Published by Amulet Books on September 12th 2017
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 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