Title: Pleasant Grove by Jason Price
Published by: Independently Published
Publication date: 28th June 2020
Genre: Sci-Fi/Middle Grade
What’s outside Pleasant Grove?
Welcome to Pleasant Grove, a quiet small town where neighbor helps neighbor and doors are left unlocked at night ‒ an unspoiled paradise with one peculiar feature: It’s enclosed by a glass dome.
No one can leave. No one can enter. No one can survive beyond the dome.
But then, a visitor arrives from the outside.
When 12-year-old Agnes Goodwin discovers a strange boy with no memory, she teams up with her best friends to unravel the mystery. Their extraordinary adventure will uncover a long-buried secret so monstrous it will threaten everything they know…and everyone they love.
A huge thank you to the author for sending me a copy of this book for review!
Pleasant Grove is an awesome adventure story about a group of children who are determined to uncover the truth about the town they live in. It’s a fun read for all age groups and it’s a story I will be reaching for time and time again.
Agnes Goodwin and her friends have been raised in Pleasant Grove, a quiet small town enclosed in a glass dome, and they have never once questioned the strangeness of it, until one day Agnes discovers a strange boy with no memory who has found a way to enter the dome. After getting cryptic answers from her parents, Agnes sets out with her friends to investigate the dome and uncover its secrets. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. I was completely gripped by the mystery that is Pleasant Grove and was just as determined as Agnes to find out why the town is enclosed in a glass dome that no one can leave or enter.
My favourite part of the story was the friendship between Agnes, Dakota, and Maddie. I loved how they rallied around one another and all supported each other. Their different personalities all really worked well together and it was easy to see why they were best friends. Agnes is a fiery character for a 12-year-old. She is confident, smart and determined to uncover the truth about Pleasant Grove. Then we have Dakota, who was definitely the sassy friend. I loved her cheeky personality and how she was always making light of the situation. She’s easily the most supportive friend and probably her and Agnes are the ones who cause the most trouble. Finally, we have Maddie, who I related to the most. I found her to be the most cautious and sensible one out of the three, however, she was very unsure of herself and not at all confident in any situation. She goes through excellent character development though and I was delighted to see her confidence build with each new adventure they had.
We also have the strange boy who’s unable to offer any information about who he is or where he has come from and this was another part of the story that captured my attention. He was completely wrapped up in mystery and I was eager to find out how he had been able to survive outside of the dome and whether there was a massive conspiracy surrounding Pleasant Grove. The story is very much kids vs the world. I also couldn’t help but be suspicious of the parents. They all seemed to be hiding something and they weren’t very forthcoming when questioned about what’s outside of the dome.
The story is split into seven parts and each part was significant in its own way. The excitement gradually builds throughout the story and it wasn’t long before I found myself unable to put the book down. I had all sorts of ideas about what led the dome to be created, but none of them were true. I would never have guessed the ending and it’s actually rather spooky as the kids come closer to solving the mystery, which makes it the perfect adventure story to read over Halloween. The last final pages were especially shocking and it definitely leaves it open for a sequel. I really hope there is another book as I truly enjoyed this adventure. I’m excited to see what Jason Price writes next.
If you like the sound of this book, it’s free on Kindle this week (26 October – 30 October)!