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The November Girl

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I am Anda, and the lake is my mother. I am the November storms that terrify sailors and sink ships. With their deaths, I keep my little island on Lake Superior alive.

Hector has come here to hide from his family until he turns eighteen. Isle Royale is shut down for the winter, and there's no one here but me. And now him.

Hector is running from the violence in his life, but violence runs through my veins. I should send him away, to keep him safe. But I'm half human, too, and Hector makes me want to listen to my foolish, half-human heart. And if I do, I can't protect him from the storms coming for us.

340 pages, Paperback

First published November 7, 2017

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About the author

Lydia Kang

19 books2,088 followers
I love salt more than chocolate. I'm somewhat small, yet deceptively strong. Sort of like an ant.

I'm a part time doc, full time family member, and if you offer me snacks, I'll be a friend for life.

My adult fiction centers around historical mysteries in New York City, with splashes of forensics, anatomy, apothecary medicine, and chemistry! A BEAUTIFUL POISON takes place in 1918 at the height of the influenza epidemic; THE IMPOSSIBLE GIRL centers around the illegal grave robbing world; and forthcoming in July 2020 is OPIUM AND ABSINTHE, with--you guessed it--opium and absinthe. And possibly vampires!

I have a nonfiction adult book written with Nate Pederson entitled QUACKERY: A Short History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything, coming in 2017 (Workman).

My most recent YA novel is TOXIC, a space opera about a created, teen girl who's abandoned on a biological spaceship, and the mercenary boy doomed to die on it. I've also written THE NOVEMBER GIRL, set on a remote island on Lake Superior. A girl with violence running through her veins meets a boy running away from an abusive home life. Both from Entangled Teen/Macmillan.

I'm also part of the new anthology, COLOR OUTSIDE THE LINES, with Soho Teen coming in 2019!

My YA sci-fi novel, CONTROL, debuted December 2013 (Dial/Penguin). The sequel, CATALYST, released March 2015 (Kathy Dawson Books/Penguin). I released a short story in the dark YA anthology, AMONG THE SHADOWS October 2015.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 172 reviews
Profile Image for Sara.
1,080 reviews362 followers
November 9, 2017
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What starts as an unusual romance develops into something wild and untamed in this unique tale of a girl, a boy, and the November storms. Hector is running from his home life, ending up on the deserted Isle Royale, when he meets Anda - born of the lake and the maker of November storms. Known as the November Witch, she's more inhuman than mortal. But Hector's made from violence too, and somehow the two collide - but Anda cannot hide from her fate forever.

This was so atmospheric. The prose really transported me into the Autumnal stormy weather, and the descriptions of the lake and the storms in particular were wonderful as we are transported to the scene of a shipwreck through Anda's eyes. A lot of the plot takes place on the water, and my favourite scene involves Anda and Hector traversing the lake to an old shipwreck where 'Mother' makes her presence known. The Isle Royale itself is haunting in it's stillness and devoid of life - which I felt echoed Hector's personality as a boy on the verge of adulthood who's deeply lonely and without any outlets for his pain.

Anda as the other main character is just as complex and unique. Wild yet giving. naive yet dangerous, a creature of chaos who is constantly struggling with her 'true nature'. She's a character quite unlike any I've seen before. Hector is her companion completely in this respect too. Hurt by a past too painful to confront, damaged and angry like Anda - she can see herself reflected in him. Their relationship is different to a typical 'romance' too. Anda is not out to be 'rescued' by Hector, although she does try to suppress the murderous side of her nature for him (understandable). She knows what she is, and what she can do. There's an obvious spark between them on first meeting, which felt natural as the story progressed.

The plot is possibly slow to start, as we see Hector struggle to thrive on the island, and there's lots of time spent dithering about food and fishing and tip toeing around each other. I found myself wanting Anda and Hector to interact quicker than they did, to the point where I was getting frustrated - but in reality I think this was just a reflection on their personalities. One has never interacted with humans before (other than her father), and the other is afraid too. As the story progressed, I found myself enjoying the story more.

I actually think that Hector's past is addressed relatively sensitively. It's never thrust on the reader, rather we are given glimpses of what happened to Hector as he's allowed to tell his story in his own way to Anda. The subject matter is also dealt with delicately, and is rather an extension of why Hector behaves the way he does, rather than let it define his character.

