Friday, 14 October 2016

La La, Greg and Heather REVIEW.....OMNIA by Laura Gallego

review-omnia-laura-gallego
Title: Omnia

Author: Laura Gallego (Translated by Jordi Castells)

Publisher: Amazon Crossing

Release Date: 13th September 2016

Source: ARC

All you have to do is imagine—the Omnia superstore has anything you could ever dream of.
Where else but Omnia would a boy go looking to replace a one-of-a-kind stuffed bunny that happens to be his baby sister’s favorite toy? Scrolling through the online retailer’s extensive inventory, Nico finds what looks like a perfect match, but the item is lost somewhere in the vast Omnia warehouse. He doesn’t believe it, so he stows away in a shipment being returned to the warehouse to search for the bunny himself.
Nico quickly gets stranded on the island of Omnia, a fantastical place that does much more than sell everyday items. It is a hub for a business with intergalactic reach, and while stray visitors to Omnia are welcomed warmly, they are not permitted to leave, ever.
The adventure of a lifetime awaits Nico as he searches for the beloved toy and tries to find a way to return home.
So this is the bit where I usually tell you about the latest book that has passed under my nose, well today I'm excited to say I for today has become WE!  Yes that is right my blogging buddies from over that great big pond (aka the Atlantic Ocean), La La from La La in the Library and Greg from Book Haven join me to talk about Omnia by Laura Gallego (and whatever they say I did not boss them in to reading it)..........


1.What are your general thoughts?

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HEATHER: I think the first thing that grabbed me about Omnia was the fact it seemed to be a cross between two things I love, Amazon and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The fact that the Omnia warehouse is an island, the fact it takes up the whole island is such a cool idea, and c'mon who hasn't wanted to explore the Amazon warehouse unchecked?


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GREG: I thought this was a good book. I was afraid at first I was going to be bored as the first two chapters didn't grab me, even though they were cute. But I was soon flipping pages. I liked how there was a lot going on here - a bit of scifi along with a nice story about family. 


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LA LA: I had the same bit of ho hum in the beginning, too, but the inkling that something otherworldly might be happening came pretty quickly, so I held on for the fantasy/scifi to begin, and Heather described it perfectly, "... a cross between Amazon and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."



2. How did you feel about the plot?


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HEATHER: The plot is kinda cute to begin with, our main character is Nico a young boy who lives with his mum, dad and little sister. His little sister's favourite toy, a bunny on its last hop, gets chucked out. Nico may have given it a helping hand, however he is full of guilt once he sees how distraught his little sister is, where can he get another toy? Omnia, that's where!  They sell everything and they sell the bunny but there is a big problem, Omnia can't find the bunny. So what does Nico do? Well he gets himself shipped to Omnia thats what.  This is of course a totally crazy thing to do but it works and he finds himself at the Chocolate Factory, sorry I mean Omnia warehouse, there he meets people who have been there their entire lives and the robots they work with. He also finds out this utopian supplier of wares is maybe not as fantastic as it seems and even though his main task is finding the bunny, he also finds himself full immersed in to weird and wonderful world of Omnia.


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GREG: The plot was pretty tight and even though the story expanded later it was always at it's heart about Nico trying to find his sister's bunny.


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LA LA: I loved the diversity elements. The message that once you understand someone, and why they are the way they are, you just might end up liking them a lot and even thinking of them as a best friend. Teamwork and loyalty were standout points in the story, too, which is wonderful for a Middle Grade book.


3. What did you think about the characters?


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HEATHER: Nico the main character was very much portrayed (and correctly so) as such an innocent, you really see the world through his eyes and feel his amazement at all the things he sees.  The book is of course mainly about him but we do meet other characters such as the people he ends up working with, all totally different and in the case of one of them literally from another planet. None of the supporting characters feel like fillers, they all have their place.


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GREG: I didn't like Nico at first and I wondered if that was intentional on the author's part. I expected to get a Claudia POV but it was all Nico - and that was fine. I also enjoyed some of the personalities in Omnia- especially Belay. Nico made some real friendships there.


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LA LA: I liked all of the characters and how they were fleshed out. As a mother of a boy, I think Nico's personality was spot on and believable. The author did an excellent job portraying the other worldly characters. They were unique and quirky. 


4. Was the ending satisfying?


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HEATHER: The ending was suitably sweet but it seemed to be really quick and snuck up on me.  Yes it answers the missing bunny question but I felt it maybe could have been padded out a bit more.


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GREG: The ending was satisfying and I liked that there was a question mark on one particular point. It surprised me a bit actually, but I can't say much more for spoilers!


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LA LA: As far as the main part of the storyline, yes, but I am with Heather, I felt it was a bit abrupt. 


5. Rating and recommendations?


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HEATHER: I will happily give this book 4 out of 5, although it is really aimed at your Middle Grade age, I found it gave me a injection of pure escapism, the whole description of Omnia was amazing and really appealed to me.


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GREG: I would rate this probably a 3.5 or 4, I think it has a lot going and will stimulate the imagination of a kid while still being entertaining and whimsical for adults. There are a few scenes where it's not all cutesy cutesy and could be very perilous for Nico, but it doesn't get too heavy. A nice mix.


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LA LA: After combing through my thoughts about the story I almost wanted to change my Goodreads rating to four stars with it being 3.5 here on the blog instead of a three stars raised to 3.5, but I am sticking to it because of the slow start, some verging on YA content in the middle, and the abrupt ending. I would definitely recommend this as a read aloud book for families because I think it will spark some good conversations about bullying, racism, consumerism, and family loyalty. It will also appeal to the younger ages of  the YA classification.




We would like to thank REX ROBOT REVIEWS for use of their tandem review format.



I would also like to thank La La for typing this all out!!!

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10 comments

  1. Hahahahaha... okay, I won't tell anyone you have bossy pants... I mean I won't say you were bossy. Heh heh. I am happy I read Omnia because it was more than worth the price if $1.99 US. In fact after thinking about it, I am going to suggest it to a couple of other literacy volunteers who still tutor adult readers. We are always looking for stories that are a little less challenging, but have content that will be interesting to adults, or older teens. This book fits the bill perfectly.

    This way fun, and I agree, we need to do it again. :)

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    1. I am glad the book fits the bill, it was such a cute read and it was great fun to read together. Maybe something a little different the next time.

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  2. I'm so glad you mentioned this book, funny how these things happen. And it was a lot of fun reviewing w/ you guys! This was a great read, just like you said, and I haven't read an MG in so long. And thanx LaLa for typing it out!!

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    1. Yep she did a fab job!! Great fun and lets do it again soon!!

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  3. I love this review by you 3! I don't generally read Middle Grade book, but this review was fun to read. Thanks for participating together in this review and sharing this!

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  4. What a cute book! And I love how awesome and diverse this review is! Bringing in La La and Greg to share their thoughts was so fun, I loved reading everyone's different thoughts about the book. I totally need to give buddy reading a go!

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  5. I really like the sound of the fantastical land kind of setting. I'm a huge fan of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and it sounds like this one has that kind of vibe to it, which makes me so happy. It must have been so nice to read this with some reading buddies as well :D

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    Replies
    1. It was great fun, something different!!!

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