. They deserve all the love and puppies in the world, I tell you. I was a bit scared one of them would take on the leading role on her own, but thankfully, Winters refrained from making either of them more important than the other. It was just so natural to see them being equally involved in the story, always sharing the leading role, even when one of them didn't have much of a role in the other's chapter.Their voices were so refreshingly different. Od was this lively girl who was never too tired to tell magical, lovely stories to her little sister just to cheer her up. She was a huge dreamer, someone who went through awful things, yet survived and came out stronger than ever, full of resolve, always hoping for a better future."Endings are beginning in disguise, dear Tru. They signify one door closing and another one opening. They mark the point where the heroine transforms from a person who's been beaten and badgered and bolstered by life into someone who's about to shed her past and metamorphose into an entirely new creature."Tru was more stoic, someone who lived a more secluded life, a realist with both feet on the ground, at least, that is what she seemed like at first glance. Soon, it became obvious that she was just as resilient as her sister, with a brave heart that was so ready for adventure, and with willingness to believe in magic. Due to a childhood illness she was disabled, having to use a leg brace and a cane or a wheelchair to get around, but that in no way made her a less capable adventurer. She was both emotionally and physically strong and whoever doubted her soon learnt that she was a force to be reckoned with, as was her sister."No matter what happens, I'll stay by your side. I promise you, Od. I'll be here."Something the sisters had in common was their unconditional love for each other - it was so darn beautiful to read about how even in the worst of times they never ever forgot about each other and were yearning for a future where they could be together again. I'd say this is one of the most gorgeously written sibling relationships I've ever read about. I was a happy ball of sunshine when I realized Cat Winters decided to concentrate on other aspects of the story instead of adding an unnecessary romantic angle. Yep, you read that right, Odd & True is completely devoid of romance. Well, there is a romantic relationship of Od that is brought up, because it needs a proper closure, but the relationship itself took place in the past, taking up only a couple of pages, while the sole purpose of it surfacing in the present is for Od to have her closure.As per usual, the writing was absolutely gorgeous, it drew me into the story, and made me incapable of putting aside Odd & True even for a few minutes. The description was so on point, I felt as if I had been there with the characters, living their life alongside them. The pacing was fantastic - slow, but very steady. There was not one part where I was bored or wanted to skim a few paragraphs, instead I was intrigued all through. I'm not sure why many people seem to think slower books are a bad thing? But they definitely aren't, especially when the story and the characters are as well-developed as in Odd & True. Odd & True isn't like Cat Winters's other works, no. But it's just as magnificent as those are, featuring complex characters, strong family-bonds and adventures that are both magical and exciting. 1000% recommended, as is each and every book by the author.The story idea: 5/5The realization of the story: 5/5The characters: 5/5 The cover: 5/5Enjoy factor: 5/5 Final rating: 5/5
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  • Claire (bookscoffeeandrepeat)
    January 1, 1970
    It reminds of the tv show Grimm and instead of being set in the modern day, it’s set in the 18th century. The author carefully crafted a world where stories (about monsters) become a reality. Where the monster under a child’s bed could be real. The reader gets that feeling in the first pages of the book. Odette or “odd” (clever name play), tells a story to her little sister “tru” (Trudchen is such an odd name).Odd is the older sister and she likes odd things. For instance, when she was young, sh It reminds of the tv show Grimm and instead of being set in the modern day, it’s set in the 18th century. The author carefully crafted a world where stories (about monsters) become a reality. Where the monster under a child’s bed could be real. The reader gets that feeling in the first pages of the book. Odette or “odd” (clever name play), tells a story to her little sister “tru” (Trudchen is such an odd name).Odd is the older sister and she likes odd things. For instance, when she was young, she scared a kid with her creepy stories. I still can’t see any of her personality? She seems like a story book character. The only characteristic that made her seem human is her unending love and loyalty to her sister, Tru. The best moments in the book were the sisterly bonding moments they shared.Then there’s Tru, she’s supposedly more inclined to listen to reason even if she reads tea leaves on her cup. Her Aunt Victoria took care of her in hopes of her being far away from the family business (like believing in the supernatural). When I say family business, I meant fighting monsters quite literally. Tru also has polio, so it’s difficult for her to be traveling a lot. Hence, she was a timid girl, usually confined at home.Odd visits Tru at the age of 15 because that’s when the monsters would supposedly start showing up. And when Tru hears about weird monster stories, she wouldn’t believe them. Instead, she believed that her sister had gone bonkers. Throughout the story, you can see Tru truly struggling to believe what is real or what isn’t.To be honest, this is where the story should have begun. It seems that the story dragged too long because of the long flashbacks. Hence, my question is, what exactly is the plot? The story became interesting for me in the 31% mark. Before that, it was just a sea of flashbacks. I could care less about these flashbacks because I want to know where these sisters are going. JUST GIVE ME THE PLOT!What I do love in this book, aside from the strong female characters (and the sisterly bonding moments), were the historical aspects of the novel. The writing was just perfect, it’s as if I could imagine myself in the story and seeing what these characters are actually seeing. I also liked the voices in the novel, it’s true to their time period. You can also differentiate the voices of the different characters. I don’t know about you, but I’ve read a couple of books where the characters all sound alike. Fortunately, it’s not the case for this one. While this book was absolutely brilliant, especially with the writing, I have to say that the pacing was very slow. It seems that you have to get through the long and meandering process of reading through the flashbacks before getting through the story. I just wish that wasn’t the case. So, unfortunately, I’m going to DNF this at 49%. I might pick this book up again in the future. For now, I’d rather read a different story. But I still would recommend this book because of the writing.Huge thanks to the publisher for approving my request to read this book in exchange for an honest book review. All thoughts are my own. For this review and more, feel free to check my book blog.
