If It’s Not a Rant, It’s a Rave: Review of Frostblood by Elly Blake

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Title: FROSTBLOOD
Author: Elly Blake
Publication date: January 10, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Format: ARC (won from NOVL’s monthly newsletter)

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a fireblood who must hide her powers of heat and flame from the cruel frostblood ruling class that wants to destroy all that are left of her kind. So when her mother is killed for protecting her and rebel frostbloods demand her help to kill their rampaging king, she agrees. But Ruby’s powers are unpredictable, and she’s not sure she’s willing to let the rebels and an infuriating (yet irresistible) young man called Arcus use her as their weapon.

All she wants is revenge, but before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to take part in the king’s tournaments that pit fireblood prisoners against frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her and from the icy young man she has come to love.

Fast-paced and compelling, Frostblood is the first in a page-turning new young adult three-book series about a world where flame and ice are mortal enemies—but together create a power that could change everything.

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N |  The Book Depository


If It’s Not a Rant, It’s a Rave: Review of Frostblood by Elly Blake

*singing* THIS BOOK IS ON FIIIRE!!!

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As a fantasy genre fanatic, lets just say, Elly Blake’s Frostblood unexpectedly won me over. It is definitely a series that had me enamored in a setting of epic world-building, swoony scenes, a feud between firebloods and frostbloods, and hilarious banter. More importantly, I fell in love with a main character with sass, power, and jaw-clenching fierceness that could melt a glacier. 

After reading Frostblood, Ruby has become one of my favorite fantasy characters to root for. As a gifted fireblood, she is fiery both literally and in attitude. I really liked that Ruby was depicted as a persevering warrior, an authentic female protagonist, with fire in her heart and virtue in her soul. Every page allowed Ruby to radiate as a character that upholds great emotional strength, determination, quick wit, passion, and selflessness. She is a fighter and throughout the novel, I wanted to fight along with her. 

I also adored the character Arcus. As a mysterious, rogue-like character, his mystery had me mesmerized and his mischievousness had me dazed with warm fuzzies. The friendship and chemistry that develops between Ruby and Arcus in this book is enough to make glaciers crack, volcanoes erupt, and the earth quack. WOOO!!! *fans self*

Frostblood is one of my new favorite fantasy series, and I cannot wait to see what’s in store for Ruby and Arcus. I’m a sucker for prophecies and innate magic, so of course after reading this book in less than a day, I WANT MORE! Give me a fantasy filled with secret identities and slow-burning relationships any day, and I will be a melted mess of swoons. 

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My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

NOTE: Thank you to NOVL for providing me an advance reader’s copy of FROSTBLOOD, which I won from their monthly newsletter. I read this book at my own discretion. All statements and opinions are my own.

To win future books from NOVL, be sure to sign up for their monthly newsletter. Click on the  picture below to be linked to their newsletter signup page.

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Throwback Thursday Mini-Review: The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

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Title: The Fill-In Boyfriend
By: Kasie West
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 344
Format: Physical ARC
Source: EpicReads’ Early Readers Group (2015)

About The Fill-In Boyfriend:

When Gia Montgomery’s boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she’d been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend—two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

The problem is that days after prom, it’s not the real Bradley she’s thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn’t even know. But tracking him down doesn’t mean they’re done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend’s graduation party—three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.

PURCHASE THIS BOOK FROM YOUR LOCAL BOOKSELLER/RETAILER OR 

Amazon        Barnes and Noble         Book Depository 


My Rants and Raves of The Fill-In Boyfriend

WOW this story reeled me in and I don’t want to be casted back out! If you know me, I have never been a go-to contemporary reader; however, in the last year, I am trying to change this fact about me and read more YA contemporary novels. I have never read a Kasie West novel, and after reading this book, I may have to gobble up her other books ASAP!

West’s main character Gia is portrayed so accurately as a modern-day teenager–at first she is self-involved and constantly worried about what her “friends” think, but over time she begins to mature. Straight from the beginning, Gia recognizes that her words and actions are self-centered. But after asking for a favor from a concerned stranger (that would be Hayden, the fill-in boyfriend/Bradley), Gia starts to analyze herself, her friends, her frienemies, her family, her actions, and social media’s influence on her life. And throughout her analysis, she begins to change and develop into a likable and self-conscious person.