I thought the ending was very fitting for the story, and works perfectly as a stand alone novel. A wonderful read, perfect for Autumn, and fans of magical realism with a splash of winter storms.
Profile Image for Lena .
92 reviews47 followers
March 24, 2018
*ARC in exchange for an honest review*

This book perfectly sums up everything I love about magical realism. It's a really eery story and sometimes it gets a bit creepy, but it's never horror so don't expect that.

Anda is the daughter of the lake, and she isn't used to being around other people than her dad. The writer makes this clear in very clever ways. The way Anda thinks about the most normal things is both funny and absurd, but I loved everything about her.

Hector is a runaway with a heavy background story. You get to know him more throughout the book, and the farther you get the more everything starts to make sense. He has a very morbid sense of humour and I liked that a lot about him. He never takes himself seriously. At times I felt really bad for him. He was such an interesting character, everything about him was special.

The combination of two very abstract characters made this a very interesting read. Although there are only two characters for the biggest part of this book, you actually never notice that and they make for such a cute pair!

It's hard to say if this book is a slow or a fast paced book, because the pace varies a lot. At times it went quite slowly but at sometimes, like the ending, there was quite some action going on! And, we need to talk about that ending!! The ending was so so so beautifully executed. It read like a real thriller and easily had me on the edge of my seat. I. Just. Had. To. Know. How. It. Would. End!!!

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Profile Image for rachel, x.
1,718 reviews858 followers
October 1, 2017
• I honestly adored the premise. The magical elements were so unique. I don't think I have ever read anything remotely similar.
• The romance was... weird. I still don't know how I feel about it exactly.
• Kang has such atmospheric writing. I genuinely felt like I was there on the island with the characters.
• Lots of sensitive topics were handled. Again, I'm not sure how I feel about them. If anyone knows a reviewer that talked about the self-harm or child abuse representation, link me up pls.
• It was definitely an engaging story. I never wanted to put it down.
• The ending was oddly satisfying. It suited the story.
• It was just missing... something. I don't know what.

Full review to come.
Profile Image for Brenda Drake.
Author 12 books857 followers
June 13, 2017
An intense and beautifully written romance that had me bracing myself until the final page. Innocently dangerous Anda and wounded Hector tugged at my heart so hard that their journey left me breathless. Through both Anda's struggle not to give into her nature, Hector's need for love, and the desire they both had to care for one another, I couldn't help but root for this couple. They were just so sweet together. Swoon! With her deep imagination and lovely prose, Kang weaves a touching story with so much heart and warmth we're able to weather a stormy November.
Profile Image for Jenea.
680 reviews57 followers
October 26, 2017
The November Girl is one those books that while your reading it, you’re enthralled. So many things are going on, so many questions about the characters that you want answers for, that you kept reading and before you know it you are at the last page. But after I was done, I wasn’t sure at fist how I felt about it, but the more I thought about and when I sat down to write this review, I realized just how much I really did enjoy it.

Anda is a witch of sorts, she is half human, half witch. And she is the cause of the storms that takes the lives of sailors every November, basically she feeds of of chaos. For this reason, she stays away from most people other than her father, but when she see this mysterious boy who can actually see her something changed within her. Hector reaches into her human side, which is something she has never done before. And Hector finally feels that someone can love him, but the secrets that both of them have, is going to be a big obstacle to overcome.

I found that both Anda and Hector were both likable characters, but I had a hard time connecting to them at first. Not sure why, they seemed so guarded, which I did understand because their situations. The pain they both carry from their lives was evident and it was emotional, and disheartening. Kang did a wonderful job handling some of the sensitive issues that were raised and for that I was happy. Their slow building romance was sweet, and they began to get to know each more and more we also get to learn things from their lives that have brought this very place.

The concept behind this was interesting, Anda was half human, and her mother being the lake, and I wanted to know everything there was to know about Anda. The pacing of the story fluctuated a little here and there, which wasn’t an issues for me at all. There was plenty of things going on to keep my interests, and the ending was nicely done.

All in all, I enjoyed this a lot, it was dark and beautiful and I would certainly recommend this for those who enjoy a young adult paranormal romance.

Profile Image for Kate Brauning.
Author 3 books170 followers
May 28, 2017
This book breaks my heart and puts it back together again. A boy running from violence, a girl who's violence personified, both of them learning to deal with how human they really are. Part survival story, part magic. Take note of this one--you're going to love it and so will everyone else.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
303 reviews17 followers
April 6, 2018
Who asked for a YA novel that is beautifully written and yet slightly creepy? I did!

