Thursday, February 2, 2017

Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan

I've got a few students who have been helping me with book reviews and they have been doing an amazing job.  I just added this book to my collection and Nicole wrote up the review.  Their guidelines are to summarize the book, write what they thought about it and then how it could be used in a school or school library.

I'm proud of my book review group 😊 
Here is Nicole's review:

After living so much of her life in the dark side of New York city, Lucy Manette is a celebrity in the light with a powerful and loyal boyfriend. Unfortunately, what allowed to get her to the light will come back and destroy everything. Her boyfriend Ethan has dark secrets too, which causes a giant celebrity mix up with crime and an almost ruined reputation. His doppleganger Carwyn, an illegal dark magic copy of himself to save his life when he was just a baby, resurfaced from years in the dark. Trying to be kind, Lucy releases his collar (which labels him as a doppelganger) but that ends with him missing. Another mix up causes her boyfriend to go missing with the doppelganger as the not so discrete replacement. This mix up only is a small part in the grand scheme of things once the terrorist group sans-merci takes over the city in the name of lucy, the golden thread in the dark. Full of mystery and suspense, Brennan takes the reader on a trip into the world of a modernized tale of two cities.
I would recommend this book. I enjoyed reading it. The main female lead struggles with genuine choices given her situation and makes human decisions. I love that about her as sometimes books try to make their characters perfect but Lucy is definitely not. Her background story is well built and actually drives parts of the plot, giving reason to these decision. Unfortunately, her decisions regarding the relationship/love triangle brought this book down. The relationships sometimes took the focus of the characters when it was unnecessary.
Regarding things to be aware of, there are brief sex jokes and a short club scene with drugs but nothing is extreme. Most of these inappropriate comments are made by the doppelganger Carwyn.
As I was looking through other reviews, many people mentioned the relationship between this book and Charles Dickens’ Tale of two Cities. From what I read is was a great re-write but as I have not read that book, I cannot fully comment upon the correlation.
Educationally, this could be an extended reading after reading Tale of Two Cities. Students can compare and contrast the plot with the original. This easily fits in with other books such as Cinder which are modern versions of older stories and would make a great re-written story shelf. An other category it fits into is social issues with the light and dark divide. That division runs so much of the plot and a lesson devoted to modern/past racism would suit this novel.
Things to look for through this book:

  • Characterization and how it drives choices
  • Light vs dark
    • Racism
    • Quality of life
  • Expectations and reality
Find this book in our school library!

Here is an awesome book trailer provided by the publisher, HMH Books:

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