To my somewhat surprise, I really liked it! Am struggling to not give it a 5. Because I may be somewhat partial to Gabrielle Zevin since I LOVE her bo...moreTo my somewhat surprise, I really liked it! Am struggling to not give it a 5. Because I may be somewhat partial to Gabrielle Zevin since I LOVE her book Elsewhere. Am also coming down with flu, so I shan't do a review now. I'll do one another day, but suffice it to say that it lived up to my expectations-which were set pretty high due to Elsewhere.
I think the 1 extra day has given me some time to calm down and think it through. I realise/feel now that although I really enjoyed the book, it wasn't so "spectacular", so now I'm fine with the 4 stars. Anyway, in point form!
Things I liked: 1) Anya's voice! Anya is a strong protagonist and I really liked her narration. She is mature and smart; and the way she thinks about things, it makes me respect her. Usually I don't like religion in books, but I think the religious aspect in the book was well-portrayed. Anya abstained because of her vow, but still struggled (hard) with Win around. I suppose she could have been tiring repeating her "Daddy-isms", but really, I thought they sounded pretty wise and smart, so I had nothing against them. Her dad really sounds like an amazing man from her narration, which I guess is the point. She is a very good friend, too. Or at least most of the time. I like how circumstances made her grow up so fast, and she becomes the guardian of the family. It's very realistic, no matter the year of the novel.
2) Natty She is smart beyond her age, and a dear! She sounded kinda bratty to me at first but I think there's this layer to her. She is actually kind and observant. It's difficult not to like the girl, really. Her nightmares are endearing (in a non-sadistic manner), because it showed me how it's not only Anya who suffered. The very young Natty has not forgotten her father's death.
3) Charles ... something. I forgot his last name. I like his character. It has many sides to it. I like how he is ambitious, and would do anything to get his position, but is still level-headed, calm, and even kind when dealing with Anya, making terms with her. He's a father, but also a politician and I think he was an interesting character though I think the angst between Win and Charles was never made clear enough.
4) Nana She's just cool, right?! I love the old lady!
5) Gable Arsley(?) Psychopathic asshole. ... or The Changed Man?
6) Leo He is so endearing but also so frustrating! Still, I like how he is so protective toward his family, and so optimistic, I guess, about things. Though that could be because he doesn't know well the consequences of things.
7) The way the book ended. Read the last sentence if you don't know what I mean. *shiver*
Things I didn't like: 1) The spelling of the word "mafiya" It's not a big deal, but I don't really understand the spelling...
2) The appearance of the word "Birthright" Usually I like when I see the title of the book/the series's name in the book while reading..But the word "birthright" came up soo much in the second half of the book! First Yuji Ono mentioned it. Then did Leo. Right after (view spoiler)[he shot the boss of the Family (hide spoiler)]. What's a girl supposed to think?! If I'm not wrong, Leo almost seems to repeat exactly what Yuji Ono said!! If that was supposed to mislead the reader into suspecting it was all Yuji Ono masterminding everything, it wasn't all that well-executed because Anya never thought of Yuji Ono at all.So all in all, I thought it was an unnecessary addition. Oh, and when Mikhail (Mickey) started talking to Anya about BIRTHRIGHT again, I almost lost it. It sounded SOO much like what Yuji Ono said to Anya!!!
3) The brief stays at Liberty I appreciate the pun,btw. It's just that Mouse seemed suchhhh an interesting character!! There wasn't enough development on that part. Just short lines. I suppose there will be more said about Liberty in the next book, and its occupants, though.
All in all, I'm really looking forward to the next book. Have I mentioned how much I like the title?? It just strikes a chord with me; gives me the chills! I read the hardcover, and there were TWO blank pages with the title printed in the exact same way. I know, I know - I feel apologetic toward the trees, too! But... somehow it was just.. gorgeous! The way the words sat on the page... Never really felt that way with another book, I think. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)