Some of y'all may find this to be a typical YA story with some supernatural sprinkled in, I however found it to be hella refreshing. I loved that supernatural! You WONT find me saying "this book had potential" nope. It lived up to every one of my expectations and then some.

Let hop to it. Anda's dad is a bi-racial human (pay attention to bi-racial cause it plays a important role in the book) and her mother is a lake/goddess/entity (I really don't know how else to put it). If I had to describe her powers it would say picture X-Men's Storm crossed with Aang from The Last Air Bender. It's that awesome. And she also has some weird relationship with death.

Then we have Hector. Also mixed racially. He is human though and has a lot of stuff going on with him. Let's just say he has years of therapy ahead of him. I'm actually still trying to piece together his heritage and his issues because it really is kind of heavy.

Put these two together and you have one heart wrenching story that leaves you in awe. Well worth the read.
Profile Image for Amy Leigh.
327 reviews38 followers
March 24, 2018
Anda is half human and half witch. Maybe not the type of witch you're thinking of. She is the November storm that shuts down her island Isle Royale every winter. Each and every year the island evacuates in October leaving Anda completely alone on the island. Even her father leaves.

Hector has a very troubled home life. He is so close to turning eighteen that he decides to run away for a few months until he is a legal adult and will never have to return. He decides to takes his refuge on Isle Royale because he knows the island will be vacant. Or so he thought.

When Hector first sees Anda he doesn't believe the ethereal beauty is real. Anda is already being taken over by her storm side and becoming numb to her human nature. Yet, she is so curious about the boy who comes to the island.

Andy's loneliness is heart wrenching. Hector really made my heart ache though. This book is hauntingly beautiful and full of discovery. I highly recommend this young adult fantasy!

Given a copy by NetGalley and the publisher for a fair and honest review.
Profile Image for Diana.
1,740 reviews223 followers
October 8, 2017
While I loved the premise of the book, and the atmosphere that surrounded the characters, I was quite put off by the fact that I felt lost in the beginning of the book. It was like I had opened a book right by the middle and was thrown in with a couple of characters running from something without entirely knowing why (in her case is made more clear via cryptic lines and hints) and failing to connect with them. And while the casual glimpses between them and the alternate chapters between Anda and the boy began offering a bit more of light I just couldn't connect with the characters or care for them, sadly.
218 reviews27 followers
November 9, 2017
Child abuse: We didn't witness any of it, but we were told about it.
Self Harm: We get to both see it, and hear about it.

The November Girl is a fresh take on Magical Realism. It is a breathtaking story that stars a girl who is half human/half witch, and a boy who running away from his abusive Uncle.

Anda isn't your typical kind of witch; she is the November storm. She is creature who feeds on chaos and drowning souls. The sooner it is till November, the less of a human she becomes. But when Anda sees Hector, or as she said " he saw her", something changed. Now wait a second, this isn't an insta love story where the boy cures the girl with his love. Nope!


They both plan to stay away from each other; after all, they are all hiding and don't want to be seen. I will say however, that the romance that developed was kind of weird. The good kind of weird. Through her interactions with Hector, we see how being half witch affects her. Her actions, her knowledge, and her thoughts are out of this world. But she is still a creature of chaos, she is made of something that made Hector escape his home to this deserted Island. Hector makes her feel things she had never felt before; makes her feel more human. These small things include being hungry.

For the 1st time since forever, Hector feels loved when he is with Anda. But what would he do when he discovers who she really is?

The truth is ugly; the truth hurts, but the heart wants what it wants.


However, it is not up to them. You can say that there are some " external Factors and Powers" that don't want Anda and Hector to be together.

This is also an #OwnVoices book because Hector is half Korean/ half African American, and the author is half Korean, half American. I believe that Hector's race played an important role in what makes Hector, Hector. It definitely wasn't just tossed in to make the cast
Profile Image for Jackie.
295 reviews259 followers
December 3, 2017
That... was actually so good omg I loved it?????

Here are 4 reasons why I think The November Girl was a brilliant read:

THE DIVERSITY: I think we’re all about that diverse life when it comes to picking out books to read, and that was definitely one of the reasons why I decided to pick up The November Girl. Hector is a 17 year old Korean and African American kid who wanted to escape the claws of his abusive uncle so he travels to an island to hide until his 18th birthday aka until he’s finally free.

