As one other reviewer said, "it's often too hard to see the forest for the 'twee," which felt just too apt for this novel. I did enjoy it: the illustrations were beautiful, and the story whimsical and intriguing enough (and yes, it did share elements with other classic YA books like Narnia, sometimes a bit too closely). Overall, a fun adventure, though Prue didn't really seem to "grow" that much (Maybe that will happen over course of the next two books? Curtis seemed better developed).
Perhaps I'm not young enough to not see how silly some of the things are on the Portland side, but there were some points where I was like "really?" She pulls an almost-walking 1-year-old in a red wagon that is attached to her bike
. That would be a no-go with any 1-year old I know--they'd be too busy trying to get out, or worse. And her parents were gone for an entire day at a craft fair. Of course it would be a craft fair. No overworked, neglectful parent trope here. So yes, the book was just a bit too 'twee or hipster-ific to ignore...*
*Note: I went to art school, sell at craft fairs...and probably would fit in fine in Portland. But it still was a bit too much.