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  • Errin
    January 1, 1970
    This is a story about secrets. A story about sisters. And finally, a story about stories.Spoiler-ish content ahead.I'll get it right out of the way, this was not what I expected. I've always heard Cat Winters was an excellent YA historical fiction writer (I can truly attest to that after reading this). And this was the first ARC I picked up at Bookcon so I was excited to read about sisters hunting monsters (aka gender-swapped Supernatural!!). And just look at that badass cover. I adore how it po This is a story about secrets. A story about sisters. And finally, a story about stories.Spoiler-ish content ahead.I'll get it right out of the way, this was not what I expected. I've always heard Cat Winters was an excellent YA historical fiction writer (I can truly attest to that after reading this). And this was the first ARC I picked up at Bookcon so I was excited to read about sisters hunting monsters (aka gender-swapped Supernatural!!). And just look at that badass cover. I adore how it portrays both ladies true to their character. As I read though, I began to secondguess my expectations from the blurb...But just because it was not as expected doesn't mean it was bad at all. I love reading about strong sisterly bonds and this was no different. It's written in alternating POV chapters. Trudchen grew up listening to her sister, Odette, tell extravagant stories of monsters and slayers. She has been confined to a humdrum life after polio left her with a debilitated leg until Odette, reppears at her window after a mysterious 2 year absence with the promise of an adventure and answers.The way everything came together in the last chunk of chapters is why I think it deserves 4 stars. Admittedly, there were slumps. Od's POV chapters were what made me keep turning the pages. My heart broke for that child. Her tale kept unraveling until the end which was quite marvelous.(view spoiler)["Fantasy is a gilded mirror that reflects the dangers, the oddities, and the marvelous wonders of our own true world." (hide spoiler)]
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  • Mandy
    January 1, 1970
    *I received an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - thanks so much for sending me over a copy!!**forever hanging head in book shame because this is Cat Winters and I should not be giving it 2 odd & true crowns* Gosh, I wanted to like this book. It sounds like so much perfection for this Book Princess. Do I love Cat Winters? YES. SO MUCH YES. Do I love monster hunters? Um, have you see my posts on Bigfoot and aliens? Would I totally love the t *I received an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - thanks so much for sending me over a copy!!**forever hanging head in book shame because this is Cat Winters and I should not be giving it 2 odd & true crowns* Gosh, I wanted to like this book. It sounds like so much perfection for this Book Princess. Do I love Cat Winters? YES. SO MUCH YES. Do I love monster hunters? Um, have you see my posts on Bigfoot and aliens? Would I totally love the two together? YESYESYESYESYESYES. Somehow, this book didn't really work out for me, though.I think the biggest issue that I had was the pacing and the connection with characters. The story just seemed so slow. I know we were learning about the history and establishing relationships and doing world building, but it just felt so slow. I would get bored halfway down the page and even Winters' beautiful writing and talk of monsters that lurk in the dark couldn't get me excited. I knew I had an issue when I literally sat this down - it being one of my most highly anticipated novels of the years - and didn't want to pick it back up. Literally, I picked anything I could over it. I'm not sure why I wasn't enthralled, but I think it just became too slow to get to anywhere, and I didn't like that at all.My other issue was the characters. I never really connected with Odette or Tru. I mean, they were there...and that was it for me. There would be moments I liked Od, but then there was times that she seemed to completely disregard Tru's disability and then I was back to not caring one wink about her. She seems like a mysterious, intriguing character, but the magic wore a bit off on her. And then Tru was...I never got a true feeling for Tru (heh, see what I did there?). She was just going along for the ride. I couldn't name you her defining characteristics except that she could see bat like creatures in her tea, she once had polio, and she really wants to see her mom. What is like as a person? Quiet, shy, eager, a dreamer? I'm not sure (and no, I haven't forgotten since I literally just finished this book today). These two obstacles really dragged the story down for me. However, there were some things that I really did enjoy. Winters, as always, is a fantastic writing that creates an atmosphere like no other. Her historical fiction is brilliant, unique, and a magical blend of mystery, real life, and the supernatural. She always has you on the edge - continuously asking, is there really the supernatural or is it just a carefully crafted illusion? She's wickedly brilliant at it, and I'm forever impressed. The story itself was intriguing as well, and the infusion of folklore was so beautiful as well. As I said, the story just bogged down by a lot of slow pacing and the blankness of the characters for me. Winters is still a remarkably talented writer, and I can't wait to get to her other stories. This one just missed the mark for me, but it still had a lot of potential. 2 crowns and a Cinderella rating - since it had a good story but those mousies kind of did slow down the pacing so remarkably well. XD
