collections: may reads

28 May 2015

I have conflicted emotions over this book. On the one hand, I enjoyed it – I wanted to enjoy it; on the other hand, I finished this book and didn’t feel anything, and that’s not a good sign. The main character, Meira, was awesome and bold and brave – but also slightly reckless. Mather I never really felt any connection to, and in ways, Meira never really became anything more than a two-dimensional character to me. The plot is not totally unique and I slightly guessed a major twist in the story which was disappointing. However there were a few unexpected turns that I was not expecting and overall, I enjoyed Snow like Ashes a lot; it’s one of those books I read, enjoy, but never really pick up again.

REVIEW: GOING OVER by Beth Kephart

22 May 2015

Going Overtitle: going over
publisher: chronicle books
publication date: april 1, 2014
format: finished copy

summary: In the early 1980s Ada and Stefan are young, would-be lovers living on opposite sides of the Berlin Wall--Ada lives with her mother and grandmother and paints graffiti on the Wall, and Stefan lives with his grandmother in the East and dreams of escaping to the West. -goodreads

Lyrical prose, beautiful and sensual imagery, a dark setting; yet, hope: there is always hope – because for the stars to shine, there needs to be darkness. GOING OVER just shot to my ‘favourites’ of 2015 list and I regret nothing. This book is graffiti, and colour and play dough and bikes. It is love, it is death, it is life; it is astronomy, maps, escapes and archery. It is a wall, splitting the earth with dark and hateful ideologies, and it is a spring in your step on one side: pink hair and coloured moles with a quiet and thoughtful being on the other; scope in hand, love clenched in heart and freedom circling though mind. GOING OVER is Ada and Stefan, Savas and Meryem, Turks and Germans and kids and adults. It is a story of humans and their plight in this world, and it is a story of love.

Investing in the book you are reading: utterly and totally, is a sign that a book has made its mark. From the first few pages, GOING OVER marked me again, and again, and again. With play dough crust and spray paint, black marks and crayon scribbles, spilt soup and break-time juice this book wrote itself all over my eyes and graffed its way onto my heart. How? The characters. Because by the end of the novel they were not ‘characters’ but people: Ada with her ever-changing outer appearance but stolid desires and beliefs and talents within her; Stefan and his passion for the sky, his inherited ‘scope’ and lonely existence on one side of the wall that separated him from Ada, and the whole host of characters that made up the plot and the setting and the pulsing existence and vibrance of the world around them.

GOING OVER is the type of book that you wish you had written as your eyes drink in the mesmerising creation of letters to words to sentences to paragraphs to pages of a story that fill your mind to bursting. Kephart is an author I am going to watch out for, because I need to take more than just a peek into her imagination. Historical fiction has always been one of my favourite genres of writing, and now I just love it even more.
thank you to the lovely publishers for sending me this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review