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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Riveting Winterkill Feels Familiar, But Fresh

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

It's a little silly to try to write my own plot summary for a book when a perfectly good one—actually, a great one—already exists.  Since re-inventing the wheel is just so last century, I'm going to give you the publisher's version.  Both concise and precise, it offers a brilliant overview of Winterkill by Kate A. Boorman:
Emmeline knows she’s not supposed to explore the woods outside her settlement. The enemy that wiped out half her people lurks there, attacking at night and keeping them isolated in an unfamiliar land with merciless winters. Living with the shame of her grandmother’s insubordination, Emmeline has learned to keep her head down and her quick tongue silent.


When the settlement leader asks for her hand in marriage, it’s an opportunity for Emmeline to wash the family slate clean—even if she has eyes for another. But before she’s forced into an impossible decision, her dreams urge her into the woods, where she uncovers a path she can’t help but follow. The trail leads to a secret that someone in the village will kill to protect. Her grandmother followed the same path and paid the price. If Emmeline isn’t careful, she will be next.   
Taut and compelling, Winterkill is an intense, atmospheric novel that kept me riveted from its first page to its last.  Although it contains many familiar dystopian components, it's really more of a psychological thriller than the usual post-apocalyptic survival drama.  The novel isn't all that original, really, but it's so well crafted that it feels fresh and unique.  In a word (okay, three):  I loved it.

(Readalikes:  The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for violence, intense situation, and brief nudity

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find
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Reading

<i>Reading</i>
The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson

Listening

<i>Listening</i>
The Girl Who Wrote in Silk by Kelli Estes



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