Hey, guys! I am super excited to talk about a book that I have only recently read for the first time, and that is The Invention of Hugo Cabaret by Brian Selznick. This is a beloved book within the book community, and it totally deserves it because I absolutely loved this book. It was such a heartwarming story, and I am so glad I decided to pick it up. It is full of beautiful illustrations that really helped to capture the story. But enough with the gushing. Let’s go ahead and jump right into the review!
“Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo’s undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo’s dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery. ”
This book was so freaking good. I didn’t really have any expectations going into it. I just knew that Jesse of JessetheReader on YouTube really enjoyed it, and I knew that it had illustrations all throughout it because, in addition to being an author, Brian Selznick is also an artist. This story was so much deeper than what I imagined it being. It dealt with so many different topics like grief, loss, family, friendship and so many others. I just really thoroughly enjoyed my time reading it.
One thing I didn’t really think about prior to reading this book was how fast I would end up devouring this book. The book is just filled with full-page illustrations, so I very quickly read this book, reading it in just two days, though I honestly could have read it in one. Speaking of the illustrations, this book did something different to other books I have read. Instead of showing an illustration and using words to sort of guide you along, these illustrations replaced the words. You saw what was going on. And then it picked up with words where the illustrations left off. It was just so different, and I ended up really loving that aspect.
I also just really loved all of the characters. Every single one we see is important to the plot of the book. None of them seemed underdeveloped or flat, which was really refreshing, especially considering the side characters. They still seemed realistic and dynamic and important to the story, even if just for a moment. I loved Hugo and the old man and his wife so much (though, truth be told, I did get kind of annoyed at Isabella a few times). I just really enjoyed this story…
Something else I was not expecting at all was that this story had no magic in it. I don’t know why I thought this book had fantasy elements, but for some reason, I did, so that was a little bit of a surprise. I didn’t know that this book was actually historical fiction. It took me by surprise and caught me off guard in the best possible way because this story didn’t even need those fantasy elements. It was just as amazing with the story and the characters, in my opinion.
Overall, I just really loved this book and the illustrations and writing, the characters and the time period and the plot…It was just such a fantastic story, and I cannot wait to read more from Brian Selznick!
And there you have it! That was my review of The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. What is your current favorite middle-grade novel/series? Comment down below! I would love to know. And that is going to be it for this review today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!