Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith

The Marbury Lens

Author: Andrew Smith
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends

4½ out of 5 stars

Putting them on means venturing into a whole different world. One similar to ours, but different in more ways than you can count. It is a world at war. A world where unimaginable creatures travel in clans, killing any who stand in their way. But you’re there too. You might not know that you exist in this alternate universe, but you’re there. You’re one of the few that exist both in Marbury and our own world. Is this a curse, or a blessing, to be able to visit this land by simply slipping on a pair of glasses? Well… there’s only one way to find out.

After almost getting raped after a party, John Wynn Whitmore, you can call him Jack, thinks that something has been done to him. There’s no other explanation. Jack has no idea what to do, and only tells his best friend, Conner. However, Jack’s life must go on, and he puts the scary, but all too real incident behind him. Jack’s got a lot to look forward to, including a trip to London to visit a school there that both Jack and Conner may be attending. But Jack can’t forget, and it keeps coming back.

Then a stranger hands Jack a pair of glasses. Glasses? What happens when Jack puts them on is both exhilarating, yet terrifying. He is transported to another world. To the amazing and perilous Marbury, where war is raging and he is responsible for the care of two boys. He can’t quite believe it at first, but as Jack starts going to Marbury more and more it becomes his addiction, and he starts to lose touch with his own life. He has to write himself notes on what he was supposed to do and what was going on so he’ll remember when he comes back from Marbury. Can Jack handle both Marbury and his own life? Which one is real, and which is where Jack belongs? All is revealed in Andrew Smith’s intense story of one boy’s extreme journey to try and fix his life and choose his ultimate path in, The Marbury Lens!

This book blew my mind. It was real, yet explored the limits of my imagination and questioned what I thought was our true reality. The Marbury Lens is something that I could read over and over again, and I’d still be amazed. I can’t wait to read Andrew Smith’s other books such as, In the Path of Falling Objects and Ghost Medicine. This book is more suitable for teens fifteen and up as it contains language and sexual content that may not be inappropriate for younger readers.

I especially enjoyed how this book contained aspects that were real, yet at the same time other parts that were beyond this world. For example, in the beginning of the book it starts out with a typical teenager party and then moves on to the main character, Jack, almost getting raped. The Marbury Lens dived headfirst into topics that do happen, and it was nice to see that it didn’t beat around the bush. On the other hand, when it came to the world of Marbury, there were features of it that were like nothing I’ve ever read about before. There was a nice mix of reality and fantasy.

It was also really interesting to see how traveling to Marbury was like an addiction. The more and more that Jack visited, the harder it became for him to pull himself out and get back into the real world. He had trouble remembering what he had been doing before visiting Marbury, and many times he had no idea how long his excursions would last. There was also a noticeable change in Jack the more he went to Marbury. Those around him certainly took notice, but how could Jack possible tell any of them?

The world of Marbury was extremely interesting, and there were so many unanswered questions swirling in my head. It would have been nice to have gotten to know the world of Marbury even more through Jack’s trips. This was one aspect of The Marbury Lens that I wish I had gotten to see more of. I knew in general what had happened in the world of Marbury and what was going on, but it would have been nice to see an even deeper look into its background. I think it would be very, very interesting to see a book take place mainly in Marbury, whether it focused on the world’s past, present, or future.

In the end, The Marbury Lens is a book that made me question everything around me, and caused me to wonder. Many questions were left unanswered, but that provided an even greater shroud of mystery. Join Jack, as he tries to discern what is truly real, while his life slowly falls apart before him in, The Marbury Lens!

-This is T.B. with Another Book Back on the Shelf…
Until Next Time, Keep Reading!

Check out Andrew Smith's website at
The Marbury Lens is available from Amazon here.


  1. This sounds amazing!!! Great review, I will have to check it out!

  2. Hi Tessa,

    Thank you so much for the great review. I really love what you do here, and I'm looking through your other reads as well.

    Thanks again,


  3. This has been on my tbr forever! It sounds so cool and the cover always stands out to me. I want to learn more about Marbury for sure. Awesome review!

  4. Carole- Glad this one sounds good! I hope you enjoy it!

    Andrew Smith- Thanks so much for checking out my blog! That means a lot to me. The Marbury Lens was so haunting, yet it really walked the line between reality and fantasy. I can't wait to read your other books, as well as your upcoming one! Thanks so much for your support!