Anda is the daughter of the lake which makes her this magical creature with a human side. She sinks ships and eats the souls of the dead for a living. In November, she’s the most dangerous which is why she’s called the November Witch. For that reason, the island is abandoned in that time. I believe she is Asian as well, but correct me if I'm wrong!

THE CHARACTERS + THEIR RELATIONSHIP: I was a BIG fan of the characters in this novel! Both of them were really unique and special in their own way. While Hector and Anda don’t speak when they first “interact” with each other, they seem to have a mutual understanding and silent agreement with each other.

Hector was struggling to survive while camping in the woods with barely any food and the constant blast of the cold wind, but Anda made sure he was okay! She’s connected to the island so she can control nature and the weather (yeah, she’s cool like that XD) so she kept him from freezing to death.

They both started to take care of each other as the story went on and it was lovely to see how their relationship progressed. They actually interacted and spoke to each other and I found myself liking these characters more and more. Their relationship was so CUTE and they slowly but surely begun trusting each other. They both brought out something new and different in the other and it was so good to see that <3

Anda didn’t quite know what emotions were and how to deal with them, but Hector helped her open up (without really doing much). They started cooking together and spending time in Anda’s house, and he even cut her hair—they had such simple but intimate and sweet moments and it was so CUUUUTE. THEY WERE CUTE BABIES.

And I love Anda so much??? Her little quirks and her oddness were so… ANDA.

I mean yes, she’s the girl of the lake and she eats people’s souls, but there was one scene where Anda and Hector were raiding a supply camp and Anda pretended like she didn’t enjoy the chocolate bars (she usually doesn’t need Human Food bc she eats… souls… i guess) but then she wandered off and literally inhaled the bars.

And then she came back with an empty wrapper and she reached for the next one LIKE ISN’T THAT THE MOST RELATABLE THING LMAO. The author wrote these characters in a way that made me connect to them immediately AND I WAS LIVING FOR IT.

THE WRITING + MAGICAL REALISM: I am in love with magical realism books and this one was just fantastic.

The way the author connected the aspects of wind, water and nature in general with Anda and how she wrote Anda’s struggles when her mother aka the lake called to her and asked her to succumb was incredible.

The author’s writing made the whole book so atmospheric and magical, and I liked that the writing style corresponded so well with the aspect of magical realism. The whole idea of the story and the plot in general was so intriguing in the first place and the author made it so easy to get immersed in the story.

I’ll definitely be reading more Lydia Kang in the future!

There was an extra spark missing that kept this book from being a perfect 5 star read, but overall The November Girl was wonderfully unique and quirky. I’d definitely recommend it if you love a good magical realism story with great character development and romance.

Read my full review here: https://toomuchofabooknerd.wordpress....

*I received a free e-ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion in any way!*
Profile Image for Melissa.
750 reviews134 followers
July 21, 2017
Not going to lie - my heart hurts - and I've got so many feels that the chances of a book hangover are pretty high. Still this was an amazing read, and I can't recommend it enough.

Lydia Kang creates a rich, atmospheric world told from two POVs, including Hector and Anda. Hector is a 17-year-old who runs to Isle Royale, a deserted island in the middle of Lake Superior, to hide out until he turns 18 and won't be required to return to his family home. He doesn't expect to see anyone on the island after the last ferry leaves for the season, but then he sees Anda and everything changes. Anda is a weather witch. She can control the lake, and as legend states, the preponderance of ships that sink in November is all because of her. So yes, this is girl power writ large. The deaths of sailors helps keep Isle Royale alive - it's all about the balance and the cycle between life and death.

Beyond what I've stated I was really impressed with the discussion of Hector's race - he's half Korean, like the Korean-American author of the book, and half African-American, which means that he's always been half something other than whether he was living in Korea or in the US. The author makes a similar comparison with Anda's half weather witch, half human nature.

If you're looking for a creepy, atmospheric book with a dark, complex heart that does diversity really well, then you have to pick up The November Girl. It's a book that you won't soon forget.
Profile Image for Mia Siegert.
Author 2 books155 followers
October 4, 2017
I read a galley of THE NOVEMBER GIRL and just--mind blown.

I don't even know where to begin with it, and I'm going to have to come back to the review later, but the literary writing with such relatable characters, staggeringly gorgeous prose, and the ability to make the reader feel like they're RIGHT THERE the whole time.. just an immensely pleasant reading experience.

There are some heavy themes in the book so Content-Warning/Trigger Warning for character backstory

Highly recommended read. Seriously gorgeous.
July 11, 2018

I've been trying to read this book for 4 months. I got about 80% of the way through. I can stand a little bit but then I nope my way out of there.

