Monday, September 27, 2010
published January 2010 by Simon & Schuster
454 pages (hardcover), YA
Hanna has issues. She's manic-depressive. She talks to her dead father. She's run away from home because she nearly killed her aunt. And now she's on her mother's doorstep, a mother who wants nothing to do with this teenage daughter of hers. Here we are in Portero, Texas, where the world is not quite the way it should be. Evil spirits more than just lurk; they are deadly. Portero is a portal to many other places and worlds, with hidden doors littering the entire town. Nothing is impossible in Portero. Odd as it may be, Hanna actually feels at home in this town that defies reality - mostly because it's weirder than she is. But Portero folk are not that accepting of outsiders, and Hanna must prove that she can fit in if she wants to stay with her aloof mother.
I love this book. I needed this book. I read it at exactly the right time - the weather finally turned chilly, I was curled up in bed ready for the kind of creepy, spooky book we all want to read this time of year.
Let me just say again that this is definitely a creepy, spooky book. Blood. Gore. Violence. Nudity. Sex. Drugs. Monsters. Just the kind of book I should be reading during Banned Books Week - but shhh, don't say I said so. It has that weird Going Bovine feel to it, where you're not quite sure if what you're reading is actually happening in the story or if it's just a hallucination trip, and it's creepy in that Girl, Interrupted way because people who are not quite mentally stable are apt to do unpredictable and very dangerous things. Add the likes of the City of Bones, with portals to other worlds and otherworldly creatures, and you've got most of the elements of this book.
But what I loved most was not the strange story or fantasy setting or troubled characters but instead the way they were seamlessly intertwined. There was no moment of suspending disbelief for me here; I just went with each twist and turn as if it was all normal. That's how much Ms. Reeves pulled me in from the start. Wow. Just wow.
There's not much else I can really say about this book. You'll love it or hate it. The story will grab you or repel you. I will say this, don't be fooled by its length. If you love it, you'll fly through it. I did not want to put it down! One late night and early morning later, and I was finished. Sad but sated.
Four purple crayons for the wow factor and fresh perspective.
Others said it better:
Book Gazing; Reading in Color; Bookworming in the 21st Century; read what you know; Presenting Lenore; Bloody Bookaholic; The Neverending Shelf; Pure Imagination