    Laura (All of Everything)- Thanks! I think you'd like this one a lot! I totally agree about the cover. It incorporates the glasses and it really captures the essence of the story. I hope you get a chance to read it soon!

  5. Ooh, this looks so good! Brilliant review!

    Thanks for all your comments! I've added a link to my Beyond The Darkness review so if you want, you can buy the series. And thanks for your help on my icon! I'm going to darken the lettering.

    Have a great weekend, and I'm adding this to my 'wanted' list! :)

  6. I wasn't very interested in this one before but I am now! I'd like to see how Smith blends fantasy and reality together. I find that when authors try to do that, it doesn't always come out how I hoped. But the premise sounds wonderfully intriguing and I'm curious as to how it will play out! Great review :)

  7. This book sounds so interesting! And odd. I love how you mention it contains a mixture of parts that were real and parts that were fantasy. So cool. I'm definitely adding this one to my TBR now!

  8. I've read one good review for this book, and now yours. I think I should read it. Honestly, I've always avoided it because I don't like the cover. So silly.

  9. The Book Addicted Girl- Thanks! Oh, and no problem, I really like the new icon. Glad this one sounds interesting!

    Honey- I hope you like this one! The Marbury Lens really toys with your mind, and it's hard to discern which is real... Marbury, or the world we know. The plot definitely goes in new directions that I wouldn't have expected. Can't wait to hear what you think of this one!

    Aylee- Haha, this book was very interesting and odd. There were new aspects that I was amazed by, but some horrific ones as well. It was hard to grasp reality while reading The Marbury Lens, and I often found myself wanting to travel back to Marbury as well.

    Small Review- Haha, the cover actually has a bit of meaning to the story. Not only is the boy wearing glasses, but if you look in the left lens there is a faint picture of two people kissing and an outline of a man. Both are definitely in the story. I think you should try this one out though, and I hope you enjoy it!

  10. I'm with Small- I never was interested in this one, but I had no idea what it was about. What a great review. And what a great book it sounds like. It's something I'd definitely like to read now. I'm so glad you found me! I love your reviews and the books you review!


  11. I totally get what you mean. That happens to me a lot where I'm just not interested in a book, but then when I read someone's review and actually see what it's about, I can't wait to read it! I'm so glad I found your blog too, and I love reading your reviews :)

  12. Hey T.B.!
    This one looks great. Every time I see the cover, it makes me look twice, and now that I've read your stellar review I may have to check it out :)

    I definitely think you should read Rot and Ruin. Like I said, it really surprised me, but it was one of the best books I've read in a while. As for King Dork, I enjoyed that book as well. It was a little hard to get into at first, but before long it had me laughing out loud(a lot:)). I would recommend it, but the humor might not be for everyone.
    Keep those great reviews coming!
    Ninja Girl

  13. Thanks! Oh, I know, I love the cover, and it totally fits the book as well. Glad this one sounds good!

    I can't wait to read Rot and Ruin now, especially since you liked it so much. I'll definitely give King Dork another try. I barely started it, but I just couldn't get into it. I could definitely use some great humor in a contemporary book :) Thanks so much for all your help!

  14. Wow, I think I'm mentally slapping myself for having never have heard of this. It seems exactly like the kind of book I love. Fabulous review by the way, I love how you express yourself so well.

    (Nice to meet you!)

  15. I've heard good things about this one. I really liked the points you made in your review. It's definitely interesting to read books where all the lines are blurred between reality and fantasy.

  16. P.E.- Haha, well I'm glad I was able to introduce this one to you :) Hopefully you get a chance to read it soon! Thanks so much, and thanks for stopping by!

    Ashley @ Book Labyrinth- You captured it perfectly! That's what I was trying to get across in my review, how the lines are blurred between reality and fantasy! I'm glad someone got it spot on :) Thanks so much for stopping by!

  17. I've been on the fence about this one. Your review makes me want to dive right in!

  18. I'm so glad to hear that! I hope you enjoy it!

  19. I've really wanted to read this book, forget momentarily, and now you've just reminded me. Adding to my list again!

  20. Glad I could remind you :) I hope you enjoy this one, and I can't wait to hear what you think of it!


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