This book is well-paced and each word tugs at your heart and your gut. Gia straight out says or portrays that she needs to change, and as a reader, I enjoyed that process of her evolution. The Fill-In Boyfriend is a quick read–I couldn’t put it down–and adding a smart, observant, “geeky,” and a lay-it-all-out-on-the-table fill-in boyfriend, like Hayden, to expose Gia’s flaws and strengths made the story 10 times better. Hayden is swoon-worthy and definitely a friend to be trusted.

The only flaw I saw with the book was that I thought it was too short, but I may be acting bias because I want more Gia and Hayden banter/conversation.

Favorite lines:

“The librarian lowered her brow disapprovingly. ‘I don’t think we have any biographies on people who had to deal with d-bags'” (page 217 of the ARC).

“I was thinking about vanilla but then I thought, ‘That is so boring, Gia will think I’m the most boring person ever.'”…”So then I thought, ‘I bet Blake here will tell me what to order,’ but he was no help whatsoever. Thanks a lot, Blake.” (page 225 of the ARC).

star rating

5 out of 5 Stars

Note: This review was previously posted on my Goodreads account in May 19, 2015, and has been updated for my blog. I received an Advance Reader’s Copy (ARC) from Epic Reads as a participant reviewer for their new Early Readers Group in the summer of 2015.  Thank you, Epic Reads and HarperTeen! All statements and opinions in this review are mine.

Blog Tour & Giveaway: AUTOFOCUS by Lauren Gibaldi

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Title: Autofocus
By: Lauren Gibaldi
Published by: Harper Teen
Publication date: June 14, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance, Fiction

ABOUT AUTOFOCUS:

Family.

It’s always been a loaded word for Maude. And when she is given a senior photography assignment—to create a portfolio that shows the meaning of family—she doesn’t quite know where to begin. But she knows one thing: without the story of her birth mother, who died when Maude was born, her project will be incomplete.

So Maude decides to visit her best friend, Treena, at college in Tallahassee, Florida, where Maude’s birth mother once lived. But when Maude arrives, she quickly discovers that Treena has changed. With a new boyfriend and a packed social calendar, Treena doesn’t seem to have time for Maude—or helping Maude in her search.

Enter Bennett, a cute guy who lives in Treena’s dorm. He understands Maude’s need to find her mother. And as Bennett helps Maude in her search, she starts to find that her mother’s past doesn’t have to define her own future.

Lauren Gibaldi has crafted a beautiful and timely coming-of-age story that poses the question: Is who we are determined at birth, or can we change as we grow?

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | iBooks | The Book Depository


 review in photography

Autofocus by Lauren Gibaldi is by far my favorite Young Adult Contemporary book I have read this year. Right from page one, the story smoothly unfolds when the main character, Maude, is given a high school assignment: to use photography as a means to define “family.” But for Maude, “family” is hard to define, because she was adopted and her birth mother died from complications during childbirth. Defining “family” is a true crisis of nature versus nurture in Maude’s eyes, especially when her birth mother left no information about herself or her own family for Maude to discover.

footprintGibaldi does a remarkable job depicting a seventeen-year-old that is lingering between the blurred lines of adolescence and adulthood. Maude is one of the most courageous female protagonists I have read in a long time. I often found myself comparing her to Louisa May Alcott’s Jo March in Little Women—a heroine surrounded by family and friends, yet who often shadows herself in a world of creativity as she pleads for life to remain unchanging. Like Jo March, Maude is creative, stubborn, and overall frustrating, especially when she is enamored with concrete and fixed depictions of people. Throughout Autofocus, Maude is often comparing people to who they are now and who they once were, and this leaves her with a mindset that change is hard to accept.

corkboardI mostly liked Maude because she is very determined and fearless. She does not wallow in self-pity; instead, she travels to her birth mother’s hometown, which happens to be the college town that her best friend Treena is attending. While staying at Florida State University for a week, I love that Maude dares herself to make connections with people that once knew her birth mother. And more importantly, I enjoyed that Maude not only discovers the true meaning of family, but she also discovers herself.

