Mundie Moms

Friday, November 24, 2017

THE NOVEMBER GIRL by Lydia Kang / Book Review

By: Lydia Kang
Published by: Entangled Teen
Released on: November 7th, 2017
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
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An arc was provided from the publisher in exchange for my honest review

I am Anda, and the lake is my mother. I am the November storms that terrify sailors and sink ships. With their deaths, I keep my little island on Lake Superior alive.

Hector has come here to hide from his family until he turns eighteen. Isle Royale is shut down for the winter, and there's no one here but me. And now him.

Hector is running from the violence in his life, but violence runs through my veins. I should send him away, to keep him safe. But I'm half human, too, and Hector makes me want to listen to my foolish, half-human heart. And if I do, I can't protect him from the storms coming for us.

A haunting debut that's part intriguing, eerie, and definitely doesn't shy away from the creepy elements that surround the setting. Kang's atmospheric writing really sets the tone for this story. It's one of the things I liked most about it. Unfortunately it's one of the few things I did like, and I really wanted to like this book.  

Like I mentioned above, the atmosphere for this story is well crafted, and really sets an eerie tone for the story. It fit well this story's mix of magic and realism. I liked the way Kang brought these elements to life, and made them work for her story. I don't think I've read a YA book quite like this debut. The setting for this book was awesome. The lake, and island were haunting, which matched perfectly given what Anda is and can do. I found Anda's powers really intriguing. She is the fearsome November storms the lake is known for. 

Anda is half witch, half human. Kept isolated and away from humans, except her human father. She is as dangerous as her mother, and unable to control her natural side. Her power is deadly. With change of the season, her human side is lost to her natural side; that of the fall storms. Anda struggles with what she is, and what she wants to be. Anda is intriguing, but she was a character I unfortunately didn't connect with at all. 

Hector is a character from a rough upbringing. My heart broke for him. I sympathized with his choices of running away from the life that has only brought him pain and heartache. He's a broken character who wanted out. Running to the isolated island Anda lives on and protects was his way out. 

Romance wise, like the over all plot, it felt off to me. I got that though they both have two completely different backgrounds, and naturally they understood each other and their wanting more than the life they both have no control over. Sure they have some chemistry, but their relationship just felt odd. I don't even know how to explain it. It was written like it was a forced relationship, vs keeping it a natural friendship. Maybe that's what the problem was for me. 

This was a hard read for me. It wasn't just the sensitive topics of abuse, violence, self harm, etc, which Kang does a good job in writing/handling, it was the over all story that felt disconnected. For much of the story, I felt like something was missing. I can't even pinpoint what exactly was lacking. Hopefully this will be a book someone else will love, because unfortunately, even though I enjoyed the premise, the setting and Kang's magical realism elements in the book, overall this book wasn't for me.