The Invention of Hugo Cabret - Brian Selznick I love this book! Just going to come right out and say it from the get-go. This book was so amazing in so many different ways I don't even know where to start! I first heard about this book from none other than my best friend! (Seriously, she knows exactly what I like to read so all the books she recommends I end up loving.) She took a Children's Literature class and her teacher mentioned this book to her. She then shared it with me since I was looking for something good to read at the time (this was a few years ago). I remember reading it that first time and falling absolutely in love with everything about it. However, this was before I knew about GoodReads so I didn't bother writing a review. Today, I wanted to re-read it to freshen up my memories and to give it a proper review (or a fangirly one... either or) so that way more people could know about this fantastic novel! (However, with the movie being made, there are a lot of people who are looking into the book as we speak.) Re-visiting this novel... was... amazing! It left me breathless! I am in awe with the creativity that was put into this novel. This is a novel that every kid and adult should read! That's right! It is one of THOSE books!

Brian Selznick has earned my respect with writing this novel. He went beyond what normal authors do in order to create such a wonderful piece of literature. He traveled to Paris to do some research, researched about films, looked into the real life Georges Méliès who created the movies Selznick talked about in his book, and even learned about clock towers and what it takes to build one. Not to mention he looked into what it took to make automata. This man went so deep into this book that it took him over two years to write, which is just astounding to me. Not to mention how he combined illustrations along with writing to tell this story of Hugo Cabret. I have never read a story quite like this before where it depended so much on visuals for the next scene to unfold. That, to me, was an amazing experience. It was like I was a child again, enjoying those picture books I loved staring at so much... to imagine the words flowing into my head of what the characters were feeling and thinking in that one picture, that one illustration. I felt so captivated by it, so moved. And the writing itself was great! It was very simple, not a lot of big words are used in this book. But that's okay because this book is geared towards a younger audience. And let's face it, kids are not going to understand words that are written for, say, teens or adults. I feel like the writing style fit the story that was being told. It works! It made me glad to see that something that was written in a simplistic manner could capture it's audience in such a way most books written today cannot. I was completely blown away and I would love to thank Selznick for being such an amazing author.

Let me go into a bit more details about the illustrations. The artwork is topnotch! At least it is in my opinion. They are so detailed and it really focuses on the characters look. Not just physical appearance either! I mean their feelings. You can see the characters feels so clearly in these drawings. Their eyes can shine with love, frustration, anger, sadness, and fear. I saw so many emotions in these drawings that I, too, was feeling them. There's also the fact that this book contains actual photos from old time movies. I'm talking about movies made in the 1930s! It was so cool seeing them because I never really saw a lot of old time movies. Just wasn't born in the right period. So seeing them in here and getting a bit of a history lesson with them was both educational and fascinating. The art is just great and fits right into Selznick writing style. I am in love with so many aspects of this book! So many!

The characters were phenomenal! There's not a single character I hated in this book. Sure you have your characters that stand in the way of the protagonist but they were never truly horrible. You have Hugo Cabret, male lead, and he's a boy who has been through some rough times but grows into a kind and gentle boy. Well, he was always kind and gentle but he was also rugged because of being homeless (you'll find out why once you read). He had to resort to thieving just for food and I really sympathize with him. He really is a sweet boy and you just fall for him and the adventure he goes through. There's Isabelle, female lead, who befriends him after seeing him interact with her godfather, Georges Méliès. She's a very smart, sweet, compassionate, curious girl who very well is my favorite character. I loved her passion for reading. She could read books all day long! What amazes me about this is the type of books she reads. She reads books of value. Those of education. For fun. Greek mythology books, books about photography, you name it! People like her really inspire me because there are not many people who read first and foremost. And those who do rarely read books of education. Not that there's anything wrong with reading books of fiction. I, myself, read plenty of them. However, it's nice to see someone who would read to improve their knowledge from time to time. By far, my favorite character. Another character is Georges Méliès himself. A famous movie creator. I'm ashamed to say that before I read this book, I had no idea who he was. (Once again, born in the wrong time period.) But after reading it, I felt like I learned so much! Of course, there's more to learn from him which you can by reading other books about his life, but reading this gave me the introduction I needed in order to learn more. He's such an inspiration and such a loving character even if he did come off as snotty at the beginning. Another character I will mention is Etienne. He's my second favorite character because he was just so likable. He treated Hugo as an equal, not as some dirty, homeless child like everyone else did. He did something that not many people would do for someone they just met. I admire him greatly for that. Last character I want to mention is the Station Inspector. He's seen as the "villian" in this book but, honestly, he was just doing his job. I can't say a lot about him because that will spoil things, but I will say this... he's not as bad as they make him out to be. If he wanted to, he could have been a lot more evil towards Hugo. Phew! That's about it. There are some more characters but if I keep going, we'll be here all night! XP

I love this book! I LOVE this book! I can't say enough times! I LOVE THIS BOOK! You really ought to give this a try. It matters not that it is geared towards children. The fact is that it contains everything a good story should have in order to entertain the reader and I believe that no matter how old you are, you will come to enjoy this book just as much as I have. It's visually appealing, the writing is great, the characters are amazing, and the never-ending mystery of the plot will keep you guessing until the end. Go pick this up right now! It is worth having in your collection. Especially if you have kids around... or even if you don't! XD You will not be disappointed. It's a great book.