Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Unique and Lovely, Dolssa Is Another Julie Berry Gem

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

http://www.blogginboutbooks.com/p/lds-authors.htmlwww.whitneyawards.comWhen her reputation as a prophetess becomes a threat to the Catholic Church, Dolssa de Stigata—an 18-year-old noblewoman—is sentenced to death by hanging.  Although she manages to escape her grisly fate, she's hardly free.  An inquisitor stalks her through the countryside, hunting for his prey with a determination dark and dangerous.  Devoted to her beloved Jhesus, Dolssa prays for deliverance. 
Like Dolssa, Botille Flasucra harbors a special gift.  With an almost supernatural talent for matchmaking, the 17-year-old's services are much requested in the small town of Bajas.  Botille uses her skills to supplement the money she and her sisters make from running the Three Pigeons tavern.  

http://www.ala.org/yalsa/printzThe fates of the two women intertwine when Botille discovers Dolssa lying half-dead by an isolated lagoon.  Although no one wants to borrow trouble, Botille and her sisters rescue the delirious mystic.  Hiding her in the tavern, they nurse Dolssa back to health.  When they learn who she truly is, the sisters vow to protect her.  As danger creeps ever closer to Bajas, the Flasucras begin to realize just how much they are risking, not just their own lives but those of everyone in the village.  Is it worth it to shelter Dolssa and her outrageous claims?  When the vengeful friar comes calling, what will happen to Botille and her sisters?  To peaceful Bajas?  Only one thing remains certain—no one will escape unscathed.

With only three books to her credit, Julie Berry is not a prolific writer (Edit: Turns out this statement is totally false. You can see all the books she's written listed on her website.  I apologize for the error.).  Which is a real bummer because I'm a huge fan.  I've loved all her novels, her newest being just as unique and lovely as all the rest.  While I can't see teens flocking to check out The Passion of Dolssa, I adored it.  The rich, sophisticated story is told in gorgeous prose.  Short vignettes narrated by various everymen and -women break up the narrative, adding interest, local color, and originality to the tale.  Dolssa and Botille are intriguing narrators in their own right, but it's all the different voices that really plump this book up, making it stand out from its fellows.  The recipient of numerous awards (including a Printz Honor designation and a recent Whitney Award for best YA novel by an LDS author), it's a gem that I can't stop recommending.

(Readalikes:  I can't think of anything.  Can you?)

Grade:

If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for brief, mild language (no F-bombs), violence, blood/gore, and sexual innuendo

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of The Passion of Dolssa from Changing Hands Bookstore with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.

15 comments:

  1. I can't think of any other book that sounds similar, which is a shame, because this looks incredibly intriguing! So glad you reviewed this, because now I'm going to check this one out! Great review!

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    1. Right? It's very different from other teen books out there, but it's still very readable and compelling.

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  2. Julie Berry is SUCH a talent! Her books are simply spectacular and incredibly well-written, and entertaining and thoughtful, too. I'm envious in a good way! :-)

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    1. She's great. I just wish she wrote faster :)

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  3. I haven't read anything by Julie Berry but love the sound of this. Will have to add to the ever growing pile of books I want to read. Great review!

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    1. It's a good one. Unique and intriguing. I really liked it.

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  4. You've convinced me that I have to give Julie Berry's books a try! Which one is your favorite?

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    1. Yay! I don't know if I can choose a favorite. It's a toss up between her two YA novels, this one and ALL THE TRUTH THAT'S IN ME. I really liked them both. Her MG, THE SCANDALOUS SISTERHOOD OF PICKWILLOW PLACE (something like that), is also good but it's less original than her other two.

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  5. I loved this book so, so much! It was so different than anything I had ever read, but wow. I'm so glad you liked it too!

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    1. Right? Different in a good way, for sure.

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  6. How have I missed this author's books? I'm looking her up right now.

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    1. Her work is definitely way underrated. She's a magnificent writer. Definitely give her books a try!

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  7. This post made me so happy! Thank you for your very kind words. I should tell you, though, that there are more than three books out -- several more -- if you don't mind exploring some of my earlier work. ;) And I have a new middle grade coming out next month. So, I'm not fast enough yet, but I'm trying. :) Thank you for buoying me up.

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    1. Aww, you're welcome! All praise is much deserved. For real.

      However, I'm totally embarrassed that I didn't pay enough attention to your website to realize you'd written more than three books. In my defense, the last week and a half has been one of the longest and hardest of my life. Clearly, I'm not at the top of my game :( I apologize for the mistake and will fix it right now. On the plus side, more Julie Berry books to read. YAY!!

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  8. Is this book based on a true story??? It sounds good. I need to catch up on all her books. I've only read one. :(

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