Quintessence by Jess Redman

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

This book was stunning. Absolutely, wonderfully fabulous! I love that Jess Redman has brought such a real, relatable character to our children’s fictional world. Alma, our main character is experiencing panic attacks and anxiety, and I thought that Redman did an excellent job at bringing this very real situation to life through her words.

How I Felt:

Alma is a 12-year-old girl that any middle-age child can relate to. She’s just been uprooted from the home she loves to a new, unfamiliar town with her family. This new place is not her home, and she doesn’t know what to do. She begins to have panic attacks and anxiety due to the stress of the move, and her family isn’t sure what to do. Alma ends up in the Astronomy club with some new friends and soon discovers they are a bit more than just a club.

The fantasy in this story was wonderful and exciting. I think that the characters were so beautifully written, they just popped out of the page with their charisma and personality. I loved reading every page of this story, and I highly recommend it for middle-grade readers, but for adults that enjoy fantasy as well. It’s a wonderfully written book and deserves all kinds of praise!

To Read or Not To Read:

I would recommend Quintessence to middle-grade readers that like the excitement of a fantasy-story! I think many adults will enjoy it as well!

Where to Find This Book:

Quintessence by Jess Redman is available at these sites!

Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Kindle ~ Audible ~ B&N ~ iBooks ~ Kobo ~ TBD ~ Bookshop.org


Three months ago, twelve-year-old Alma moved to the town of Four Points. Her panic attacks started a week later, and they haven’t stopped—even though she told her parents that they did. Every day she feels less and less like herself.

Then Alma meets the ShopKeeper in the town’s junk shop, The Fifth Point. The ShopKeeper gives her a telescope and this message:

Find the Elements.
Grow the Light.
Save the Starling.

That night, Alma watches as a star—a star that looks like a child—falls from the sky and into her backyard. Alma knows what it’s like to be lost and afraid, to long for home, and with the help of some unlikely new friends from the Astronomy Club, she sets out on a quest that will take a little bit of astronomy, a little bit of alchemy, and her whole self.

QUINTESSENCE is a stunning story of friendship, self-discovery, interconnectedness, and the inexplicable elements that make you you.

Just the Facts:

Quintessence by Jess Redman
Genre: Middle Grade
Page Count: 384 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Pub Date: July 28, 2020

Jess Redman is a therapist and author of books for young readers with FSG/Macmillan. Her first book, THE MIRACULOUS, was a Bank Street Best Children’s Book of 2019, an Amazon Best Book of 2019, and was called “layered, engaging, and emotionally true” in a Kirkus starred review.

Her second book, QUINTESSENCE, releases on July 28th. The book was featured in OwlCrate Jr.’s subscription box and was described as “a fanciful adventure with a rich emotional core and a fairy tale” by Publishers Weekly.

Her third book, THE ADVENTURE IS NOW, is scheduled for publication in May 2021. Redman currently lives in Florida with her husband, two young children, an old cat named SoulPie, and a fish named Annie.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | YouTube | Goodreads


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I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of this book for free. I am leaving my honest review voluntarily.

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