Abarat - Clive Barker Actual Rating: 3.5 StarsHomework is dumb, so I'm going to write this review instead. Also, I'm a bit behind on reviews and that always bothers me a lot. So, here we go.I've never done drugs ... but I think after reading this book, I have an idea of what it might be like. Or I at least have an idea from the trippy dreams I've had and whatnot. In other words, this is quite a crazy book. If you're a fan of Alice in Wonderland or the movie "Spirited Away"––or anything along those lines––this is a book you might be interested in. It has that same sort of storyline, in which a young girl stumbles upon an imaginary world full of strange, mystical characters … and the reader is left wondering what's "real" and what isn't.What I appreciated most about this book was how imaginative it was. It was definitely unique and had some very original and intriguing world-building. The imagery is vivid, making everything easy to picture. I also loved the illustrations. They're very bold and colorful, and I felt they added a lot to the story. I thought they helped to further develop the settings and characters. I love illustrated books, and I'm always happy to see an author who puts so much time and effort into both writing and illustrating a story. As someone who loves both writing and creating art, I know that both are very time-consuming, and I have a lot of appreciation for authors who have the patience to do both for one project. It's something I'd like to do myself someday, but it seems like an intimidating process.However, I did have a couple of issues with the book over all.The first one is more of a personal issue than anything else. And that problem was that I felt like this book was a little too middle-grade for me. I could see it falling into the lower end of YA, but over all it felt more like a children's book to me. And I'm not saying that's a bad thing, just that it felt kind of immature to me so I had trouble relating to it. I probably would have enjoyed the book more when I was a younger kid. Secondly, I didn't like the main character very much, and she came off as a Mary Sue to me. She's one of those special, "chosen one" type characters who doesn't really have any flaws. Over all, she didn't seem to have much of a personality and I didn't feel any connection to her. Ultimately, I think this is a very creative book with thoughtful, unique world-building and gorgeous accompanying illustrations. It may have been intended for a younger audience, and I found the protagonist a bit bland, but I still thought it was a fun read. I might eventually pick up the sequel.