by Melina Marchetta
Purchase on: Amazon, iBooks,
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“Because without our language, we have lost ourselves. Who are we without our words?”
I suppose this is going to be one of my rare ‘short and sweet’ reviews. I hate not writing long reviews because that generally means I didn’t like a story-when I fall for a story I can’t stop typing and it becomes a novel of some sort despite my strongest attempts to wrap it up (this isn’t always the case, but more often than not that’s what it means). I wanted so badly to fall in love and cherish this novel. I wanted to get over my book hangover and find something new to explore and obsess over. I wanted to be all consumed and unable to focus on reality….but I just….didn’t.
I didn’t fall into step with the story and I didn’t connect on a level that seems normal by everyone else’s standards. I just didn’t.
The truth is that while it may be assumed that I just don’t know what good writing is or what makes a deep and meaningful story, that’s hardly true at all. I just need more from a story than a life saving journey and tons and tons and tons of theorizing and explaining and talking. This book was always with the talking. That isn’t to say that there wasn’t beautiful writing or a beautiful slow-building romance. In fact, I actually loved the progression of the romance. It was sweet, sad, hopeful-and it was the only thing that kept my attention, if I’m being completely honest.
Another thing this story did have was a cast of strong, heroic characters. Each person brought something to the table that the others didn’t, making for a well-rounded and interesting formula. As far as the characters go, there was never a dull moment. Finnikin, our main character, was an admirable guy. I loved his thoughts and being in his head-he was loyal, brave, snarky with a wit that translated from his inner thoughts when he spoke. I even loved the progression of his feelings for Evanjalin-from a deep-rooted dislike to a reluctant admiration to a soul searing and passionate love. It was beautiful while maintaining a heartbreaking undertone.
“You have a very dark heart,” he accused.
“It’s good of you to recognize, Finnikin,” she said without looking up. “There’s hope for you yet.”
But overall-the bottom line? This just wasn’t for me. At all. Even with all the talking and journeying, generally I still can fall for a story through the romantic backstory or action sequences-but the action came far and few between and the romance could not stand on its own. A story has to be great for me to like the ‘traveling’ aspect-I’m very picky about this-and I just wasn’t wowed. This book was very beautiful and had what everyone seems to love-just not me.