blurryUnsurprisingly, I was not a big fan of Maude’s best friend, Treena. I know Treena is in college and she’s going through her own identity crisis, but for crying out loud, her best friend is only staying with her for one week. But without Treena’s slip-ups, Maude would have never met and received help from Treena’s college friend, Bennett. Bennett is by far my favorite character in the book. He’s dorky, honest, caring, funny, and has an eclectic knowledge of pop culture/references. Honestly, you cannot go wrong with having a friend that loves and references Star Wars, Spider-man, and Toy Story, RIGHT?! Bennett is the perfect friend to help balance out Maude’s uneasy and erratic actions during her one-week journey to find information about her birth mother.

spidermanOverall, I really enjoyed Autofocus, and I can definitely see this coming-of-age story being a re-read for me whenever I’m in need of a reading-slump cure. Maude is a dynamic character, and I love that most of her internal dialogue is framed in self-encouraged philosophies. I really appreciated that Maude uses her photography assignment not only as a means to define “family,” but to essentially define herself. In the end, she portrays maturity and understanding that identity is not always a still-frame, but a collection of snapshots that shape who you are.

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My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

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Win a finished copy of AUTOFOCUS (US Only)

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about Lauren

Lauren Gibaldi

Public librarian and author of THE NIGHT WE SAID YES, MATT’S STORY (a Night We Said Yes novella), and AUTOFOCUS (out 6/14/16), all with HarperTeen/ HarperCollins. Fan of dinosaurs and cheesy jokes. And you.

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr

 

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Note: All photographs were taken by me and edited with an Apple app called Color Card. All quotes featured in the photos are from an e-arc/galley of Autofocus provided by HarperTeen/HarperCollins. A gigantic thank you to Irish Banana Tours for inviting me on this blog tour. 

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Irish Banana Tours

Throwback Thursday Mini-Review: The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker

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Title: The Witch Hunter
By: Virginia Boecker
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genres: Fiction, Paranormal, Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 362 (Hardcover
Format: ARC
Source: Won from NOVL newsletter (2015)

Synopsis:

The magic and suspense of Graceling meet the political intrigue and unrest of Game of Thrones in this riveting fantasy debut.

Your greatest enemy isn’t what you fight, but what you fear.

Elizabeth Grey is one of the king’s best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. But when she’s accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to burn at the stake.

Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful and dangerous wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can break the deadly curse that’s been laid upon him.

But Nicholas and his followers know nothing of Elizabeth’s witch hunting past–if they find out, the stake will be the least of her worries. And as she’s thrust into the magical world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and one all-too-handsome healer, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies, and of love and hate.

Virginia Boecker weaves a riveting tale of magic, betrayal, and sacrifice in this unforgettable fantasy debut.


MY RANTS AND RAVES OF The Witch Hunter

The Witch Hunter is a beautifully written and action-packed, debut novel about a young girl named Elizabeth Grey. Elizabeth has grown up learning the art of witch hunting. In the craft of witch hunting, she is inculcated with the idea that she is providing justice and purification for a kingdom that she is willing to protect. However, through life’s unexpectancies, Elizabeth’s world is put through a whirlwind, and she finds herself being accused of witchcraft. After weeks of incarceration, she is saved by the single wizard that she was told was her worst enemy–Nicholas Perevil. In Perevil’s protection, Elizabeth is healed by magic–something she was conditioned to loathe. More importantly, she discovers that she plays an important part in breaking the curse casted on Perevil by someone she trusted.

Elizabeth’s journey is filled with betrayal, a handsome healer, jolly pirates, whimsical forest parties, fancy ball gowns, cursed tablets, mythical swords, giant red-eyed rats, the crumbling of old friendships, and the growth of new friendships.

The Witch Hunter is a fast-paced, fantasy novel that will engross you in an enchanting world of betrayal, redemption, and a passionate heroine set forth to change a world she once loved.

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My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

PURCHASE THIS BOOK FROM YOUR LOCAL BOOKSELLER/RETAILER 

Amazon        Barnes and Noble         Book Depository 

NOTE:          This review was previously posted on my Goodreads account in May 25, 2015, and has been updated for my blog. I received an Advance Reader’s Copy (ARC) as a winner of NOVL’s monthly newsletter giveaway.  Thank you, NOVL and Little, Brown Books! All statements and opinions in this review are mine.