I don't mind Anda so much. She's bland but she's kind of sort of supposed to be. I hate Hector. I'm sorry. A shitty childhood doesn't mean you can treat others like shit. You don't get a pass. He never asks about Anda. It's always about him. This entire book is a hymn to 'change for me'. He never even asks why she does what she does. It's just 'stop and change for me.'

It literally takes her father coming over to get a bit of that conversation started (at the very end of the book.) There's no 'I see you're different, I've seen what you can do. What are you?' He never even asks. It's just about Hector. Hector, hector, hector.

And can I say this plan of his was stupid and completely unbelievable? I can tell the author never lived in a cold climate. That was the other thing that really killed it for me. He's 17 years old and he asks like a 10 year old. His escape plan is literally to go to an empty island with one small backpack for 8 months in Michigan for THE WINTER. Like 'I'm gunna build me a shelter out of sticks and I'll be fine' type of thinking. This is a 17 year old who grew up up north. No one would do that. That's batshit insane stupid. This is an area where you have to put chains on your cars in the winter it snows so much. Anyone near a big body of water knows lake effect snow/storms.

I live in Utah and I tried to run away for the mountains when I was 8 ~ 10 years old. Even then I knew about winter snow conditions in the mountains and the valley where I live doesn't get nearly as much snow. You couldn't pay me to believe someone who grew up up North would think this was a plan.
Profile Image for Tammy.
1,344 reviews31 followers
September 1, 2017
Ms. Kang has made me have feelings for shipwrecks and inanimate objects that include corpses. How did she do that? She wove a lovely tale involving two people that were halves and made them whole as individuals and as one. Anda's nature of violence with reason was terrifying and yet beautiful. Her love of the items destructed washed unto me. Hector's being broken did not stop him from caring for Anda and her oddities. This story was so moving without much dialogue. Typically I am not a fan of books without dialogue but this one reeled me in and kept me there until the last wave was gone. I received a free ebook in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Leah.
1,013 reviews338 followers
October 17, 2017
I enjoyed this novel a lot! While it was often slow at times, the writing was neat and easy to read. The pacing was generally smooth, and I liked that it wasn’t a single, first person point of view but showed both of them and clearly indicated when we were switching, without head hopping.

Additionally, both characters were incredibly dynamic. Read the full review on my blog!
Profile Image for Lauren.
1,179 reviews315 followers
September 19, 2017
Surrounding the bones of this PNR of two lonely teens falling in love, is a story that is deep in gorgeous imagery and heavy in themes. Although Hector and Anda seem very different at first, they have both grown up feeling like two halves of different things. He of two heritages ("Too Korean or too American. Too Black, or not Black enough.") and she is split between her human and other nature. They both carry darkness and pain within them. She embracing the death of ships and sailors to live, he running from horrors at home. Based on who Anda is, and what Hector's running from, it doesn't seem like these two would find something in each other, but somehow they make perfect sense as a pair.

This story is heavily romance focused and for much of the book, Hector and Anda are the only characters present. I enjoyed watching them get to know each other as they worked to survive on a lonely island. One criticism:

Near the end the story picks up in intensity - both emotional and physical danger - and I was turning pages quickly. I would have liked an epilogue, or at least a little more at the end. But this is a solid tale with lot of depth and an ending that left me satisfied.

Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Standalone.
Profile Image for CW ✨.
644 reviews1,696 followers
June 6, 2018
The November Girl is not a bad book. It may be a good reading choice if you like:
- something that's slow-paced
- interesting character studies
- angsty and strange romances
- something haunting, provocative, with magical and ontological intrigue
- HOWEVER, please please take note of its trigger warnings (listed below).

- The premise of the book is certainly unique, and Kang is a stellar writer who writes haunting atmospheres really well.
- About a boy (who is biracial Black-Korean!) running away from violence and the unorthodox romance he has with a girl who is violence, embodied.
- Whilst all the 'parts' of this book are interesting and compelling, strung together it was a little lacklustre. Halfway through, I did not feel invested in the characters, their stories, their motivations - any of it.
- The lore and intrigue oscillated between fascinating and vague, and unfortunately the lore is a big component of Anda's story, so I felt like her character was a little underdeveloped.
- I didn't particularly enjoy this book and it was not for me.

