November 6, 2016

ARC Review of The Reader by Traci Chee

Release Date: September 13, 2016
Publisher: Putnam
Page Count: 442
Format: ARC
Genre: YA
Sefia lives her life on the run. After her father is viciously murdered, she flees to the forest with her aunt Nin, the only person left she can trust. They survive in the wilderness together, hunting and stealing what they need, forever looking over their shoulders for new threats. But when Nin is kidnapped, Sefia is suddenly on her own, with no way to know who’s taken Nin or where she is. Her only clue is a strange rectangular object that once belonged to her father left behind, something she comes to realize is a book.
Though reading is unheard of in Sefia’s world, she slowly learns, unearthing the book’s closely guarded secrets, which may be the key to Nin’s disappearance and discovering what really happened the day her father was killed. With no time to lose, and the unexpected help of swashbuckling pirates and an enigmatic stranger, Sefia sets out on a dangerous journey to rescue her aunt, using the book as her guide. In the end, she discovers what the book had been trying to tell her all along: Nothing is as it seems, and the end of her story is only the beginning.

*an ARC of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review*

The Reader by Traci Chee was one of those books where it seemeds interesting enough but I probably wouldn't have risked buying in case I didn't like it. However, when Penguin sent me the book to review I decided to read it and ended up loving it! It started off a bit slowly and was slightly confusing in some parts but the writing style, characters, plot, and more were all amazing and kept me reading for hours on end.

While the world building in The Reader wasn't anything new or unique, it was still very well written and wrapped me up inside the story. From different towns and forests to sailing across the ocean to different places, there was no shortage of settings to experience. My particular favorites were the scenes where they traveled by boat, interacted with the crew, and grew close together as a team. Something about it just struck a chord in me and I just wanted the crew to keep going on together even after they had to separate. I really hope they get reunited somehow and we get to read more about their journeys together.

The alternating chapters (between Sefia and the boy living in the streets) confused me at first but towards the end when I found out why it was that way I was extremely surprised and it all made sense, making the confusion worth it. I loved all the characters (some better than others obviously) and there's no simpler way I can say that. They were all vividly written and were part of the reason why I couldn't stop reading The Reader. And like I mentioned before, the crew of the ship were some of my particular favorites. The description of The Reader was a bit ambiguous and didn't cover everything that happens in the book so part of the joy in reading it was discovering all the parts of it that I wasn't expecting from having read the description. Despite everything that was covered in its 400+ pages there's still so much more that can be written about and I really really want to see another book or three continuing Sefia's journey (I'm kind of hoping that the last line in the description: "the end of her story is only the beginning" means that we'll get a sequel).

Normally The Reader wouldn't have piqued my interest enough to pick it up (if I hadn't read it like I have now) but now that I've read it, it's a reminder to not judge a book by its cover. The Reader was a fantastic book that I thoroughly enjoyed and the thought of never having read it makes me appreciate it even more. Despite causing slight confusion and not having the most amazing cover The Reader is still a book that I think all YA readers should check out, you won't regret it!

4.5/5 - Amazing book!

No comments:

Post a Comment