ARC REVIEW: The Forbidden Orchid by Sharon Biggs Waller

Title: The Forbidden Orchid
By:  Sharon Biggs Waller
Release Date: March 8, 2016
Pages: 432 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Viking
Format: ARC
Source: Blogger Giveaway 

GOODREADS’S SUMMARY

22056895Staid, responsible Elodie Buchanan is the eldest of ten sisters living in a small English market town in 1861. The girls barely know their father, a plant hunter usually off adventuring through China. Then disaster strikes: Mr. Buchanan reneges on his contract to collect an extremely rare and valuable orchid. He will be thrown into debtors’ prison while his daughters are sent to the orphanage and the workhouse.

Elodie can’t stand by and see her family destroyed, so she persuades her father to return to China once more to try to hunt down the flower—only this time, despite everything she knows about her place in society, Elodie goes with him. She has never before left her village, but what starts as fear turns to wonder as she adapts to seafaring life aboard the tea clipper The Osprey, and later to the new sights, dangers, and romance of China. But now, even if she can find the orchid, how can she ever go back to being the staid, responsible Elodie that everybody needs?


MY REVIEW:

I am a Victorian period enthusiast. It’s a period in history where the roles of women were evolving; adventure challenged Victorian ideas and socio-cultural understandings; and literature shaped societal outcomes. Similar to traditional Victorian novels, Sharon Biggs Waller’s The Forbidden Orchid reflects tropes commonly found in nineteenth-century literature. Ideally, the author includes a feisty female lead, patriarchy’s fear of female transgression, and the British Empire’s imperial ambitions to tame “other” civilizations.

Waller’s main character, Elodie Buchanan, is one of the most satisfying female characters I have read in a long time. She is funny, witty, and damn it, she doesn’t take anyone’s disapproval to heart, especially from her local clergyman. Like her father, who is a plant hunter, Elodie has an innate sense of adventure, discovery, and independence. Unlike her father, who seems to lack the idea that he needs to be more emotionally involved with his wife and ten daughters, Elodie takes on the responsibility to help her family unite emotionally, physically, and financially.

Additionally, the sense of adventure is scattered throughout the story. Elodie encounters thieves of the English streets, the sea sickness from the rough seas, and China’s beautiful plants but humid terrain. Elodie’s sly abilities to escape the thresholds of patriarchy’s rules and her safe English home, and then venture onto a clipper like the Osprey, allows her to transgress from the domestic sphere and gain access to the public sphere, suited “only” for men. Elodie, like many adventure-seekers, romanticizes about the journey to new discoveries. But Waller doesn’t make this a story of “happy travels”; she provides insightful perspectives, ruthless villains, and plot twists that focus on the upsets, tragedies, and obstacles many explorers encounter.

There is never a dull moment in Elodie’s adventure to China where she is in search of the Queen’s Fancy, a rare orchid with a beautiful aroma. Of course, one of my favorite moments of her adventure is when Elodie meets Alex, a Russian sailor, and his energetic dog, Kukla. Elodie’s relationship with Alex is a challenge, and I loved the development of friendship, companionship, and love between these two.

MY RANTS AND RAVES

RANTS:          In all honesty, I don’t have a single rant for this book. I have been out of graduate school for three years, and The Forbidden Orchid projected me back to a time where I not only enjoyed reading, but loved learning from it too. The whole books stands as a true reflection of Victorian norms and changes that early suffragettes included in their steps to change patriarchal conventions.

RAVES:          The overall plot is filled with adventure, but Elodie definitely steals each scene with her witty banter, determination, and independent thoughts. She illuminates a powerful stance that disrupts the status quo in English society and even on a clipper ship full of bawdy males. I can definitely tell that Waller put a lot of thought, energy, and research into this novel, so she could capture a true depiction of the Victorian realm and the Chinese culture of the nineteenth century .

NOTE:          I won this Advance Reader’s Copy from a blogger’s giveaway, and was not asked to provide a review.  All statements and opinions are mine.

