Elizabeth B's Reviews > Queens of All the Earth

Queens of All the Earth by Hannah Sternberg
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Apr 27, 11

Read on April 27, 2011

Queens of the Earth by Hannah Sternberg (galley proof) starts off exceptionally dark and bleak when Olivia, on the verge of moving into Cornell University, suffers a mental breakdown. Still detached from the world itself, her big sister decides they need a “break” and the two are off to Barcelona for a week. This book moves VERY slow, a product of wall of text writing. Perhaps the author intended to give us a cloudy view of the world (what Olivia might be seeing) but as the book is written in third person we don’t get that and instead, just get long repetitive paragraphs of description and narrative. Some of the descriptions were beautiful and elegantly written. However, it was the sheer number of them that brought the pace of the novel down.

The characters are not exactly lovable. The sister Miranda is irritating and Olivia is just too disconnected from the real world to make the reader care much about them. If you can accept that, though, you will find that both sisters do learn and grow as the story progresses. Overall, I think this book will move too slowly for a YA audience and will be too “juvenile” for an adult audience. That said, it may serve as a stepping stone for a YA audience looking to branch into more literary fiction reading as opposed to standard dialogue driven fiction.
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