Trigger/content warnings:
Profile Image for Katherine Paschal.
2,164 reviews57 followers
November 23, 2017
Hector has one plan, and that is to escape his misery and live out on an abandoned island for a few months until he is 18 and free. But the island is not as abandoned as he anticipated. Instead, a strange girl-beast was left behind and he feels compelled to help her. But what he doesn’t know is that Anda is not just a girl, but instead a creature of great power and destruction.

Yes, I was lured in by the pretty cover and the author, and the synopsis was mysterious enough to intrigue me. Once I started, I can 100% say that I had no idea what would happen next, I could never predict the turns that the story took or the outcome in any way. This could easily be a fairytale, but not one of those happily ever after kinds we have come to expect, but the original Grimm style fairytales full of death and horror and hardships. There was also a clash of real life with fantastical elements, and the questions of whether those elements should ever intersect in life. Oh and don't forget the forbidden romance between two people who should probably never have even met. The writing at times felt like poetry, full of beautiful imagery that ultimately described death.

The story was dual narrated by Anda and Hector, alternating voices at chapters. This was a really unique read since there are really only 2 characters in the story period- a few passersby but for the most part just these two alone or together, unlike most books that have tons of characters thrown in along the way. Anda and Hector are both so broken but in such different ways, but experience equally powerful transformations during the course of these pages.

Hector only knows hurt and rejection, and even Anda makes the connection that Hector was happier with her and her oddities than any home he has had.

"You taste much better than rocks," she says before exiting the store and walking into the sunshine.
Thank God for that.

He has never been able to fit in- either too American and dark skinned, or not dark skinned enough- he feels like he has never belonged or been wanted and it made my heart hurt for him. He was such a caring, giving and considerate person (pretty much the definition of self-sacrificing) even though he never had that care given to him. I felt the urge to hug him so many times or at least step in when he was self-harming, but I could only sit back and watch the world unfold.

Anda is not really a person- at one point she might have been, but her humanity has been cast aside for storms and death, the things that feed her not-human soul. Through Hector she slowly regained her humanity and what being a person really means.

She blinks at me. Apparently, logic is some orange-winged creature she's never met before.

She's a huge mess of inconsistencies and confliciting pieces. Just when I get a good view of her, like a kaleidoscope, she turns and the image transforms into something completely different.

Is it odd that I was fully aware that she was a murderer yet I was still interested and cared about her- can you hate nature that needs cycles for rebirth? There are times in the book that we literally see her murder people and yet she was sympathetic and curious- like a small child or wild creature needing to be tamed. There was a moment where Hector thought she looked like she wanted to eat him, and I kinda agreed with him. But still I found her to be so compelling, the most interesting of characters. I kept questioning whether I wanted her to be "normal" or to give into her nature because it was needed for the island and life (as seen by the words of Hector):

Decomposition and fertilizer and Simba and the circle of life, whatever.

​I have been wanting to read Lydia's books for a while now, I even have purchased a few of her other stories and they are sitting here waiting for me, and if this is a fair representation of what she can write I am am very excited to read more of her work. I will admit that I feel like my heart was rippedout of my chest duriThis was such an emotional, complicated, darkly fantastical journey that I am glad I took and I highly recommend it.

I received this title for review purposes. Check out the blog tour at https://smadasbooksmack.blogspot.com/
Profile Image for Katrina♡••.
405 reviews68 followers
January 1, 2018
Yeah just your cliche love story with some weird shit thrown in.
Boring. A runaway goes to a deserted island and meets a weird girl and they gather food and try to survive. She speaks to the sea literally. They make out. Classic doomed loved story with happy endings. Hooray!
Dont waste your time guys. Its kinda plotless.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Miranda.
738 reviews111 followers
November 8, 2017
The November Girl was a haunting and mesmerizing novel. This is one of those stories that pulls you in from the beginning and doesn't let go.

This was a story about love, loss, family, acceptance, and forgiveness. There were some gut-wrenching moments that I was not expecting, which I thought were extremely well executed. The plot of this book stayed interesting the entire time. I felt like there were always new questions that needed answering or a new hurdle that the characters had to overcome. There were some slower parts of the book, but it was well paced as a whole. This book also had some elements of child abuse and self-harm, which were hard to read about. I don't have any experience with the topics, but the subjects seemed to have been handled well.

The magical elements of this book were absolutely enchanting. I really enjoyed the unique world the author created. I wanted to learn more and more about the magic that was affecting the characters.