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My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

PURCHASE THIS BOOK FROM YOUR LOCAL BOOKSELLER/RETAILER 

AMAZON 

BARNES AND NOBLE 

 

ARC Review: The Skylighter by Becky Wallace

 Title: The Skylighter
By: Becky Wallace
Release Date: March 22, 2016
Pages: 320 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books/Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing
Format: e-galley/e-arc
Source: Netgalley

GOODREADS’S SUMMARY

Johanna and Rafi are in a race against time to save their country before a power-mad Keeper destroys everything they hold dear in the “enthralling magical world” (Cinda Williams Chima, author of The Heir Chronicles) introduced in The Storyspinner.

25732113As the last of the royal line, Johanna is the only person who can heal a magical breach in the wall that separates her kingdom of Santarem from the land of the Keepers, legendary men and women who wield elemental magic. The barrier protects Santarem from those Keepers who might try to take power over mere humans…Keepers who are determined to stop Johanna and seize the wall’s power for themselves.

And they’re not the only ones. As the duchys of Santarem descend into war over the throne, Johanna relies more than ever on the advice of her handsome companion, Lord Rafael DeSilva. But Rafi is a duke too, and his people come first. As their friendship progresses into the beginnings of a tender relationship, Johanna must wonder: is Rafi looking out for her happiness, or does he want the throne for himself?

With war on the horizon, Johanna and Rafi dodge treacherous dukes and Keeper assassins as they race to through the countryside, determined to strengthen the wall before it’s too late…even if it means sacrificing their happiness for the sake of their world.


My Review

The Skylighter by Becky Wallace is the sequel to The Storyspinner (check out my review HERE), a duology set in The Keepers’ Chronicles series.

If you love a strong heroine, a non-triangle romance, magic, and a well-developed plot, this book (and series) is for you.

At the end of The Storyspinner, the author left her readers in a dreaded awe state. I’m not going to spoil the first book, but I’m just going to tell you, there are some mouth-dropping moments and you will immediately want to read the second book.

The Skylighter picks up with the same routine of weaving between different character perspectives. I really liked that each chapter is a different character’s perspective, because it exceptionally drives the plot and smoothly carries the reader through moments of much awaited kissage scenes; ruthless, but carefully articulated war tactics; and more importantly spies, twists, and sacrifices that I didn’t even see coming. WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO DO TO ME, Becky?

As I read The Skylighter, I honestly saw each scene as a strategic puzzle piece that connects and interlocks Johanna’s, the main heroine, past to her present and future. I found the world building to be very reminiscent of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust, in that the characters are not only connected to their heritage, but also to the land and the treasured magic that surrounds them. More importantly,  the idea of choice is critically analyzed among each character, which definitely helped the story progress. For example, it gave the minor characters, like Dom, Jacaré, Pira, and Leão, an extra boost of importance and drive in a story that is mainly centered on Johanna and Rafi. I loved how Wallace took each minor character and threw them into dreadful challenges that tested their perseverance and willpower, which definitely brought them to life on the page. 

The scenes between Johanna and Rafi are gripping, fiery, and swoonworthy. Additionally, as I read The Skylighter, I was really happy how Dom, Rafi’s roguish, young brother, unfolded as a character. Throughout the novel, Dom takes initiative to help his family and Johanna’s cause by making dire, unselfish choices. Overall, all of the characters, even the minor ones, each deal with a conflict that is emotionally binding and/or physically demanding. In the end, their choices dynamically change them, which I think makes the story captivating and extraordinary.

Oh, and the ending! SO PERFECT! I think Wallace’s readers are going to enjoy the calculated decisions that each of the characters make and how the book ends. 

RANTS:      I love that this series is a duology, but I’m greedy and want more. I WANT MORE JOHANNA! I WANT MORE RAFI! I WANT MORE JOHANNA AND RAFI SCENES! AND AFTER READING THE SKYLIGHTER,  I WANT MORE DOM!

RAVES:      The world building in this story is excellently executed, and because the story was so captivating, I couldn’t put the book down. I read this book in ONE sitting, people! I’m a huge fantasy fan, and Becky Wallace definitely creates a magical world that ingrains the reader to be part of the characters’ challenges and life choices–emotionally involving us in an unforgettable world. 

