quotes Elisquared likes

"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green



I am very excited to be a part of the blog tour for the latest release from author Diane Zahler, Goblin Market.  Check out my review below, and don't forget to enter the giveaway! 

Book Information

Title: Goblin Market
Authors(s): Diane Zahler
Publication Date: August 16,
Edition: Hardcover, eBook; 256pgs
Publisher: Holiday House
SourceRockstar Book Tours
PurchaseAmazon - Kindle - B&N - iBooks - BAM! - Kobo - 
TBD Bookshop.org
Disclaimer: I received a copy from the publisher as part of a blog tour in exchange for an honest review.  My thoughts and opinions are my own.  Please note the purchase links above are affiliate links.

Tour Schedule

Week One
8/8/2022 - YA Books Central - Excerpt
8/8/2022 - GryffindorBookishNerd - IG Review
8/9/2022 - hauntedbybooks - Review/IG Post
8/9/2022 - Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers - Review/IG Post
8/10/2022 - Lifestyle of Me - Review 
8/10/2022 - @allyluvsbooksalatte - IG Post
8/11/2022 - BookHounds YA - Excerpt/IG Post
8/11/2022 - Kait Plus Books - Excerpt/IG Post
8/12/2022 - Lisa-Queen of Random - Excerpt/IG Post
8/12/2022 - onemused - IG Post

Week Two
8/15/2022 - Nerdophiles - Review 
8/15/2022 - Two Points of Interest - Review
8/16/2022 - Beers Books Boos - Review/IG Post
8/16/2022 - Celia's Reads - Review/IG Post
8/17/2022 - Littlefreelibrarygrahamnc - IG Review
8/17/2022 - The Momma Spot - Review/IG Post
8/18/2022 - A Backwards Story - Review/IG Post
8/18/2022 - @jypsylynn - IG Review
8/19/2022 - @amysbooknook8 - IG Review
8/19/2022 - Eli to the nth - Review/IG Post

The Summary

One sister must save the other from a goblin prince in this rich, spooky, and delightfully dark fantasy!

Lizzie and Minka are sisters, but they’re nothing alike: Minka is outgoing and cheerful, while Lizzie is shy and sensitive. Nothing much ever happens in their sleepy village—there are fields to tend, clothes to mend, and weekly trips to the market, predictable as the turning of the seasons. Lizzie likes it that way. It’s safe. It’s comfortable. She hopes nothing will ever change. 

But one day, Minka meets a boy. 
A boy who gives her a plum to eat. 

He is charming. He is handsome. He tells her that she’s special. He tells her no one understands her like he does—not her parents, not her friends, not even Lizzie. He tells her she should come away with him, into the darkness, into the forest. . . .

Minka has been bewitched and ensnared by a zdusze—a goblin. His plum was poison, his words are poison, and strange things begin to happen. Trees bleed, winds howl, a terrible sickness descends on Minka, and deep in the woods, in a place beyond sunshine, beyond reality, a wedding table has been laid. . . .

To save her sister, Lizzie will have to find courage she never knew she had—courage to confront the impossible—and enter into a world of dreams, danger, and death.

Rich world-building inspired by both Polish folklore and the poetry of Christina Rossetti combines with a tender sister story in this thrilling novel from Diane Zahler.

Praise for Goblin Market:

"Lush. . . Dreamy. . . Breath-quickening."—The Horn Book

"Resonates with emotion."—BCCB

"Believably wrought."—Publishers Weekly

"Will entice readers looking for some chills."—Kirkus Reviews

My Review

I really love when classic books and poetry are adapted for a different audience, so I was really interested to see how Diane Zahler reinterpreted Christina Rosetti's poem "Goblin Market" for middle grade in Zahler' latest release, Goblin Market.

Set in a fantasy world that is reminiscent of Poland, our story follows two sisters: older, outgoing Minka, and younger, shy Lizzie (or Elzbieta).  Lizzie and Minka have a strong connection, with Minka being one of the few people who believe Lizzie when she says she can "see" sounds.  Lizzie has synesthesia, which is when a person experiences one of their senses through another.  And while the reader finds out this is a strength, it has "othered" Lizzie in a sense.

