Wednesday, April 18, 2012
I had a baby shower to attend near Atlanta last weekend, which is what prompted me to download the book from my library. I've had it in print forever, but hadn't picked it up yet. I knew I'd need something exciting to keep me awake while I drove to Atlanta and back late at night after a long work day, so I decided on impulse to check out this one. Best.decision.ever. When I pulled into my garage after midnight on Friday night, I didn't want to get out of the car. And I've spent every spare second since then listening.
I really appreciated the writing in this one. I want to go back at some point and reread it in print because there were several passages that jumped out at me as particularly beautiful, usually descriptions of Thisby, the island where the book is set. There are several places I would normally have marked in a book, but couldn't mark on audio.
I also think Stiefvater did an amazing job of describing the relationship between Puck, our female main character and one of two narrators, and her brothers. I love positive, yet conflicted, sibling relationships in books because I can SO identify with them. Puck's very close relationship with her younger brother Finn and her complex relationship with her older brother Gabe so perfectly captured my own sibling relationships that it was amazing.
Finally, I appreciated that Puck's relationship with her brothers and the island itself as well as Sean (the other narrator and male main character)'s relationship with his water horse, Corr, took precedence over the developing romance between Puck and Sean. Don't worry, the romance is there, but it's just not the main focus of the story. I'm a fan of romance but I think too often the romance in both YA and fantasy, as genres, overshadows the story itself. I don't like books where the only relationship we get a glimpse of is between the two young lovers. And this book is certainly the exception.
Like I said earlier, I couldn't stop listening. I listened in my car, I listened while I did the dishes, I listened at work (shhh), I listened while I did my hair...etc, etc, etc. I was SO into this book and the characters it's silly. It's one of those books that just grabs you from the beginning and doesn't let go. Obsessed would be a good word to describe how I felt/feel about this one.
The narrators for this one are perfect. I think had I read the book in print, I would have preferred Sean as a character, but Puck's narrator made her impossible not to love. Both narrators do an amazing job of bringing the book and the characters to life.
Read this one. Immediately. My only (very small) word of caution is that the book is violent. Animals and people are hurt in terrible ways. It is not overly graphic or intense, but it's there. For me, it enhanced the story and the emotions of the characters, but some may be bothered by it. Unless you are sensitive to violence, I cannot recommend this one highly enough. It may just be my favorite of the year.
Posted by Julie G at 3:19 PM