Customer Reviews for

Aldo's Fantastical Movie Palace

Average Rating 3.5
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  • Posted August 23, 2012

    "Aldo's Fantastical Movie Palace -- where dreams come true,

    "Aldo's Fantastical Movie Palace -- where dreams come true, and
    nightmares too." {quote from chapter nine} What I Loved: Okay, so
    I didn't absolutely loooove this book like I thought I would, but I did
    like it. I did love the fact that Friesen wrote about two young
    characters, Chloe (called "Scarface" by her peers at school)
    and Nick (the blind movie script-writer boy), who were flawed / had
    "handicaps" that took us on a journey through a magical
    screenplay into the fantastical World of Retinya. In Retinya both Chloe
    and Nick must face their fears and their flaws head on. They ultimately
    learn that imperfections aren't everything and that forgetting the past
    is not always wise. Sometimes remembering the past is not easy, but it
    will lead us down the road to healing and self discovery and peace.
    Honestly, the story reminded me a little of Hugo Cabret at times with
    its freedom to just dream out loud onto the page. So, for that, I
    totally give props to Mr. Friesen! He definitely created a vivid, unique
    world full of flawed characters that needed to face their fears to find
    that they were both indeed more than their flaws. And the Fantasy
    elements of this book were great, I must say! I loved the pilgrimage
    feel of the story as well (The Pilgrim's Progress, anyone?), as Chloe
    and Nick struggled to stay on the right paths that would lead them to
    find themselves and to ultimately make it to the City of Reckoning in
    hopes of defeating Vaepor. There were also moments where some of the
    more "side-lined" characters made me laugh immensely, like
    Chloe's Grandpa and brothers for instance. I really wish that the
    Grandpa had been a more prominently featured character throughout the
    entire novel. I really do. Also, from reading the back cover blurb I
    assumed that Chloe and Nick would be together throughout the entire
    adventure through Retinya, but this wasn't so. And at first this greatly
    bothered me. But in a way I thought this was a pretty smart idea on Mr.
    Friesen's part because it made me think of Hans Christian Andersen's
    story The Snow Queen and of how Kay and Gerda must go on an adventure
    too, though they are not together for the whole adventure either...they
    both come out changed and "found" on the other end. What I
    Didn't Like So Much: I won't spoil anything for you all, but I will say
    that the beginning and ending both left me cringing and upset. Now, that
    said, I do want to read the rest of Jonathan Friesen's books after
    having finished reading this one, mainly because while this book left
    some things to be desired in some instances, overall I really did enjoy
    Chloe's character, the vividry of verbage, the Fantasy World of Retinya
    (cool name, huh? Kind of like retina, you know?) and Mr. Friesen's
    storytelling abilities. So, was AFMP an instant favorite book? No, not
    completely. But it was good enough to warrant me desiring to have
    another go at reading a Jonathan Friesen novel, and I'll admit that I
    would like to re-read this book in the near future. Other nit-picky
    notes... At times I did have trouble keeping up with who was who, as far
    as the newly introduced Retinyan characters were concerned, mainly
    because their introductions were almost too swift at times and lacked a
    thorough background or explanation as to who they were. There were a
    few grammatical errors, and some uses of the wrong tense/spelling of a
    word was used once or twice. I’m recommending this book… If you are a
    fan of The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, Bridge To
    Terabithia by Katherine Patterson, The Snow Queen by Hans Christian
    Andersen, The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan, The Magic Tree House
    Series by Mary Pope Osborne and The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
    then you might just enjoy being swept away into the Fantasy World of
    Retinya with Chloe and Nick. *I received this book free through
    Charleen Famiglietti of DJC Communications/Zondervan for the sole
    purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.
    The views and opinions freely expressed in this post are my own.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 19, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    From the author of Jerk, California comes Aldo's Fantastical Mov

    From the author of Jerk, California comes Aldo's Fantastical Movie Palace. Jonathan Friesen has written a book about two damaged kids; Chloe who has facial scars on her hands and neck and Nick who is blind. The story takes the two main characters into an enchanted "story" where each is confronted with their own darkness. Both kids learn that their "baggage" isn't all that heavy and they learn to focus on love and life instead. It's a book about self-discovery, healing and acceptance.

    Right off, this is a Zondervan (Christian publisher) release, so you must expect some element of Jesus or the gospel on some level - other times their works are just clean- wholesome reading that tech well learned morality.  Also's read like almost a "Young Adult Pilgrim's Progress" in that it followed a character through a land of wonder - where they met fantasy-like characters - carried their "sin" (baggage) faced elements of good and evil and in the end learned about redemption and rebirth.

    Granted the Christian themes are not as "blatant" in Aldo's as they are in Pilgrim's Progress but they are still there.

    I would recommend this book to a slightly older reader - there are elements of danger, excitement and some of the characters in the book die.

    Thank you to Zondervan & Zonderkidz for this advanced copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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