Lines are funny things.
Evalina would follow Taichi to the ends of the earth. Lines mean nothing there. But she might have to, because anyone and everyone of Japanese descent is being rounded up and sent to internment camps without the barest of provisions. As Taichi faces the battle lines of radical Japanese gangs and death lists, Evalina faces the battle lines indifference of her school mates and neighbors. And their relationship finds itself trapped within its own lines as well.
But will it ever find its way out?
This was a very carefully written book. I never knew much about the Japanese internment camps, and learned so much from reading this book. The conditions they were forced in were heartbreaking, especially when portrayed through the main characters’ eyes.
I loved how Evalina spoke out. I related a lot with her struggle to be heard and feeling like her world had a hand over her mouth keeping her silent. I related to her frustration and anger when no one would listen. That struggle and emotions are one of the biggest takeaways I had from the book. But most of all I love that she didn't let it beat her. She crossed those lines and spoke about what had been placed on her heart.
That being said, Evalina and Taichi don't always make the best decisions. (I.e. keeping their relationship a secret from their parents) But they learn from those mistakes and become better people from it.
Another one to be recommended to cross the lines from a store shelf to your bookshelf.
Shadow Cover Reveal!
I'm excited to join in the cover reveal for Shadow by Kara Swanson releasing July 2021 from Enclave Publishing in limited-edition hardcover! Shadow is the second book in the Heirs of Neverland duology which is a Peter Pan retelling/sequel.
I adored Dust, and have been waiting for news of the sequel! Spoilers for Book 1 abound below, so if you haven't read Book 1, check out the review here! https://racheljleitch.weebly.com/rachels-reads/dust-by-kara-swanson
Peter Pan has crash-landed back on Neverland. But this is not the island he remembers.
Desperate to rescue Claire and the fractured Lost Boys, Peter must unravel what truly tore his dreamland apart. But with each step, he is haunted by more of his own broken memories. Not even Pan himself is what he seems.
Claire Kenton is chained to a pirate ship, watching the wreckage of Neverland rocked by tempests. When she finally finds her brother, Connor is every bit as shattered as the island. Claire may have pixie dust flowing in her veins—but the light of Neverland is flickering dangerously close to going out forever.
To rescue Neverland from the inescapable shadow, the boy who never grew up and the girl who grew up too fast will have to sacrifice the only thing they have left: each other.
So without further ado . . . here's the cover! It's so cool!
Isn't it amazing?! You can preorder Shadow here! http://bit.ly/ShadowHeirsofNeverland
Lydia has disappeared.
She was just at Piper’s house, explaining how she didn’t want to go to the Mayo Clinic for months, for the seizures that she knows nothing about. She was just waving goodbye.
And within minutes, she disappeared.
Worse yet, everyone on Astor Street seems to have given her up.
Not Piper Sail. She’ll do anything to get her best friend back. And that includes starting an amateur investigation, talking an intriguing detective into the case, and venturing into some of Chicago’s high-crime neighborhoods in search of her.
But this is 1924 Chicago. And what she may find about everyone she trusts . . . and herself . . . well, that could make her lose it all.
Wow. I could not put this book down. The mystery drew me in from page one. I had no idea what anyone was up to and the actual culprit took me completely by surprise, while also having enough clues that I couldn’t believe I didn’t see it (along with a few other well-placed twists and turns)! The author did a fantastic job planting just enough false clues to distract me from the obvious ones pointing to the culprit.
Second, this is a beautiful book about grief and change. It may sound weird to say this, but it actually hit me a little like the portrayal of grief in Big Hero 6. It’s so realistically done, just showing how it really feels, how it really looks like to a teen to lose someone important to you. We need more books like this.
As it does all this, it taps on strong Christian themes--but never did I feel like it was overdone or preachy. Just a brief mention here or there that beautifully proved its point.
I’m not a huge romance person, and the romance was just sweet enough to keep me interested. Plus, Piper actually had options. There for a while, I wasn’t sure who was going to be the romantic interest!
Also, Piper is actually SMART. This is becoming less and less prevalent in female characters—they’re all becoming overwrought and emotional character. I appreciate Piper’s strong but feminine character, and the fact that she thinks about things. (I’m going into one of Chicago’s most dangerous gang territories? Hmm, I might want to bring a detective with me.)
There’s no mystery about whether this book should wind up on your shelf or not. It would be a resounding yes.
Johanna Berglund didn’t want to be a translator for the camp of German POW’s who moved into her hometown. For that matter, she didn’t even want to go home. She wanted to study languages to her heart’s content with the intent of studying at Oxford one day.
But, lo and behold, her anonymous scholarship donor revokes the funds and says they will go to a student that shows evidence of patriotic service. Jo has no option but to take the major’s offer if she ever hopes of salvaging her dreams of Oxford.
But as she returns to Ironside Lake, still haunted by past memories, and settles in at the POW camp, her view of the world and the people in it is challenged. And soon she finds herself walking the fine line between kindness and treason.
The book is written entirely through letters and other documentation, which is a style of novel writing I’d never read before. While a unique format, I was able to piece together the story. It was neat to see everything from so many different perspectives. Sometimes little bits of information were missing, things that I had to infer as the characters did. It gave it a little touch of real life—in real life we don’t always know other people’s motivations, and we don’t always ever find out.
The character voices were so unique and vibrant. Even though sometimes I shook my head and cringed at Jo’s delivery, sometimes I laughed out loud. I related to her social awkwardness and propensity towards sarcasm. Her relationship with Peter through letters--even with no sign of romance in sight--was strong and deep, and an interesting addition.
Despite it being written in letters, I got a feel for the setting. Ironside Lake was an interesting place to visit, one of those small towns where everyone knows everyone’s business, and full of equally quirky and vivid characters.
The touch of romance was nicely added, and I mean just that—a touch. It doesn’t hijack the whole plotline, just compliments it as a nice brush stroke.
I was guessing up until the end—I had no idea what anyone was up to!
I have nothing negative to say about this book. (Except that I want more . . . that ending!)
Things We Didn’t Say is a brilliant addition to the genre of historical fiction. I highly recommend it to anyone. It’s a thought-provoking read, full of smiles and all the things that make up real life—our lives today. It may be called Things We Didn’t Say—but don’t let it be Things We Didn’t Read.
Hi there! Rachel again. Check out this section for book reviews and cover reveals of some of my favorites!