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  • Jodie Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    I wasn't expecting to enjoy this one quite as much as I did.But it was actually quite wonderful!It's a tale about family bonds , myths & legends, the everyday struggles of life, and magic.The story follows two very close sisters and each chapter alternates between each of their points of view. The chapters by Tru happen in the present and take us on an adventure across America where we'll face dangers, hunt monsters, and uncover family secrets.Od's chapters tell us about the past; how the tw I wasn't expecting to enjoy this one quite as much as I did.But it was actually quite wonderful!It's a tale about family bonds , myths & legends, the everyday struggles of life, and magic.The story follows two very close sisters and each chapter alternates between each of their points of view. The chapters by Tru happen in the present and take us on an adventure across America where we'll face dangers, hunt monsters, and uncover family secrets.Od's chapters tell us about the past; how the two sisters grew up, the real truth about their family history and what happened to Od when she was sent away from home and her sister.I was expecting more magic, myths and monsters in this book if I'm honest, but I'm actually not mad about how it turned out.There was just enough enchantment, folklore and mythical creatures to keep me interested, but the story was mainly about family, the love the two sisters share, overcoming adversity and being brave enough to carry on when life throws everything it has at you.I really enjoyed learning about the girls' family history and the truth behind Od's tall tales.I loved both of the sisters fiercely! They were both so vastly different from each other, but equally strong and brave in their own way.Tru suffered from Polio as a child and, as a result, one of her legs has withered and is unusable. She gets around with the help of a cane or wheelchair, but doesn't let this stop her from living her life and having adventures! She is delicate, quiet, smart, strong and brave.Od, on the other hand, is a bit of a wild-child. She loves adventures, stomping around the woods following monster tracks, and looking after her sister. She suffers through quite a lot as she grows up, but her vivid imagination and thirst for magic always stays strong.This is a fantastical adventure into dark family secrets, impossible stories and the unbreakable bond between sisters.Could the magic actually be real after all?!
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  • Krysti
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this story. It had a great dark and creepy tone to it, and I really loved the way Winters flipped back and forth between past and present to tense to continuously build tension throughout the story and deliver critical information to the reader at just the right moments.I love to see strong sister relationships in YA fiction and Od & Tru are certainly that. Despite the difficult place their relationship starts out at in this story, the love they have for one another is evident thro I enjoyed this story. It had a great dark and creepy tone to it, and I really loved the way Winters flipped back and forth between past and present to tense to continuously build tension throughout the story and deliver critical information to the reader at just the right moments.I love to see strong sister relationships in YA fiction and Od & Tru are certainly that. Despite the difficult place their relationship starts out at in this story, the love they have for one another is evident throughout.I did feel like we got to see more of Od's story in this book, so I did feel a deeper connection with her character. I would have liked to have seen a bit more of Tru in the book, because what we did get to see of her, I absolutely loved. I was just left wanting a bit more.This story does have this overlying spooky vibe throughout. We get to see hints of the paranormal here and there, but I did hope to see more of it in the story. Instead we do get to see a lot more of Od & Tru's family backstory, which was absolutely fascinating and had some very raw and real elements to it that were actually a pleasant surprise for me. I just would have enjoyed a bit more balance between that backstory and the paranormal action I was expecting. I loved the setting of the story, and Winters did a phenomenal job of incorporating some great twists and turns throughout the novel that really took me by surprise. This is a fun, atmospheric read heading into the Halloween season, and I'll certainly be picking up more of Winters' books in the future.
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  • ♠️ Tabi = 타비 ♠️
    January 1, 1970
    OH MY STARS THAT IS A FIERCE COVER!!!And it covers an equally fierce story . . . though in a subtle kind of way, where you don't realize the depths of its ferocity until the middle of the story and you're left sitting there in both shock and awe. Yep, Cat Winters strikes again with this one, making me want to go and reread Yesternight to see if maybe I jumped the gun on giving it a lower rating that I have with all of her other books.Though this had the same parts of Yesternight that made me rat OH MY STARS THAT IS A FIERCE COVER!!!And it covers an equally fierce story . . . though in a subtle kind of way, where you don't realize the depths of its ferocity until the middle of the story and you're left sitting there in both shock and awe. Yep, Cat Winters strikes again with this one, making me want to go and reread Yesternight to see if maybe I jumped the gun on giving it a lower rating that I have with all of her other books.Though this had the same parts of Yesternight that made me rate it lower, which was a lack of that immersive feel which is so prevalent in her other stories. Reading Cat Winters is like hopping into a book time-machine and being transported into the past, and this book just really didn't do it for me.It did, however, make me curious and turning the pages in expectation that maybe the next one would hold the answers I craved. And, oh, did this book deliver! It's about monsters - though of all kinds, not excluding the paranormal . . . though I did wish there had been maybe a bit more of a paranormal vibe in here?? Either way, it was marvelous and I will rec this author's works forever.
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