The main characters, Anda and Hector, were both very likable characters. They both went through a lot of dark things, so it was nice to see them find some happiness throughout the story. Anda and Hector were both such strong characters whom I enjoyed getting to know. I will admit that it took me a little bit to connect with them, but by the end of the book, I loved them both. I also shipped them together SO FREAKING HARD. The slow-burning romance in this was adorable and swoon-worthy. I really enjoyed how their relationship developed into such a heart-pounding romance. I WANT MORE!!!

Overall, I thought The November Girl was an entertaining and haunting book. If you are looking for a unique and romantic YA book involving magical realism, then I would definitely recommend this book!

4 / 5 Fangs

*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review. *
MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It
Profile Image for Mercedes Yardley.
Author 81 books291 followers
June 27, 2021
The November Girl is a tragic, beautifully written book that needs all of the trigger warnings. There's self-harm, self-loathing, teens in peril, and a wonderful magical realism story that has to do with saving yourself and saving each other. It's dark, strangely satisfying, and there's so much heart. What a gorgeous book. While YA, I'd recommend it for more mature readers due to subject matter. Simply stunning.
Profile Image for Vicky.
264 reviews5 followers
October 27, 2017
If any book has a unique premise, this is it. I picked it up completely blind, not having read the blurb beforehand, and the result was a whole lot of confusion that still managed to hook me and keep me wanting to know more until the end: a testament to Lydia Kang’s writing skills.
As far as magical realism goes, The November Girl has it all. Situated on Isle Royale, the story is about Anda, the November Witch who causes the devastating storms that sinks ships and takes lives all through the month, and Hector, a teenage runaway who escapes to the island in the hope of avoiding his uncle until he comes of age in May- only to bump into Anda.
The way Kang brings her characters to life is amazing. She’s got a great touch for what it means to be human, and manages to imbue her characters with personalities that are sometimes only conveyed by a certain word or abstract mention. Anda’s and Hector’s voices are very distinct, and Kang beautifully conveys Anda’s struggle with her dual nature, and the fact that she’s struggling to connect with her human side, as well as Hector’s inner struggle and the demons that he’s haunted by. That, and their slowly-revealed backstories, make their respective character arcs, and the way that they develop, all the more compelling: you’re rooting for them.
The magical element itself (for which I’m a sucker) is introduced gradually and matter-of-factly into the plotline, which I really liked: there’s no big reveal moment, only a slow and drawn-out realisation on Hector’s part, plus some very cool magic with boats and stuff. Kang’s approach to Anda’s powers and her connection to the lake is a great concept, and one that she definitely makes the most of: rather than life, Anda draws her power and energy from the people she kills in shipwrecks, which makes her both a force of nature and- at least at the start- an ambiguous, powerful character who is more in tune with nature than humanity. Watching her bounce off the very human Hector as a result is great to watch.
Like Hector, you gradually discover who exactly Anda is as the story progresses, which makes for some excitement, interspersed with some very lovely character beats. For most of the book, they are the only two people in it, which gives their relationship time to breathe and develop more naturally: though I think Anda is a tad too ethereal to really sell the romance- I kept wondering whether she was going to forget about him or not- the slowly developing relationship between them is very sweet and considered, taking into account Hector’s fragility as well as Anda’s duality.
Overall, this is a sweet, ethereal romance that explores what it means to be human, and what it means to love, as well as bringing its two very different, lost, protagonists together. I loved it: for people wanting a great love story with their magical realism this is one for you.
Profile Image for Leigh Creech.
11 reviews7 followers
September 19, 2017
Finding a book that takes you into a different world and allows you to experience it "first hand" is rare. I'm so excited about this book because it does all of that and so much more. My favorite part of reading is when I can feel what the character feels even if I've never felt it. This book is a total assault on the senses and will leave you screaming for more when it ends.
Profile Image for Tara (Spinatale Reviews).
555 reviews50 followers
November 20, 2017
The November Girl is a beautifully written novel that was touching, unexpected, and magical. Lydia Kang's writing is wonderfully atmospheric, painting the world in vivid and stunning detail. This magical realism story is definitely darker and creepier than I was expecting but I loved where the story went. I struggled a bit to connect with Anda and Hector at the beginning, but I was cheering for them by the end.

Every November, Anda is able to unleash her true nature, no longer confined to hiding from the humans who would never understand her. The seasonally deserted Isle Royale is her playground, the place made inhabitable by the November storms that Anda creates. Hector is running away from the violence and insidious abuse that permeates every aspect of his life. When he decides to hide on Isle Royale, he may end up changing the course of both their lives.

