First love. Inching towards a sound, meaningful relationship. Believable and sweet, with memories of your own first love bubbling up from the beyond. Issues of a bad, sinister step-parent, identity, and bullying all wound up in the story too. Eleanor & Park figure it out--together. Says Park of Eleanor, "Holding Eleanor's hand was like holding a buttefly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete, and completely alive." Won a Printz honor award too for 2013.
At the heart of the story is Standish and Hector, they have each others backs, they imagine and dream together, they are the very best of friends. However, the world they live in is evil. It's a land where people are disposed of if they don't praise the Motherland, or if they aren't obedient and are 'impure' in some way.
The story is one of an alternate history (WWII)where there's an ongoing preparation to show the world the Motherland has landed on the Moon. It's a hoax, and Standish plans to expose the fiends, for his family and for Hector. There's also the 'Mothers for Purity,' people herded into zones, and tongues cut out if you speak out against the Motherland. A read-alike would be 'Boy in the Striped Pajamas.' A Printz-Honor book for 2014.
2013's Edgar Award nominee, (Young Adult category) slowly unwinds into many mysteries being revealed, a suicide, a missing person, and a romance. Claire is teetering, and by rights she should be broken. The reader is guided expertly into Claire's jangled mind and watches her stutter step her way into finding answers. Alongside Claire, are some of the best supporting characters ever, Claire's best friend Tess, and her father's new partner, Grace. The setting is an important player in the story too, as it takes place in Amhurst, and of course, Emily Dickerson's dress figures prominently into the story.
Celtic legend tells of the Kapulishka, blood thirsty horses who come out of the ocean every November to race along the shoreline with brave riders from the island of Thesby. Sean Kendrick, who’s father was killed in this race has now won it four times. Puck Connolly, the 1st girl to have ever entered the race is racing too, with hopes of taking the winnings to pay off the farm her and her brothers live on, as her parents were also killed at sea by these horses. Stiefvater has created the soundtrack for this reading performance and plays the bagpipes and adds various percussive instruments, which makes for a haunting perfect accompaniment.
I agree totally with the reviewer above.
Also, I can't wait for the day when 'Teen Books' are not overlooked for being classified as 'Teen Books'
A missing child and the heartache and pursuit of the mother on the one hand,
along side Sophie and her Mother, a twosome, sequestered from the 'No Goods' on the other.
The reader is guided along from the beginning to suspect that the alternating voices in the story are the missing child and her Mother.
So the plot is presented straight away, but oh the marvelous characters and the poetic language
that delivers them to us are unforgettable.