Originally reviewed here
.Why I Read It:
I had just finished Liar and Spy
and was looking up on Rebecca Stead and discovered that she had published a book before When You Reach Me
. My local library had it in their catalog, so I decided to check it out. Spoiler-free review ahead.
>Rebecca Stead, I LOVE YOU. Seriously, she writes good stuff guys.
This book is much more action-oriented than her two other works (which are much more subtle in execution) but it is equally fantastic. Having the story take place in a northern setting (Greenland) was interesting in and of itself, but then including a people who live INSIDE an iceberg as well? So so cool. I think I would have been in love with this book had I read it when I was younger. Being older, I kept questioning the feasibility of such a civilization, but it was really fun regardless.
There is fantasy in this book, and while it's blatant, it's also in small doses. Though I'm curious about how the magic worked. The people who live in the icebergs live there because they were run-out for being associated with witchcraft, but some of their magic is associated with the dogs (Thea can "hear" them), so I wonder what led people to become aware of their more-than-human abilities. I also wish the history of the people had been expounded on a little more, than what is offered is adequate enough to quench the curiosity of younger readers.
This is a short review, but this is also a rather short book. It's full of adventure and excitement, but also offers careful exploration of more subtle themes that I've come to associate with Stead. It isn't her best work, but her best work is pretty frikken good, and this is her debut novel, so I'm more than happy with it.Final Verdict:
This debut novel by Stead is much more action oriented than her second and third books, but it still offers a careful exploration of themes, such as identity and finding oneself. There is fantasy, but it's on the light side. While I would have loved this as a child, my grown-up self couldn't help but question the plausibility of some of the aspects of the plot, but that doesn't make it any less fun. This isn't my favourite of Stead's work, but I still really enjoyed it regardless.