When I first started reading this book, I was slightly worried that it would end up being a tale about Hector saving Anda. And it is that story. However, it's also the story of Anda saving Hector. Most importantly, The November Girl is ultimately the story of Hector and Anda saving themselves. I loved the self-determination present in this novel, it elevated this story above other YA novels I've read lately. While I did struggle to connect with the characters at the beginning, I slowly fell in love with both of these beautifully flawed souls. In particular, I applaud the author for how sensitively she handled Hector's past. Additionally, I loved that Anda didn't have to hide who she was from Hector.

This book was definitely slower paced so if you're looking for a novel with constant action, this may not be for you. However, the pacing works beautifully with the atmosphere. I felt as if I could see the shipwrecks and feel the storms. The stillness of the island focused the reader's attention on Anda and Hector's interactions. Tentative at first, their relationship develops into something beautiful. Plus, the ending was just absolute perfection.

The November Girl was the perfect fall read. This beautifully written standalone novel was full of storms, magic, and friendship. I would recommend to fans of magical realism who are looking for a slightly darker read.

*Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Profile Image for Stephanie Ward.
1,177 reviews116 followers
November 13, 2017
'The November Girl' is a truly original young adult novel unlike anything I've read before. The description had me eager to read this book and the world that the author wove inside its pages was magical. She brought it to life with detailed descriptions and vivid imagery - I felt like I was right on the island with Anda and Hector. The main characters - Anda and Hector - were fantastic. They were different in so many ways, but they were also the same in a lot of respects. They complemented one another and it made their connection intriguing. I liked watching their relationship grow and change throughout the story. It's basically the heart of the book itself, when it comes down to it.

Another thing I want to mention is the author's choice of writing style. The story is told in the first person, in Anda and Hector's perspectives, in alternating chapters. I am a huge fan of the first person POV and was so happy the author decided to use it for this story. I absolutely loved getting to know both Hector and Anda on a personal level throughout the novel. We get to really see inside their hearts and minds, and I think that's a really special connection for the reader to share with a narrator. It made them both feel more realistic to me and easier to identify with from the start.

I do have to admit that I was quite confused for a large part of the story. I couldn't (and still kind of can't) wrap my mind around who or what Anda is supposed to be. The descriptions of her are fantastic, but it wasn't enough to give me a finite definition of her character. I know that might not make sense, but if you read the book I think you'll understand. Because of this confusion on my part, the overall plot was a bit unclear as well. Overall, the story made sense and I could easily follow the story line. The story was well written and full of details and interesting happenings with both Anda and Hector. Other than my confusion about Anda, I really enjoyed the book and highly recommend it for readers looking for something fresh and completely different than anything else out there.

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Amber: Step Into A Book World.
94 reviews12 followers
November 24, 2017


*I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and Entangled Publishers for review for a upcoming blog tour. This review is written based on my own thoughts and opinions on this book*

November Girl by Lydia Kang was a breathtaking novel to read. It was truly a unique, dark, and creepy story for those who are like myself who are always game for a little darkness in their books. Lydia Kang’s writing will draw you into this story and it will run rampant through your mind like a summer storm even after you set the book down.


November Girl is told from two POV’s by the main characters Hector and Anda. These characters came alive off of the page thanks to Kang’s wonderful style of writing. They were captivating and realistic. I wanted to know everything about them.

The first character is Hector a 17-year-old who runs to Isle Royale, a deserted island in the middle of Lake Superior, to hide out until he turns 18. When he turns 18 he won’t be required to return to his family home. He doesn’t expect to see anyone on the island when the last boat leaves because there are terrible storms rumored to plaque the island around that time of year, but then he sees Anda and everything changes.


The next character Anda is a weather witch and half-human. She is described as the November storm that shuts down her island Isle Royale every winter. She can control the lake, and the legends surrounding her states, the majority of ships that sink in November are all because of her. The deaths of sailors is what helps keep Isle Royale alive. Each and every year the island evacuates in October leaving Anda completely alone on the island with no one else to interact with.


All in all this was a riveting book that I would recommend for those seeking magic, compelling characters, and an a chilling adventure. The only negative I found was how the love between Anda and Hector felt forced in some part and I didn’t really feel the connection between them so, I couldn’t connect to it. The characters on their own were developed wonderfully but I wanting to see more passion in the love between them.

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