- 101 in 1001
June 2, 2010
Labels: Book Reviews
Date Finished: June 1, 2010
Summary: After beating her aunt in the head with a rolling pin, Hanna runs away to her estranged mother, Rosalee, a local legend in the strange town of Portero, Texas. Rosalee gives Hanna an ultimatum. Make friends and fit in in two weeks, or leave. Hanna takes on huge risks trying to prove to her mother that she is worthy to stay in the weird world of Portero. Little does Hanna know the evil things that have been taking place. Little does Portero know just how crazy Hanna is.
Likes: After I finished reading this novel, the first two words that came to my mind were "Enjoyably Bizarre." I enjoyed this novel. It was strange. The main character is a lovable whack job and I enjoyed reading a character that was interesting to read about. She liked sex, she used sex as a weapon, and she wasn't ashamed to say so. (apparently this runs in the family on her mother's side). Hanna is just insane, but strangely likable in her insanity. I also like that her biracial background wasn't a huge aspect of the book. It's just nice to see some characters not defined by their race in a novel. It's mentioend several time, but it's not dwelled on. It reads like any other YA novel and it make me wonder why more PoC's can't be main characters. (I believe Wyatt was Latino/Hispanic, but I'm just judging by last name). The setting was strange. Portero, Texas? Not exactly where I'd set an urban fantasy, but I loved it. The characters were enjoyably flawed, they seemed like real people for the most part. Hanna is manic-depressive and is prone to hallucinations. She only wears purple because it was her father's favorite color. I thought this was a unique aspect of the story since we don't see it mentioned in YA a lot, but I'm old and I've seen and been through worse. Still cool to read about, that's why it's in the likes section.
Dislikes: The plot was strange to me. I felt like I've read it before. That being said, I liked the author's take on it, so it wasn't really a dislike. It feels like a running trope through urban fantasy, but the author did a good job with putting her own spin on it. I'm not a big urban fantasy reader (I know, shocker right?), in a sense that I don't actively seek it out. Some of the plot devices were a little too convenient, even the characters mention it.
Overall: The story was just so bizarre. It was like reading a novelization of a Tarantino film. It was packed with one-liners and clever little quips. It's [a novel] sprinkled with just a little crazy to tie it all together.
Recommended by: Thanks to Reading in Color for the recommendation. (I'm going to start putting where I get these recommendations so people know I don't just get these fantastic books on my own.
Acquired: I got this book at the Riverside Public Library (which I'm absolutely in love with).