The fantasy aspect of this book is great.  There are a lot of interpretations of Rosetti's original poem, but it can also be read as an actual fantasy poem, which is the direction this story takes  (Diane Zahler talks about this in a guest post on the School Library Journal blog).  The more Polish roots lend very well to the story, giving the world a darker, deeper feel.  The villains of the story, the zdusze (goblins) come from Slavic lore, and just fit into the deep forest that surrounds the girls' town.  Emil, the goblin boy who bewitches Minka, is sinister in a very subtle way.  Emil's interactions with Minka, and even Lizzie, read as a type of seduction, but one of dream fulfillment; nothing racy here, this is a middle grade after all!

But besides the fantastical aspects, the heart of this story is the connection between the sisters.  The love that Minka and Lizzie share is beautifully depicted.  In true fairy tale fashion, love conquers all.  In this case, the love of a sister.  Being extremely close to my older sibling, I appreciated that Lizzie was able to grow within the older sister/younger sister dynamic she and Minka share; Lizzie is able to develop into a stronger person because her sister needs her.  While both girls experience character growth, you really see Lizzie come into her own.  Zahler also utilizes Lizzie's synesthesia in a very pivotal way, bolstering her confidence even more.

Goblin Market by Diane Zahler is a great fantasy story, perfect for heading into the autumn season.  I think readers who know the Rosetti poem while be delighted to see the hints of it throughout the story, but anyone can enjoy this journey.  Danger, magic, and the power of love make for one dynamic book!

Final Rating


Chapter 1

Market day was Lizzie’s favorite day of the week. 

Not because she loved going to the market—the few times she’d been there, she’d hated it. There were so many people she didn’t know, from villages and farms clear on the other side of Elza. So much noise, such constant comings and goings, so many smells and colors! It was overwhelming, terrifying. Each time she’d ended up hiding in a doorway at the edge of the square, trembling, until Mother and Minka came to find her. 

Now Minka went to market on her own. 

Mother was delighted that Minka was old enough to go alone: she could stay home and attend to the chores. And Lizzie was delighted that she could steal into the Wood for an hour or two when she was done helping Father in the fields. 

In the Wood, Lizzie always went to the same place, a little stand of birch trees beside a trickling stream. If it was warm and the sun shone down onto the circle of grass inside the grove, she would lie and look up at the sky. She could feel the breath of the Wood as the wind rustled the birch leaves. She could hear the Wood’s chuckle in the water running over rocks. Sometimes she felt as if the Wood’s heart thrummed inside her body. Her own pulse matched the Wood’s, beat for beat. 

If it was cold, she would wrap up in her shawl and walk to stay warm, just listening—to bird songs, to the creak of branches rubbing together, to the rustle of rabbits and squirrels in the underbrush. 

For Lizzie, each sound was a color. When she was younger, seven or eight, she’d sat at the kitchen table and tried to paint what she heard, but Minka laughed and pointed at her painted trees, saying, “Leaves aren’t gray, silly! And those don’t even look like trees. They look like sticks with clouds on top.” Minka loved to paint. She did it whenever she had a few minutes free of chores, and sometimes instead of chores. She mostly used watercolors, but if she had a few extra coppers, she would go into Elza and buy a tube of oil paint—cerulean blue, or chartreuse, or violet—and paint the whitewashed walls of the cottage with flowers and intricate designs, inside and out. Her lips were always tinted blue or green because she chewed on her brushes when she thought about what to paint. 

“We don’t have any silver paint,” Lizzie said. “I had to use gray.” 

“Leaves aren’t silver, either,” Minka pointed out. “They’re green. Or red and orange in the autumn.” She took the paintbrush, dipped it, and in a few moments there was a tree on the paper, brown and green and almost as real as life. 

“But the sound the leaves make is silver,” Lizzie protested. “In springtime, anyway.” 

Minka rolled her eyes. “What does that even mean?” she asked. “The sound the leaves make is silver?” 

“It’s the color they make when they rustle together,” Lizzie said. “When the breeze blows. You know, the wavery lines of silver?” 

Minka’s face was blank. 

“You don’t see that?” Lizzie was confused. The idea that other people didn’t see what she saw was new to her. 

“You do see that? Actually see it?” 

Excerpt from Goblin Market / Text copyright © 2022 by Diane Zahler. Reproduced by permission from Holiday House Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

About Diane Zahler:
Diane grew up reading children's books and never wanted to do anything but write them. Now she’s the author of six middle-grade fantasy novels and a historical novel, Daughter of the White Rose. She lives in the country with her husband and slightly neurotic dog in what is aptly nicknamed the Bug House. Visit her website at www.dianezahler.com.

1 winner will receive a finished copy of GOBLIN MARKET, US Only.


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