Reviews by camelsamba
Sweet tale
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The best line:

Mom tests the toes.
Too big, too small.
Two tired feet,
four empty boxes,
eight cranky shoes.

(Not to mention one annoyed child and one exasperated mother. What happens next? Will TW red shoes f the title work their magic??
Not as good as I exoected
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I enjoyed the story, but there were times when I felt like the world was somewhat inconsistent. Likewise, Tally seems unrealistic at times. I guess I expected more because Westerfeld is so highly regarded (as is this series, I think?).
intense and tragic
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Based on true events, this story is a tragedy through and through. The writing is lyrical and beautiful, but the story is hard to endure. Because of the intensity it seemed more like a YA than a middle grades book.

I read this aloud to my youngest (recently turned 12). It's difficult for me to explain why, but it was hard to read aloud (sometimes hard to convey what segments are Turner thinking/remembering - e.g. the "I almost touched a whale", etc.). It would be interesting to see how the narrator in this BOCD handles those shifts.
tragic to the core
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Based on true events, this story is a tragedy through and through. The writing is lyrical and beautiful, but the story is hard to endure.

I'm reading this aloud to my youngest (recently turned 12) and although we haven't quite finished it, I did read ahead one night after he'd fallen asleep. It's definitely more YA than middle grades. And it's difficult for me to explain why, but it's hard to read aloud (sometimes hard to convey what segments are Turner thinking/remembering - e.g. the "I almost touched a whale", etc.).
interesting hodge-podge
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This book starts with the author sorting through her mother's possessions, not long after her mother died. We learn about her parents' early life in Iran, the hospital they ran, their family life - and then their life in America after the revolution.

The most interesting parts are learning about the family's life in pre-revolutionary Iran. As a memoir, it was missing that critical element of self-reflection and analysis. It sometimes jumps around and you're not quite sure where you are in time or how it all holds together. As a food memoir, it includes many recipes: traditional Persian, her Persian-American-French fusion, classical French, etc. Overall it's good, but not great.