By: Lisa Ann Sandell
Cora Bradley dreams of escape. Ever since her reckless older brother, Nate, died in a car crash, Cora has felt suffocated by her small town and high school. She seeks solace in drawing beautiful maps, envisioning herself in exotic locales. When Cora begins to fall for Damian, the handsome, brooding boy who was in the car with Nate the night he died, she uncovers her brother's secret artistic life and realizes she had more in common with him than she ever imagined. (From Amazon)
Character Development: 9/10
Originality: 4/10 (I’ve read too many stories about death lately)
Plot/Story Line: 6/10 (same reason as above)
Total Score: 48
Drugs, Alcohol, Etc.: 1/10
Sexual Content: 1/10
# of pages: 272pg.
Written in: first person narrative, teen girl
Released on: April 15, 2009
Tone: heartwarming, sad, and very real to emotion
One Sentence Summary:
During her freshman year in high school Cora must learn to live in the aftermath of her brother’s death with a distant best friend, even more distant parents, and a budding relationship with the one boy who she knows she can’t have.
One Sentence Review:
This novel is filled with a strong and true voice that dominates the pages with imagery, emotion, and well developed characters.
Lisa Ann Sandell is a master with words. Her writing captures your attention immediately. I was a little disappointed with the story line because lately I’ve been reading a lot of stories over the topic of death but this novel had a lot more depth than most of those books. Raw emotion covered every page. I felt horrible for her relationship with her parents and her disappearing relationship with her best friend at a time she needed one the most. Things were handled in this novel in real time which made it slow to me at some points but it didn’t stay that way long. Her relationship with Damian took a while to get going and once it did I didn’t really feel good about it until later on. (I don’t know why so don’t let that turn you away from this novel.) The scenes were portrayed perfectly through the imagery which was very necessary in a book like this that put a lot of focus on art and the look of her town. I could visually see the town in my head and it didn’t take long before I was there too (don’t you love a book like that. One you totally get caught in. That really makes a book for me.) I liked that even though Cora’s brother died I could still relate to her as a freshman in high school on that first intimidating day. I liked that her personality was still there along with the tragedy of it all. The ending was good too. It wasn’t a perfect happily ever after but it was realistic which I loved. And it didn’t leave any loose strings (that’s a huge pet peeve of mine about books whether it’s part of a series or not. Isn’t it everyone’s?) Overall I really enjoyed this book. It showed deep emotion and true feeling while still being realistic. There are some faults with this books (like some characters seem too flat at points, etc.) but It is definitely worth reading