"Tamar" is a story that weaves between the present and the past. In the present, Tamar is the fifteen year old grand-daughter of a World War Two veter...more"Tamar" is a story that weaves between the present and the past. In the present, Tamar is the fifteen year old grand-daughter of a World War Two veteran. When Tamar's grandfather dies he leaves her a box containing clues and coded messages. Tamar sets out on an expedition to find out her grandfather's final message to her.
In the past we read about Tamar's grandfather and his life in the war, the world of resistance fighters. Something goes awry among the resistance fighters and it influences the future, Tamar's future.
I enjoyed reading the past sections about the resistance fighters a lot more than the present sections about Tamar, but both are pivotal to the story. The story is about trickery, passion, treachery and desperation. Once the story is unfolded, it is also about emancipation and forgiveness. "Tamar" definitely makes you ponder about forgiveness. (less)
“I nodded. I don't think I could have spoken if I'd wanted to. Not because my cousin had just tried to kill me. But because Zach had rushed down to re...more“I nodded. I don't think I could have spoken if I'd wanted to. Not because my cousin had just tried to kill me. But because Zach had rushed down to rescue me without remembering to put a shirt on."
This quote sums up the mood of the book, teenage girl gone crazy for good looking boy, but with a bit of witch craft thrown in. Jean also know as Jinx due to her dreadful luck is about to have her blood spilt and drank by her cousin Tory and all Jean can think about is the fact that her rescuer is not wearing a shirt.
Jean and Tory are descendents of a great-great-great-great grandmother who had been a powerful witch who was burnt at the stake. Before she died she prophesied that one of her descendants would possess the powers of a powerful witch.
Bad girl Tory wants the power to be hers, but when she realizes Jean has the power and does not want to join Tory's play coven Tory is bent on destroying Jean.
It takes an agonizingly long time to find out why Jean has come from Iowa to live with her Aunt and Uncle's family in New York, but eventually all the details are provided, though it is fairly easy to guess that Jean had cast a spell that backfired.
Younger teens will probably enjoy this book, but it definitely is cheesy in plenty of sections. Jean just cannot help gushing over good looking Zach who is Tory's next door neighbor and love interest. Zach, however, is interested in Jean and not Tory, so this creates even more conflict between Tory and Jean. In the end all is well and the good witch wins over the bad witch. (less)
"Mistik Lake" by Martha Brooks won the Canadian Library Association Young Adult Award and being a Canadian book I knew in advance that the book would...more"Mistik Lake" by Martha Brooks won the Canadian Library Association Young Adult Award and being a Canadian book I knew in advance that the book would be liberal in its ideas and themes and I was correct.
"Mistik Lake" contains an array of small town characters whose lives are all intertwined. There is the lesbian Aunt Gloria, the schizophrenic mother, the runaway mother who has children from three different partners, the architect father and the teenage daughter who has sex.
I enjoyed the book, but I would caution that it is for adults and for at least seventeen year olds and older young adults.
The book takes place in the province Manitoba where a family of three girls and their father are abandoned by their mother who heads to Iceland with her lover. Their mother had never been normal because she was haunted with an accident that occurred when she was sixteen years old of which she was the only survivor, three of her friends died, but she lived.
The girls have to come to terms with the loss of their mother and their lives are turned into havoc because of her abandonment. Each girl handles the separation differently; the main focus being on Odella the oldest of the three girls. Odella is seventeen and she has a hard time adjusting. Odella encounters a boy and is heart stricken by him, but returns home and latches on to a leach of a boy who is only after sex; eventually Odella and the first boy reunite and this time it is the real thing for Odella.
The family has to discover who they are and refocus their lives. The book ends in a satisfying way with a bit of a surprise ending about Odella when all the mysteries of her mother are revealed. (less)