NOTE:         I received this e-galley/e-ARC from the publisher on Netgalley for an honest review. All statements and opinions are mine.

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My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

The Skylighter is out on March 22, 2016. Purchase your copy from the following retailers:

Amazon        Barnes and Noble         Blue Willow (Request an autographed copy!)

 

 

Book Review: Station Eleven

Title: Station Eleven
By: Emily St. John Mandel
Release Date: September 10, 2014
Pages:
352 (Hardcover)
Publisher:
 Picador

Format: UK Hardcover
Source: Purchased

GOODREADS’S SUMMARY

21900884DAY ONE

The Georgia Flu explodes over the surface of the earth like a neutron bomb.

News reports put the mortality rate at over 99%.

WEEK TWO

Civilization has crumbled.

YEAR TWENTY

A band of actors and musicians called the Travelling Symphony move through their territories performing concerts and Shakespeare to the settlements that have grown up there. Twenty years after the pandemic, life feels relatively safe.

But now a new danger looms, and he threatens the hopeful world every survivor has tried to rebuild.

STATION ELEVEN

Moving backwards and forwards in time, from the glittering years just before the collapse to the strange and altered world that exists twenty years after, Station Eleven charts the unexpected twists of fate that connect six people: famous actor Arthur Leander; Jeevan – warned about the flu just in time; Arthur’s first wife Miranda; Arthur’s oldest friend Clark; Kirsten, a young actress with the Travelling Symphony; and the mysterious and self-proclaimed ‘prophet’.

Thrilling, unique and deeply moving, this is a beautiful novel that asks questions about art and fame and about the relationships that sustain us through anything – even the end of the world.

 


My Review

I started Station Eleven in July 2015 and finished it over the weekend (February 2016). I usually gobble books up in one sitting, but this book sat by my bedside for months with occasional reading; it’s definitely a book meant to be savored.

Station Eleven is an intricate and well-written novel that consists of a non-linear storyline, unraveling plot twists, huge character development, and a post-apocalyptic wasteland concerned with humanity, humility, and survival.

All of the main characters revolve around one man, Arthur Leander, who died a few days before the Georgia Flu epidemic that kills 99% of the world’s population. But before Arthur, a famous actor, passes away, he leaves behind a memorable legacy among his family, ex-wives, friends, fellow actors, and cohorts, which spans out through a 15-year-plus wandering plotline.

Because the chapters jump from character to character, pre-apocalypse v. apocalypse v. post-apocalypse scenes, and place to place, I had to pay close attention to detail, dialogue, and which characters were involved in each scene.

I was very much ingrained in Kirsten’s storyline. As an 8-year-old actress, Kirsten admired Arthur, a kind man that gave her acting advice and gifted her his ex-wife’s self-created comic books, “Station Eleven.” As we follow Kirsten from a young girl to a young woman, she explains her struggles to survive in a world filled with disease, nomadic living, scarce medical supplies/expertise, limited food, cults, and religious fanatics like the Prophet. As a fellow member of the traveling Symphony, a nomadic group that performs Shakespeare plays and music concerts, Kirsten provides a very detailed account of her 15 years of survival in an post-apocalyptic world. She is smart, resourceful, diligent, and more importantly a survivalist.

Overall, Station Eleven is an eventful novel that significantly impacts the reader’s perception of humankind’s endurance. It plunges the reader into a intricate web of storylines that examines humanity, personal versus group choices, fate, and what it takes to survive a non-governmental society.

RANTS:     There are a lot of  time-shifting scenes and characters, so be sure to keep notes or be really good at multi-tasking. 

RAVES:     This book will plunge you into apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic scenarios that seem too real to turn way from. Station Eleven is filled with realistic, surreal, and nightmarish scenes that will leave you questioning nature, humankind, and personal “what if” situations. I personally savored each storyline, setting, and character like it was my was last encounter with them.  Also, I own both the UK and US hardcover of this book, and the UK cover is so simple and beautiful–definitely my favorite between the two hardcover choices. 

NOTE:          All statements and opinions are mine.

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My Rating