Lonely Castle in the Mirror – book review

Lonely Castle in the Mirror (vol. 1)
by Mizuki Tsujimura
* * * * Stars (Great!)
Kokoro was horribly bullied by some girls at her previous school. The experience has left her exhausted, anxious, and afraid. Although she is transferred to another school, Kokoro still feels sick every time she thinks about attending classes. What if the girls return? What if they hurt her? While she’s home sick (again) she notices something strange about the mirror in her room (glowing?), and when she reaches out to touch it, she discovers she can step right through. A weird girl wearing a wolf mask pulls her in to another world, a secret mirror castle world! ACK! Kokoro is terrified and runs straight home again, but she’s also intrigued. So when the mirror continues to glow, she eventually is overtaken by her curiosity and willingly transports herself back to the castle. There, she learns that she is one of 7 other young people who have been selected to compete/search for a key that has been hidden somewhere in the castle. The key will grant that person their dearest wish. They have a whole year to search, and some of them are more serious about it than others. Kokoro and a couple of the boys are more interested in playing video games and learning more about one another. It’s enough, perhaps, that they have somewhere else to go besides school or home – places that they all seem to want to escape from. An intriguing beginning! There’s definitely something a little menacing about the wolf mask girl, and the fact that they all have to clear out of the castle before the end of the day, every day. This first volume definitely leaves you wanting to know/read more. For high school teens.

Reviewed by YA Librarian

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