Frances, a Chinese-American student at an academically competitive school in San Francisco, has always had it drilled into her to be obedient to her mother and to be a straight-A student so that she can go to Med school. But is being a doctor what she wants? It has never even occurred to Frances to question her own feelings and desires until she accidentally winds up in speech class and finds herself with a hidden talent. Does she dare to challenge the mother who has sacrificed everything for her? Set in the 1980s. from egmontusa.com
Beth says 4 Stars...
I found this book rather fascinating and disturbing at the same time. I can only liken the relationship between Francis and her mother to a train wreck; I both wanted to and couldn't look away. The setting of the book was fine, but not that astounding. Although the apartment where Francis lived became relatively well described, most of the actual scenery wasn't terribly well defined. I found it interesting as well that I couldn't tell the time period when the book took place. In fact, if I hadn't read that it was set in the '80s I honestly would have assumed it was meant to be contemporary. I have yet to decide if this is a good or bad thing, because although it allows for a closer connection with readers it shows a lack of definition which could spell trouble in another novel. I will say that it didn't harm the book, but just should be something to keep in mind for future books. The plot did wander more than a bit, but a good bit of that was Francis attempting to figure out what she wanted to do. A highly linear narrative would have made the story feel contrived and pained.
Francis by herself could pass for a respectable character. She did have some depth and didn't fall flat, which counts. The meat of the story was in both her process of self discovery and in the changes in her relationship with her mother. I must say that I couldn't believe that a mother could treat her daughter so harshly. From my perspective it really felt more than slightly abusive. I really hope that this is a case where reality becomes embellished for the sake of a narrative, because if not then that sort of maternal behavior poses a problem. I will say that it made me appreciate my parents all the more for not trying to run my fate. There have always been parameters set, but nothing so blatant as choosing a career for me. I pitied both Francis and her mother because even though they did everything for one another, they had no emotional closeness. All of the other characters merely circled around the two of them in some way, shape or form.
This book surprised me in many ways, both good and bad. I was shocked at the central relationship of the book and how brutal it was. However, I got sucked into the novel and just kept reading it once I picked it up. Also, the cover is fantastic. It's striking and not ordinary in the slightest, which sums up this novel. Book from Publisher
We are more than happy to review YA novels, however we prefer either physical copies or e-books via Netgalley or Edelweiss. If you would like us to review a book please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Here is our rating system: One Star - Use as doorstop Two Stars - Bearable while on pain medication Three Stars - Read once, do not repeat Four Stars - Definitely keep it on your shelf Five Stars - Use as altar
So we've decided to join the challenge! This is just a preliminary list, and is definitely subject to change (we'll be doing a lot of adding as books begin to be released in order to get to the 12 we need!). Also, this is no order whatsoever. (if the book is in a color, it means one of us has read it!)
1. The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal
2. Human.4 by Mike Lancaster
3. Like Madarin by Kirsten Hubbard
4. The Emerald Atlas by John Stevens
5. A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford
6. Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
7. Hourglass by Myra McEntire
8. Never Sit Down in a Hoopskirt and Other Things I Learned in Southern Belle Hell by Crickett Rumley
9. Wither by Lauren DeStefano
10. Entwined by Heather Dixon
11. The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney
12. Possession by Elana Johnson
Fantasy Reading Challenge
1. Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl 2. The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal 3. Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin 4. Sapphique by Catherine Fisher 5. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins 6. Glimmerglass by Jenna Black 7. Tortall and Other Lands by Tamora Pierce 8. Entice by Carrie Jones 9. Hourglass by Myra McEntire 10. Wither by Lauren DeStefano 11. Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr 12. Shadowspell by Jenna Black 13. Matched by Ally Condie 14. City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Claire 15. Entwined by Heather Dixon 16. The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney 17. Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst 18. The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan 19. Possession by Elana Johnson 20. A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford 21. So Silver Bright by Lisa Manchev
Welcome to "in BetweeN the pages." This is a little project that we've started and we hope that it will allow us to engage in some lovely book talk. Here's a little about us-
Beth~ I have a feeling that I may have a problem. I adore books. I read whenever I can, and most of the time feel that reading a good book would be a much better use of my time than working on anything else. I'm a recent college graduate with a degree in chemistry and love science! I'm currently living in Finland while doing some research as a Fulbright before embarking on my PhD. Hopefully you will enjoy what I say... but I tend to ramble.
Nathan~ For me, reading is the ultimate escape. A good book is so much better than any therapist can ever be. I am, what many might call, a book addict. It may be wrong, but it feels so right to blow off my homework and sit curled up with a novel. It's the ultimate relaxation. Books have gotten me through school and all the drama that accompanies it. I hope that my humble opinions can help you as you continue your literary adventure.