Tuesday, September 17, 2013

YRCA 2014 Nominee #6: Ruby Red

Ruby Red 

by Kerstin Gier


Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!

Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon-the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the eighteenth century and in contemporary London, they can trust.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed reading Ruby Red. It was entertaining, fun, and unique. However, I felt that the book was too short. I wasn't ready for the adventure to end. At times I felt that Kerstin Gier was using the first novel in the trilogy as a set- up of the story that would follow in her later novels. The story line went by so fast. It was missing an action plot that would have me on the edge of my seat or to make the story more memorable. While the book was not really memorable, it was good and it will make you want to read the next two books in the trilogy. 

Ruby Red is about time travel which can sometimes be too complicated to follow or too simple that the story line confuses you. Ruby Red is not complicated and not too simple which allows the story line to be explained beautifully and you can follow it easily. I liked the mythology and background surrounding time travel in the universe of this series. It was well thought out yet simple and I’m definite there is a lot more to discover and unveil beyond the first book.

The biggest problem with Ruby Red is that you will want to move on to the sequel right away. This may pose a problem because the final book from the trilogy does not come out until later this year (Fall, 2013). The book was basically a preview of what is to come in later books. It describes the characters and allows the reader to understand the characters, the setting, and the beginning of the story to come.
I think this book is suited for a younger audience. The story is magical and exciting even though it is lacking an epic scene that would have set off the story. It’s simple and engaging. I have high hopes for the remaining novels. 

I hope that the novels following Ruby Red (Sapphire Blue and Emerald Green) are more detailed and discuss the story line more than Ruby Red. 

Also, the German version of the movie "Ruby Red" has been released and producers are working on dubbing the movie into English! Although there is no concrete date on the release of the English dubbed movie, there has been a trailer released! If you don't like trailers or don't want to get too excited about the trailer in case the movie doesn't premiere for a while, I advise you not to watch the trailer. It's a good one! 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

YRCA 2014 Nominee #8: Karma


by Cathy Ostlere


On October 31, 1984, Indira Gandhi is gunned down by two Sikh bodyguards. The murder sparks riots in New Delhi and for three days Sikh men are targeted and killed in retribution for the prime minister's death. It is into this chaos that fifteen-year-old Maya and her Sikh father, Amar, arrive from their home in Canada. India's political instability is the backdrop and catalyst for Maya's awakening to the world. Karma is the story of how she straddles two cultures, endures personal loss, and ultimately learns forgiveness, acceptance, and love.

My Thoughts:

I like this story and I will definitely read it again. It is a romantic and historical fiction of two diaries following the lives of two teenagers. The novel is beautifully written in verse.
"Life is an illusion
And as it turns out, so is death.
What is real? What will remain when we all fade away?
Two things: Love. Forgiveness."

When reading this beautiful novel, you will not be able to put it down as you will want to find out what happens. At the same time, you will want to read the story slowly as to enjoy the descriptive and elegant language. The story stays with me even after I have finished reading it and I recommend it to everyone.

The friendship and the love between Maya and Sandeep provide happiness, love and acceptance instead of racism, hatred, and discrimination that surround that dark era of India.

The author, Cathy Ostlere, shows us a world of hatred and cruelty, different religions and cultures. It is a blend of how humankind is capable of very horrible things and also capable of love and forgiveness.
"We are a nation with a long history and short memories. We are a nation accustomed to pain."

Cathy Ostlere ends the story with a strong possibility of love, hope and peace. "And besides, who will show the world the possibility of love, if it isn't us?"

The book portrays the mystery and splendour of India. You will suffer from the poverty, cruelty, hatred and you will enjoy the beauty of India.

For your sake, I hurry over land and water:
For your sake, I cross the desert and split the mountain in two,
And turn my face from all things,
Until the time I reach the place
Where I am alone with you.                -Persian poet Al-Hallaj